A Letter To My Disease

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Dear Bipolar,

It is difficult because I have to address this letter to three people: The Cloud, which is my depression, Mother Mania, which is the manic side of me, and The Thing, which is responsible for my psychosis. I suppose you deserve a paragraph each, because you each manifest yourselves within my mind in different ways but you all work together to ensure that I stay suitably mad.

The Cloud, oh darling Cloud. You have followed me around since the age of 11. Remember that first summer we spent together? When you made me hate all of my friends and distance myself from everyone, and you didn’t let me go outside, and I spent the summer holidays crying on my bedroom floor. You introduced me to alcohol that summer: you got me on the straight vodka because I’m half Polish after all. You also made me steal Daddy’s tobacco and try smoking for the first time. You showed me what it means to be sad. You made me grieve my lost childhood, I was mourning every mistake my parents ever made. I was in a strange place with you: the transition from primary school to that godawful all girls’ secondary school, starting my period, having my first proper kiss, you held my hand through all of it, a little too tightly for my liking. It seemed there was no shaking you off. You clung to my back like a baby monkey, and I still haven’t let you go, all these years later. You are a huge part of me. You inspire me. Some days you are darker than others, and sometimes you rain, Christ, sometimes it’s full blown fucking thunderstorms. You are very volatile in nature, ever changing like the weather, unpredictable but ever-present. The Cloud of Depression floats overhead, yesterday, today, now, for ever? I’m sure we’ve got many summers together still to come. Thank you for making me stronger than ever before.

Mother Mania, you wonderful woman! You are seriously a total babe, I wish I could see you more often. But hell, we had a blast that summer when I was 16. We got dressed up to the nines, faux fur, pearls and diamonds, fishnet stockings, army boots, those red red red lips, the black eyes. We traipsed around the City, owning London Town, taking the City for every penny it had. Stealing Louboutins from shop window displays, blowing bubbles under the bridge by Camden Lock, running around on the South Bank, kissing strangers, getting into trouble (but never getting caught). We have had some truly magical times. Even when you make me paint and write poetry and tidy the house from top to bottom, scrubbing the floor like, well, like a maniac, dancing to ABBA’s greatest hits. Ah, this is what it feels like to be alive! Let’s spunk all our money on champagne cocktails and those slim cigarettes. We own London Town, it’s got our names written all over it. Whenever I’m with you it’s pure magic, the conversations, the strangers, the sex, the love, the music, the dancing, the drinking. There’s no need for drugs, you keep me high on life. I love you, Mama Mania.

Ah, The Thing. You’re a special one, aren’t you. You came along when I was 8 years old. A tiny girl living in a broken world, you latched onto me, and told me to stop eating. Because Daddy wasn’t well enough to eat, why should I eat? It all made sense. You were angry when the teachers at school got concerned and the nurse force-fed me at lunchtimes. You were steaming mad. I think that’s why you were so mean to me from the age of 13 to 18. Because you never got over me betraying you that very first time. You made me lose my mind in a haze of marijuana super-blunt psychosis. The psychotic episodes weren’t fun, like my episodes with Mother Mania are, they were scary and horrible. They were so scary. You took over my writing, you took over my body, you took over my brain. You totally 100% controlled me, every aspect of me. My heart, my soul, my body, my brain, Jesus Christ, you took everything away from me and left me with nothing but psychosis. It’s ridiculous that I should touch the postbox 3 times, Daddy won’t die if I don’t do it, he’ll still be alive and kicking if I just walk past it. But no, I must touch it thrice. Fuck you Thing, you were so so so horrible to me. You’re the one who made me go to hospital and receive really bad treatment. You’re the one who gave me three incorrect diagnoses. You’re the one who ruined the relationship with the love of my life. You’re the one who makes me act like a fucking lunatic. Fuck you. I’m so grateful for you leaving me alone these past couple of years. I would have killed myself if you carried on with your incessant game-playing and taunting. Thank you for leaving me alone.

I know that all three of you will continue to manifest yourselves within my mind: you exist there, it’s where you belong. But I just want you to know that I’m still fighting, and I’m determined with Recovery (well, today I am, anyway) and hopefully soon everything will be magical and we can all exist in harmony and sanity.

I love all three of you in different ways.
I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for you guys.
You make me who I am.

Keep on keepin’ on.

Helena

Turn it up I never wanna go home, I only wanna be part of your breakdown

xxx

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