Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm Special-ized

Having undependable emotions presents unique interpretations of reality.
I've heard of a few different methods, and have a partial inventory of my own.

Believing you are special.
From everything I've been able to gather, this is a bipolar I specialty. I've not met, read a book of or by, or heard of a bipolar II who is able to successfully utilize this method. I've glimpsed small sparkles of how this is achievable in my very rare (hypo)mania states. I would immediately and utterly ruthlessly squish those sparkles with all of the abundance of evidence to the contrary, but if I lived in mania more often it would be a lot harder, possibly impossible.

You can't live without me.
Ahhhh, caretaking, my drug of choice, the favorite of bipolar ii's everywhere, from what I've seen, read, heard. What was a toxic mix of dysfunctional family dynamics gave me was also a helpful coping mechanism for a bipolar eldest child. It's a money-mix of distractions from one's own problems, and a heady sense of imaginary control over emotions. Sure it's not our own emotions, but it's control!

Intellectualize Everything.
I can't feel, therefore I am. It's how I'm still alive.
No joke.

If I can't see it, it's not there.
Intellectualization also requires compartmentalization, although the reverse isn't true. The ability to compartmentalize is hardly a bipolar specialty. Getting through a workday successfully when we're worried about our sick dog, or through a Friday when we have a party that night both require compartmentalizing emotion. It's a skill where you successfully or unsuccessfully slice huge chunks of reality off and shunt them out into the netherworld either forever or temporarily. If it's temporary, and you can manage to re-integrate that reality intact (or relatively intact, let's be real here) then compartmentalization is a healthy coping mechanism. If chunks go into the netherworlds and never come back in any recognizable form, it's pretty crazy-making for everyone involved. And if we're the ones gas-lighting our own-damn-selves, it also gets really truly absurd.

It's a war zone out there.
A huge number of bipolar ii's have agoraphobia - ie, a fear of places. I'm riddled with it.
The speculation is that the unexpected can trigger swings and so we learn to fear places where either swings have happened, or might happen. This rings astonishingly true to me. Knowing this, while it gives some reassurance that there's a logic to my crazy, does not therefore make it go away. Going to places I've never been makes me sick with fear.

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