Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Two Different People
When I was about 14, I wrote about how I was two different people, both shy and outgoing. I didn't know anything about Bipolar Disorder then, and I wondered if other people had such huge changes in their personalities.
This duality is aptly described by Kay Redfield Jamison:
"There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty."
"Which of the me's is me? The wild impulsive chaotic, energetic, and crazy one? Or the shy, withdrawn, disparate, suicidal, doomed, and tired one?"
I wasn't suicidal, but my personality did change from day to day... Some days I spoke out in class often, other days I didn't say anything. My history teacher observed the changes in me and described it as “taking awhile to warm up” but in retrospect, the times when I was talking out in class too much was probably the bipolar pushing its way through.
I had many of the symptoms of mania, but it was never diagnosed until later. I think my life may have been better if it had been diagnosed earlier, but who knows for sure. It would have at least made it easier for me to understand my feelings and actions.
I am not the mania nor the depression. Those are just symptoms. But I thought that what I was feeling was who I was. I was wrong. I allowed it to be who I was because I didn't know that it was an illness.
Some therapists I saw missed it too. It could have been caught, but I had a stupid psychologist. Oh well.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amytakespictures/3706618027/