Bipolar blues for Kanye [and the rest of us]

By LaEglantine 05/09/18
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I was diagnosed as bipolar five years into sobriety. By that time, I had had any number of problems- with sponsors with supervisors at my job, with pretty much anyone I interacted with regularly. Because my rage always simmered just below the surface. I self-medicated liberally with alcohol. It was the only thing that quieted the noise. When I stopped drinking I thought that problems with men, with work, with my family, would simply disappear. After all the bottle was the problem, right? But the bottle wasn’t the alcoholic, I was. But as any recovering person will tell you to stop drinking is just the tip of the iceberg. Addiction is a mind, body and spirit disease. And it doesn’t go down easy.

So, I expected to go along cheerfully through life sober without my anesthesia in a bottle except than everything hurt my bones, my head, my emotions everything. And I was shocked to find out I was still expected to go to work and work all day long and function as an adult without being able to crawl back in my bottle at night.

I have been me for my whole life living in my bipolar brain. My Bipo alkie brain told me that normies were the ones with issues. I rarely could distinguish when I was doing something that will be perceived negatively [pissed people off] and impact on my life. Sometimes we bipos just don't know what you're talking about when you get upset or why you think it’s a problem. I was told I was manipulative. Of course, I was. How else do you get people to do things they don't want to do that you want them to do. One supervisor said I couldn’t spell subordinate, didn’t know what it meant and wasn’t interested in finding out. I apparently never developed what could be called a sense of right and wrong. To think it was to do it. It wasn’t a crime until you got caught until then it was a choice. Me, me, me.

As a bipolar person the pressure to prove you really are okay pushes you to go farther and faster as the voice in your head says you're not fast enough or smart enough or do something or they’ll think you’re stupid or cray as words just come tumbling out or sometimes get stuck somewhere in your brain like a mini log jam. Even so I regularly had to be persuaded not to write administrators in my agency about what I thought of their management style around the same time that I was asking them for a promotion that never materialized. It took years to notice that whenever they were jobs that fell into my area of expertise I was automatically passed over.

That’s when my bipolar behavior got worse and became an illness that could no longer be ignored or covered up. When you get a diagnosis, even when you don’t want to believe it. The symptoms are still there. Friends and relatives stop inviting you places because no one knows what's going to come out of your mouth at any time, for any reason. You make excuses to justify why you avoid personal commitments, stalling until you can figure out what's wrong. You see this brain has been interpret a form of reality for most of our lives. The only way we have hope is when someone takes the time to explain this illness. It's as frightening for the sufferers frightening for the friend or relative

I found that despite my ambitions at work the stress triggered my manic behavior. Friends and co-workers who had always thought I was eccentric did not want to believe that I was ill. It wasn’t until when I finally broke down, [burned out] and had to retire. I moved out of the city. I now in the rural area where I can sit and live my life at a much slower rate. For me it's an ongoing balancing act.

Diagnosis is not a happy ending. It was a beginning to a new chapter in my life. I sympathize with people in the entertainment industry whatever their particular issue they are giving no quarter protecting their privacy and their family whenever I see people who discuss problems in public I always look for that haunted intense look of determination and hope.

Famous rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West has[allegedly] been diagnosed as bipolar and was put on medication after a very public meltdown on stage. I imagine it is especially frightening to West who's expected to continue producing music. After all he has a family, dreams, contracts and a lifestyle to maintain. West will continue giving disjointed rambling interviews and handlers will continue to allow this. His talent is eclipsed by his illness and to listen to people who should know better, point and comment. Without looking at what he is saying the message behind it. At least the addiction at this point as we try to numb ourselves enough to interact with people and carry on our personal obligations.

To be sure I'm not a big fan of hip-hop basically because I’m old. [ I did like his rap about Gold Diggers which I thought was funny] but I'm unfamiliar with his later work. To see him on a clip from Ellen ask him a question and for about 30 seconds he spaced out only to return with it’s something completely inappropriate to the audience who yelled back at him several times.

Many artists struggle with mental health issues, some have even used their art as a way to cope. The creative brain sees the world in a unique way and is able to construct beauty and meaning in ways that most cannot, that intensity, sensitivity, and drive make the world a more beautiful place. There is nothing more frightening than when your mind turns against you. So, trying to explain how terrified you are to people who don't think you'll have a problem.

When a celebrity like West is living through a slow motion crisis, it's hard to remember that the people who create posts, blogs even articles about his issues don’t actually have access to his personal information. They do not know his family, they are not part of his inner circle, what they're doing is something between gossip and long distance mind reading with the goal of titillating their reader’s interests and elicit possibly a response from the West Kardashian family. To give his family credit they seem supportive and avoid discussions of Kanye's condition.

Mental health expert and coach Julie A. Fast, who has not treated West, believes his recent behavior show symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar is episodic, which mean the symptoms come and go and intersperse the person’s true baseline personality comes back he will be quite stable—able to pull off large projects and keep himself out of the news—then will likely suddenly do something outrageous and controversial.

As a bipolar sufferer so many of us deny what’s happening, don’t speak about what's going on, we don't tell our relatives how scared we are, we don't tell what we're seeing and hearing in the fear that we will simply be humiliated, dragged, harassed ridiculed and ignored completely or exposing your family to that kind of and disdain or lose them altogether.

Many of us who live with mental and mood disorders or active addictions still have to show up for work and do our best. Well-meaning friends want to believe nothing's wrong and you’re being “provocative” or “eccentric” don't have to be on medication. Oh, we do so want to believe that there is nothing wrong with us. Others ostracize a judge us as the illness looms larger than we do until they see nothing else. Unfortunately, addictions and mood and mental disorders can’t be ignored away. They must be managed.

I truly don't see any unless we first deal with our problem with seeing mental illness addiction harassment and all the other ugly things on our plate right now not to laugh at suffer suffers or blame them or arrest them. but in the ups and downs of mental illness can be, there is hope, especially if there is greater understanding. To try to change out of you and understand what's going on and do something about it

K. Doidge [2016] Kanye West Let Out A Cry for Help, We Just Weren’t Listening

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