The girl with the curl

My mother taught this poem to me:

There was a little girl who had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very very good
but when she was bad she was horrid.

I think this is a great metaphor for how I feel with bipolar disorder, as a matter of fact when I look back on my life it’s also an explanation for why I did some of the things I did.

I was very dramatic as a little girl, although I don’t have many memories from that time period. My father used to call me Sarah Bernhardt, who was well known for her dramatic and tragic roles.

As I got older, I can remember that life was either wonderful or horrible. My old diaries from Junior High school had pages of “I’ve never felt love like this before;” but I also have memories of being unable to get up from the couch feeling incredibly sad, and I felt sick almost every morning. I had always been an excellent student; but the terrible mood swings made me want to be isolated, although I had an incredibly wonderful friend with whom I’m still close. Then as a young adult, the inappropriate behavior, cutting and suicidal ideations kicked in, which lasted most of my adult life.

Now in my 50s, I still struggle. My mania is mostly under control (it does still rear it’s ugly head occasionally); but as I might have mentioned before, my depression seems to be unresponsive to meds. I’ve recently had a medication change, so I’m trying to stay hopeful that this time it will work.

As you can see, my hair was very straight as a little girl, but now that I’m older it has become very curly. So I’ve updated the poem just a little.

There was a big girl that had a big curl
that flopped in the middle of her forehead.
When she was manic she felt very very good
when she was depressed she felt horrid.

2 thoughts on “The girl with the curl

  1. My parents used this poem in reference to me as early as I can remember. It helped that I actually had a curl there. I too found it to be accurate growing up and certainly once diagnosed bipolar at age 32. Thanks for sharing.


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