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June 30th...

by Erin A. Sayers about a month ago in bipolar · updated about a month ago
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The ongoing trials of a bipolar writer...

It feels like I’ve been isolated for a long time.

That idea hangs in the air in front of me, a sick mix of anachronistic and truth, but always too bitter. For me, I think my fear of rejection is tied closely to my bipolar. If I can’t know from one moment to another who I’m going to be, how can you?

While you might be attracted to fun and happy me, could you handle hysterical and hopeless? Or my rage monster? How about the three-year-old child I become when I age slide? And the psychopath who haunts the darkest corners of my mind, what about her?

Just to be clear, I’m a big believer in being up front with people. I have a form of bipolar called rapid cycling. In my case it’s more like ultra-rapid cycling. My mood looks like a heart monitor, up and down, up and down and up. If you spend a day with me you’ll notice. So I tell the truth. To everyone.

The network of friends I’ve kept have stuck around, many for years and years. I trust them, love them. But… I don’t know how to show the darkest parts of my truth.

There’s a difference between talking about a bear, discussing how a bear’s fur works, their appetite, their habits, theory; and being alone in the middle of nowhere, isolated, face to face with a raging massive terrifying bear. Theory and practice. My life isn’t a movie and I’m no character with a structured happy ending waiting in my third act.

I’m also allergic to people. Not practically. I’m allergic to how people smell. Their perfumes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, cologne, washing detergent. Even hand creams and scented makeup. The other day I had to go to the hospital for an unrelated reason, and almost passed out walking past the people sitting in the waiting room.

It sucks. It is hands down the most debilitating part of my life. A side effect of an infection called cytomegalovirus. It unlocked a sensitivity I already and pressed turbo. Even if I do leave my house, I know the day after holds headaches and swollen sinus, coughs and infections. Imagine having a cold every day for the rest of your life.

So dating… is difficult. If I can’t sit opposite you, I can’t hug you. No flirting, no kisses or sex. That’s even if I like you. Or you can cope with the beast who shares my apartment. Being single by choice is one thing but being single by force is another.

I can hug my friends. Just. Maybe once when I see them. But all the things I used to do are gone; game nights and dinner parties and having a life. I don’t invite people over in case I have to wash my couch covers and fan out the rooms.

And asking people to not wear it has never gone well. People have sworn in my face. Yelled. Or forgotten. Sprayed and caused me to crash. Over and over and over and over. Are you sweaty? Cool. Will being sweaty kill you? No? Huh, I wonder what that feels like.

A nose like a bloodhound and it all makes me sick.

I’m isolated and lonely. I want a child, but I don’t know if that even possible. I watch my friends and family get married and have kids, watch people get jobs and houses and holidays. And all the happiness I have for them can’t fill the hole in my own life.

Which doesn’t feel heavy on a good day. Mania and highs and good luck and acceptance letters make the hole not so heavy.

But today is not a good day.

All the rejections letters are four times as thick. The tears twice and heavy. I’m not eating and don’t want to. I’ve run out of chocolate. And my tea is cold.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, I’m never going to get better. I’m not. These are the most words I’ve written in weeks. Just ready to be put out to pasture.

It feels like I’ve been isolated for a long time.

And I have.

To be continued...


About the author

Erin A. Sayers

I’m a writer and filmmaker living in Sydney with a passion for speculative genres. As a disabled, queer, culturally diverse woman, I want to change the culture around what makes interesting science fiction and fantasy.

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