Bipolar disorder: a weakness or a superpower?

In my last post, I briefly talked about my personal diagnosis with Schizoaffective disorder – a perplexing disease that combines the attributes of Schizophrenia with those of Bipolar disorder. But this week, I want to talk about Kanye West’s statement in a Forbes cover story in 2019: that for him, being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, a disease that affects over 2 million Americans, was in fact a “super-power”. When this statement came out, I was incredibly shocked because I’d been asking myself certain questions that sounded exactly like what Kanye was projecting in his music; almost like we were on the same frequency, a collective conscious.

For those of you who don’t know what happened, the brilliant Kanye West came out with an album on June 1, 2018 – an album that caused an uproar in the mental health community. The cover of the album “Ye” were these mystic blue mountains with neon green words that read, “I hate being Bi-Polar: it’s awesome. The popular misconception, in my opinion, is that bipolar patients often have episodes that make them seemingly contradict themselves from one moment to the next. However, if you really look at the definition of bipolar disorder, the symptoms really involve periods of anxiety and high bursts of energy and recklessness, followed by periods of extreme low depression, on and on and on…

Nevertheless, the statement that Kanye West made, that people with Bipolar Disorder I and II, Schizophrenia, and everyone else on the spectrum had a “super-power” and not a disability, really encapsulated me because it made me finally see my own diagnosis as a blessing rather than a curse. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s taken a lot to get where I am today, and Kanye’s album in no means just erased the stigma I had around my diagnosis; or the stigma that the world has against mental health. However, I’m not going to lie, it felt good hearing one of my favorite artists explain an unexplainable disease in almost the exact words I would’ve used if I were being interviewed. It was wild. In fact, it made my delusions worse sometimes… connecting all these imaginary dots, but thats a different story for a different day.

Personally, when I’m having an episode, I feel dynamic. I am boisterous and outrageous, yet confident and malignant. I’m deadly. But my mind works at such a fast pace that I feel like a walking computer. A feeling that comes with so much power. Now imagine being RICH and feeling that power that comes with “insanity”? To be honest, sometimes it felt like Kanye and I were living in paralleled dimensions, and I could almost see/predict/feel what he was going through in the spiritual realm. I know it sounds looney, but thats the reality of having an episode. Sometimes it felt like our lives were switched in some odd and perverse way. Like the world was playing a sick game on me. Weird, right?

I know to some this might sound “crazy” or “looney”, but it’s the truth. Having a mental episode comes with a certain power that nobody but the patient can explain. Not a lot of studies investigate why having an episode feels like you’re literally half in space and half on earth. It’s an insane experience that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies because only the real ones can bounce back after having mental breakdowns in front of people… especially publicly. But I’m still curious about whether having Bipolar disorder, or any mental illness at that, is a weakness or a superpower.

For the record, a weakness is defined as the condition of lacking strength; and a superpower is something with strength. They are polar opposites. I personally know what it took for me to get to where I am today – the acceptance of my disease and the cooperation to take my medicine; but it also took a lot of prayer, tears and the end of many relationships also occurred along the way. It’s been a painful process, one that’s required more strength than most people could ever imagine. And though I’m thankful for everyone who’s been a part of my story in one way or another, I am also immensely proud of myself for how far I’ve come. And I pray that blessings continue to come my way! Anyway, it’s been so good chatting with you all.

Until next time.

With love,

$tace $tacks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: