I spent more of yesterday than I should have trying to decide about what to write for “I”.
I was trying really hard not to be super-depressive with this post (especially since “F”, “G”, and “H” were all gloomy), but was was rather difficult. the first few “I” words that came to mind were “incarceration”, “indecisiveness”, “ignorance”, “issues”, “injuries”, “illusions”, “inmate”, “illegal”, “insane”, and “immoral”. I wasn’t not a fan of any of them, of course.
so then I was pondered about the good “I” words — “imagination”, “independence”, “interdependence”, “ingenuity”, “intelligence”, “Impala”, “Illuminati”. but yesterday, I din’t have the energy to give any of those illustrious topics (see what I did there?) the deserved justice in writing about them. hell, I was even all geared up to do a post about my being an INTP — but I wasn’t even sure how true that was anymore.
then it hit me, and so here we go:
I’m not going into the philosophical concept of self, because that’s not with what I’m concerned. I’m concerned about Identity of personality.
I used to have really bad insomnia (among other sleeping disorders). I take medication now. which means I sometimes can actually go to sleep within an hour of laying in bed; it also means that sometimes I can stay asleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. but I also have a slight sleep phobia. no really, I have a semi-irrational fear of sleeping.
well, I’m scared about waking, more accurately. too often do I go to bed one person, and wake up someone else.
my bipolar, primarily when not medicated, is rapid-cycling. which means in a set of days to even a mere few hours, my mood can drastically swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, with no obvious motivator.
in a study about the paradigms and perspective bipolar blokes had of themselves and the world, a conflict of self-identity was common:
The participants’ descriptions of themselves reflected self-definitions shaped by their mood and other aspects of their illness, leading to experiences of confusion. Mood was a defining characteristic of self with one participant describing himself in terms of different mood states. […] There was recognition that mood shifts lead to cognitive and behavioral changes which one participant experienced as: “Like I actually mentally change and think differently and act differently.” These different experiences of themselves resulted in a sense of confusion for the participants over who they really were. One participant described a struggle between mood and personality: “Like I actually don’t know who I am. There’s a few kind of core things, but it’s almost like my personality was grappling with my mood.” Additionally, confusion arose for the participants in trying to differentiate themselves from their illness: “So, I’m not sure if that was the mania or if that was just me.” 
I’m scared to go to sleep some nights, because I don’t know who I’ll be in the morning. will I be James the Greatest, the loud boisterous manic lass who gets a lot of shit done? or will I be a timid, depressive form of myself, hiding in the shadows and along the crevices of the walls hoping no one notices me so I can just disappear? will I be bored because I’ve made no grand plans for the day ahead? or will I be overwhelmed because I have a job and friends?
and how am I going to fuck it up? will I be so manic that I get multiple speeding tickets and make promises I can’t keep? or will I fail at my required tasks and get myself in line for another day of fussing at work in a week or two?
if I don’t go to sleep, it’s easier to know who I am. I can kinda tell as I change in a given moment. well, kinda.
maybe I’ll never really know who I’ll ever be.
1] Inder, ML, et al. “‘I Actually Don’t Know Who I Am’: The Impact Of Bipolar Disorder On The Development Of Self”. Psychiatry: Interpersonal & Biological Processes 71.2 (Jun. 1, 2008): 123-133. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. Apr. 22, 2015.