Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Life as a Pole Dancer

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a stripper when I grew up. I thought dancing around on a stage with men enthusiastically waving dollar bills in the air would have been a fantasy job. Easy money, right?

My sister and I would jump around on our beds while wearing only a tank top and panties while twirling our blouses above our heads like a lasso, mimicking a scene that we saw on a television show. We didn't think that it was scandalous. We just thought that it looked like fun. 

As we did this, we would never get fully undressed because we did not know that it was a part of the job description. After a bit of swinging our shirts around in circles, we would take turns letting go and flinging it towards the other end of our bedroom. We would chase after the article of clothing, retrieve it, and start the dance all over again. I was all just innocent fun. 

Now you may ask, what does this have to do with bipolar disorder. Well, it doesn't really have much to do with the illness. In this blog post I will discuss the two different poles of bipolar disorder

There is more than one kind of depression. There is unipolar depression where a person stays in a depressed state. Mania is the opposite of depression. It can contain feelings of extreme joy and exhilaration. With bipolar disorder, an individual has extreme mood swings between the two poles of depression and mania. 

Throughout most of my life I struggled with bipolar disorder. I did not know that I had the illness. I would suffer from bouts of depression but I would always think to myself, "I cannot be truly depressed, there are times when I am happy!" 

For many years, I would swing from one pole to another. I thought my mood swings were just a normal part of life; everyone had them. A bipolar life was all I knew. 

I thought bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, was a scary disease made up of crazy, psycho people. When I inform other people that I am bipolar, I can see a scared look in their eyes. If only they knew it was a disorder of moods instead of a disorder made up of monsters.

I have learned a significant amount of information about life over the years as I matured into adulthood. For instance, I have come to realize that being an exotic dancer was not just about swinging your shirt over your head like a helicopter. It is not a glamorous lifestyle as I thought. I no longer have the aspirations to become a private dancer. With my middle-aged body that has bore seven children, I highly doubt that I would have the physique that men would long for, let alone pay to see. It doesn't matter...I do not have the strength and agility I once had to become a pole dancer anyway. 

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/nutnutz/9362024362/">nutnutz</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

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