Friday, April 15, 2011
Call Me Crazy
Last month I was missing for a few days. In February I was also missing for a few days. Many of you sent me tweets and emails, worried that something had happened to me, and while I have returned, something did happen to me. I only told one non-relative this, but both times I was in a mental health facility. I admitted myself voluntarily, but was still embarrassed to tell anyone because of the stigma associated with mental illness.
Looking back, I have probably been afflicted with some form of psychiatric disorder for a long time. My mum was convinced I was crazy and had me put on very experimental drugs as a teen. Both of my parents are openly afflicted with mental illnesses and so are many other relatives. Additionally, I've suffered more concussions than your average football player. Now, because of these many, many factors my nerd brain became obsessed with finding out what to blame for my eccentricities than with taking the needed steps to discover exactly what was wrong and how to fix it.
I'll be honest with you all- I have Bipolar Disorder. There, I said it. And to the best of my knowledge, the heavens didn't crash down. After years of self medicating, denial, and absolute shame I decided to do something about my increasingly fragile mental state.
For the last 2 years, I've been quietly waging a war with a double-edged sword inside my head; scaring off everyone lest they become too close and discover my closely guarded secret. I became petrified of the misconceptions of others; my ego just couldn't accept the idea that a few narrowminded morons would mistake my mental disorder for an intellectual deficiency. Because of my fragile sense of self-worth and general shame, I hid from the world. I've only done a few comedy gigs, I've avoided all of my friends, and I haven't been on a date in almost 3 years. Even though I was up as much as down, I was absolutely convinced that nobody should be subjected to me. I even refused to go to doctors because I was convinced that I was somehow annoying to them.
Let's be clear- almost everybody loves being manic. It's a high greater than that provided by any drug man has ever created. It is powerful, euphoric, superproductive bliss. You can be awake for days, write for 22 hours straight or work on the hottest roofs without stopping for water.The sheer awesomeness makes you forget about the fact that you may indeed be risking your life.
On the flip side are the depressions, each worst than the last, pain worse than your parents getting cancer. It's real, and you not only can't stop the sad, you can't figure out how to live. Your mind becomes so progressively polluted by thoughts and visions of death that you eventually do yourself in or make a very serious stab at it.
Both sides of the Manic-Depressive cycle can be toxic to the psyche, and no amount of denial, blame, or Tom Cruise jumping on a couch will make that fact vanish. Mental illness is real, but my actual insanity was in refusing to acknowledge that I am no different from the millions of people on this planet who live with and sometimes die from diseases that are invisible from the outside.
I'm not afraid of the opinions of outsiders anymore. I am becoming myself again- a rational, competent, and confident person with a sound moral foundation and a very fertile mind. So go on, you tweeting twats- make fun of me, I don't care. The time you pea-brained peons spend ridiculing me is time you're not spending bullying someone smarter than you to death. If calling me crazy is the best insult you've got, I'd suggest that you're not very well-armed yourself.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 16:39