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“I’m Black And Bipolar” By: Dee Rene


Mental health is a very serious and real condition many people suffer with in silence. Often times it is shunned upon, swept under a rug and not discussed. Unfortunately, this is especially true in the black community. Here’s a personal story from our own Cotten Kandi contributor, Dee Rene;  the revelation she was bipolar and how she decided to cope.

This isn’t going to go away is it?

Last night, I fell asleep on top of a pile of clean laundry not because I’m lazy (the usual reason) but because I’d lost control again.

I felt defeated at myself and I breathed a sigh of reality – this shit is just not going to go away.

I am bipolar. And I am ashamed.

What a hypocrite I’ve become. I flood my timeline with advocacy for mental health awareness. It’s my hidden passion yet I rarely ever admit why except to say it’s an issue we need to recognize.

It’s an issue that almost took my life.

Being bipolar is a joke isn’t it? When people are moody we joke and say they are bipolar.

I believe I’ve even been called that on my twitter timeline for some of my rants and I remember recoiling and thinking “if you only knew.” Although my rants are never episodes. I’m just loud for no reason, even in print.

I prefer to be manic. Do you know how productive you can be in uncontrollable energy? It’s incredible until it’s not. It’s not as much when you can’t sleep for days on end or you lash out at people who simply say hello. It’s not as much fun when you can’t drive because you can’t control the outburst and are afraid you’ll swerve and crash.

I hate the down times. Depression is physically painful but at least I can sleep. And Jesus be some dialogue to explain that depression is more than just “sad.” I know sad. Depression is trying to breathe underwater. It’s missing work because you can’t pull it together, tears for no reason, lost interest in everything that gives you life.

My bipolar cycling is rapid and exhausting. Most will spend months in one state or the other and so my case is rare. It’s waking up every day peaking from behind my eyes wondering what today will be like.

The roller coaster is why I’m so creative. But I’d take being dull as a box or rocks for the pleasure of being normal. It came knocking in full force in college although I’m sure I’ve been this way since childhood. Labeled as a gifted, but moody child, my mother whooped me for my unending mood swings. Trying to control It is where the writing was born so I’ll never hold that against her.

I lost it this year, the full ability to control it. Imagine the cracks in the floor finally opening up just enough for me to fall completely through. Therapy came and with it came the diagnosis.

Bipolar? Stop the madness I’m black. I only believe in the devil and God, not these made up diseases of the mind. . I left offended mumbling chemical imbalance my ass and drove off. I somehow ended up at the pharmacy due to the 2 hour nagging of my mother. She was afraid to lose her child and who am I to put her through that pain.

Taking my pills for the first time, a cocktail of sorts, gave me a headache. Instantly I hated them until…until the moment came where for the first time in my life I was calm.

I’m sure you normal people take that for granted, and I envy you for it, but my mind wasn’t racing and I wasn’t crying for no reason. I just sat in my house quiet.

Is this what normal feels like?

After about two weeks I decided I was cured. WebMd told me my symptoms had subsided and much to the dismay of my therapist, I declared I was done. She warned me that I’d be back, but what does she know.

Continue reading at Dee’s own blog Laugh.Cry. Cuss.


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  • ladibugg

    I know you just saved someone from this… Thank you.