Monday, 8 July 2013

Pinocchio's Dirty Secret

Unfortunately, there is still the social stigma glued to the mental health package, like a big pink bow on top to pitch up the volume even more . 

Other people's attitude towards us "spongers" can unfortunately, eventually rub off on us and we can even start to believe it too. 

Because we're not spinning round in wheelchairs, or feeding our guide dogs, people often think "there's nothing wrong with him/her, they're just milking it". 

I too had the snide and hurtful remarks such as "You don't know what a full day's work is like" even though I have three separate jobs when I'm well enough, and the "I wish I was mental so I could sit around and get handouts" OK then, lets swap for a day, see how you enjoy being in my head, and for the record when manic, we don't do sitting around, we're more likely to perform the Aggadoo outside ASDA in broad daylight, until we get "moved on". Or, what's worse is when we have all the brain energy to re-write the Aggadoo in twelve different languages with a sequence of pumping dance moves to go with it, but - and usually because of the meds - we don't have the physical energy to go with it. This is one of my favourite worst favourite traits of Bipolar.
What hurts even more is that some of this has come from close friends and family. In their defense they may not know that, but in my defense I think they should. 

After a while I started to question my own "fraudulent" life, believing that I was making it all upin my own, perfectly "normal" head, and cheating the system, lying to all my readers (I often write articles/columns about it) and when I'd convinced myself enough d I'd stop turning up to appointments (I obviously didn't need to) and take myself off all my meds. 
As a result, I usually went straight back to the Butlins ward again to get fat on Olanzipin, the drug of choice to give the staff team a quiet shift, but unfortunately this pattern will continue until, like any physical condition, the bulk of society realise that we didn't decide to be certified insane for daytime TV and DLA..

So, thanks to this stigma I haveoften found myself lying to people that don't deserve to be lied to, in fear of them walking, lying so much I can't remember what lie I've told to what person.

There have been times when I've had to give up work for a long while, like the time when my manager overheard me take a call from  one of our architects to say he was held up at the station but on his way. 
He was actually in the next room. Home time.

I remember a time when if my boyfriend stayed over the night before, I'd have to get up and pretend to go to work. I'd have to hide behind a bush till it was safe to sneak back in. 
Sometimes if it was chucking it down I'd shove my head out of the window to give the illusion I got soaked on the way home. 
I even made fake phone calls to colleagues that didn't exist. 
Ironically this stuff made me even more dissociated, paranoid and ashamed, and the thing is, of course he found out about the bipolar. You can't hide something like that for long.

I don't do lies anymore, I don't have the brain space, the Aggadoo is spilling out of my eyes and ears and I also don't do people that try to break me to feel better about themselves either. 

I'm the sort of person that breaks easily, but (with the support of them good ones) repair quickly. Actually, that's just another fantasy, it actually consumes me and keeps me awake for weeks.
I'm also the sort of person that cannot wait to get home because back to back episodes of Catchphrase is on and I've only seen each episode six times. 

I'm the sort of person that recently invested eight quid into a laminating machine and has laminated most things in her house  from rubbish to the ex's unopened letters marked "urgent" before redirecting them on to him.

I am the sort of person that is a human being, just like anybody else, except I just have really shit taste in music.