From my LiveJournal, July 27th, 2011:
Round and round and round in circles.
I don’t want to feel like this for another sixty years.
I really, really get tired of the mood swings. I know it’s a part of this illness, a burden I must bear, so to speak. But I really, really would rather not. I mean… in literature, when the hero has some sort of horrible burden to bear, there’s something good in store for them at the end. For example, Frodo had to carry the One Ring, but he got world peace out of the deal (even if he was sans one finger.) Superheroes have the burden of leading double lives and their loved ones potentially getting caught in ugly crossfires, but they get to save people, and that’s always pretty cool. Also: Super powers! I only have the super power of feeling like complete and utter crap for long periods of time, or being incapable of completing any tasks because I want to be doing ALL of the tasks at once.
What do I get out of living with a mental illness? Increased powers of empathy? I would be totally okay with only normal levels of empathy, thanks. I get the delight and joy of wanting to harm and/or kill myself when I’m depressed, and the isolation and anxiety of a downswing. I get to very, very rarely be too manic to do anything successfully but still have a strong desire to do everything at once. I get the occasional bout of racing thoughts, of being too depressed to do anything but lie in bed and contemplate death. My death. I get to scare off dates when I get to tell them “by the way, I have a chronic mental illness and spend a lot of time depressed.” I get a lifetime of pills and doctor visits. I get to pray that I never lose my health insurance through work, because I’ve got a pre-existing condition and will get automatically denied. I get to deal with prejudice and people thinking that I’ll kill people- sometimes children!- because “that’s what bipolar people do.”
I know everyone has their own burden to bear, but sometimes mine is downright unbearable.