I’ve been beset by an attack of the rages these last few days, the anger so deeply embedded into my chest I can taste the bitterness at the back of my throat. This is one aspect of being bipolar I apparently never opaquely discussed. Mania? Sure. Being depressed? Absolutely. But the anger bit? Apparently never.
Maybe because it’s the least understood part of the disease I always seem to forget until it pops its little head up now and again to remind me it’s still there. I remember lamenting a few years ago when I was dipping low I had loss all emotion, a blank slate anyone could write on. I had forgotten what it felt like to experience deep rooted sensations. I missed being angry because if there is one thing anger does quite well is that it reminds you are alive and you are more than happy to pay the price it demands because the fernalness of what it gives is intoxicating. (This is true.)
Anger fueled so much of who I was and still am despite the past when I was not sure what it was or how it worked. There seemed to be one thing I did know and that is in anger’s wake, it left gorgeous destructions. I gave no fucks then who I hurt or what I did. My tongue was double ridged for battle and I slew down any opponent who attempted to penetrate my stronghold.
Now, now I’m older. Better prepared. I’m not a novice fumbling with their first bow, but a stealth fighter who no longer targets the ones she loves with diamond edged words. With nothing more than a polite, “I do not wish to engage,” I remove myself from situations that under normal circumstances are wholly benign but in my world tend to be the foundations for attack. There is no point in hurting people unnecessarily when I am being pumped by rage. None.
Then, it was all their fault. Always. The world was out to destroy me. Present, I know that is not the case, but to preserve myself (oh god, the guilt of the after that would engulf me when the rage attack was over was far worse than whatever slight I felt was being made towards me by ten fold), my relationships, I retreated in the ever safe space of my head until the rage attack was over and the metallic taste of its bitterness has finally left my throat.
But even now, in my enlightened state, I stop engaging absolutely to protect myself (and others) from the dragon that sleeps in my belly, and I’m polite about it sure, but people don’t always listen. Some keep on throwing things in my cage, poking me with their swords, waiting for that dragon to roar. Perhaps it is here that I get most maudlin of all, when clear boundaries are set and then trampled over in needs of getting their last word in, their needs met.
I do not loathe these people, but simply feel sad for them. Sad they must fight invisible battles to prove a point that has no meaning. Sad they have no respect for humanity. Sad they do not recognize their own attacks as being just as hurtful as their defense. I recognize all of this within them, for that was me not too long ago.
The gorgeous destruction is breathtaking, but in the end, the price is too high to bear.
P.S. I keep saying this but it always bears repeating: the constant awareness of being on is exhausting. Emotionally AND physically. Holding myself to be present as normal, to constantly check/recheck/recheck before any action is worked or words leave my mouth, is exhausting.
One thought on “valkyrie in reverse”
God this post is beautiful, Lisa. I really understand rage. This was gorgeously written.
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