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When a Bipolar Heart Breaks

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It’s not easy feeling so intensely. I try to pull back. I try to not feel this way. If I could feel less, maybe I would. They give me drugs that supposedly help me to feel less. I’ve been on drugs that do that even more, but it’s hard to go back to black and white once you’ve seen a rainbow. So you try to find a balance that still lets you enjoy life without letting it swallow you whole.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

To everyone who reached out, I can’t thank you enough. I’m sorry to keep doing this to you. It feels like it happens far too often. I don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf. This isn’t some act. This isn’t some overdramatization. It’s hard to feel like you want to die when someone breaks your heart. It’s hard to share with others that you care about someone in a way that you feel ashamed to feel. It’s hard to feel like folks won’t be as happy about it as you are. It’s hard to know they’re trying to look out for you, but it only makes you feel more isolated because they don’t understand how this girl is different. It’s hard to understand exactly where they’re coming from and begin to question your own passion for someone. It’s hard to feel like you’re crazy…

But sometimes, I think we need to be “crazy.” We need to reach outside the borders of what we’re told we should do or how we should feel. That’s the good stuff. It’s the best parts of life. Not everyone can even see past the horizon, and for those of us who can and dare to color outside the lines, it can be amazing. But those lines exist for a reason, and the world outside them is dangerous, too. It’s so alive and exciting, but it can also hurt like hell.

I think a lot of you get that and understand it. In fact, I think the ones that tell me I shouldn’t feel that way are the ones who understand it the most. You dared to dream, but maybe it didn’t work out like you’d hoped. You’re trying to save me from that pain. It’s funny how often we tell others how to feel or how to act in order to protect them from our own pain. I do that, too, sometimes. I don’t know what to tell people in those situations anymore. Like Icarus, we want to fly to incredible heights, but we forget that if we fly too close to the sun — if we see too far — our wings will melt, and we’ll fall back to earth like a ball of fire.

But do not forget that we had those great wings, that we are capable of rising like the phoenix from the ash. I think that is the difference. Those who dare to fly into the sun again are so brave. They know the risk. They know how much it will hurt if they crash into the ground, for they have lived that life. But is not the sun worth it? Is not its warm embrace beyond anything else we feel? And perhaps the only way to learn how to find that balance is to be willing to step into its warmth once again…

I felt so lost this morning, wishing yesterday was just a bad dream.

I felt so incredibly lonely when I woke up. For the past few weeks, do you know how incredible I felt? It was the most amazing feeling. I was Icarus before the fall. I felt like I had just started the rest of my life. I felt like I had one thing checked off that I knew was gonna be forever. I had a reason to wake up.

And not just wake up, but jump out of bed! I was excited for life in a way that I haven’t been in years. She was my hope for a better future.

And this morning is the first time I’ve woken up since meeting her that I don’t have that hope anymore. And it is crushing. I thought I was over the worst of it, but I feel like I’m slipping back into it. I just feel awful. I feel so fucking lonely. I used to love that feeling of serenity in the morning before everyone else had woken up because that peaceful, silent world was mine and mine alone to enjoy. But now it just reminds me of how beautiful she looked curled up on her side, her beautiful curves rising and falling like the green Carolina hills from whence she came…

I guess it’s good that time makes us forget. In time, I’ll forget how good it can feel.

But right now, I remember.

There’s a bullshit mentality of “we shouldn’t be going so fast” that society beats into our little heads to beat back our hearts so that we don’t get hurt so much. Well, y’know what? It’s dumb. Those are the greatest loves. And the greatest heartbreaks. But as shitty as I feel, this has only reinforced the idea that it’s absolutely critical to love with all your heart when the right person presents themselves. I don’t feel this way about just anyone. And honestly, I don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t bring that out in me. I know how much I can feel for someone. I know the possibility of how much I will want to give them. I don’t want to put up with a half-love. I want the full thing. And if that flies in the face of what everyone else tells me, then fuck it. If it means I break my heart to the point of wanting to die, that’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

I don’t regret any of the great relationships that I’ve had, despite the mess and pain that followed. I think my life is richer for those experiences and the love I felt. I’m just saying that if you asked me if I would prefer knowing now that it wouldn’t work or if I’d prefer getting tangled up in her for a year and hurting even worse later…I’d take that year in a heartbeat.

Every time.

A friend told me that when she looks back on it, she sees how the sadness gives her depth. And how she is grateful to not be a shallow well.

Another friend said, “Chase the happy feeling. And do everything in your power to get there. And sometimes it might slip from your grasp, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying.”

I believe that with my whole heart. I’m gonna continue to chase that happy feeling, even when it gives way to deep sadness. Because I am not a shallow well, I’m a phoenix.

So thanks for listening. I’ll be OK.

Thinkstock photo via frimages

Originally published: April 14, 2017
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