My Bipolar Bubble

It’s strange. I look around and there is no way that they cannot see me. How can they not see me? I’m walking right past them. I’m standing in front of them. I’m in their line of sight as they just move around me as if I’m an invisible obstacle. This transparent bubble that encircles my very being both inside and out surrounds me.

I can see them. They’re talking. They’re acknowledging everyone around me, but I walk by and they don’t see me. If they pretend that I’m not there, then they don’t have to face whatever it is that I’m about. They don’t have to listen to anything I say that may make them uncomfortable. It’s easier for them to just ignore that I’m there.

Sometimes, they may nod. They may say, “Hello.” They may ask how things are going in life, and what I’ve been up to lately, but they don’t really want to know. They want to only see and hear what will make them feel good. If what I say will cause any kind of worry, or bring about any negativity into their world, then they don’t want to hear it. So, instead they see the face that’s plastered over the bubble. They see the fake and smiling façade that has been tattooed onto its surface, in order to cover my face. That is what they see, and to which they speak. That is what they expect every time they ask a question. If I remove the tattoo, then they will get scared; so, I must leave it be. They will not know how to deal with the real being that lives inside the bubble that stands before them. I walk through the crowd and hope that the day will end. I want to leave. I don’t want to be here. I can feel them looking at me, but trying not to really see me. Maybe they’re just trying to take what they see and shape it into an image that causes them pleasure.

So, I just continue to walk through the crowd, and fit in as best as I can. I move through the groups and answer any questions put before me with a positivity that makes me sick. My tattoo is smiling, as I am not. But, it doesn’t matter. They are content. They talk to my disguise without issue. It makes them feel good. They don’t have to deal with anything real, and that makes them feel at ease.

The bubble is attached to me from the inside… the child of my brain, my body, and my soul. It surrounds me, shielding me from a world that is not yet ready for what I have to say. It keeps me safe from harm, since no one else is going to protect me. It keeps me from releasing my feelings to people in order to prevent the rejection that will most surely follow. So, what do I do? How do I live with this bubble; my bipolar bubble that I’ve lived with for so long? It’s my Siamese twin, the yang to my yin. It’s the light that shields my darkness that no one wants to see.

I live with shame. I live with hatred for myself. Failure overflows my body, almost drowning me in daily thought. I have not met my potential. I’m anchored to this point in my life with nothing more than memories of a life that I had dreamed. Nights are filled with thoughts of how things should have gone. The life. The family. The career. Everything that could have been, if not for hitting a wall that I never even saw in my path. It was just dropped in front of me, cutting me off from all that life had in store.

I can hear that world, though. I hear the families, the people living their lives, and experiencing the world as it was meant to be experienced. I hear the laughter from family and friends. I can see the fireworks over the wall, from all the celebrations that continue to progress beyond it. I can’t get to them, though. My life is merely standing at that wall. I’ve tried kicking it. I’ve tried breaking it. I’ve tried screaming at it, hoping that the pain in my voice would shatter its core. All my effort was in vain, though. You can’t break such a wall alone. It’s impossible.

I have a friend, though. I’m not sure how she does it, but once a week she manages to make it around the wall to come and stand by my side. She reaches out her hand, piercing the bubble that surrounds me. It’s then, and only then, that the façade comes off. It’s when that tattoo suddenly seems to be drawn on with disappearing ink. Once a week, we sit together and she manages to do this, as she helps me to push down the barricade. She brings her tools to help smash it apart with as much strength and effort as she can. It’s those times that I have more hope that the barrier will someday collapse.

My mom tries too. She comes to me with her arms open wide and holds me when my body and mind ache. When the pain is so much, that I can barely stand, she is there to hold me, and only lets go when I’m able to gather my composure. She’s there with a smile and a great deal of love that fills up that empty cup of stamina, allowing me to continue the work before me.

My dad doesn’t know how to help me with the wall. He looks at it, and examines it, but doesn’t have an answer on how to break it apart. That worries him, so he gives me his hugs of encouragement, and walks away. However, if not for him, then I would never fight each day. He brings me the medicines that help me to see that the dam must be broken. No matter what, I must not walk away. He is the one that makes sure that I have those medicines, since I cannot get them myself. No matter how tired he may be, he will bring them to me. And, although he may walk away from the wall, he never leaves me completely. I see him. He’s standing there, watching me. He’s waiting and ready to catch me if I collapse.

It’s hard sometimes. I know I must not give up, but sometimes, it seems like I’m trying to defeat a monster that requires much stronger tools than are in my arsenal. It’s my Goliath, and as much as I want to be David, I just cannot. I try, though, and each time it hurts more and more. However, that friend who comes to the wall every week has a great deal of insight. She is good at helping me to see that I don’t have to be David. I just need to be Summer. And, I just need to keep fighting until my Goliath falls.

If that day ever comes, then maybe my bubble will burst and my soul will finally be free.

 

14 thoughts on “My Bipolar Bubble

  1. First of all, I would like to say how sorry I am for your father’s passing and all you went through with him in both life and immediately following his passing. That had to be beyond difficult and I am so sorry you had to deal with that.

    I am so glad that you have received something positive from my blog. That makes me feel so good to know that I am providing some positivity in this world. I never thought I’d make it this far in the blogging experience (it’s only been a few months), but it has been so positive for me and it helps me to talk about what I’m going through.

    You are so right when you say that God will help you. He will indeed! He will always be by our side and even carry us when we need Him to. He’s amazing and has unconditional love for us.

    I am so happy that you would like to discover more in this awesome community. It’s great to have support from people who understand. I have been wanting to create a blogroll on my blog for some time with a list of links for all of the blogs that I follow, but I just hadn’t gotten to it. So, after your request I decided I will do so now so that I can share those wonderful blogs with others. So thank you for that needed motivation. I added it to the right sidebar of my blog now, so you can find many great blogs there that are informative, accepting, relatable and comforting. I hope you are able to find some solace in this community as I have. It’s still so hard as I can’t be on the computer 24/7 and just live here, but it’s nice to know that there is a group of people out there with compassion and support ’cause they comprehend us through experience.

    Oh and I will respect your request and remove your comments due to privacy. I will leave my comment here so you can get my response.

    Take care and God Bless!

  2. I was just reading half way between the gutter and the stars post which mentions you. I was interested because she said that although she’s not religious, she finds comfort in your blog. So I had to check it out! I’m “religious” (I’m sorry, i’ve come to dislike that word. Formal instead of a relationship).

    It’s almost 4am and I need to go to church in the morning. We haven’t been in a few weeks and the girls want to go. Fathers Day and all. 🙂 I have BPD, I’ve only known for a few months and the onset was a year ago suddenly. Before that everything seemed fine. It wasn’t, for lots of reasons I’d learned to suppress every feeling and put on the mask of “normal” and tried perfection every day. I was highly involved in our church. But when I crashed, I lost all of that and found out that 75% who I thought were friends, weren’t. Or couldn’t handle it. For whatever reason, they were gone.

    I have trouble sleeping anyway, but I was laying here trying to catch up on blogs while how church is going to be was playing in the back of my mind. I read your post and immediately identified. I can’t wear a mask anymore though. (My therapist is to good) So going to church is hard. Im not who I am. I feel invisible half the time and like im being studied the other half. Im angry. We’ve been going to this small town church for over 10yrs. No one had even noticed that we were gone.
    Anyway, my brain is fuzzy mostly from lack of sleep. I just wanted to tell you that it helps knowing that others experience those same feelings. I’m sorry that you do, but am grateful I ran across your blog tonight.
    Thank you!
    Mandi

    • I know what you mean about the word “religious”. Just as you say, it seems too formal, rather than a relationship with God, which faith is supposed to be. I’m sorry that your church did not seem to notice your absence. That is indeed a hurtful experience. It’s so hard when we realize people who we thought were friends were in reality not true ones. I lost a lot of “friends” when I suffered my “breakdown” for lack of a better term. They no longer saw the fun girl that wanted to hang out and go out and have fun. They saw someone who never wanting to leave the house. And, rather than ask what was up, they just cut off contact. I don’t even know why it was either. Maybe they just were bored with my lack of enthusiasm, or maybe they were scared of what they were seeing. Or, maybe I was just never anything more than someone who hung out in the group. What I do know for sure though is that they did not see the real me anymore leading up to that breakdown. Meanwhile, a couple of long-time friends never cut me off. They did ask what was up and when they found out the truth, they never left. They have supported me since. They are true friends, and I am so blessed to have those two in my life.

      I hope your experience with church went well for you today and they were able to provide some welcoming toward you and your girls.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Mandi, and thank you too for your comment. I appreciate your interest. 🙂 I also greatly appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. As you say, I wish others didn’t have to suffer from mental illness too, but it truly does help to know I’m not alone.

      God bless!

      • Church was ok, the weekend was actually good. I’m kinda crashing tonight but that’s a whole different story.

        Your story sounds strangely similar. People liked me because I was fun, and funny. I could lighten up a situation, I was always up for anything. I have 2 friends who read between the lines. Who actually were the ones who convinced me to go to the hospital where I THOUGHT I would just be evaluated but ended up staying a few days!

        There are SO few who can handle dealing with “this”, really mental illness in any form. I didn’t know how to deal with it either. If it was my close friend, my DAUGHTER, my family… I would have been there no matter what. So those I don’t understand. The rest I do, but wish it wasn’t that way. People always tell me that someday I’ll be the person to help change things. I just kind of brush it off. Maybe, but people, not just me, need support NOW.

        Thank for getting back to me!

        Mandi

        • Indeed they do! We need to be heard today, not in the future. I’m so sorry that people you love haven’t been there for you in the ways that you needed and wanted. It’s sad that with all of the pain that we have to deal with due to our illnesses, that we also have to deal with the pain of losing the support of those we need most. I would love to see that change in my lifetime.

  3. This made me cry in the middle of my office. I have been suffering from bipolar for the last 12 years. I have never been able to explain what I go through and how I manage the smile. You brought my feelings to life with your words. Whoever you are, wherever you are, may God bless you fellow sufferer.

        • I just read your post, Jimmy, and I’m smiling so big right now. 🙂 I tried commenting on your post, but I’m not sure it went through. I tried submitting 3 times, so if it did go through all three times, I’m so sorry for spamming you with the same comment. Just in case it didn’t go through, though, I will put what I wrote here too. 🙂

          Wow! I am so touched right now. For one, the kind words you say about me. I feel blessed that my words have encouraged you to use that strength you have. You are so very strong to write this. And two, you took something so personal and share it with so much heartfelt emotion. You have just helped many people with this (including me), I guarantee you.

          I am so proud of you. This is not an easy thing to do, and reading this is inspirational. What you say about bipolar being there through thick and thin, is true and I have never looked at it in such a way before. But it’s very true. It’s the one thing that has always been with me almost like a friend, even if I’d rather it not be. But ,in the end it is a devil. It’s something we must fight day in and day out, but I believe we can win in the end. We may not be able to make it go away. However, we can scream at the top of our lungs, just like you did here in this post, and tell that devil that it will never beat us.

          I’m so happy that you have an angel in your life to help you through those extremely difficult times, and to help you celebrate through the good ones. You describe her and what she does for you so beautifully. I love how you illustrate her love and support with your words. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone in your life like that. I love your request too. I agree that it’s not asking for much to just give love instead of pushing us away. Bipolar is lonely and terrifying enough when we are loved. It’s even worse when people push us away. I am so grateful to those in my life who have not pushed me away.

          Hugs to you, Jimmy! And, thank you for making my heart smile today.
          Summer

          • I am glad you liked it Summer. Now I understand why they have support groups in USA. A practice yet to come to India. I already feel stronger talking to you. Hope we will meet someday.

            I don’t know why you were not able to post the comment. Some technical glitch may be. I will post it there on your behalf.

            I am happy we could share some smiles.

            Keep smiling and be in touch. You have my mail ID.

            Regards,
            Jimmy

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