Bipolar and Borderline sufferers tend to weave a cocoon, much like a caterpillar around ourselves for protection from a world we are mostly afraid of.
This analogy I’m using to demonstrate the life cycle of Bipolar and Borderline sufferers is so apt…
The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life. As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis. From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.
In borderline and bipolar sufferers, the pupa stage, is perhaps our ‘coolest’ stage, because it’s in this stage, that we are able to marinate in ourselves, unexposed to the world, wrapped up safely in our beds, our own worlds, contemplating who we are, all the while, doing what needs to be done on a practical level within this world. Like do the shopping, paying the bills, taking care of the kids and so on, yet still, we remain in our ‘pupa’ stage. We are wrapped up in our own little world of ‘safe’, where no one can rock our boats, and if someone does manage to, we are able to sink further into our ‘pupa’ and nobody knows.
Yes, we appear to be ‘resting’ to the outside world, whilst inside, we are juggling a thousand thoughts, emotions and unexplainable dreams. Inside our pupa, whilst shielding ourselves, we start the healing process, see doctors, start the meds, adjust our behaviours, and, as this analogy clearly states, we are changing. But we are changing/healing, so that we can emerge as the beautiful butterflies that we truly are!
So we start out as caterpillars that are completely alone, having to eat as much of the same leaf we are born onto as we can. We are stuck. We can’t move about. We can’t do anything. We just sit and eat.
Then, as humans, we have to weave a pupa/cocoon, just like a caterpillar, whilst we work ourselves and our odd behaviours out. We need space, not ridicule or anger to get to a place of understanding of who we really are. To get to who we really are. Not the worm/caterpillar we started out as.
And then! when we are ready, we climb out of our cocoon, only to find that we are strikingly beautiful butterflies and not worms at all!
The amazing part, is that while we were worms, we had no idea that we were not worms. Inside what presented itself as a worm, lay a beautiful butterfly, just waiting to be released when we were ready to be the butterfly that we always were.
So now we realise that we can fly. We are free. We are beautiful, there is no end to what we can achieve, because after years of being stuck in our cocoon, we’ve endured the pain, the confusion, the loneliness, the judgement and the overall horror of being a worm. So we’ve earned our wings!
Fly my fellow butterflies and may the wind always carry you!