kept the flowers

Can’t figure out what’ll be left of me

on 06/17/2012

My whole life I’ve been known as hyper, dramatic, loud, excitable, dynamic. who am IAnd that’s how I knew myself, too. But when I was slapped with the diagnosis of Bipolar II and slid into a cave of depression, that all slipped away. Or rather, got put into a box that I hoped to open someday.

And then the desperate search for my “real” self began…and a billion questions hit me all at once. Was hypomania causing me to act that way all those years? What would I be like without it? Who the heck am I?

If I ever find the right meds to stabilize me—when the hypomania has been stripped away—what’ll be left of me?

And I still don’t think I know the answer. To me, Lauren is the same melodramatic, happy, and confident woman she’s always been. Because that’s all I know.

But while a lot of those qualities are positive, I can see the negative. Looking back, I can see hypomania causing me to get too worked up and excited; to stay up all hours, unable to sleep; have a lead foot behind the wheel and develop road rage easily.

But after months and years of depression, I’m ready to have it back. Bring it on. I’ve had some peeks at it, and it feels good…it feels like me. The girl who cracks jokes in the meeting and is motivated to do things.

Sure, opening that box and having it back full-fledged would really just be hypomania all over again. And maybe the real Lauren is just a slightly more controlled version of that. The melodrama minus the anxiety. I can only hope I find that girl someday. A girl who isn’t constantly in a battle with hypomania or depression. A girl that can truly be just who she is.

I think I would like that girl.

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One response to “Can’t figure out what’ll be left of me

  1. I know that girl. I know her because underneath the mania AND the depression – in all of the extremes and the medium moments in between, there is a woman that few very lucky people in the world have the privilege to know. Sure, she’s melodramatic. And yes, sometimes she’s happy and sometimes sad. And sometimes those go to extremes most people can’t wrap their minds around. For the moment, some of her once seemingly infallible confidence has been shaken, but only because she is HUMAN…and because LIFE HAPPENS TO US ALL. She is also loyal and kind and compassionate and funny and clumsy and my other half. And she is struggling with a disease that changes many things, and cannot be ignored or wished away and is unbelievably hard both to understand and to live with…but that DOES NOT DEFINE her. It merely helps explain things that once were a mystery.

    You are not your hypomania. No one with this disease is. You are SO MUCH MORE. Stripping away the hypomania and the depression doesn’t leave you with less of you; it simply tears away the weeds that are choking you and lets the sun light shine in so you are free to grow. After all, that’s what this journey is about, isn’t it?

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