Stigma

Location

94708
United States
37° 54' 7.4196" N, 122° 15' 34.9812" W

"I still like you anyway."
"I never would have known."
"Really, but you don’t seem-"
These are things that ring in my ears
comforts you offer unthinkingly
as if who I am
what I’m telling you like I tell anyone
is something to be ashamed of-
"I still like you anyway,"
and unspoken,
I like you even though you’re broken,
bipolar
a freak just like the play yard bullies said.
because I’m supposed to hide and deny the light-dark inside me
that rules me day and night
which will it be, hope or despair?
"I never would have known"
or cared to know,
not really.
All those tears and fits of running, begging to be alone
not normal.
No, you did and still
try to fix with words
what cannot be fixed by anything
but miracles of modern medicine
"Really? but you don’t seem-"
Seem like what, the thing that media says I am
violent, flick a switch to peace
and in a heartbeat, craving the blade
then sunshine?
you think you know so much, from the word you use
to describe erratic weather
that is not who I am.
I am bipolar
hypomanic
a constant struggle that lasts with winners for days
and then an upset.
I’m the flag stolen by the other team
a no kill battle between mania and sorrow
and I don’t know who I want to win
because in the light I crave shadow
get away from blinding bright
and in the night I need
a star,
just one,
light my way.
But no
denied that by biology
and by society deny the whole of it
pretend that it’s not pills that keep me
from imploding and exploding
in a shower of dark fire.
"I still like you anyway"
is what you said when I told you the whys of my life
"I never would have known,"
because you seem so normal
so sane,
not like the killers on late night television
or in bad novels
the change your mood with a remote control
characters
they aren’t reality.
I am.
see me as I am, the dark light inside me
both the condition and the soul.
"Really, but you seem..."
No.
I seem like me
the hyper happy drowning in despair girl I’ve always been
now you know there’s just a name to it
not just too much sugar
or a bad day
I am Bipolar
Hypomanic
keep your pity in your own heart
I don’t need it.
This is not something I am ashamed
to call a part of me
not something to hide
I don’t need you to keep me from
the stigma you see my diagnosis as.
Why should putting a name to my condition
change your heart about me
or my heart
about itself?

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