An Open Letter to Bipolar Disorder

Dear Bipolar, 

You have been my closest companion over the years. You found me in high school and refused to leave my side. You convinced everyone that I was always low and moody, making me lose friends in the process. You convinced me that I was less of a person because you chose to live with me, but I tell you now that you are no longer welcome. 

Please do not get defensive, do not even attempt to cry. I have made up my mind and my body feels grateful. Lately, you have stripped me of all motivation to exercise and that has left me in so much pain. You have my body at attention, adrenaline running through my veins. I ask that you let go of the grip you have on my body, because I cannot take it anymore. The muscle tension has me crying from terrible back pain and neck stiffness. I am in pain, but I refuse to let you win. So I will tell you once again: It is your turn to leave. 

I can’t remember the last time I slept for eight hours straight. You have decided to use my mind as your cinema, replaying images from my past. Not knowing that those moments still bruise my soul and I work daily to let them go. At times I can hear you laugh, when I toss and turn in my bed. You want a late night companion, but I have work in the morning. My curfew is 10 p.m., and because you have failed to abide by it, I have to ask you to leave and never come back.

I noticed that you rummaged through my fridge, leaving behind traces of anxiety and stress. You have me questioning whether I can eat a tomato or if my stomach will accept an orange. You make me stare at myself in the mirror, nit-picking all the tiny rolls and bumps that make anyone human. I saw the message you left on my bedside table, “Ros, you are FAT! Lose some weight.” I threw it away. I don’t think you realise how long I had to work to have a healthy relationship with food. Please leave, before you convince me that I am not perfect the way I am.

I am grateful for what you have done for me. You have pointed out my resilience and strength. Remember that time when I told you I wanted to quit varsity, but you made me finish and I got my degree? Or the time in yoga class when I felt my hands shaking, but you proved that I could hold it for longer? I’m thankful of how you have made me a creative dreamer. My imagination is without bounds. I can see a world that is filled with love and peace in ways that many people will probably never imagine. I can write for days on end without the ideas drying up. I am a poet on days when I feel like something different and a photographer when I seek a challenge.

However, even with all this, we have to part ways; for the days of me crying have come to an end. My days of joy and happiness are taking your place.



Read more of Ros’s writing on her personal or see the rest of her IBPF posts here

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