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I am…

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The moment I say bipolar,
you say, ‘Oh! Depression?’.
But if I meant depression,
I would have said so.
When I say bipolar it’s obvious
there are two sides
to my mood swings.

‘So, it’s like two people
inhabiting the same body?’
You ask, showing that you care.
No. My disorder is of mood.
Not a personality disorder.

‘Must have had a tough childhood.’
You are trying to help, I can see.
But it doesn’t help.
You are still stuck
on the depression part.
There is another side.
An exciting one actually.

Did you see that glass painting
abandoned in my bathroom?
Or the origami birds
fluttering away my in dusty bedroom?
Did you read that poem I wrote
that inspired you to love yourself?
Did you taste that coffee cake
that I baked in my rice cooker?
Have you ever heard me
speaking Russian and Esperanto?

They are all little gifts
left by Mania as a remembrance.
To remind me that the disorder
isn’t just a disorder after all.
That, like everything else,
it has its positives too.

But I don’t blame you
for noticing Depression first.
It leaves its gifts on me.
In me. Seldom around me.
It has left scars on my arm,
shadows under my eyes
and layers of fat
in my cheeks and belly.
They are easily noticeable
and it often makes you curious.

You talk to me because you care.
You want to know me better.
But you fail to understand
that I am not my disorder.

I am not my depression.
I am not the scars or the cellulite.
I am the strength that survives.
I am the appetite that gobbles up
a whole tub of vanilla ice-cream.

I am not my mania.
I am not the paintings on the wall
or the poems in my blog.
I am the fatigue that remains.
I am the fearlessness that gives birth
to fresh ideas out of emptiness.

I am.
Like everything else you see.
Like everybody else you know.


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