advertisement

Being Crazy

Natasha Tracy
It's hard to know how bad a bipolar episode is when you're living it. That's because it's your brain that is sick. It is your perception that is skewed. Other people may look at you and think it's clear how sick you are and how truly bad a bipolar episode is, but these people are fundamentally missing the problem: you're so sick that you can't see how sick you are.
Natasha Tracy
Recently, I've had to talk about bipolar as a disability way too much. I talk about it online as part of my advocacy work, but that's not the issue. I have no trouble talking about it in general. The issue is talking about my bipolar as a disability in real life. The issue is talking about it to a psychiatrist, to a family doctor, to a nurse practitioner, to whomever I need to in order to get the help I need.
Natasha Tracy
If you've been interacting with doctors as a person with bipolar disorder for more than about a week, you've probably learned the fact that you have to repeat your bipolar story to every doctor under the sun. It's unbelievably frustrating. Mental health professionals treat you like you have never described your bipolar disorder to another person. This is almost never the case. Usually, doctors are asking about your bipolar disorder in front of a huge file outlining your history with bipolar disorder. And repeating your bipolar story over and over is distressing and isn't something we should have to do.
Natasha Tracy
"I'm the craziest person in the world" is something so many people with a mental illness have said to themselves, and maybe even others. This happens a lot before treatment but can happen even after. Feeling "crazy" is a real thing for so many of us, and feeling alone with feeling crazy is a real thing too. If you've caught yourself thinking, "I'm the craziest person in the world," you need to read this.
Natasha Tracy
In an interview, Lady Gaga recently talked about taking antipsychotics and her experience with psychosis. This is amazing. Few people with the eminence of Lady Gaga are willing to talk about these subjects -- let alone admit to direct, personal experience. If Lady Gaga takes antipsychotics and talks about her own psychotic break, are we finally okay with psychosis?
Natasha Tracy
My bipolar brain works best at a certain time of day. This is actually common for people with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar commonly find their mood and ability to think waxes and wanes at the same times throughout the day. Your average person may experience this as well, but for a person with bipolar, of course, everything is amplified. So here's when my bipolar brain works best for different purposes.
Natasha Tracy
Bipolar doesn't make you unworthy of love. I have a lot of trouble with that statement. I don't have trouble because I don't believe it -- I do -- I have trouble because I don't feel lit. I'm not sure whether I feel like life has taught me that I'm unworthy of love because of bipolar or my brain just made up that nastiness because of the depression, all I know is that it feels true. It feels like I'm unworthy of love because of bipolar.
Natasha Tracy
Does it feel like everyone can tell you have bipolar disorder? Does it feel like you're carrying a neon sign above your head with your diagnosis on it? Does it feel like as soon as you open your mouth, people can tell that you're "crazy"? If so, I'm pretty sure this actually makes you normal. There's this odd time often right after a bipolar diagnosis where, for some, it feels like everyone can tell you have bipolar disorder.
Natasha Tracy
I'm tired of feeling sorry that I have bipolar disorder. I don't mean feeling sorry for myself -- that's a different thing -- I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am sick. I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am the one with the serious mental illness. And this feeling sorry about bipolar disorder is wearing on one's being. I, for one, don't want to feel sorry that I have bipolar disorder anymore.
Natasha Tracy
Bipolar disorder makes me lose days. Whole days lost to a disease of the brain. And when I say “lost,” I mean lost. I mean I can’t find myself during lost days and I can’t find the lost days once they have passed. All I have a recollection of it losing them. Bipolar disorder causes these lost days and I hate it.