I have begun writing a book. If you know me, this will not come as a surprise as the days that I am not writing, I am reading. I have always wanted to write a book, and I find myself often starting them. Sometimes I finish them and they sit dusty in some forgotten place until I look for them again. And sometimes, as happened recently, outside forces literally take my words away and I am left with only a blank screen and a loss of a dream.
This time I am writing a non-fiction book. A book about the disease I suffer, for those who don’t have it. It is written as I wish someone had written a book for my own mother when I was first diagnosed. I use real examples, and real feelings, to try to teach that which I know so intimately but others find horrific and false.
The thing about writing a non-fiction book, essentially about yourself, is that you are required to look deeply into the meaning, the reality of the situations and events that have happened in your life. And to be honest, you can’t sugar coat it, much like I do in my real life. To get your point across you have to be honest and real. I suppose in much the same way I try to be honest and real here.
For the first time in years, I am actually compelled to do something. I feel required to feed my children, or to take a shower; but this is different. This feeling is as if there is something so important for me to do, that I can’t do anything else. And the little things, like my child’s homework or my daily job frustrates me because I want to be left alone to get all the thoughts that are literally backing up in brain a chance to be heard. While I know it is not possible, I am in a constant state of worry that what I need to say won’t be said.
I am not an expert on bipolar. I am certainly not a doctor, I never loved science enough. I am simply a girl who needed so many things from so many people, and I didn’t know how to ask for it. I needed things that couldn’t be given by someone who loved me more than life, but had no basis for understanding. The things that I became, the person that I am, is in large part because of love from those around me, but also because I had the strength to find what I needed most. I am successful with this disease because I accept the truths that come with it, the realities, and I have searched and continue to find ways to protect myself.
But what if just one of my suggestions for the mother of a child who was just diagnosed could help? Part of me cringes because it is such an egotistical thing to say, but I feel compelled anyways. I need to do this. I need to find a way to take the horror that was handed to me on the day I was conceived and make it not good, that would be impossible, but rather to give it purpose. I need to know that the reason I have suffered in this way, is so that someone else won’t have to. I need that knowledge as much as I need to survive.
Will I ever get it? I don’t know, and I suppose it really isn’t the point. I still have to write it down, and I still have to format it for someone else. The truth of its veracity will be determined a long time from today, and that is fine. Maybe someone will see my selfishness and determine that a reward for that is not deserved. Maybe someone will look on the fact that I do not know much science, and determine that I therefore don’t know much at all. Maybe they will not want to take a risk on a girl who doesn’t have a PhD behind her name. Who knows? I still have to write it.
Compulsion can be a little scary. It can take away the commonality, or banality of our lives. It can replace the day to day actions of our world with a need that if not controlled can become darkness. But today the compulsion makes me want to fly, like Peter Pan and Mary. Far away to another world, where what I know is as much a part of me as that which I can only guess.
Who knows what this will become? It will still be written and maybe even placed in another dusty place in my life, and only taken out on special occasions and anniversaries. But it will be written.