It has come to my attention over the last few months that I have been coming off as somewhat aloof. Distant. Uncaring. Not engaging in conversation the way people would expect.
After visiting a party yesterday, this morning my mind was awash with ideas of why that might be true.
As much as I have been open the last year about having bipolar disorder, I think the two are definitely connected. Being open means I can talk more about what I’m dealing with, but that doesn’t mean letting my emotions constantly erupt all over every situation. Yes, that means I am holding back. I feel the overwhelming need to field my first response to everything and then contemplate if it is appropriate for the situation.
In a sense, it is something like playing a game of poker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I try not to let my true emotions seep through while I decide what to bet on my current hand.
I do this because I feel like it is necessary to protect myself and others, and particularly our relationships. I work hard to make sure I’m not hurting every person I come in contact with, which is admittedly both hard work and something I think most people take for granted. I value my relationships with people though, so I feel compelled to protect them.
This might all sound like I am doing a good job at hiding my true feelings; but the question I have is are the emotions I have tied to bipolar disorder really my true feelings? They might feel real and have an effect on my life, but I can assure you many of the things I feel are completely inconsistent with my more rational thoughts and feelings. Why would I want to offend or hurt someone I care about? Does it do me any good to throw a tantrum about something in front of a large group of people?
So now I’d like you to consider the aloof truth. Yes, I might be acting distant or uncaring, but that is because I am engrossed in a wildly complicated game of poker at the same time. Anyone who might judge me, I dare you to give it a try for yourself.