What no one tells you about having mental illness is the sheer madness of it. It’s a mental illness, but so much of it is not mental. My body aches. It feels like the flu. I never know when to point the finger to my fibromyalgia or when to point the finger to depression. Or perhaps I ought to point it back to me. I ate processed foods yesterday. They’re inflammatory, aren’t they? Maybe if I ate clean… Maybe. Maybe if I had a gratitude journal… will writing down what I am grateful for make my joints pop any less? Will I be in less agony if I eat an apple instead of chips? I can detect the bitterness of my own words as I write it all out.
What no one tells you… is how angry you’ll become. I am angry that I’m not like every other woman. When my anger fuels creativity and I write poetry that resonates with others, I receive praise and acclaim. When my anger is only a red dust settling behind my eyes and the only creativity it spawns is a desire for stronger profanity when I speak, there is only chastising and censorship. They want me to be myself, but not too much myself because that’s a downer.
“I thought if you were bipolar you were creative.”
“I thought if you were bipolar, you were crazy.”
“I thought if you were bipolar you’d be like two different people…”
What no one tells you is that no, my illness does not exist in Hollywood scripts.
I had to save myself and I’m not the most reliable person to do that right.
What no one tells you is I’m an optimistic person and I am utterly random. I love happy endings and romantic comedies. I love tropes and cliches. I love the guy getting the girl and always, the girl getting the girl. I have hand chosen pictures, downloaded music and made videos of my friendships. I have had people send video messages to an ex where she merged it all together in a birthday video set to Katy Perry’s “Birthday” so I could ring in 30 in style. I like romance and cheese and sentiment and I’m lost in a generation that thinks Netflix and Chill is the epitome of “like” because we no longer “love” anything beyond our dogs.
What no one tells you… I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to pretend I’m okay, like my life is a fairy tale and I only need myself. I’m tired of being hard. I’m exhausted from being hard. I have an edge, like a blade, to protect myself. The problem is that I turn the blade inward and hurt myself before anyone else can.
What no one tells you is … there’s a void that I can’t explain. A wholeness I’m missing. I tried to “be good.” I tried to be perfect. I was there for everyone, at all hours of the days and nights. The issue with always being there for others is you’re never there for yourself. That void I’d left was now a chasm and it’s bleeding. I can taste the saltwater of my tears that are streaming down my face like waterfalls right now.
What no one tells you is… I’m one fucked up person, but… I’m happy and I laugh at the most inappropriate times. I am silly and random and I will love you with my soul. I will be loyal and you will never doubt me. I am manic and crazy and I’m too much.
I am too much, but for those who are down to be part of the adventures of my life, they’ll never get enough of me.