Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Let's talk about Bipolar for a minute....
Carrie Fisher was bipolar, and once said that she did drugs because "drugs made me feel normal". Speaking as a bipolar myself, I'd like to argue that a bipolar has no accurate conception of what constitutes "normal". The peculiarities of our apparently defective genome that result in us having this bipolar disorder also render our judgement unreliable, especially during severe episodes of the characteristic mood-swings.
"Normal" is therefore not only a very subjective condition, but also completely dependent upon one's past experience, which, in our case, according to all recognized medical authorities, is NOT "normal". What's "normal" for a manic depressive is generally considered to be "abnormal" for the general populace, otherwise it wouldn't be identified as a "problem". So my "normal" is not yours. Yours is familiar to me from observation & interactions with you so-called "normals", and I'm aware of what's expected in a "normal's" conduct. (Not all of you are as "normal" as you think!) But your "normal" feels weird to me. When I'm properly medicated to make me behave like a "normal", I feel like a zombie. People I have worked with have also said so. In fact, they are the ones that brought it to my attention.
My lady friend of 39 years, also a bipolar, asked "Would you rather be normal?" I replied, "Darling, for you and I, the way we are is normal." And it's all very subjective. While psychiatry picks us out of the crowd and says "Aha! There goes one now!", they really can't cure whatever is wrong, because they can't repair our damaged or missing genes that cause this problem. All they can do is provide chemical controls to limit its effects. Chemical restraints are still restraints, and cause their own trauma. But society accepts this as necessary for "the common good". They aren't worried about how I feel. They just want to achieve control, so I won't be a problem to them. They don't mind at all being a problem to me. But I understand that, and I'm compensated for it in other ways. I have skills and talents and abilities in degrees not experienced by those "normals". And I consider that more than a fair trade. I'm glad I'm not "normal". Normal is for sissies.