Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a question asked and answered.

It's easy to become jaded and bored with the world when so much experience leads to the same general range of emotion. When one's affect is truncated to no longer include the vast extremes of mania and depression, everything else seems like a half measure. This is half blessing and half curse. It is easy to presume that I am lucky because all I must do to fall asleep at night is take a pill, but it is equally easy to presume that it hurts to not care.

That sounds like somewhat of a contradiction. Apathy, however, genuinely is painful. It is made more-so by the insight into one's desire. Just like belief, no one chooses apathy. One can make the motions of caring, but to actually have a deeper part of oneself activated there has to be the turn of some key, a key to which I haven't access.

When becoming jaded with all of the shortened range of experience that fill my life I fluctuate between contentment and complete discontentment. At least in that I have a full range of experience. Also along with becoming jaded I am thankful for the ability to operate in culture despite my chemistry, and so it is all shot through with ambivalence. I love the ability to function, and hate the inability to feel as deeply as I could before. Each night and each morning is a sacrifice of range for functionality. I'm pleased that I get a choice, but I'm not pleased that the only real acceptable choice is to submit myself to drugs and society. My choice is rendered meaningless because no one would accept a decision to forgo my medicine; no one would accept my decision to, by society standards, fail.

I continue with this course of action because unmedicated I have lost relationships, liver function, and financial stability. I resist the action because unmedicated I am given days of wakefulness filled with writing, a flow of ideas which never stops, and feelings others take illegal drugs to experience. I take my pills in the hopes that they will lengthen my life, prevent another depression, and lead me to a successful job in research, but all I'm truly guaranteed of is a restricting of my affective range.

The question every bipolar person has to ask is haunting me. Is it worth loosing mania and hypomania for a normal life? If the continuation of my illness weren't likely to lead to suicide, debt, and potentially so many other unpleasant ends, there would be no question at all. I'm stuck knowing that I sacrifice a unique ability to experience life with the seasons and to feel more deeply than nigh all my peers. I must take my pills and know that by doing so I cut off a whole range of possibility that so many others have mined successfully to create some of the greatest art there is. I must subdue the wildness in me, and perhaps a modicum of the greatness, in order to aim for a more acceptable success.

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