bipolar in the social context

I don’t know what kind of bipolar you have, but you seem fine to me. 

I don’t think of you as bipolar, just less neurotypical. 

Everyone feels like that sometimes. 

What happened to your arm?

That’s normal

Where were you last week?

Everyone struggles with things like that. 

Why do you see the need to label yourself?

Why do you talk about bipolar so much, it’s like you want it to be your identity.

It’s ”in” to be bipolar now, isn’t it?

What happened to your face?

You don’t look mentally ill.

Why are you stressed?

Depression is a myth, there’s no proof of chemical imbalances in the brain.

Why are you depressed?

Just remember, there are those who have it a lot worse. 

Have you tried positive thinking?

What are you anxious about?

Everyone gets worried sometimes. 

Have you tried essential oils?

Everyone feels down sometimes. 

You laugh all the time though?

You look fine. 

Where have you been?

You look normal. 

Living with a mental illness, you’re constantly torn between hiding your symptoms and justifying your struggles. If you’re not coping you’re made to feel bad for not coping. If you are coping, your diagnosis and the very coping strategies themselves are questioned. 

The amount of energy and effort it takes to find the socially acceptable balance, to stay well enough to be a functioning member of society but vulnerable enough that people don’t forget to not expect too much from you at certain times or pile too much work on you, uses up half of my batteries at any given time.

I get less social and let fewer people close to me the older I get, because this is something I always have to take into consideration. It’s not the hanging out that’s exhausting, it’s the pretending to be fine and trying to regulate my emotions and it’s the amount of anxiety and self-torment I have to work through after each time I’ve failed. 

I am both of the people in this photo. I work really hard to avoid the one on the left, but it’s still part of me.