So today I was asked what is it like having Bipolar, I was annoyed by the accusatory tone laced within the question. ‘We all get a bit moody sometimes.’ Instead of resorting to standard explanations of the dry clinical variety, interspersed with how torturous this all is. I just asked the person. ‘Why do you not randomly set your house on fire every now and then?’ Obviously I got looked at like I was mental. But I persisted.
Imagine you build a house but then you randomly set it on fire, you can’t really stop yourself. That this sudden desire to engage in arson of your own home, just comes and goes like an impulse you must indulge in; in the same way you must breathe. If I were to tell you, you don’t need to breathe you just need will power instead. What would you say to that?
I do hope no one you care about is in the the building as it goes up. Imagine you are left with a burnt down home and now must mend it all and insurance wont cover it. There used to be a time you could call in builders to assist with the wreckage and fire crews that would put out small fires before they could spread so any repair work was minor. But budget cuts and all that mean instead you get insulted by the fire service who insists you can just will power your way out of being an arsonist to your own home. The the builders now hand you a roll of wall paper and tell you were you can buy paste. The fire crews also only show up when you home is down to smouldering blackened support frames. So if you start a chip fire for instance and ring up saying your entire kitchen is still going up and it getting worse, it is not yet serious enough for them to break out the hose and turn on those flashing lights.
Now I want you to imagine that this goes on year after year. You yet again burn down your home not long after you just gave it a fresh lick of paint and just replaced all the furniture you had managed to render unsalvageable. There starts to come a point where you do not want to rebuild your home and yet again pick through the mess you have made and pull up burnt carpet. Who wants to hang around with an arsonists any way? So your home ends up empty as residents can only tolerate smoke damage for so long. You may also be one of those really dangerous arsonists that sets schools on fire, even though that is far from the truth. Can’t blame them for leaving really. May as well keep it as rubble and ash any way, as you are just going to burn it down. Life demands shelter though, and to sit so exposed and alone is painful. So you make a half hearted effort and create a hovel. It is not comfortable, but it will do. Less to burn any way, so that is good. Get a cat to help with the loneliness and call it Cuddles, while envying those fire retardant homes that keep out all the rain while listening to the music of parties going on within that you will never be invited to.
People point and jeer at your hovel as it is a bit of an eyesore and you are clearly weird to live there. Actually you are likely some sort of evil denizen up to no good plotting mass school burnings, because one other person did that and it is all over the news. Also you are expensive on the fire service and for that you should be subtly condemned. The builders are also discussing revoking handing out wall paper they say it encourages fires.
Oh dear, look at that your hovel is on fire! You also just turned Cuddles, your only friend, into kindling! Clearly you like setting fires, being alone and living in a hovel.