Up until recently my Facebook blog was called ‘My Bonkers Bipolar Life’, here’s the reason behind the name change:
In mere weeks I will be discharged from the services here in Cambridge, usually this fills me with an inky dread and an irrational impulse to do something stupid so they’re forced to keep me, but I’m feeling surprisingly good. The service recently changed so that I can simply make a quick phone call should I need them and want to access my entourage again. This means no more crying to the GP begging for a referral and being offered a grubby card with the Samaritans phone number on it but a simple route back into services. The logic behind this change is that people will feel more comfortable being discharged earlier if they know they can easily come back if needed and that’s spot on for me.
This discharge has provided me with a little thinking room to reflect and this is what I have stumbled upon: When I set up this group in 2014 my life was still very much dictated by the Bipolar, it was all:
Random person: Hey there!
Random person: So what do you do?
Me: O..erm..me?..i don’t really DO anything..i mean I don’t work..i’m on benefits..but I am smart!! I got a degree and everything I just have Bipolar..erm yeah..so I don’t do anything..did I mention that was because of Bipolar? because I AM an intelligent human being..i’m not stupid’
Random person: That’s a weird thing to say, see you later..
Random person: So you have a 1 bed flat in CAMBRIDGE!? How’d you manage that? You must have a pretty good job!?
Me: O erm yeah..i’m on housing benefit..i’m very lucky..i sort of need to live on my own because I have Bipolar and having my own space keeps me well and sometimes I do weird stuff and it wouldn’t be fair to the other people to have to deal with that when I’m a total stranger and they don’t even KNOW me…
Random person: That’s an overshare, see you later..
Bipolar was like my initial attempts at using salt when cooking, it was in everything and largely made things crap. As a result I felt, and still do in some instances, that I needed to excuse my deceptively breezy lifestyle of unemployment, free money and a nice home. I wanted to separate myself from the stereotype of ‘scrounger’ everyone associated with those on benefits; so Bipolar was the first thing I said, it was the prefix to my life. Recently I went on a date and I didn’t mention the Bipolar once, it never came up on the whole date, not even as a hilarious anecdote (and you know I love to use it for hilarious anecdotes) it simply didn’t cross my mind to bring it up, I had so many other things to say. Remember how I was all ‘Hey, I have Bipolar’ back there? This was different, it was all ‘Hey im Hannah, this crazy thing happened at work last week’ and ‘I love swimming so much I sometimes wonder if you could make a home that was a pool’. I was all
‘Hey I’m Hannah’
‘O yeah I have Bipolar’
It wasn’t a prefix, if it was anything it was a P.S, it was a
P.S I have Bipolar