. These days, research into the disease of Bipolar Disorder has definitively found that those with this devastating illness have different synapses of the brain firing during certain situations, as opposed to those without a BP diagnosis. Tangible, physical proof that the Disorder is a chemical malfunction of the brain, not some kind of moral quagmire. While I am fairly certain that it is much less common today to judge those with this illness as deviants, I still feel the sting of being misjudged and misunderstood on a daily basis.
. This most likely is the result of over 30 years of misdiagnosis of my mental illness, and at least that long of my untreated Bipolar Disoder wreaking havoc in my family. Years upon years of huge errors in judgement, promiscuity, active addiction and alcoholism, self-harm, suicide attempts, incarceration and institutionalization, criminal activity and bald faced lies and thievery led to a ton of disappointment in my Family. My relationships with immediate family deteriorated to the point of no return, and complete lack of empathy towards me, a withholding of love in some cases. Tears and blame in others .
. My Bipolar Disorder manifested itself early in my life; I remember, very clearly, the phenomenon of feeling ” painted green” in a group of other classmates. A conspicuousness, standing out like a sore thumb, set apart, different. I recall being made an example of, early on as a exceptional student, then in middle school an example of an underachiever, a weed smoking burnout.
. I did everything to excess, my self worth being tied to my weight led to use of speed and bulemia, even with a thirty inch waist at 5′ 9″. My burning desire to fit in, to be accepted by the “cool” kids, led to extreme risk taking, rape and a strange sense of my own “fame”. It drove my father insane to see his 13 year old daughter staying out till dawn, coming home stoned and drunk. I was an artist as long as I can remember, and practiced writing in miniscule script for years. I had my head buried in my sketch book, hidden in my textbook, telling whoever would listen that I was Michaelangelo’s reincarnation, born on the same month and day as the great master.
. I was sure to be famous, and tried out in a local hard Rock band at 15, taped squeaking along to Rush 2012’s Temple of Syrinx; an impossible song for a multitude of singers. My performance was so comical that the band members could not contain their mirth, even in my presence.
. Yes, the Bipolar Tiger was bucking me around like a prized bronc, and I was surely going to be violently thrown into the dirt.
(to be continued…)