Wednesday, December 03, 2008

For the record

I love me some Britney Spears. I always have. And I remember, when she first started acting weird (shaving her head and stuff), I turned to my mom and announced, with absolute certainty, "She's bipolar." This was after I had finally sucked it up and started treatmnet but before she was officially diagnosed, mind you--and sure enough, a few months after that, the news of her diagnosis hit the press.

Now, she has a documentary out called "For the Record" that's been playing on MTV. I have to tell you, I know that a lot of people might think it's cheesy, but watching it makes me cry. I can absolutely relate to her. You see the Britney when she's genuinely happy; the Britney when she just puts on a "happy face" so that people won't see how badly she's struggling and drowning and feeling alone but God forbid you let people actually SEE it; and the Britney when she finally gives up pretending because she's SO far down and she can't keep up the facade anymore and it feels like looking up from the bottom of a pit and the light is so distant that it seems like you'll never see it again.

And even though some people may watch this and roll their eyes and write her off as another spoiled, rich celebrity, I have to tell you that it was actually hard for me to watch this documentary. Because even though the word "bipolar" never comes up, she does talk about "going from one extreme to the next," and that "the cool part is SO cool, and even though the heaven part is like HEAVEN, I've been to both places." To which I say: Amen, my crazy sista! And while I do think that yes, as it becomes more socially acceptable, the "bipolar" label is going to become overused, much as the "ADD" label has been slapped on every kid in schools today who doesn't want to sit still and listen. As I often say--and I saw this on a tshirt once--"I was bipolar before it was cool." Because even though those closest to me accepted the diagnosis--hell, WELCOMED it--and loved me anyway, there was (is) still a definite stigma out there about BP.

And that's the thing: pretty soon, you'll be able to announce that you're bipolar and people will look at you like, "Yeah, who isn't?" without even batting an eyelash. But it isn't going to take people like me coming out of the BP closet to change the status quo. It's going to take those in the public eye to step up and admit to the diagnosis for it to become more mainstream and accepted.

So....yeah. It bothers me that even now, in this documentary, she doesn't come out and use the dreaded "b" word. But there's a select group of us out there who truly understand what she's talking about when she says that these days, she no longer feels like her life is out of control. In fact, she says, "it's too IN control. There's no passion anymore, there's no excitement." Roll your eyes all you want to, but if that doesn't express how it feels to go from a hypermanic state to being on the very medication that is supposed to "fix" you and, instead, takes so much of the joy and creativity and happiness OUT of your life, then I don't know what does.

I can go through this entire documentary and point out each and every line that is a veiled reference to bipolar disorder. Am I reading too much into it? Am I looking for shit that isn't really there? Is she, when it comes down to it, just another spoiled, messed-up celeb? Sure, there are people out there--maybe even some of you--who think so.

But then again, being bipolar is something that you can't possibly understand from the outside looking in.

8 comments:

sparkydiva said...

*for the record - i called her as bipolar when she married that dude in vegas.

*please don't shave your head.

*i think she's overmedicated.

Jen said...

ROTLMAO. "Please don't shave your head."

LOLOLOL.

And yes, I tend to agree that she's definitely OVERmedicated. But then again--if it comes down to shaving her head and being strapped down in an ambulance and marrying guys in Vegas--

--none of which I'VE done, thank you very much--

--then perhaps her walking around in a fog and a daze is preferable.

anna said...

As a person not yet diagnosed with bipolar, I have to say that I can relate to and understand what she's saying sometimes, too. I feel you that when life is in control, it's not as fun. Out of control busy is so much more interesting. (Not to belittle what you actually go thru, Jen, just wanted to let you know that I feel some of it too.)

How do we achieve the perfect balance? I guess that's what we're all working on in life.

And hey, if Brit IS BP, you're doing WAY better than she is!

Renee said...

LMAO Brandi :-)

Yeah, I think she's bipolar, too. There's WAY more to it than being a "spoiled celebrity". I've never been a Britney fan, but I SO wish people would leave her alone. She's obviously struggling, and I can't imagine how hard it would be to go through that in the public eye. The mothering instinct comes out in me every time I see her or hear about her and I just want to go rescue her-- cuz I can DO that, ya know ;-)

And yes, she probably IS overmedicated, and that makes me sad. But I have to think that it's difficult to find a happy medium for her, BECAUSE she's in the public eye and nobody will LEAVE THE POOR GIRL ALONE! I just think it'd be harder to regulate when you're trying to live your life under a microscope. And this is one of the huge reasons I hate, hate, HATE celeb magazines, TMZ, etc. THEY'RE JUST PEOPLE. LEAVE THEM ALONE! I would totally go postal if I had paparazzi following me around and camped outside my house.

Nik said...

I don't give a shit about her (or any other celebrity) one way or the other to be honest.

I will say that I liked hearing your insight/ take on her show though.

keesh said...

Nik - you know you would care of def leopard broke up or some shit like that :)...

I felt bad for her too when i watched her documentary. I mean she has no privacy or life and that has to be hard with kids. Then to have bipolar. I can't relate on that leval but I do feel bad for her :(. and jen - you are doing great!! LCB is pretty damn lucky you are doing great too...

sparkydiva said...

ooh! LCB! shave his...head.

:)

Renee said...

Hahahahahahaha :-)