I used to say a lot, now, I say a lot less. I don’t say publicly how I’m doing much anymore. I believe that’s okay though. Not everyone needs to know my state of mind anyway. Facebook culture kind of draws new types of interactions between people. Some is good, some is not so good. I don’t think my past cries for attention on Facebook were worthless. They spoke to a real need I was having. I just think that Facebook is not the outlet in which anyone should reach for that type of attention. Reassurance will never come through the words on the other side of a glass screen.
With that said, I do believe it is incredibly difficult to have real conversations about my illness without some sort of judgement being passed. Maybe that is why I liked Facebook better; it is far more passive. I can tell people I’m feeling awful and a few will say they love me and that is that. If I tell someone in person that I am emotionally awful, I am more likely to get a response that minimizes the words I said and how I feel. I have many theories for this, but no matter why people dismiss my feelings, the result is the same. My feelings are dismissed. The hurt is real and that’s why I and many others tend to keep our emotions bottled up. It’s a lot easier to pretend they don’t exist sometimes.
I’m bipolar, however, and unfortunately my emotions do exist. I have highs and I crash from those highs. My lows are deep and powerful. As much as I hate suicide it still crosses my mind. Yet no one besides those closest to me- my boyfriend, parents, roommates- know those things still linger. I’m hurting in silence. I have such a wonderful job where I get to wear a smile all day and make others smile. I couldn’t be happier there, but when I get home I’m gone. I fail to exist in an active society. I have gotten to a place that when I put all my positive energy into work or my minimal social life, whenever I get the chance to retract to my room and dwell in a temporary state of lack of existence, I do. I fight for my life every single day. I fake a smile -because I know if I don’t, even fake it, I would just give up. That is never an option for me.
This isn’t a cry for help, nor is it an apology for being “absent”. This is simply an explanation of my wellbeing. I want people who care to know where I am and why I am. I do not think that I should feel guilty for not being a great friend or person right now. I’m sick and fighting and if I feel better I will be back. I think any illness, mental or physical, should be looked at as a person fighting for their lives. Good days, bad days, and everything in between defines our battle. My hypermania comes more often, my depression comes back still severe, and my anxiety exists now to harm me even more at a physical level, but I’m still here. I learned this past year how to meditate and be mindful of my every step. I have learned how to distract myself from bad thoughts. I’m constantly learning to radically accept my past and future for what it is and the thing in which I can’t change. I am also fighting for change where I see brokenness. I’m a fighter for the marginalized and oppressed. I gain passion from seeing the empowerment of those who have been given so little opportunity. So here is where I am, dear ones.
I hope the next time you see someone, you don’t just see the outside, but you make sure to find out what they are fighting in their soul.
“You don’t know the half of the abuse” – heathens by twenty one pilots
The photo used for this blog post was taken by my amazing sister and friend Kaitlin. Find her work on Instagram at Kaitlin Grant Photography.