It’s My Mental Illness and I’ll Romanticize It If I Want To

I’ve been told I Romanticize my mental illness and that I absolutely should not do that. Well, I’m doing it anyway. I love being Bipolar and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It took me fifteen years to get here. For fifteen years I was ashamed and embarrassed of something I had absolutely no control over. I hid my diagnosis, my meds, my doctor and therapy appointments. I didn’t talk about the struggle I was going through in my head on a day to day basis. I’m finally at a point where I’m not afraid to say I have Bipolar Disorder.

It’s so much more than that though. I’m not just unafraid, I’m comfortable. I’m proud to be apart of the community of people that also have neurodivergent minds. I enjoy learning about and talking about my mental illness.

Don’t get me wrong; bipolar disorder can be brutal. It can bring unwanted thoughts and feelings of depression and suicide. It can keep me in bed for weeks with no energy. It can cause me to make irrational and impulsive decisions. It has ruined my life on more than one occasion, but it can also be beautiful.

I’m not trying to make light of a very serious illness, I’m trying to accept and love myself completely. I find beauty in my depression because it has taught me how to sympathize and have deep genuine compassion. I find beauty in hypomania because my world becomes tinted with rose colored glasses. I find beauty in manic episodes because I feel more connected to the universe and capable of great things. I find beauty in feeling all the feels and feeling them more intensely than others do. I consider my Bipolar brain a super power. I put famous people with Bipolar on a pedestal and tell everyone look how great how smart how capable how successful and amazing these people are, they are like me.

Bottom line is, it’s my struggle to live with. I have to endure all the good and all the bad of it. It’s mine and it’s messy and it hurts and it’s beautiful and no one gets to tell me it’s not. I want to help end stigma but to portray my experience of being Bipolar all doom and gloom, constant struggle and hardship would be a lie. My life is romantic, in around during and through my mental illness.


21 thoughts on “It’s My Mental Illness and I’ll Romanticize It If I Want To”

  1. Romantise?? What’s that about? Being bi-polar is not a crime, it’s not weird, it hurts no-one (unless maybe yourself sometimes). I love and embrace my highs, and try to cope with the deep depression by writing, or drawing, or just being in my ‘sensory area’.
    I do wonder whether those who question your attitude have a problem themselves: find it embarrassing, or frightening, or just don’t get it.
    How can we end stigma if we’re not allowed to open up about it? That to me is an even weirder attitude.
    Keep flying your own flag. And when you raise it up the flagpole, I for one will salute it!
    Marilyn X

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I totally support this. Recently I finally decided to stop trying to battle my anxiety and depression and I started to take Lexapro. It has been such an amazing miraculous life change and I feel like I really want to advocate for medication because I know a lot of people who are afraid of taking it like I was. A friend of mine at work mentioned that I looked happy when he saw me so I told him that it’s because I was and I told him the reason, so he didn’t act judgmental or anything, but then the next time I saw him in person there was another colleague there and I walked in and talked about something that I had just done which felt very empowering and I said, “this Lexapro is amazing.“ Because this was something I would never have been able to do when I was riddled with anxiety. So the guy looks at me and he goes, “what, are you going to tell everybody you’re on drugs?” And I thought you know, now I know how you really feel about medication and mental health, and I thought, maybe you’re not my friend after all. When I started taking meds for a heart arrhythmia, and it made me feel better, people said good for you! So I’ve done nothing other than treat taking Lexapro the same way, but it does totally show you who’s got a problem with mental health in general versus who is supportive of addressing it and being open and honest about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a superb post. I, too, feel that in the absence of my own personal mental health issues, I simply would not be the person that I am. Struggles lead to breakthroughs and sometimes vice versa — and when you think about it, this is true for everyone, whether they’ve been diagnosed with an illness or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I could have this level of acceptance. I’m not quiet about my illnesses, but I sure as heck don’t love them. I tolerate them, at best. I envy you in that respect. I wish I could see the good in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fair play to you. And so well put.
    I can relate to some of the things you said. As someone who struggles with my mental health sometimes I think people like yourself help to break the stigma associated with it. Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think its a wonderful idea in that it shows that mental illness is only a part of you. You are not your mental illness. I don’t have bi-polar but I think I can relate it to my mental health.

    Wonderfully written by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Was it a therapist?
    Smells like something a therapist would say. Regardless, whomever said it is wrong. I’m hopelessly in love with a bipolar woman right now. I romanticize her. We’re kind of toxic and fucked up, but i don’t really care. Her occasional bipolar superpowers are what drew me in. I’d put up with her bipolar rages and other difficulties until we both died if she’d have me and commit, but she won’t seal it. It’d be worth it to me for the finer points of her whole person including the bipolar.
    For the reasons you’ve laid out here. Plus I think people are individuals and not everything is the condition. Some of the bipolar person’s finer points may just be the individual.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Beautiful…only those who are in it can fully feel 100% what you have written…it is one kind of unique intense undescribable unpredictable experience…something that helps connect to deeper experiences that a “normal” mind cannot…period of highs and lows even in normal days apart from those underteminstic occurences of mania and lows, with constant pangs of drugs side-effects, those who are able to survive in it for long can only attribute to their own high level of resilience coupled with good support from very limited people who know their cause…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am proud of you for being your genuine self. Nobody can tell you how to “be bipolar.” Maybe if more people were as fearless as you, stigma would be less of a deterrent for people seeking mental health care.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am schizophrenic, alcoholic, and bipolar. My schizophrenia bothers me most. I have a high level of anxiety from it and my emotions are out of whack. Once, they were Hell. Today, I look at my illness through the rearview mirror. However, I am still treated for them. I take meds. Depakote keeps me on an even keel. I have had only one manic episode and no signs of depression since i was diagnosed. I picked up the waitress at a dine, took her back to my house, and go her blouse off. Paid a neighbor to drive her home. This was not normal behavior for me. It was her first day on the job. I felt superhuman but the VA cooled me quickly with a short trip to a veterans’ home. I was on lithium at the time. I hated lithium. Made me defecate in my pants while I walked down the street, gave me a dry mouth, and a queasy stomach. No side effects on Depakote, except some weight gain. My manic episode was socially out there. It happened 20 years ago and I have been steady ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree that as terrifying and bewildering as bipolar mania can be, it also has an otherworldly, magical quality to it, a mystical feeling that can be beautifully articulated when mildly hypomanic or on the verge of hypomania. Sometimes this feeling is untainted bliss. The depression, anxiety, paranoia and confusion certainly can help someone become a far more empathetic person. I couldn’t agree more with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This resonates with me. I don’t think I could have gotten to where I am in life without this illness driving me, but like everything, it came with a big price tag. I hope someday I can be brave enough to tell the whole world and not hide behind an account.

    Liked by 1 person

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