Escaping the Manic Monster

I just watched the video of Kanye West at his campaign event in South Carolina, and all I can do is cry. Not because I have love for him as an artist, or because he’s black like I am, but because I suffer from the Manic Monster within me as he does. Just like Kanye West, I have Bipolar Disorder, and the Manic Monster does not care who you are or what kind of money you have if it wants you, it will take hold of you.

Before I knew that I had Bipolar Disorder, I would catch myself doing a lot of rants as Kayne West does. There was never a real rhyme or reason for them; I would just keep going and going until I would tire myself out. One day, I cussed my husband out for an hour straight about how he does not understand that when he does not tell me when he is leaving one place to another with his friends, it will make me think that my husband is dead and I would not know how to find him. I could see the look of concern on his face as I began to cry and yell about the level of love I have for him, and if he loved me on that same level, he would not make me think that he is dead. The Manic Monster inside me had control over me, and I could not fight him off. It was only until my Psych Nurse let me know that I was Bipolar that I could figure out a way to fight back.

I want you to understand that a person who has this mental illness cannot help it when the Manic Monster comes to get them until that person is willing to find help from a mental health professional to fight against it. Kanye West needs help. He does not need a room full of people to encourage him to keep this energy up, or people to say how crazy he is. He needs someone willing to help him understand that it is okay to seek the help he needs. Kanye is in the dungeon of the Manic Monster, and if he wants to get out of there, he will have to fight his way out. Until then, I will pray for him. He needs it.

Facts Over Feelings

My session this week in therapy started like this. “I cannot do this anymore! I want to be away from anyone and anything!” The reason why I said this comment to my therapist was that I had an incident during a work Zoom meeting.

Here’s the story: We have been working from home for six weeks. Each Tuesday, we have a group meeting to discuss how we were handling working from home and how our clients are doing. I have been so anxious since we started these meetings, so it is safe to say I am over this conversation. As my co-workers were going around saying positive words and tips, they are giving their clients, I set with this look of agitation. Yes, I forgot that people could see my face. I did not care. I am at the point of screaming. So, after an awkward exchanged I had with one of my co-workers about how children can in fact sit longer than 5 minutes, it was time to wrap up our meeting. One of the managers asked this question that really got under my skin. The question was, “what is one word could use to describe what kind of support you need right now?” Why this question? Can you actually support me? With the mess I have going on in my head, you really think you can SUPPORT ME? Everyone went around stating their word that would describe the support they need, as I sat there with the same look of agitation.

When my manager asked me about my word, I said, “I do not have a word.” Everyone began to look at the camera like I was on trial. My manager softly asked, “There is nothing we can do to support you, Ari?” “No,” I said with remorse. Now I feel like a B-word. I feel worse now, because everyone is probably wondering what is wrong with me, and why I am so dismissive. When the video called ended, I closed my laptop down and began to weep. “Ariel, why would you say that?” “Everyone was looking at you.” But it was too late to think about that; the damage was done.

When I told my therapist the story, she asked me a question that I would never think of asking myself. She asked, “With all the things that you mention in this song, what were facts and what was just your feelings?’ I instantly drew a blank. “Did you answer the question?” My therapist asked. “Yes,” I said, wiping tears off my face. “Well, that is a fact.” She said smiling at me. “You cannot let your feelings get in the way of the facts, Ariel.” She is right. I could dwell on how my co-workers were looking at me or worry about them talking about me to each other, but what is the fact? I do not know if anyone will have something to say about me, but what I do know is that I answered the question in the best way I could do.

We all have been in a situation where we focus on what others could be feeling about us. We lose sight of what is going on at that moment. We cannot control anyone’s feelings, but we can control how we manage our emotions during a stressful situation. We should try to think about the facts before jumping into our feelings. With sticking to the facts, we know how to proceed on our journey through life.

#AriSpeaksOut

Worst battle. What I know vs. What I feel.

Unknown