The thing I don’t like about being angry is that it isn’t the me that I want to be. It’s a nuclear fireball, a complete eradication of the rest of my personality. For a few seconds, everything that I love becomes less than a memory. The witnesses to my explosion see a six foot six inch tall brute with a beard screaming at the top of his lungs and waving his arms about. Wouldn’t you be scared? Wouldn’t you keep that memory in your head purely for reasons of defense?
These scenes came more frequently when I was soaring in and out of manias and mixed states. It isn’t hard to see that my anger could be tied to my suicidal inclinations. Because I could not and would not destroy the objects of my ire, I turned that impulse towards myself. One time too many it brought me to a place where I was studying the veins on my wrist. Beyond the eradication of myself that was caused by my disease, lay the prospect of self-annihilation as punishment or revenge.
Maybe now you can understand my reaction that came while I was planting vinegar weed at the Native Seed Farm. I had done something stupid — I had mentioned my involvement in the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in a passing comment. Most people let it drop, but this one woman wanted to know more. What were the people like? Was I ever scared? And then the most stigmatizing thing someone can say about someone who takes his meds faithfully: don’t the meds erase your personality?