Autobiography · Mental Health


"Tired" © Giuseppe Milo, 2015. CC BY 2.0.
Tired” © Giuseppe Milo, 2015. CC BY 2.0.

“I don’t know. I guess… I guess I just feel like my default state now is… I don’t know. Complete misery.”

“And yet–and this is meant more as an observation than a compliment–you always look fantastic.”

I laughed. So he laughed.

“And that, too!” He pointed at me. “That laugh. That’s genuine. People can tell that’s real.”

“Right. Man, I don’t know. I mean, logically I know that those two parts of myself can exist together. But, I don’t know. It feels like one has to be real and the other a cover.”

Is that my disease or the two wolves fighting?

I don’t know where this idea came from. That I am all either one thing or the other. Either depressed and using happiness as a cover or happy and never feeling the real crippling emptiness of depression. Surely you are not all one thing or another. Maybe there are no covers.

I’m terrified and miserable. I’m confident and exuberant. Not because I’m bipolar, but because people are fluid. Not everything is a symptom, kid. Sometimes it’s just how you’re feeling. Maybe your default state isn’t anything. Maybe life is neutral.

12 thoughts on “Fantastic

  1. Whenever I feel good I always wonder if it’s real or is depression right around the corner bc it’s mania. I try to just enjoy the moment and be in it, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I’ve always said that when you’re bipolar, you can’t really count on your “gut feeling”. Your gut lies a lot.


    1. Isn’t that terrifying? “Am I feeling good right now just because I am or am I about to go crazy manic?” I like to think we can learn to focus on the moment and just deal with what’s ACTUALLY currently happening.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am reading Wayne dyers change your thoughts – change your life, which is essays in the chapters of the Tao Te Ching.

    Today was about trying not to look at things as either or, but and just different spots on the same spectrum.

    Letting go of the compassion and needing to define ourselves as only one way or another.

    We just are.

    Interesting thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that it’s a spectrum. I’ve known several people who are bipolar and get swept up in either/or. When you are used to peak euphoria mania feeling EVERYTHING or depths of despair depression feeling EVERYTHING, existing just a little in from either end of that spectrum feels like a let down. But it takes a lot of work to swing so far from end to end. It’s more sustainable to just feel happy, just feel sad, just feel neutral. Euphoria/mania still exists. So does despair. But life is a lot less work when you’re not hanging out there as long or your expectation isn’t either/or.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The either/or is so, so hard. And you’re totally right that is becomes even harder when you’re eithers are SO EITHER and your ors SO OR.

      I know it’s just another skill I have to learn. Living in the spectrum instead of on the ends.


  4. I guess I would go with life is an ocean. Sometimes you have rough, turbulent, choppy waves, other times gulfs that you can’t see across that bounce your little ship hard as it is flung up, down, and sideways. Occasionally you get calm, tranquil waters that reflect the sky but make it better–and a soft, shushing surf to guide you to shore. But mostly, it’s a lot of seasickness. So, bring your Dramamine.



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