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In Case You Don't Understand

A Story About Living With Bipolar Disorder

It's like you're drowning, but it's not your fault. 

In case you don't understand, some things are out of my control. I equate having bipolar disorder to being forced to split time between being stuck in a hurricane and stuck in a dark cave. 

In case you still don't understand, the hurricane is horrible. Out of nowhere, imagine that you get lifted off the ground by a gust of air. The only thing you see is the dust and debris around you, but it stings when you have your eyes open. You have to close your eyes and be trapped inside your head, which now seems as hectic as the debris. You can feel your body moving around with the movement of that wind, but you don't have any control over which direction your body moves in. 

You can't even hear yourself think, the wind is too loud. Screaming doesn't help either; it's just adding noise to the already existing turmoil. It almost feels as though there are a thousand radios playing all at the same time inside your head. You can't tune into only one of them, since they force you to try to listen amidst this hurricane. It gets so loud that being at a rock concert is a familiar feeling. 

You snap at people because the radio says so. You yell and kick and scream and want out but you don't have a say. Realizing this is the first step — your struggle makes everything more difficult. 

In case you still don't understand, or if you need me to reiterate, I don't have control over this hurricane. It forces me to listen and to be overwhelmed and to not think of anything else. It's always the hardest when you know that you have things to do, like cooking or cleaning or working, and you know that you simply can't. The most horrible thing is knowing that the hurricane just won't go away or leave you, but that it'll be here for possibly days on end. You'll just have to deal with it. 

In case you don't understand, the cave is no party, either. It's like being trapped on a rock in the middle of a still lake, the hard rock uncomfortable to sit on. You can feel the lumps of sharp rock against your behind and ankles as you sit cross legged on it. It doesn't matter though. There's a light source above you, on the ceiling of the cave about ten stories too high for you to climb out. You wouldn't be able to even get to the side of the cave if you tried, since you know that if you tried to swim, the monsters in the water would pull you under and you'd surely die from water inhalation. They have sharp claws that like to tear cuts into your skin and make you wish that you had already died. It's worse at nighttime, since all the light in the cave goes away and the monsters are nocturnal. How are you to know or trust that one of them won't come up from the water and grab your ankle, pulling you into the water with them. 

I saw one once. He was a ball of black hair, with angry black claws clutching at the rock I sat on. The hand came out of the water and latched onto the rock, almost to let me know that he was here if I needed him. 

In case you don't understand, I did not choose this. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. Some days are okay, but living in the cave or in the hurricane is like living in your personal hell. It repeats itself and pushes you into insanity. Try doing anything while stuck in a cave or in a hurricane. It gets very difficult. 

Today I'm in a hurricane. I want out. 

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