Not everyone I know happens to know that I suffer from a mental illness, it is something I try to be open about but it is increasingly hard has mental health is not a concept a lot of people have good grasp on. As much as I would love to educate everyone on the consequences of being mentally ill, it is tiring and it is often not met with a lot of understanding.
The approach to mental health issues is often turning overbackward, because people can accept you being ill in any part of your body but not the one part that is the most important to you: your brain. My brain is sick, it is sick constantly and it will not ever return to normal. And my brain is not sick by a tumor or a blood cloth, it is sick by a disease that is invisible to everyone else, a disease that no one can see apart for when I’m at my worst. And even then all they can see is that I look very tired.
I like to see my illness as a battle between good and evil. My illness is not a choice, but how I decide to act on it is a choice, and often the evil wins because that is the easy choice and I’m not hero. Most of the time the people I know the best are the ones who have to suffer from my illness the most. This make me keep most people at an arm’s length, because I know most can’t hold on in the long run, because one day I will be at my worst again. Bipolar is not rocket science, rocket science has definitive answers bipolar doesn’t. I can check my emotional math over and over, but I will still have bad days.
When I have a bad day and I have used all my energy not showing it and I finally get home, my sister is the one I snap at for not closing the door in time for the cats not to slip outside. And the truth is, I am sorry every-time that happens and I regret it, but sometimes I cannot help it. I like to think I am better now too, maybe because I’m older, maybe I finally found the right medical combination, but I like to think I manage my illness better now than before.
The true heroes in my life are those who are there, time after time, accepting my irrational mood swings again and again. The people who understand that even though I am on medication I will have good and bad days. The heroes in my life are remarkably few, but I am thankful they are there and put up with me.
Because people in my life has been very fleeting in my life, I have always used books as a sort of escape from the prison I find my mind in. Whether it is reading or writing, it is something that helps me get through the darkest of places. In many ways books has become more like friends who are always there to welcome me back, mostly because they are inanimate objects that can not go anywhere.
One book series in particular that has helped me get through though times are the magical world created by J.K. Rowling. It is a book series I cherish, which is taken out in the darkest of times just to find my way back to a place that is magical. I own numerous copies these books in several editions; hardcover, softcover, pocket books, English edition, Norwegian edition.
Recently I have been through another cross-country move to Belfast, after my years in London and San Francisco it is good to settle down in a smaller town with a slower pace. In these times with a new move, a new job and few well-known faces, I once again is pulled to the magic of Harry Potter in the darkest deep of my depression hoping that once again it will lift my spirit.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
– Albus Dumbledore