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When Bipolar Causes You to Have More Than One ‘You’

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I am the outgoing one, the fun one, the witty one, the stubborn one, the thick-headed one, the thoughtful one, the kind one, the listener.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I am the party planner, the one who has drinks and sings karaoke, the one who is the cause of most laughter, the first to show up and last to leave.

I am the dreamer, the adventurist, the one who pushes the limits. The sporty one, the competitive one, the aggressive one, the strong willed one.

I am the creative one. The one with a university degree. The one who loves music, but loves the lyrics more. The one who can express themselves better through writing, the perfectionist.

I am the one who cares more about others, the one who smiles at strangers on the street. The one who would give an elderly person their seat on a bench. The one who loves to eat candy and drink water. The one who tries to eat food but is still too thin.

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, an aunt, a great friend.

I am not a worrier, an over thinker, moody, a “checker,” indecisive, a creature of habit, the one who leads a habitual lifestyle.

I am not the one who takes superstition to the max, the nighttime narrator who goes over everything that was said or done throughout the day, the one who must read over conversations to feel reassured.

I am not the one who thinks everyone is laughing or talking about them, the one who deliberates on whether they may have said or spelled something wrong, the one who questions why people are friends with them.

I am not the one who has had an awful day, but has mastered laughing and putting on a smile. The one who holds back the tears far too often. The one whose brain is extremely exhausted. The one who googles everything from common symptoms to spelling words.

I am not a pill popper, the one who has frequent suicidal thoughts, the one who has a plan, a cutter. The one with horrible intrusive thoughts that go into such detail, the one with rituals, the one who questions an eating disorder. The one who would rather hide their true feelings from others than speak of them. The one who has never said out loud that they have a mental illness, or accepted that they have one — the one who feels “crazy.”

But I am…

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Thinkstock photo via Electra-K-Vasileiadou

Originally published: September 15, 2017
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