Today D. Kai Wilson-Viola visits Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave to talk candidly about what it’s like to be bipolar and share her exciting IndieGoGo project.
What it’s Like to be Bipolar… – D. Kai Wilson-Viola
I’m going to do something heart-breaking for many of you to read. I’m going to tell you the unvarnished truth about what it’s like to be a bipolar.
To do so, I need to introduce myself.
I’m Kai. That’s not my real name, not really, but it’s the name everyone knows me by, and as soon as I can work out how, it WILL be my real name.
I’m an author, and the mother of two kids – trying desperately to get my books published and just *out there* so I can let go and write some more. I’m the daughter, grand daughter and great granddaughter of a line of very….impetuous women. We’re all Scottish, which explains a lot.
I live with a wonderful man, who mostly accepts my quirks, but has done his level best to teach me how to live with myself, for which I’m eternally grateful.
I am bipolar one. That means that I’m suicidal when depressed and when manic. I’m also considered psychotic because I see things.
So, what’s it like to be bipolar? Honestly? Even though I’ve known what I am for close to 12 years, the only thing I can do is describe it as being ‘me’. I don’t know the difference – I’ve never been ‘normal’ by anyone’s standards. Even on medication, I run on a 60 day complete ‘sine wave’ cycle. That is, I start at normal, drop to depressed, swing back to normal, keep going into manic, then drop again back to ‘normal’ and start again. It really is like a rollercoaster sometimes. Running on a predictable loop, but each day I wake up a little sadder for most of the cycle.
I spend 35 days or so either melancholy, depressed or flat out suicidal. At my worst, I see things, I hear things, and I hurt myself. There’s this woman that starts stalking me and telling me how worthless I am.
And what’s worse? I believe her. My psych tells me that this is a complication of what I am – I have very low self-esteem. So low in fact that you can be an acquaintance, have met me once and tell me something bad, and I’ll believe you, if it’s a criticism of me. I have a slightly better perspective on reviews, but only just.
That woman, whose face I can’t look up into, is with me 10 days of the 60. A sixth of the cycle, I hear and see things. That’s called psychosis, and is bad, and uncommon for bipolars.
I spend around 10 days on the first ‘normal’ streak – given that normal is a setting on the washing machine, the way my nurse talked to me about it is like a beach. Depressed is drowning, normal is up on the sand, but where it’s wet…manic is out in the dunes and tracking some butterfly somewhere.
I spend five days manic. I do not sleep (unless I’m on my meds), I clean and I write. Lucky I’m a writer huh?
The problem is – I talk at a million miles an hour, I’ll agree to do *anything* and I am a bit funny about money. Not completely crazy, but I’m a funny person to be around. I’m happy and vivacious and bouncy, and mad. Totally and utterly, but in a nice way.
I came to terms with being bipolar long ago – actually, most of the time, I try very hard to see the upside in being what I am. I see the world differently.
Which, to be honest, stood me in good stead for Uni for four years. I got to explore the reaches of my psyche, and understand more about the world in a way that actually now works in my favour.
I’m also lucky because though I have low self-esteem, I kinda believe in myself, in that deep, dark core that hides from the rest of the world.
And that’s when I decided that I’d help others. So, I’m running a project called ‘Pictures in the Dark’. I’ll be creating an anthology, and a funding campaign at IndieGoGo . I have hope, even though I go through everything I do, and I want to give others that.
And that’s where y’all come in. I need help to set up a foundation. I’ve got a few days left, and I’d love all of the help and support I can get. Whether you pass the link on, or donate, I am forever grateful.