Out in the Milkweed

I wrote this piece to express how I’ve felt stigmatized by those who haven’t gotten past how I’ve been doing better with bipolar one.  While it’s obvious in this piece that I am angry, I believe there is hope for healing for us all.

“Out in the Milkweed”

In some disturbing way that you would never openly admit You want me to remain Mentally ill, labeled by the seven-letter word bipolar You prefer me to fit neatly in a suffocating cocoon From which I can never fully emerge As the soaring, vibrant Monarch butterfly that I once was

If I speak with “normal” cadence and joy You scornfully say that I sound manic Your words cut me deeper than you could ever imagine And I shut down, hesitant to share myself with you again

I’m not manic, but you continue to see me in stifling ways And no matter how high I soar within the realm of stability You view me through shame-colored glasses

Why do you choose to see me as permanently damaged?

Could it be schadenfreude?

To make your own ravaged self esteem and depression not seem so bad?

I believe that you regard my brain as forever broken due to ever-present stigma, insidiously affecting us all I may even permeate your misconceptions by living fully and throwing my own shame to the wind

Now that I’ve returned

To a life where I don’t stay in bed wanting to die I can be a writer, a mother, a wife, a daughter I can laugh, weep, and be present

I will research about what prevents relapse, and be proactive with self-care

After years of looking to others for biochemical salvation It feels good taking care of myself

I don’t know what the future holds

But I’ll do everything I can to remain a butterfly Hovering amongst milkweed drinking nectar No longer in need of hermetic, protective coverings It’s time to fly, unencumbered, once again

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