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When Bipolar Disorder Makes Me Aware of Everything


The sky was on fire tonight and the warm breeze reminded me of the beach. There were clouds that were dark yet strikingly gorgeous as the setting sun cast a glow around them.

There was a woman in the grocery store wearing a perfume a former co-worker wore. Why does that throw me into a swarm?

Why I am so keenly aware of every scent, every color, every sound, every feeling I come in contact with? My mind whirls in a constant state of cognizance. It is never a simple task, my daily living. Each sense registers a deposit on my memory bank. It is hypervigilance in overdrive. There is never a still, quiet, non-aromatic moment. At times, I feel like a prisoner at a county fair, unable to escape the persistent overbearing environment.

Even in loneliness, I swim the waters of overdrive. My mind pushes itself unwillingly into an ocean of words, thoughts, what-ifs, what should have, what may be; conversations I should have, but haven’t; things I need to do, should do, want to do. Why am I like this? Why can’t I be normal? What is wrong with me?!

It never ends.

When peace surrounds my being, my soul rests… but not my thoughts. They tramp through the serenity like soldiers on a mission. The spears of fear and insecurity slice through the blank pristine space of peace, leaving open wounds that are too numerous for me to cover quickly. Words, words, words; memories, sights, sounds, odors; why didn’t I, who didn’t I, what didn’t I? Tranquillity wanes and the tornado picks me up once again.

“Explain what you are feeling,” they say. “What is on your mind?” they ask. “How can we help you?” they pry.

You can’t. I can’t.

There is no peace in my mind. There is no complete and total relaxation. Which means, there will not be stagnancy.

Yes, I talk a lot. Yes, I have a story about anything and everything you could throw at me. Yes, I see shadows and shapes in the clouds, and the colors of the woods and the unbelievable way river water makes even the ugliest pebbles beautiful. Yes; that is simply who I am. One day, I will be confident enough to say, “love me or leave me. I am who I am. I am me, Jenni D.”

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Getty Images photo via Grandfailure