We all get called names when we’re young, and we all get labelled. Some are more hurtful than others. Eventually, I realized that many of my past labels were symptoms. Hyper, attention-whore, moody, sensitive, weird. Some labels we embrace as part of our identity: creative, emotional, energetic, low-key. And then somebody comes along and tells you that these parts of you might not be quite right, and even the parts you like might need to be “treated.” Your entire experience as being a human is invalidated, laid out on an exam table and picked apart.
It’s difficult to separate the Me from the Mania. Whenever I came out of a great depression, I felt high as a kite, and I’d say, “Wow! So this is what it feels like to be normal! To not be crushed by a daily weight that won’t lift!”
Then they told me that I’d been lifted a little bit too much, that my happiness and productivity and creativity were simply symptoms that must be managed, that I needed to slow down and have fewer ideas, fewer projects, and less intense adventures.
I’m questioning my identity, and whether or not I want to sacrifice some of the greatest parts of Me in exchange for stability, normality.
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