The other day my mom called me an octopus. Or rather, she said I was like an octopus. “You know, you’ve been trying to fit in your whole life and walk on two legs,” strange pause, “In reality, though, you have all these other legs that you’ve been trying to pretend weren’t there.” Let us look beyond the fact that the octopus has arms, not legs.
Look, I get it. I’m slimy, scary, mysterious, and have a strange fishy odor. Or maybe she meant that I’m not like everyone else, and it wasn’t until I stopped hiding it (ie: hiding my other ‘legs’) that I was finally able to be free to lurk the darkness and cut weaker men in half.
By now it is no secret that I am different. My other ‘legs’ have been long tucked into my back pocket … it wasn’t until quite recently when I decided to unwrap them and welcome them into the world. I go from 0 to 675 in three minutes. In fact, just yesterday my mother (yes, the same one that called me an octopus) said to me, “Oh no, out comes the bipolar.” She was referring to the fact that I was jumping off the walls, when just a few minutes earlier I was in a dreadful comatose state on the couch. It happens.
A couple years ago, I would have taken this all as an insult. A bipolar octopus?? I would have thrown a fit and left the county. Bipolar has been one of the many titles therapists have given me. At first I owned it as if it were some God-sent sign that maybe I could blame all of my ‘oddness’ on a disease. But then came the devastating shame. I was severely sensitive when it came to other people poking fun at it. And lets be honest, when it comes to any type of mental illness, there are always people who will make fun of it.
While I was on my journey of being hell-bent on killing the crazy in me, I also ended up almost-killing myself. I lost every ounce of control and was a servant of some kind of demon that had taken over my brain. Every ounce of dignity, self-respect, and morals that I had, were diminished. I dug a hole so deep that I am still scratching my way out of it. I often heard the devastating “Why can’t you just snap out of it now?” Every time the question was asked, I fell a little bit further down. I had no control, none. And that is not something that people are easily accepting of.
So, yes, a couple of years ago I would be in a downward spiral over my mother’s comments (which let me make clear, were not meant to hurt me)… and I would never be putting any of this out in public view. But this is not a couple years ago, this is now. I believe therapy and medication can be a life saver for certain people in certain instances, but I chose a while ago to go in another direction. A personal choice that allows me to break free of ALL of the names/diagnoses people have slapped on my folder. A personal choice that unlocks the chains that medication put on me. I have had more success in going through my own personal spiritual/mental journey.
I am strange. I am crazy. I am way up, and then I am way down. I am too sensitive. I am not sensitive enough. I am inappropriate. I hold grudges for far too long. I love intensely, and I hate just the same. I have irrational fears that keep me up at night. My anxiety still finds ways to control me. Sometimes, the dark cloud hangs over me. Other times, I see a part of the sun that most never get to see. I do not walk the path. I stumble up and down my own. My imagination never grew up. I believe in magic. I see things that most others ignore. I make many people uncomfortable. Some people in my life will never truly accept me & the way I do things. And I am okay with that. I will never be normal, and I don’t ever want to be.
I am a freakin’ bipolar octopus.