We all have an inner critic. The voice telling you that you’re not good enough or you are not qualified enough or whatever other bullshit your self doubt springs on you. Like most people, we listen to our inner critic more than we listen to the people who actually love and support us and even when we fuck up & they tell us that we messed up – we ignore their plea. Last Thanksgiving I went away for a mini vacation with my sister & mother to Dominican Republic for a few days. A much needed trip. After a long day of activities, followed by a wonderful dinner, all I just wanted was just to go back to the hotel room. Having bipolar disorder I have this constant feeling of fatigue that I can’t seem to get rid of. No matter how much coffee I drink, or Adderall I take – I’m always fucking tired.
My sister decided to get into bed with me and watch some cartoons that had trolls as the main characters (idk these new kid shows today). In the moment, we were laughing hysterically, making jokes about the show (something we haven’t done in awhile but something we used to do often). My inner critic however had a different plan in mind. It kept reminding me that I am bipolar. Of how boring I became and how irritable I am. It wouldn’t let up. It kept whispering how no one wants to be around me anymore. I mean, it’s all true, isn’t it?!? Sometimes your inner critic is a bunch of bullshit and sometimes it’s the real deal. How do you know?!?
I sat there with Ree watching this show contemplating on how to ask her what I had already knew. Did I want to hear what I already knew? I didn’t want my inner critic to get the validation it was eagerly anticipating, but I wanted the truth regardless. So, I asked. I asked her if she thought I was boring. I don’t necessarily remember her answer word for word, but it went something like this: “I don’t think you’re boring, I just don’t think you laugh the same way anymore & you’re constantly tired. You don’t want to do anything.” I felt my eyes tear up instantly, though I didn’t let her see it. It crushed my insides to hear her say these words. I wanted to tell my inner critic to go straight to Hell. I cried myself to sleep that night.
I didn’t want to be constantly tired, or change to the point where I wasn’t funny or fun to be around. I know that I’m highly irritable… I have always been. Things constantly get under my skin & quietly inside myself I begin to wonder if this is the reason half of my friends aren’t my friends anymore. My heart felt shattered.
What can a person do in my situation? I can’t change my diagnosis and I can’t stop taking my medications. They drain me and dull me. Am I suppose to sacrifice my sense of humor? What is the brightest alternative to this fucked situation? There is none. This is the person I have become. Do not get me wrong there are times where I am fun to be around, and times I joke till the person I’m with and I are in tears… but that’s like a full moon. It happens on such rare occasions.
This is my life. My real friends & family understand. They love me regardless of my ups and downs. They don’t care. They know it’s my medications. That they make me not myself. In a sense they rather me be healthy than be a clown. They understand that me staying out late isn’t good for me and accept it. They adjust their lives for mine. Then there’s those people I barely hear from anymore & till this day I wonder if it’s because of that.
Till this day I try to prove my inner critic wrong, and when it’s right I try my best to change my perspective of who I have become. I thrive to be better. Having fatigue though, like I said before is something that is out of my hands completely. That is just something I have to embrace in order to stay healthy. Medications do change you, but your real friends & family will understand you and be there no matter what. Your bra shouldn’t be the only thing that supports you & next time your inner critic demands the right to be right, set it straight and move towards the positive. Yes I have bipolar, but people still appreciate me, people still love me, people still want me around. Because the truth is, those that really matter stay regardless and those that didn’t, well fuck them anyways.
Have a blessed day everyone.