My Bipolar Brain: An Open Letter To The Beautiful Mind Inside
Dear brilliant, beautiful, and sensitive mind,
I feel you in there, trapped behind the faulty firing of screwed up neurons and broken synaptic connections. I know you. You are bigger than this broken brain that is sitting in the driver’s seat of our physical body this time around. It sucks. There is so much more to you than just the biological organ that likes to malfunction up there.
This brain of ours really started to break when we were 15. Triggered by a traumatic event that no child should have to live through, it sent a flood of toxic chemicals into our body, and even though we didn’t have the words for it at the time, we knew it was bad. It turns out PTSD gets lodged into more places than just the brain. And, fun fact, it sent us spiraling into the darkest depths of depression. Thank you for not letting us end this life.
My dear brilliant, beautiful and sensitive mind, I did my best to get us through those early years. We escaped our situation and found new places to explore. I fed that brain with hallucinogenics, medicated it with marijuana and wrapped it all up in a holy experience with other pilgrims on a quest. The experience of the Grateful Dead saved us. You were expanded and we made it through, older, wiser and kinder than before. In fact, our brain was so stoked it flipped on the manic switch and WOW, did the ride really start.
This shitty brain of ours has betrayed us. Thank you for hanging in there for another 15 years until the pressure was too much and we dropped our basket. It took a true soul sister to help us pick it up. She got us to a professional who told us our brain had a fancy diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder, Type 1, rapid-cycling. And that’s when things got really interesting. Still struggling through the grief of Dad’s death, recovering from thyroid cancer, and homeschooling the precious babes, we took this diagnosis and searched for ways to heal. Ending an abusive marriage was the first step on our road to recovery.
This broken brain is a beast that we wrestle every day. For 15 years we have researched and dug deep to try and understand it. We have excavated the skeletons in our closet, searched through our repressed memories, explored our family history and watched in real time as the babes grew up and showed symptoms of the same fucked up disorder (along with some depression and anxiety). Our family legacy is the combined experience of brilliant and beautiful minds trapped inside broken brains. Hell, I believe it stretches back to that first beserker in our family tree, some damn Viking who passed along this “crazy gene”. But here is what I know: my karma this time around is to live through this expertly, with an open heart, open mind, and free spirit.
Dear brilliant, beautiful and sensitive mind, hang in there. You are not alone and we can get through this. As we share our experience we will continue to heal and help others along the way. I promise the next 15 years will be our best yet, come hell or high water.
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