I’ve been actually diagnosed bipolar for almost 7 years, yet I can look back at my entire life and know that my family and I should have realized it long before then. Since being diagnosed, I haven’t been bashful about telling anyone and everyone who will listen about my “disorder”. I don’t see it as a disorder, I just see it as part of who I am. I’ve seen my fare share of people who flinched and backed away when I told them I am bipolar, but this is why I do it. I tell people about my hospitalizations, times when I was extremely depressed, and extremely manic, so they can see that even though the media portrays people who have mental illnesses as drains on society who are homicidal psychos, we can be and ARE functioning members of society. I make sure to let them know that through years of therapy and indescribable amounts of self control the person that they are talking to is not on any medication and that I control my bipolar, not the other way around. I make sure they understand that though society sees me as “crazy”, I work 7 days a week to take care of my family and make sure my children have enough food to eat, toys to play with and clothes to keep them warm.
I know myself better than most people will ever know themselves. I can tell when I’m cycling. I can bring myself down from mania and back up from depression, but I also know when I am beyond my own control and will call the police to restrain me or take myself to the hospital if needed. While in the hospital I like to help people understand that they don’t have to let their disorder control them, they can be the one in control. If anyone is reading this who is bipolar, and you want to know my secret, it’s simple: you have to want to control yourself. That is the kicker. A lot of the people I have spoken to in the hospital don’t want to control themselves they just want to be “normal”, well, sadly, this isn’t possible for us at this point in time. After you decide you want to control yourself, you have to understand something else: the only thing you can control is yourself. Nothing else. When you can accept that, you will be well on your way to controlling yourself. Keep in mind, I’m not saying that you need to drop your mess now and try to control yourself. You can’t expect to succeed by do that, but in time, it took me more than 5 years, you might just get there.
For those of you who aren’t bipolar and are reading this. We use bipolar to describe a person, and most think that this is all that needs to be said about some who is bipolar. Well, I’m here to tell you, my name is Chris, I have brown hair, hazel eyes, I’m about 6′, and weigh about 175. I have a beautiful wife, I have a 2 1/2 year old, a 1 1/2 year old and a 6 week old. I work two jobs, and about 65 hours a week, I have a great sense of humor, I like movies, I love music, am sweet, humble, a gentleman, I hold the door for anyone and I am extremely out going. Talking to people is my favorite hobby, but I also like football, basketball, and hockey, working on cars and working on computers. I love watching he science channel, watching shows about space and reading about anything science related. Somehow, “bipolar” doesn’t do a good job of describing me. Am I bipolar? Yes, I am, but that is just a minuscule part of who I really am, who I really am is a person, just like you.