The other day, a friend of mine asked how I manage to live with bipolar disorder. I wasn’t offended by the question, if that’s what you were thinking. I was actually pretty glad someone finally decided to talk to me about it. Everyone else thinks it’s a taboo subject to bring up.
Anyway, I had to contemplate the question for quite sometime because not only do I have bipolar disorder, but I also have an eating disorder that I’m forced to live with. And after all that time my answer was so anticlimactic.
I just do.
I’ve already accepted that I can’t live a “normal” life. I have to take a cocktail of medication every single day for the rest of my life, pretty much preventing me from participating in standard activities for a person my age. I have to constantly watch for signs of relapse. I have to watch what I eat every single meal. I have to deal with questions about my strange behaviors. And so on and so forth. You get the idea.
I already had that period of denial and self-pity.
Now, I just… live with it.
I mean, what else can I do but accept the situation?
I’m completely aware that I can be pretty moody and difficult to deal with. And I’m aware that this all makes it tough to make lasting friendship because the idea of being friends with someone who has had “psychotic mania” and is at constant risk of having it happen again is pretty daunting. It’s difficult to understand the combination of my volatile moods and introverted nature. I usually end up alienating the newcomers.
But that has actually become my true test of friendship.
A person who knows that I can be mentally unstable and still want to spend time with me is a true friend in my book.
Wouldn’t you think so?
Yes, “I just do” was my somewhat terrible answer.
I didn’t know what else to say because that is how I manage. I mean, how do you live without something without, well, living with it?