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Bipolar Is Unfair

When most of us were young we learned that life isn’t fair. Yes, that boy got a bigger slice of cake than you. Yes, that girl gets better grades than you even though she doesn’t study. Yes, that’s boy’s imaginary friend’s clothes are nicer than yours. Life isn’t fair.

But when I was diagnosed with bipolar at 20, my definition of “unfair” had to be reviewed.

Disease Isn’t Fair

It is true that no disease is fair. No person asks to get a disease and diseases are, by their very nature, random. It’s never fair to get diabetes or cancer or the flu. It’s random and you have to deal with it.

Are Some Things Less Fair Than Others?

In point of fact, lots of nasty things have happened to me. Most of them have been pretty unfair. But I can step forward from these things in my life because they are things, discrete experiences, they don’t have to affect me every day. You get therapy, you burn a scarecrow in effigy, you move on.

But I never move on from bipolar. It isn’t a thing. It’s everything. It’s sleep schedules and med schedules and bipolar symptoms and medication side-effects and moods and therapy and doctors and control every day of my life. There’s never a break. Not for a moment. I’m bipolar now. A minute from now. A day from now. A year from now. Always sick.

scaleIs it Particularly Unfair to be Destroyed at 20?

At 20-years-old I had a pretty normal life. School, relationships, a place to live, an on-track career, bad hair – pretty standard stuff. And then I became bipolar and broke apart. And while I don’t recommend that anyone get sick with anything I especially don’t recommend getting a life-long illness at 20. You have too many years you have to live with it yet to go.

Is Diligently Applying Every Known Therapy and Yet Remaining Broken Unfair?

I have tried every medication, therapy, and bipolar treatment imaginable for this thing. And it doesn’t work, treatment barely makes a dent. I’ve done everything right and I’m still sick. Of course, now I’m fat, ugly, scarred, old and sick. It seems unfair.

Is Still Being Destroyed at 32 Unfair?

Illnesses steal your life. They might still moments, or days, or weeks, or years, but they steal your life. And as my entire life is structured around not getting worse it seems that other people just can’t deal with, or fit into this rigid structure. Bipolar has stolen friendship and love and the possibility of ever having children.

Bipolar IS Unfair

And so while I realize that Life Isn’t Fair and that we all get bad cards to deal with now and again, the level of unfairness brought forth with this disease still strikes me. I shouldn’t have to deal with this. I should get to be happy. I should get to get married. I should get to have someone who loves me. I should get to have the things that I want.

But I can’t. I was born with a bad brain. And it’s not fair.

[As a quick aside to the people who will tell me I have a bad attitude: 1. The fact that bipolar isn’t fair is an actual fact. Admitting it isn’t negative, it’s honest. 2. Just because people don’t admit to thinking this out loud doesn’t mean that a huge number of us aren’t thinking it. Admission and expression are helpful in acceptance of such realities.]

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

43 thoughts on “Bipolar Is Unfair”

  1. Natasha,
    Thank you for this. I am not bipolar but was diagnosed with major depressive disorder almost 20 years ago and everything you wrote is exactly how I feel right now. I am 34 and feel like this disease has stolen EVERYTHING from me….love, marriage, career, children. I will not have children because I could not bear to pass on my mental illness and my alcoholism. The fact that I will never get to be a mother, experience that kind of love, experience pregnancy, experience holding my baby for the first time…..is particularly devastating to me. My entire life is based on my depression. I have tried everything, including ECT. And it is not fair. My own mother often gives me the “we all get dealt a bad hand” lecture. It is plain unfair that almost every moment of my life is consumed with pain, exhaustion, and survival. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

  2. i am feeling the same. Thanks for writing, I just found someone feeling the same and Iam not alone. Bipolar disorder is really unfair. I was dignosised bipolar disorder and my life distroed. I agree that other disesses are also not fair but in other diseases patient have at list hope to recover or wish to continue life.but for me sometimes it is not possible to wish to live life. Bipolar disorder change who i was as an person. I lost closeness to family member now they are scared how i will respond to them. my friends were stollen by bipolar.My dreams to travel the world break with bipolar dignosis.My career have ended for which i invest 18 years of life.I am 24 year girl who knows I will never have a normal life. I wish every thing should be normal. I should have friends around me,love, family.Should have good career.As like any 24 years girl i should have good looks , hair . But reality is there is nothing I am a ugly,no hairs,dark cicles around eyes and i looks older than my age. No one wish to talk to me. No one will ever intrested in me. My life is alone still end it is the reality. I can not earn money is the reality. I have to take my medicines for lifetime alhough it is sure ut will change my coundition. some one advise me that look at the person suffering from cancer.I want to realy tell them he at list no who he is. He at list wish to be recover and have normal life. Here for me i do not know who i am? Sometimes I do not wish to live.I knw it do not have any end. I never choose this life. Ialways work hard to get my dreams come true but life played a game with me and gave me bipolar disorder. It is really unfair

  3. Psh, I was “destroyed” at age 11. I’m 14 now and have years and years and years and years to go with bipolar disorder.

    1. Hey Samantha. I am Justin. I am 40 years old. I was diagnosed when you were 2. I am not going to lie to you and say it gets better. I just wanted to share with you that I have a little girl named Maria. She is 1 month old. My wife loves me more than anything. She has helped me feel normal, accepted, and to get some peace. And I don’t know what your future will be. And I am not going to sit here like some damn hypocrite and say “Yeah Sam… I am an old man! I know all the answers.” I am just going to tell you that when I was 14, I played Dungeons & Dragons, had blue hair, and wrote poetry to a girl I had a crush on. I read it to her in an ice cream shop in front of the entire varsity basketball team. They called me “f-ggot” for about a year after that. Look – our illness makes us stand out. It makes us WEIRD, for sure. But you listen to me…. you are deserving of all the love in the world despite being bipolar. In fact…. one day you will probably find someone to love you BECAUSE you are bipolar. I entertain my wife with my crazy crap all the time 🙂 You just keep going, honey, OK? One foot in front of the other. Sometimes, all there is to do is chin up and soldier on. Have faith. Pray. Eat well. Exercise. Find a creative outlet like writing or singing. Those things have helped me. I am sending you a HUGE HUG from all the way from Boston, MA where it is very sunny and warm today. Peace be with you, Samantha.

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