Here’s the thing about being a high functioning person with bipolar disorder: when I experience enormous stress and have a hard time handling it (e.g. my situation with public assistance), friends, family and acquaintances think I’m malingering. They know me only as a powerful, dynamic and aggressive woman of the world. And, they are skeptical that I’m in any sort of distress. They also project a lot. A whole hellvua lot!
For example, my father, a stability junkie like most of his generation, says not to fight The Man too hard, don’t push back too much, Stephanie, or you won’t get benefits. I say there is a Constitution with free speech guarantees to protect me, even when, as one angry commenter put it, I bite the hand that feeds me. Of course, I’m not yet being fed, or if I am I have to fight for every crumb. But, they can delay things hold things up, he counters. Yeah, and I’ll fight them and win. And, by the way, my father’s fights city hall–and everyone else–every chance he gets.
I get scared some times. In fact, I’m scared out of my mind right now not having a dime– or toilet paper. But, I have to keep pushing or everyone and everything will chew me up and spit me out. It’s the only way I know how to deal with this level of bullshit–FIGHT BACK!
My therapist commented that I shouldn’t let prospective employers know about my various blogs because they will think I’ll expose them. She might be right, IF there is something to expose I’m certainly your gal to write about it! But, say there’s nothing to expose and maybe someone (such as the editor at City Limits) is actually is interested in my efforts to chronicle my experiences and uncover bullshit where I find it. Or, if not, I really don’t care to work where I’m not wanted or respected for who I am. As bad as it is, and it’s fucking bad, I won’t pretend I am someone I am not or pretend to believe something I don‘t believe.
Others call me brave, strong and courageous. I call it trying to survive. I called a friend I hadn’t talked to for a while yesterday. I told her I needed a bipolar check -in. We talked and caught each other up on our respective situations, not that we don’t keep up with each others’ blogs, but, you know. She said she wasn’t going to call me strong or courageous or any of those things because she knows I’m just trying to survive as best I can.
I had dinner lat night with a friend from Denmark I admire a great deal. She lives by her principles and doesn’t budge. She’s a queer feminist vegan anti-capitalist something something something and another. She challenges people about their thoughtless beliefs and careless actions. She walks that walk, not just talks the talk: she interrogates her own life, too –just the same as others’–for any unnecessary bullshit and beliefs held and actions taken without true thought and contemplation.
It seems everyone else thinks they know what is best for me. No, they don’t.
This is all to say, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! NO matter what the consequences. I’m not courageous or brave. Just crazy and trying to survive.