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THE BIPOLAR PERSPECTIVE: TENANTS OF OUR MIND   Leave a comment

PLEASE RE-LEASE ME

Only flush the toilet once a day to save water. Use a lighter to save matches if things get a little ripe. No shoes on the dingy dark stained electric blue carpet that used to be a birthing mat. No pets unless you plan on eating them. And, first month’s, last month’s rent and a hefty security deposit in case you fart into the only pillow case on the couch that still has stuffing. But the location is great so you sign the lease. And you re-sign others just like it because you have no choice if you don’t want to live under a bridge out of a shopping cart.

VIRGIN

I think I bleed a little on my sheets my first night in my lease and security deposit free apartment. My new roommate collected the rent and on top of everything else, the price was right. The problem was, her head wasn’t. She’d pry into my life with the finesse of Ethel Merman and then spend the rest of her day screaming into the speaker on her i-Phone walking around the house, sitting on the bowl or death-marching her little seventeen-year old dog around the neighborhood talking shit about me to anyone who would listen. She even accused me of stealing from envelopes filled with cash left unattended on our San Francisco doorstep in exchange for the nasty pot she was peddling. This seed and stem salad actually made cancer patients sicker.

TENANT OF MY MIND

Little did I know, just leaving Mama Trauma, a name that accurately depicted my 70 plus year old roommate, would not be the end of my tenancy with her. Next, she would be moving in with me… Actually, into my head. Because the flurry of nasty accusatory texting that went back and forth for almost two days was irresistible. As a writer and knowing her weaknesses, I was monomaniacal and relentless exposing her faults and then dancing on them. But what I didn’t count on was that although her allegations were preposterous to anyone with a lick of common sense, they still infuriated me. And long after the emails stopped, I was unable to cease fuming. My former landlord had become my tenant now… A tenant of my bipolar mind. And Mama Trauma wasn’t paying me a dime.

IT ISN’T FARE

It seems bizarre when you think about it, but when you despise, hate or are angered by someone, that resentment stays in your head rent free. Wouldn’t it be great if the Sheriff could just staple an eviction notice to your face and the eye of your ire would be out in thirty-days? I’m here to tell you that when you are bipolar, not only does this person have free rent in your cranium, but because of the illness they constantly torment you, reminding you of their presence. The impulse to over-analyze a compulsive thought to make everything alright in your world is overpowering, and you desperately seek a solution to stop the pain. It just isn’t fair for someone to be residing in your head without paying the fare.

THE FIGHT YOU CAN NEVER WIN

I have thought about starting in again with my old roommate and “finishing her off” for good. Pick back up on blasting her via email. A call to the housing authority, building owner and the police would probably put her out on the street. And, Mama Trauma is out of my head… But it doesn’t work that way. Then the guilt for ruining her life would consume me. With Bipolar Illness, there are no quick fixes. Then guilt-ridden regret starts marching in.

EVICTION, NOT CONVICTION

It doesn’t matter if one day the entire world knows you were right and they were wrong. If you are Bipolar, your landlord is still your tenant living rent-free in your head. You have to evict them, not convict them, to get them out and stop the gnawing on your cerebral cortex like an appetizer. And the first step to freedom is realizing this truth.

MIND CONTROL

If we Bipolars could control our minds, we probably wouldn’t be Bipolar. But we can manipulate aspects of it. I have decided unless Mama Trauma does something to cause me harm, she can no longer take up space in my mind. Dropping more bombs only means she isn’t gone yet. So I keep reminding myself it’s over and “Mama has left the brain.” It’s not quite that easy, but if every time I think of her I decide not to give her the satisfaction of living free in me, it almost feels good to let her go. Like I can use that space for something else more worthy. Like the lady who texted right into the back of my car at fifty miles per hour

LAST BUT NOT LEASE

So before you let someone take up space in your head, have them “sign a lease” and pay rent. A “lease” is your judgement that this person is worthy of occupying a place in your mind. And the “rent” is the joy they bring you by their presence. Because once you let someone take up residence in your head at no charge, it’s really hard to get them out.

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