This is what bipolar looks like
+ fine-tuning my question, "what is left if we lose it all"...(same same)
I’m sitting here in Le Vesinet, outside Paris, with a kind, kind and so-true woman called Kylie, the one who reached out via Instagram (or was it here?) and invited me to stay with her sweet family when I first entered the pickle I’m currently fizzing in.
I’m in a bipolar episode.
To be frank.
And if we had to put a name to it.
I was describing to Kylie what it feels like, the actual nuts and sultanas of it, in real time. “This is what bipolar looks like,” I said to her in her kitchen after a week in her presence in abject terror, crying, expanding, her kids hugging my legs when they’re meant to be putting shoes on for school. I told Kylie I needed to shut down and refund Substack subscriptions for a bit until I emerge with something cheery and measured to say. But she suggested it might be good to write about the actual bipolar experience here. She said she knows people in her orbit, as a start, who would benefit from seeing words that might meet their pain and free-falling. I added this, tentatively: The bipolar experience is possibly just a very clear and intense version of what every sensitive soul is pained by or aches to access in some form. Bipolar takes you there. To it. You don’t get to consent.
And so I’ll try to bring in a universal wisdom to all this toward the end.
But. I write this not wanting a smudge of sympathy. I don’t need or want it. Sympathy irritates me. Sympathetic words and phrases get in the way of what I’m really after right now and always - connection. And, fuck, I wrote the book on the damn thing. That said, I’ve never actually written out or shared fully the kaleidoscope hyper-lived experience of a terrorising up-and-out-there manic swing.
Where to start? OK, here.
(Oh, and I guess I should issue a trigger warning here. Like this: If big, honest stuff about mental health symptoms are too much for your nervous system just now, perhaps go back and read some of my earlier posts, or go for a walk outside.)