I’m Bipolar and I’d Take That Pill
Editor’s note: This piece is a response to “I’m Bipolar and I Don’t Want to Be Cured” by Rudy Caseres.
I read a story recently by Mighty contributor, Rudy Caseres, who said bipolar was part of his identity, and if there was a “cure” or a pill that could rid him of his bipolar disorder, he wouldn’t take it. This article is in no way a personal attack on Rudy, and I believe we are all defined to a certain extent by our illness.
But, as I said to a friend when asked a few weeks ago, if could flip a switch and turn my bipolar off, my answer would be yes, I most certainly would.
I am not bipolar. I am Becs, first and foremost. I am a woman, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister and auntie. I am kind, caring, courageous, brave, inspiring. I am a lot of other things. I want happiness, like most everyone in the world. And I have bipolar.
Yes, having bipolar has me writing and being courageous and sharing my story, and without it maybe I wouldn’t have a story to write. But maybe I wouldn’t need to. I would have my marriage, my friends, my career, my life. I would not have to watch my mood and whatever is going on around me with such detail. Maybe I could be care-free. Maybe I wouldn’t need to take medication twice a day in an attempt to be stable (which, by the way, still doesn’t make me stable). Maybe I wouldn’t need to try and carve out a place in society because I can’t have a conventional one. Maybe I don’t want to be “artistic” as “so many with bipolar are.”
Maybe I would like to assure my husband that we will have a more typical marriage in the future. Maybe I’d like to get rid of the suicidal thoughts that flood my mind. Maybe I want back the “high-functioning” mind that had me holding down some pretty rewarding and decent jobs. Maybe I’d like to get up in the morning and go to work, and at the end of the month get paid for it.
If someone does make a pill that takes away my bipolar, I’ll be first in line. Yes, this illness has given me self-awareness, and resilience, and empathy, and probably other things. But it has taken away a lot. I didn’t ask for this life, and I have to fight every day to get some semblance of normality.
The grass is not always greener, but by golly gosh, I’d be keen to give it a go!
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