This is embarrassing to admit, but the word most people have used to describe me—in my presence, at least—is “poised.” After a speech or a court appearance or a public reading, I always hear it: “You seem so poised.” And it’s said with just a touch of surprise, as if no one expects a bipolar person to come off as calm and unruffled. But what people don’t know is how huge that little word “seem” really is. The truth is, I have difficulty initiating movement, and that usually comes off as self-possession.
I brought this up with an old friend of mine recently. We were discussing an episode of Downton Abbey, and I told him that Lady Mary Crawley is my all-time favorite character. “I think of her as my role model,” I said.
“That makes sense,” he said. “She reminds me of you a lot.”