I just heard the most hilarious and insulting thing I've ever heard! I was explaining to my uncle my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, and his response made me speechless. He said, "You know, we're all Bipolar. We all have mood swings." Sorry, what? So, this post is dedicated to my ignorant uncle (I'll call him J).
So, J... tell me all about the highs. You feel so good that you feel like you could do anything? You're social? You laugh? You feel like nothing is bad in the world? Now, tell me about the lows. You're sad, yes? In despair? Can you see the end of the storm? And those times when you get nervous. There's a reason, yes? And you calm down pretty fast after whatever that reason has passed?
Now, J, tell me how much control you have over all these things.
How dare you presume to tell me that what I'm feeling is normal?!?! You would die if you felt one ounce of what I do on a daily basis! When I get highs, aka mania, sure I laugh and I get social, but I also overreact to everything. A funny joke can make me laugh so hard I hyperventilate. I too feel like there's nothing bad in the world, but the second I see, hear, or just think of something bad, I'm thrown into a pit with walls so high that I can't climb out of. I'm beyond sad. Despair is the biggest understatement in the world. I can't see the end of the storm, because I have fallen so low that I truly believe I'll never make it out. And sure, getting nervous is normal, but I can't control it. That nervous energy is a key factor in my mixed state.
I have no control over any of this.
Moral of the story: Don't speak unless you know what you're speaking about.