Living with Bipolar Disorder is like having no shut off valve for my emotions. For years, I didn’t even know that my human experience is labeled as disordered. I just thought I was a quiet person with a sea of emotions that I kept at bay. But then one day, just like that, the cap to my fire hydrant blew off, and the years of bottled emotion came spewing out.
The meds help put me back together like I was before–contained. But I’m still a fire hydrant. And sometimes the variables of life cause the pressure to build, and the cap blows off again. What I’ve learned is that I can’t control the force of my emotion. I guess that’s the disordered part. But I can control which direction I face my fire hydrant. That’s the art of repositioning that I’m learning.
Even the force of my positive emotions can be overwhelming for others. I could seriously hug my husband all day! I have to reposition my hydrant and redirect that flow of love at times. When I feel the force of anger, I have to turn my hydrant away. You get the picture.
You see, fire hydrants are useful in a state of emergency. When you experience abuse, there’s a good chance you’ll either become the fire or the hydrant. The good news is the fire of abuse can be put out, and hydrants can be positioned strategically.
Stay tuned for Part Two: Putting Your Skin Back On–Coping with PTSD