I sat at Thanksgiving dinner and listened to my brother relive his high school glory days. He shared a story about a pickle eating contest against himself. He was being filmed and challenged to eat 100 pickles. My mom chimed in and asked, ‘were you the one filming or eating’?
‘Sucker’, she mumbled... I snapped my head at my moms commentary. How could he be the sucker in that scenario. He’s the one that lived the adventure. He’s the winner. He’s the one going out and creating a story that defines a worthwhile journey.
I became friendly with this guy that let me know he had a daughter who was bipolar. Apparently, she was a little much or something like that. I explained to him that people who are bipolar tend to live on the edge. We have a tendency to say things that you might not like and we aren’t easy to raise. We can make it a challenge. What does this mean? To me it means that we are living out a greater story. We are surely choosing the path less traveled. It might wind us to the hospital or homeless, but we gain an insight into the world that is unique.
Take the best baseball general manager of all time, for example. Even he doesn’t play the game. He lives his life with baseball stories that other guys are making on the field. Now I know, I’m a fan too but you don’t see me hiding. I don’t wear makeup when I go cheer on the Cubs. I’m the guy that stole my bosses truck at one of my old jobs and drove out the casino with all the money I had; threw it all on red and doubled-up. I caught myself driving during a snowstorm during one of the Super Bowls. I didn’t watch a second of the game. Instead, I drove out to a nearby country club and did figure 8’s in the parking lot. I showed up to work at that same parking lot the next day at 4 AM and again at 6 AM only to be turned down from a job they told me I could have. No matter… I lived it… and that’s just what people with bipolar do.
We respond to what is going on around us and we act. We make our point and our perspective known. We don’t worry about winning championships in every city that doesn’t have one unless we’re actually on the team. We can scare the people around us, the people that love us, because we are unexplainable and unpredictable. We take the path less traveled because we see no other way. We have to respond. This response can be drastic. That is the burden on our shoulders. That is what being bipolar does to many of us. We kick society's fences down and live by our own rules. We aren’t squids!!