About Bipolar Barbie
People ask me why I chose the name Bipolar Barbie and it all started one Sunday afternoon. My housemate asked me why I have so many clothes and I replied “because I have so many different personalities, they each need their own wardrobe” Then it dawned on me. I am just like a naked barbie doll, waiting to see what outfit I will be dressed in each day, dressed by another hand. Barbie has her outfits like nurse barbie, horse riding barbie, dancing barbie and everything in between. I am just like that but in the mental ill world our outfits include Manic Barbie, Anxious Barbie, Depressed Barbie, Low self esteem barbie, Borderline Barbie and every other emotion or symptom you can imagine. Never knowing what I am going to face each day, what obstacles will be in my path. Always having to get to know a different version of my self every day with completely new skill sets and weaknesses. Every day is a new adventure, a new burden to bare. Another useless version of myself to deal with. Another person I don't want to be.
We are encouraged from such a young age to figure out what we want to do with our lives. We are constantly asked the question what do you want to be when you grow up? We are told to pick anything other the most important thing a person can be. Ourselves. We are told to pick a career, design a life not really knowing who we are. We are informed of the ways people should live. The things we should aim for. We are moulded into young adults that are expected to conform to society. To the way our parents, teachers and community think we will succeed. Success is something we all yearn for and are promised we will have if we live in a certain way. This normally involves the pursuit of financial gain, security and ultimately happiness.
But what if you are like me? If money means nothing to you but a means to an end. You have had your possessions taken from you, stolen & discarded so many times material things have no value to you. Both money and possessions have never made me happy and in truth its always been quite the opposite. Happiness is an emotion and being bipolar or mentally ill and an empath, whatever the cause, I have an enormous emotional capacity. The spectrum of emotions I feel are out of this world. So I will never be content unless I am living the extremes of happiness that vibrate through my bones and shine out my radiant smile. I was convinced money would give me that, right up until I lost my mind. When I learnt the most valuable thing a person has is their sanity. I am forever grateful I lost it, no matter how hard it was to loose. I learnt of its value because I felt its absence and I yearned for its return.
I thought at first it would just come back one day and I waited until it never did. It was about then I began my journey to find it. No one ever tells you that one day you may have to embark on that difficult journey. There's no map. There's no one place it hides. Just know that its somewhere inside. I searched long and hard everywhere outside of myself. I blamed its theft on everyone and everything in my life and because of that I gave away the power of its safe return to people who didn't have it and didn't understand what it was I lost. That got me into a lot of trouble and I write off those 15 years as lost years. Because I was moving further away from where I needed to be looking.
I began to realize that in all these failures, mistakes and heartache, I was the only common denominator. I changed everything about me and my circumstances a thousand times before I came to the conclusion that it was me all along. That soul crushing reality that I had been the source of my own drama and pain was humiliating. It made me want to give up. It was about then I could put into words that If I was at fault and didn't know why it had to be my mind sending false signals. It was then I knew exactly what I had lost but I had no idea how to get it back. I reached out. I asked for help. But no one understood. They associated me with what I had done. But I knew it wasn't me. They hated me, resented me and judged me for the person I was when my mind had been lost. They didn't believe me when I had told them what had happened. You were always different they said. Your an even bigger disappointment now. You did this to yourself.
Why would I give away, the most valuable thing I had?
The journey to finding my sanity was long and hard. The understatement of the century. It changed me. In a way no one ever understood. I had to forget everything I ever knew about myself because I changed as I rode the waves of mental illness. Each episode was like a filter was put over my personality. It was me physically but not me mentally. No one but me knew when I was really there. And I had been ill for so long I didn't even know myself.
I had been told who I was and who I was going to be my whole life I actually believed it. I was so disappoint that my illness took away my potential. It destroyed any chance of the life I wanted. It took away what I was promised, success and happiness. I felt like it crippled me. I couldn't live life or succeed in life. I was a failure and it hurt. I hated myself even more, I compared myself to who I used to be. I was my own worst enemy.
But now I feel like a fool for even thinking I knew who I was. I mean does anyone really? Isn't that what life is about? A journey to discover ourselves? To work out who we are, what we value and what we want? At least that's how I see it now. Everything that has happened after much reflection I can see what it taught me. What I learnt about life, others and most importantly myself. I don't claim to know who I am because I learn more and more each day. But I am closer to figuring it out than I ever have been!
I see how the way I was brought up and the society I live in crippled me from a young age. Not everyone is the same. We shouldn't be told how to be happy and what makes a successful person and expected to get what other have got by walking in their shoes. What drives us as individuals is dependent on who we are inside no two people are alike. What drives me is helping others, being heard and creating something! Without those 3 things ill never be happy. I can be broke like I am now for the rest of my life but still excited and content with those 3 things. I didn't get them by picking a career, but making one! Not everyone fits the mold and when people ask me that stupid question… what are you doing with your life? I respond with pride… I'm being me :)
Because its ridiculous to expect anything else of a person. Contrary to popular belief, we have all the time in the world. Please don't waste it being someone else. Use our time in this world to figure out who you are and accept its forever changing as we are shaped by our experiences. We grow each day. I think if you figure out who you are, then what you want to do will come naturally. The secret to happiness is working out what makes you happy because everyone is different. Its OK to say you don't know that yet, as long as your trying to figure it out. You never will and if you think you do then your wrong. Because you are pretending to be who you were when you decided you knew who you were. But you've changed since then. Keep reassessing. Its the only way you can allow yourself to truly allow yourself to grow as a person.
This is my story and how I became the queen I am today.
I realized that no hero was going to come save me because no one believed I was worth saving. I didn't have to waste my time proving to them I was. Because the only person I needed to convince was myself. I had spent years floating around in the ocean. Trapped in the turbulent waters of mental illness. I had seen everyone in my life standing around me just watching me drown. No one lifted a finger to help me because they couldn't see why I couldn't just breath and be OK. I was angry and hurt because of their betrayal. My naive mind trying to get to the bottom of the why was a fruitless attempt at understanding a situation no one understands. At the end of the day it didn't matter why they chose not to act. But the fact was they didn't and they never would. All that energy wasted swimming towards people begging for assistance just made me weak. So weak I began to sink to the bottom of the ocean. If no one thought I was worthy of a rescue attempt then what was the point in living? No one cared about me. No one gave a shit whether or not I lived or died. They couldn't see that I was trapped in between the plains of the living and the dead. My demons were invisible they said but only because they refused to believe that they existed. My word meant nothing to them and I wanted to seek vengeance for their ignorance. But it was once I figured out the route of all this evil, the seeds my father planted inside me that festered into this ginormous mess! That was when I let go of all the blame. Because at the end of the day I had been so desperate to deflect blame and prove my father wrong I only ended up proving him right. I had given everyone in my life power to control me because I yearned for their acceptance. Because I needed them. But the truth was, I didn't need anyone. I could save myself. I couldn't just float around in the ocean waiting for someone to rescue me. I had lost so many years to that fruitless cause. If I wasn't going to die and I wasn't going to be saved then I had to make sure I lived.
There was no way in hell I was going to continue living life this way! I couldn't, it had tormented me long enough. I made a vow to myself to not let this curse take any more of my life from me. It was not going to break me and beat me. I was not going to let others hurt me because of what my father did. I had to take up arms against the world. I had to heal from the inside out. The only way I could do this was by locking myself up in the tower. A remote tree house, a fortress by its design. I had to shut the world out so that I could find myself, the me I had lost in the waters of hell. But first I had to find my way back to shore.