One of life’s heartaches meandering through mood disorders (like bipolar) is an interpersonal reality-pill hard to swallow: at some point during the lifespan of any given relationship, a social casualty will occur, often in the form of brutally honest encounters catalyzed through mania. The cumulative nature of these incidents compile people tirelessly out of your life over time. Only the true warriors stand by loyally. Or none at all.

For example, during hypomania I tend to confront people on issues they normally hide from. While not inherently proud of this, it is a blessing and a curse I must endure.

I don’t seek conflict… I speak toward existing conflict previously unspoken. Like some moral Captain Cognitive superhero fighting crime one honest word at a time. Bottled up like pop-rocks under pressure.

Bipolar is a Blessing and a Curse

The blessing comes in the form of being able to speak up confidently where I may have otherwise drifted voiceless without power. Not being an aloof pushover has real value. Especially inner city living.

The curse is far worse: most people don’t take kindly to being called out ever. For anything. Many actually take drastic measures specifically to avoid exactly this (denial). So my honesty becomes my own heartbreak. Lather, rinse, apologize, repeat… viciously cyclical madness can be.

The Truth Hurts

For example, I once called a best friend a “dirtbag” for cheating on his wife. Another friend a “stupid hillbilly” for burying backyard cash anti-bank pushing 40. A third an “addict” for two decades of black market Adderall he refuses to acknowledge. A fourth for being so cheap he refused to pay for internet while his kids borrowed wifi. A fifth a coward for asking me to hide his weed habit from his wife 20 years after college. And my own mother a “drunk” for, well… being a drunk.

While I stand by all these moments in time stated so honestly, all of them cost me a whole lot of love I can’t get back. I was right, yes. But friendships aren’t based on honest validity, they are based on being nice. I try to pick better people, only to find us all just as flawed.

When Honesty Becomes Existential Threat Socially

My honesty became their existential threat; my willingness to speak bluntly their potential risk. In a world of cowards we all wade among, these social scenarios come up often.

I’ve burned every single bridge I’ve ever had, and many I never got a chance to have at all. Some multiple times. This pattern is my problem; a broken planet ours.

Imagine Superman’s Kryptonite being inherently stuck inside the self, navigating a world always broken eating yourself alive inside out… All while wrapped in embarrassing spandex. Welcome to mental illness. What won’t kill you, might make you want to die anyway.

Social Synapsis Fried Eternally Useless

The takeaway is not boo-hoo. I’m certainly no Superman. The point is most of us progress through life via friendships and connections we mutually leverage for respective gain, cordially happy. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Tit for tat.

When you’re bipolar, these connections eventually get burned; social synapsis fried eternally useless. As if navigating emotionally torn wasn’t hard enough, many with mental illness have to navigate logistical lives completely solo to boot. Or worse, stuck in a perpetual state of conflict everyone loses. No one gets out alive.

As you stand alone among a city of bridges burned to ash, you sing that sad song like preschool mantras: Ashes to Ashes We All Fall Down

Old as Crud Mumbling Cranky

Anyone paying attention can quickly see the lifetime trajectory transpiring: alone one day old as crud mumbling cranky. Bitter the world always bites back. Angry their wrong becomes your pain.

I’d be a liar if I never pointed out how difficult rolling through life completely solo can be, and how easy my life could have been simply being nicer. Or not being honest. Or just shutting my goddamn mouth entirely.

That filter we use to all stay so socially cordial… well, mine be busted. So your dirty life becomes my red flag risk. Together we can’t function. So I carryon on rolling solo, like an unknown stone Bob turned over long ago.

When Burning Bridges Bite Back

In fact, post butt-hurt these once helpful bridges actually become points of contentious constraint. So not only will these folk not help you again, some will actually take steps to hurt you further just in spite.

“How dare you speak to me like that!” usually means “How dare you call out my bullshit.”. We are all just cowards scared.

Bipolar will be the cause of many conflicts. But I am yet to see one person offer it as an allowable excuse. Mean makes grown professionals 40-decades deep flail like 3rd graders recess-defensive.

Omnipresent is the stark reality of a dependable dismissal: push come to metaphoric shove, they can always call you crazy and just walk away for good, taking the playground ball with them despite. Scapegoats beware.

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