Keeping Bipolar Disorder a Secret…

“I want people to understand what I have to experience.


That I have to monitor my

every thought and mood –

to constantly ask if

my good humour


my enthusiasm

is a sign of hypomania.


That I have to be forever adjusting my medication,

medication that makes me



and liable to gain weight.


That I try to do the same things as my classmates and colleagues,

yet struggle more at every step with fatigue,

memory problems

and a tendency to get more stressed by every little thing.


That I will never be able to skip exercise,

or to go to bed too early or too late,

or to have more than one drink.


That I have to wonder if

stressful or exciting events

might set me off.


That I spend days achieving precisely nothing

because my mood is not stable enough

to consistently apply myself.


That I have frightening thoughts that seem to come from outside of me –

thoughts I can choose not to listen to but certainly can’t control.


That just when think I am finally beginning to get a handle on this illness,

it pulls the rug out from under my feet.


That I live with the uncertainty generated by a condition

that tends to worsen over time.


That I am forced to wonder

if I have the strength and health

to be able to have the things that most people dream of –

a fulfilling career and family life.


That I may have to make hard choices.”




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