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In Reality, My Brain Has Been Attacked By Bipolar Disorder

February 17, 2011 Natasha Tracy

I’m bipolar. Now wait, before you start to tell me about how “I’m a person with bipolar disorder,” you might want to know, I don’t care. I use the English language in a non-politically correct way. Call it a quirk.

I have a new one for you: I am stalked by bipolar disorder. Kind of like an angry ex-boyfriend for whom you have a restraining order but insists on constantly scaring and tormenting you anyway.

Bipolar Disorder Lives Over There

The reason people don’t like it when I say I’m bipolar is because they think I mean “all that I am is bipolar,” which is ridiculous and their problem, not mine. I think nothing of the kind. Bipolar does take up a chunk of life, but then so does my love of Ben and Jerry’s. I’m fairly certain I’m neither Ben nor Jerry.

In fact to me, bipolar can be envisioned as an amorphous cloud of sharpened darkness that constantly follows me around stabbing me from time to time. Sometimes I manage to get at arm’s length from my stalker. Sometimes he sits on my head. But either way, he lives over there.

00444838That’s Crazy

Perhaps. But when a disease attacks the thing you must use to even understand the attack, metaphor and philosophy come into play.

When a disease attacks your leg, or even your bone or blood, it’s easy to understand this problem. It’s easy to comprehend that evil little viruses or mutated cells are not part of you, but invaders. It’s very difficult to comprehend bipolar as an invader as it has invaded the thing involved in comprehending its invasion.

I Don’t Have Bipolar Either

So you see, if you want to be all politically and philosophically correct, I do not have bipolar disorder. It’s really more accurate to say that bipolar disorder attempts to have me. For dinner. Or as a snack. It is more correct to say that I’m stalked by bipolar. Hunted by it. Invaded by it.

My brain has been attacked by bipolar disorder.

Terribly accurate. Terribly unwieldy.

You Don’t Have to Agree

Don’t worry. The English language doesn’t really call for immensely accurate description of such things. I’m not about to force it on people.

But just so you know, suggesting you have bipolar disorder, like one would have a car, is most ridiculous. You don’t have a car that is trying to run you over.

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

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2011, February 17). In Reality, My Brain Has Been Attacked By Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/02/in-reality-my-brain-has-been-attacked-by-bipolar-disorder



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 BurbleTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Julia
says:
April, 30 2013 at 6:49 pm
Interesting discussion here. I like the other elements you added to it, making me think again on the "I am..." vs "I have..."
Certainly the first implies a definition of who you are, at least at the moment it's stated.
I am happy.
I am tall.
I am tired.
I am diabetic.

Happy and tired could really use the verb ‘feel.' We could just do away with the verb 'to be' as it seems to only cause so many problems. That would be fun to try to write and speak without using any form of the verb.

There'd be no predicate adjectives, which is what all of the above examples were. It's correct that we don't say "I am diabetes" but instead "I am diabetic", although personally, I'd prefer "I have diabetes." I believe that there should be some verb in between ‘to be' and 'to have' that would better express what we experience. To say that I have cancer, is an understatement, because it consumes me far more than just something I might have. Yet, to say that I am cancer, or more correctly, I am cancerous, is just as ridiculous.
So I vote for a new verb. Not am and not have, so what??
Usually Cheerful06
says:
February, 27 2012 at 2:11 pm
Oh Natasha
This is much better than 'live with bipolar'. I mean that amused me because whenever anyone told me I was hard to live with, I would comeback with 'Imagine how hard it is for me?

Thing is 'stalked by bipolar' is speaking to me and that is exactly what being bipolar is - unwanted and unasked for and unprovoked attention-seeking and aggressive attacks on your mind, emotions and physique.

I am being stalked by bipolar now. Thanks for the light amusement.
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 23 2011 at 3:37 pm
Hi Sally,

Fight the therapist power! ;)

Therapists have your best interest at heart, but sometimes therapeutically correct isn't what the doctor should order.

Cancer of the mind is actually a pretty good phrase, I think.

I'm glad you like the different outlook. Sometimes it helps to twist what we know.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 23 2011 at 3:30 pm
Hi Davida,

"I still say I have Bipolar with a kind of warning along with it alittle shame."

I'm sorry to hear that. A warning, well, I get that, but shame, well, please don't let that particular nasty, gritty, hateful worm into your mind. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are a person with an illness, no more, no less.

"Bipolar is wearing me as its skin,pulling and shaping me how it wants me, I cant run, hide or die.It seems for most of my life if im unwell my life gets put on hold,"

Yes, I understand. I feel like that sometimes. Most of us feel like that sometimes. And sometimes "sometimes" feels like all the time. Believe me, I know that.

And I'm sorry people don't acknowledge your illness as serious. It is. I know it. You know it. Your doctor knows it. But perhaps some more education would help the people in your life understand what bipolar disorder is, and what it means. The word "bipolar" means nothing until you learn about it. Sometimes we forget because we live with it every day.

Feel free to drop by and "go on" any time you like. "Normal" here is a fluid concept. You'll fit right in.

- Natasha
Sally
says:
February, 23 2011 at 2:35 pm
I loved your view on this. My therapist always corrects when I say I am bipolar... I think your view is wonderful. For me its odd in a way, I know its a part of me and at times I am grateful- a euphoric mania is incredible... but a mixed state is not. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 27- I am 39 now- but I can remember back from when I was a teen I would tell my closest friends, I have cancer of the mind... b/c no one understood not even me- sometimes it was raging in me the depression.. .and other times I was in remission... but always I am fighting a battle. I really don't think anyone can truly understand this illness unless they live it. Even the meds to me are a "disease" of their own, but then again that is a whole other topic. Thank you though for your refreshing outlook. It's needed when you carry this monkey on your back.
Davida Bache
says:
February, 22 2011 at 9:36 pm
I still say I have Bipolar with a kind of warning along with it alittle shame. Not one person in my life acknowledges it as something serious. Funny tho my hairdresser did.but when I loose it people go where did that come from?It seems Bipolar is wearing me as its skin,pulling and shaping me how it wants me, I cant run, hide or die.It seems for most of my life if im unwell my life gets put on hold,the depressive side of Bipolar hasnt taken its toll on relationships but Im sick of having to act normal and keep Bipolar hidden I could go on but Ill save it for another day.
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 10:09 am
Hi Natalie,

"Umm, no. I’m bipolar. And *gasp* I actually think there are good things
about being bipolar! Without that piece, I wouldn’t be ME. It’s integral to my creativity, passion, intelligence, empathy, etc. And as I continue to find stability and wellness, I learn to embrace all of who I am rather than suppress it."

That is certainly something some people feel. I can't help but wonder if some of my talent comes from the crazy myself.

"Thanks for sharing another perspective counter to the dominant narrative - and I adore the humor!"

Excellent.

- Natashas
Natalie
says:
February, 18 2011 at 9:00 am
I love this! So many well meaning therapists and friends have tried to
correct me and say "You're not bipolar, you have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder."

Umm, no. I'm bipolar. And *gasp* I actually think there are good things
about being bipolar! Without that piece, I wouldn't be ME. It's integral to my creativity, passion, intelligence, empathy, etc. And as I continue to find stability and wellness, I learn to embrace all of who I am rather than suppress it.

That doesn't diminish the extreme pain and desperation we feel when we're in crisis...but damn if a positive outlook on this whole thing doesn't
help change the picture just a bit.

Thanks for sharing another perspective counter to the dominant narrative - and I adore the humor!

- Natalie
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 8:38 am
Hi Amy,

" I truly appreciated your candid and fun approach to defining what us bipolars struggle with."

I think we need a bit of fun now and then. :)

I'm glad you liked it.

- Natasha
Amy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 8:18 am
Natasha-

Thank you for reminding us bipolar sufferers that we are not defined by illness. It is a byproduct of our being; a stinky one at that!!! I truly appreciated your candid and fun approach to defining what us bipolars struggle with. It clarifies our struggles also, to those who don't understand. Can we get a restraining order against this stalker??? HA Medications can be our police against it-remember we need protection and help to stay "safe". Kudos, Natasha. I enjoyed your blog!
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 7:27 am
Hi Meredith,

Thanks! I'm glad someone got the joke. Time to not take everything quite so seriously.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 7:26 am
Hi Matthew, it's true, we're not really on the better side there.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
February, 18 2011 at 7:25 am
Hi Jake,

Well, political correctness runs rampant among mental health advocates and those with a mental illness. I can understand their point and if they wish to carefully craft such sentences, they are welcome to it. My only objection is their objection of me and proper use of the English language.

- Natasha
Meredith
says:
February, 18 2011 at 6:24 am
That was awesome, Natasha! So much pun to read. oops *fun*! The last line has me in stitches. Matthew, you're right, I don't think that's the best side of the deal, but some days, that's the best we can do!
I am bipolar and that's the way it's always been. It's just not something one would want to or can have. Nice, Natasha.

http://thedailybiploar.blogspot.com
Matthew
says:
February, 17 2011 at 7:48 pm
Perfect!

I often say that Bipoar has me. But I don't thnk that's the best side of that deal.
jake
says:
February, 17 2011 at 11:03 am
I am saturated with this illness, I can relate to your post. It is in my cells, it colours my vision. Where does "it" begin and "I" end. Who knows?
Political correctness is for people who do not suffer this ailment.
Martha
says:
February, 17 2011 at 10:48 am
I always say "I'm bipolar". I feel perfectly comfortable saying that. People with Diabetes do say "I'm diabetic" and no one complains. Get over it politically correct police. If I want to say I'm crazy I will.

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