After I posted on moods, I talked with Lafawnda to see if she would like to say anything. Here is her marvelous response ….
After that last post, I thought that it was only appropriate that you heard a word or two from Lafawnda Fossil about the craziness (yes, I said crazy) that is bipolar disorder.
"Crazy" seems to be the word that people try not to say when you not-so-casually mention that you have bipolar disorder. They immediately think of their aunt's cousin's neighbor's dog's sister who had bipolar disorder, didn't take care of themselves, and was "crazy". So I'll just set the record straight - I'm not crazy (at least not because I have bipolar disorder). My brain just works a little bit differently than yours. Sometimes my brain decides that I'm depressed - whether I'm simply bummed out or wanting to die on my bathroom floor all depends on what kind of mood my brain is in that day. These aren't the greatest of times, let me tell you. Other times my brain decides that I cannot keep still.
These are the times when you realize who your best friends are, because during one of these manic episodes my best friend ran around the perimeter of our school campus with me until we just about fell over. Such is the unpredictable life of someone with bipolar disorder. It sounds horrible, I know. You're probably feeling pretty sorry for me right now, thinking, "Oh, that poor girl with her wacky, unpredictable brain." Well, you shouldn't, because I have a pretty amazing life.
Sure, I can't drink alcohol because it mixes with my medication. Do I care? Not a bit! I don't like the way alcohol tastes anyway. Sure, I have to get a regular amount of sleep, eat my vegetables, drink enough water, and exercise in the sun. Guess what? We should all be doing that anyway!
I'm not saying that I haven't had my difficult times. I've had to interrupt my schoolwork to deal with my depression. I've cried on my bathroom floor for no reason other than my brain decided I should be sad that day. I once stood on stage rehearsing for a musical and suddenly burst into tears. Yes, I've had some difficult times, but there are two things you learn through difficult times - who your real friends are and how great the good times are.
Let me tell you, as a 16-year-old high school student who has sudden, unexplainable episodes of depression, you lose a lot of friends. It was upsetting at the time, but I've learned that my real friends will stand by me. Real friends can handle a little bit of crazy. Also, bad times teach you to appreciate the good times. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. When I convince my brain to behave itself for a while, I love my life. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love my fiance. I love that I live in sunny San Diego.
I love that I know how to appreciate the good times, and there are a lot of them. As you've probably learned by now, I like to look on the positive side of my condition. I could dwell on the days that make me want to die, or feel sorry for myself for not being "normal." But who wants to be normal anyway?
The moral of this story is that my condition does not define me. Bipolar disorder is not who I am, it's just something I deal with that has made me a stronger person. I am Lafawnda Fossil, daughter-fiance-friend-student-artist-singer-dancer-piano player extraordinaire, and a little bit of mental illness is not going to stop me from living an amazing life.
Are you letting anything stop you?