I am the kind of person who believes in the possibility of just about everything. I believe that it is possible that aliens do exist, or that cures to all diseases can be found, or that there really are guardian angels that watch out for us – although I confess that last one is difficult for me to reconcile. I am the kind of person who ignores those who believe that we shouldn’t question such things as God, the universe, the very existence we are forced to live. I am the kind of person who hopes for the future and wishes for so many good things for those I love. I am the kind of person who has to believe that there is something greater than me. I am the kind of person who believes that there has to be something out there that can propel me to something so much better.
My life is a strange mix of horror and disappointment. I don’t have all that many good days. I don’t have all that many answers or soul-deep convictions. Life with a mental illness, I believe, destroys a person’s ability to see beyond the darkness, beyond the walls that continually rise, or even give any credence to the hope that things will someday be better. Mental illness takes away my ability to find a way around the next obstacle and instead requires of me a certain level of stupid determination to only feel what my body and my brain produces.
I have spent my life with doctors, therapists, books, music, even religious figures, trying to figure out my life; and I will always continue to do so because of that stubborn belief that things are possible. I have tried to conquer the side effects of medications. I have tried to understand why my dryer dies right when I finally have some cash in my savings. I have tried to understand why my best of intentions never seem to work out the way it always seems it can for others.
I admit to spending a lot of my life jealous of those who I deem normal. Those people who can get up with a list and check off each item to complete some random task. Those people that feel the beauty of physical love, those people who take the bad and understand that it is a temporary moment, and those people who can thrive in situations not only for a day or week but for months and years. I am jealous of 99% of this world. I want desperately to take selfies in cool locations. I desperately want my house to be clean and beautiful. I desperately want to know how to keep money in my accounts rather than always see it leave for the most ridiculous of causes. I want to know silence that is pure and uncompromising. I want to know laughter; what it feels like, what it sounds like coming from me. I want to know, with all my might, when it is my turn to soar.
Jealousy is selfishness. It is the desire to want something that is not yours. It is the confirmation that what you have isn’t enough for you; even when others would give up their life for yours. It is insidious. It is destructive. It is that thing that one can be at once ashamed of, and yet unable to let go of. It is a dream that is not yours. It is a reality that you can’t have. And it can ruin everything that you do have until you are so covered in green that you can’t even act in your own best interests. Jealousy isn’t pretty. But jealousy is part of the reality that must be accepted.
I will always be jealous of my husband for his ability to keep going, even in the face of such stress. I will always be jealous that my rich and successful sister can’t know what a hereditary disease is actually like because I am the only one to get that gift. I will always be jealous of someone that can pick up and travel, move, leave their house and find something that brings them laughter. I will always be jealous of those who don’t have to watch their words or be careful of how their actions are affecting those they love. I will always be jealous of a world that is captured in gorgeous moments that I somehow miss.
Being bipolar I go through the ups and downs, although I have always hated those terms. The ups don’t mean that you are doing well and have your life together. The downs don’t mean that you are on the verge of catastrophe that is going to ruin the lives of all those around you. Being bipolar means that you don’t know what comes next; even if you plan. My bipolar means that I always look around me and only see the broken parts. Even when I reach my hand out to this universe and ask, pray, brave any wrath, my world breaks; that is the simple explanation of this disease. It does each and every time; and it will for the rest of my life.
So it concerns me that I have the ability to wish, to hope, to believe in the possibilities that one day even I could stand on the shores of a new world. I fall. I fall on my knees in such abject desperation but I don’t get up even when I actually try and do that one thing. When I wish not for the lives of others but only the ability to stand, it frightens me. It shakes me to my core that I can have hope knowing that my life will never give me the vision that others can take the liberty to ignore.
What is it in someone like me, who has such an awesome and strong disease that destroys the very foundation I try to build, that can still hope? Why do I find the questions and never the answers, yet still spend so much time and money asking anyway? Why was I given this gift of believing in the possibility of everything, and yet not be able to feel it, or even know it. Why do I get jealous, yet still crave for that which I won’t have? And why did this universe make sure I knew intimately what I couldn’t have but gave me the vision to see the unlikely possibilities? Why did that other power make sure that I could see but could never touch or feel?
I will always be the girl sitting at her window, fogging up the glass, wiping the evidence away, wishing for the beauty of the darkness to keep my own reality from being seen. I will always be that girl who sits in her car, crying and listening to music, and never being able to accept that things like my life, they don’t change. I will always have a disease that makes it impossible for me to truly find the happiness that I know I am worthy of. I will always have a personality born from this disease that keeps me from seeing the path I could take to make my world just a little bit brighter. I will always hope and wish and believe; and nothing is going to change. I will never be what so many others so effortlessly can be.
I don’t have to the ability to accept my life; I will always try for more. Even when the wish and hope is simply a couple of words that others whisper in the night and find solace in. I find that strange, this ability I have to wish and hope, but never feel the end results. I find it hurtful that this disease has made sure that I could see but not really know. We talk about the horrible effects of mental illness; but to me the dichotomy of hope and reality may be the worst of it all.