Being in New Mexico is healing for me, and healing is something I need. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for the second time recently (I wanted a second opinion). As I type this out I’m not in a good place. To make matters worse in a most literal sense, I’ve had to come back to Texas. Texas always makes things worse for me. The confrontational/adversarial attitude of Texas cops, the oppressive heat and humidity, tornadoes, hail larger than your open hand… the list is almost endless. So why do I keep coming back to a place such as Texas? Family. ALL of my family reside in Texas. The reason they stay in such a place is beyond my comprehension but they do.
I don’t know if it’s my shrink or the drugs I’ve been put on but I just can’t seem to get any help when I’m like this. I don’t know if anyone reading this has or knows someone who has bipolar disorder but it can really wreak havoc with your life and ability to function like a “normal” person is expected to. Especially here in Texas where conformity to all things conservative is practically a requirement to survive. Yet I am not conservative. I tell the shrink all I can but I can’t tell them everything because if you say anything that even remotely, in their own view, sounds like you are “a danger to yourself or others” then they can legally have you thrown into one of those so-called hospitals where people come out looking like warmed-over death. I’ve known people, had friends, that went into those places looking fit and healthy and then actually not even recognize them when they got out because they had lost so much weight and looked nothing at all like their former selves. I don’t know what they do to you in those places but I do know I don’t want to find out after seeing their “results”. It’s not that I’m a danger to myself or others, but rather the worry that since I’ve been diagnosed as bipolar, I don’t trust the shrinks because they seem to have a proclivity for throwing bipolar people in those hospitals if they say anything that the shrink could twist and pervert into being an indicator of danger. So I keep my mouth shut. As a result, I can’t get the help I need.
It isn’t that I can’t get things done at all… I’ve written books that are published, been complimented on my writing by a magazine editor and invited to write for them, I am decent at photography, and I have a talent for working with wood. But I’m not very good at all with a strict, structured 9-to-5 type thing. I don’t always play well with others and when I’m like I am right now I have a very volatile temper that has caused me some problems in the past and also cost me more than a few jobs. I can accomplish almost anything I want to working alone however. I did and do all the aforementioned things alone. That’s how I get things done. But put me in an office with someone breathing down my neck, or the stupidity of office (or warehouse for that matter) politics, the incessant petty bickering of others… that’s when things go bad rather quickly and I get fired. I don’t give a fuck if they call it lack of self-control or discipline, that’s just who I am and how I’ve always been. I’ve been like that all my life, far longer than when I was diagnosed (labelled) as bipolar.
Anyone else deal with this or something similar? If so I’d really appreciate hearing from you. I know I’m not alone. The sheer number of people falling somewhere in the spectrum of bipolar disorders says I’m not alone. Finding someone willing to discuss it is another matter entirely. Anyway, I really need to get back to New Mexico as fast as I can!