Being this open comes at a price. I am not a white cis girl with money, a degree, in my early 20s. I have a lot of privilege and support, but even as I am aware of this, so too I am aware of how much of my social capital is built on productivity and visibility as an activist.
I am an intense person. As much as I am also shy, incredibly driven, a loving friend (love y’all) and someone who is incredibly passionate about social justice… I never speak about some of the things that scare me to share. I have and have lived with Bipolar Type Two since I was diagnosed at 16.
I have had so much fear and shame around this diagnosis because I thought it meant I would never ever have a sustainable relationship, everyone would assume my symptoms were out of control, and it would discredit the organizing work I do and “brand” I am often encouraged to build.
a. I was too intense. (was I? Does it really matter if I am not a perfect texter?)
It sucks that I can’t talk about it, or that there isn’t the means to work with having a “scary” mental illness in the workplace or around doing community organizing. Being “crazy” often is not respectable to be open about in doing porn or sex work because of all the negative stereotypes so much of the industry has internalized and just fucking respectability. I wish I could send respectability for a long and eye-opening vacation where it came back and apologized for being such an angry auntie shaming me all the time.
It sucks, but my “crazy” has never manifested in me crossing boundaries since I was a teenager. I learned quickly that calling to much, texting too much, asking for too much, being too much could be interpreted as violating boundaries, being unsafe, and immediately being shamed to leave.
It takes a lot of privilege, support and care to live well in this world, and if you are dealing with neurodiversity/mental illness it makes things really challenging and often painful. I am not saying people with trauma and/or neurodiversity can do no wrong, but often we are treated like all our behaviours are pathological and destructive. There is so rarely room to discuss differences, disability, and how to work as a community in sharing space and different lived experiences.
Looking back at these really normal texts, I realize something. People can let me know what they want and do not as well. I also need to trust them, but most importantly in communication and all areas of my life I need to trust myself. Trust that people will want me, want to stick around and even if they do not that I want me. I am acting in a way that I feel is honest, respectful, loving and mindful.
I may just need to talk about feelings, consent, be really anxious about making plans and be working on trusting them. For all this, I try to carry this responsibility on my own and seek therapy to work on things. I really work to be emotionally responsible. I wish people would understand my needs around my neurodiversity, but in demanding space and time for them I am doing powerful work.
Neurodiversity and disability in general doesn’t often have space created for us in community spaces. I often feel like I have to get with the program, and one day I will “get better”… well I feel like I am constantly growing and healing but I am never not going to be me. I also never will not be Bipolar.
I will post some info about what bipolar type 2 is and I am going to be trying to be more responsible for taking time to take care of myself. If the only worth I have to people is when I am productive, well the activist work I am doing is pretty shitty and recreating so much of the same. People are placed on hierarchies based on productivity rather than community building and healing. Loverships only based on how chill, easy and effortless fun and beautiful you are.
I am not simply persistent, I am relentless…I channel all that drive and passion into my work. Also, I sure can public speak. I am tireless at times, but I don’t want to work like I need to prove I am good enough to stay. I need to factor in my needs, my safety and as much I as gladly infiltrate spaces that have been traditionally ableist, sanist, racist, and femmephobic… I also need spaces and people that love me for who I am now.
So this was a bit of a ramble, but TL;DR version is: I have bipolar type 2, I am still the person you know and hopefully like (love?) but honestly I need to give myself the time to work with my diagnosis and continue to heal.