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How To Talk About The Untalkable…

03 Nov

TABOO: Excluded or forbidden from use, approach, or mention. IE: A Taboo Subject. A Taboo Culture.

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Many things are Taboo in life to me. Cannibalism, Long Ear Hair, and Walking Around Naked…Those are some taboo’s that I grew up just knowing about, long before I knew there was a word for me avoiding them.  It is simply a fact in life that I would not think to ….think…. of trying it. You see what I’m sayin? Now I own something taboo.  It’s called A Condition.

For me, Conditions are things that sometimes others have to deal with. Other people, got it? Not me. I don’t get conditions. I didn’t grow up in a family that had Conditions. My mom did not ever seem to get sick, my dad didn’t miss any work, and us kids had to go to school rain, shine, or tidal wave. Vitamins were just admitting weakness, so fresh air and an aspirin periodically was the remedy for everything from a sore tooth to a bellyache. I don’t think Conditions were “allowed”. Period. (My family only die of old age, in the 95-year-old range, for crying out loud!)  Conditions were just not a thing that I thought to think about.

So obviously, to me, A Condition now would ruin the “Healthy” badge of honor, and THAT doesn’t make me very happy. In fact, I have just spent the last 6 months of my life with my fingers in my ears, my eyes closed, singing a song that goes, “LA LA LA. LA LA LAAH.” (This was my way of letting it know that I was not interested.  Not a’tall.)  I don’t appreciate it. I don’t want to think about it, and I have assumed that if I ignore it, it will be mis-labeled and fall into a hole somewhere.

That’s not working. None of it is working. It’s time to admit that I should talk about the untalkable. My taboo.

So it’s called Bipolar 2.

What Is Bipolar II Disorder? (Boring medical definition to follow…)

Bipolar II disorder (pronounced “bipolar two”) is a form of mental illness. Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time.

However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania.

A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from.

In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder live normal lives.

 -Web MD (My go-to for boring medical definitions)

I got really ticked when I was diagnosed with this because what it meant to me is that my “Life Of The Party” personality was not based on my charm and charisma. That it was based on my condition being out of whack. And, when I had so much sadness going on, it wasn’t due to life being so, so, so overwhelming, it was simply that my condition was doing it’s best to let me know it was in charge.

Bummer.

Even worse to me was that I would need to get some medicine to help regulate my moods.  That was a kick in the shin.  How dare I be sick? How dare there be anything wrong with me? I mean, I thought to myself one night as I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, I don’t smoke or drink, I have been to church, and I look out for my neighbors. And this is how I am rewarded???

Waah.

So I figured I would “kick this thing” with vitamins and fresh air. (Around month 2 after being told I had this pesky … thing…)  I would smile when I wanted to cry, and be still when I wanted to be the life of the party.  That would do it, right? Nope. At month 3 I noticed that I didn’t need sleep at all, and it was perfectly normal for my skin to be all prickly.  At month 4, I noticed that things like Church, Family, and Appointments were not really important to me. And after 6 months of me having ups and downs, I finally realized for myself what was going on in my life.  It kind of sucked for my kids and husband. And myself.  So here I am, writing about it because… it’s real.  It’s not going away, and it’s time to take care of it.

I’m looking for input about this thing.  I spent 6 months being a non-believer and assuming it was a diagnosis for others.  Now I’m sure this is what is going on in my life, and has been a part of my life since I was a teen, at least. And… I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that I interact with, that has it too.

So how to talk about the untalkable, the taboo, the condition?  I guess I just started. Now it’s up to me to find humor in my life, just like before, but without the editing. Life Is Not Tidy, but it can be amusing.  That’s what I’ll look for.

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