Do I really "Like" having Bipolar Disorder?
My answer may surprise you.
Overall, yes. If I could wake up tomorrow and choose whether or not to have Bipolar Disorder I would choose to keep my chronic illness.
That may sound "crazy," (haha!) but although it has made my life extremely challenging and often so overwhelming I can barely function, I don't think I would be "myself" without it. Yes, I'd love to do away with some of the more severe symptoms but not all of them are negative or debilitating.
I do associate my level of intelligence and creativity as being symptomatic of the disease (science tends to support this, as well). My brain processes and cross-references new information rapidly; this also manifests in rapid speech which often gets on the nerves of those around me (sorry about that). Sure, I also have had insomnia for over 15 years, chronic fatigue that accompanies depression, and the tendency to get irritated with a quickness (however, I also get over it and let it go of it just as speedily). Some days I can't pry myself out of bed and the very thought of having to talk to people in person, over the phone or text message, via email or Facebook causes almost paralyzing anxiety.
I've also avoided entering into serious relationships due to bad experiences such as being dumped as soon as I told my significant other that I have this disease because of "what might happen" or "what I might do" in the future. Being summarily discarded for such an excuse is discouraging no matter how unfounded it is. I've also been dumped or had people lose interest as soon as they discover that I'm bisexual as if that means I am incapable of monogamy or faithfulness... which couldn't be further from the truth. I am attracted to both men and women, but I don't require one of each as a life partner to have a happy, fulfilling life. Yes folks, I'm old-fashioned, monogamous, want to get married, and have children. This is probably not very surprising to anyone who knows me well.
(I do think it's an interesting fact that I am bipolar, bisexual, and ambidextrous. Does that mean something? Who knows. It's still amusing to ponder, though.)
Since I have talked about this as much as I feel like doing today, I would like to conclude with recommending the video below. If you haven't seen this interview with Stephen Fry talking about his *Bipolar Disorder, please take a few minutes to check it out. It is one of the best first-hand explanations I have come across that tries to express to people who do not have the illness what it actually feels like.
*Note: Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression are the same thing.