I have been sitting at my laptop for the last three hours researching and watching YouTube videos about Bipolar Disorder, desperately trying to find a good explanation about the disorder to share with my fiance so that he may understand what I go through every day. Life has been so rocky for me lately just trying to navigate my way around this. Since I was a teenager I knew I was bipolar, without knowing its name. I just knew how I felt and that something was very wrong with me. My parents didn’t understand it either, nor my doctor at the time. I can’t even tell you how many different doctors my mother took me to each week. Trying to get an answer about why I was the way I was and what was causing me to be bulimic. Once we started making progress and was recommended I seek counseling, it was all pushed under the rug. Leaving me to live in this confusing state of mind and having no grasp of myself. Fast forward to my life today, I had my first psychiatrist appointment yesterday with my new doctor. I like her. She seems very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. Which hasn’t been my experience in the past with other doctors. She prescribed me 3 new medications to start taking along with the one I have been on for the last 3 years. Today is day 1. I will be recording my day to day emotions and thought patterns in my notebook, and hope to share my results after two weeks when I go back to my dr. to talk about my experience.
But going back to why i’m writing this blog post. I want others to be able to google Bipolar and find actual examples of what it is like to live with this disorder instead of just finding the medical facts.
Each morning when I wake up I know exactly how my day is going to go. I’m either going to wake up and feel happy, like nothing is wrong, and I know its going to be a good day no matter what. Other days I wake up and hit the snooze button five times, slug my way out of bed to sit on the couch in the dark silence either trying to convince myself of why I need to go to work, or convince myself of why I don’t need to go. Why I should just kill myself because everyone at work hates me anyway. I have to give myself a pep talk just to shower and get dressed and walk out the door. As I drive to work I envision myself driving my car into a tree, or under a semi. How easy it would be and then it would all be over. Just like that. Then I think about how it would break my mothers heart, and then I envision her crying at my funeral. I get sad, feel guilty. But then remind myself that she wouldn’t even care because she never loved me anyway. Do you see why this is an issue? Do you see that this is not normal? This is the biggest struggle that I face with my disorder.
Then the other side is feeling like I’m the most important person in the world. That I deserve everything I want and need it right then and now. Which leads to my over spending. Constantly. I am always broke because I buy anything and everything I feel that I need in that moment. I cant even explain to you how amazing it feels when I get a package in the mail. Its the most exciting feeling; its like a drug. When I go days without receiving something, I get depressed.
Each night when I lay down to sleep, I replay in my mind every bad decision I have ever made. Relationships I have screwed up because of my disorder, people I’ve pissed off, jobs I’ve walked out on, fights, money I shouldn’t have spent, etc. I live with enormous amounts of regrets. Even over the stupidest things like making the wrong decision about what to get for dinner, or why did I buy that plate instead of that other one. Which leaves me buying double of something sometimes because I can’t decide and feel guilt about getting one over the other. I feel the heartache of every relationship that has ever ended. My mind replays these break ups on a loop every single day.
Sometimes I sit in a quiet room for hours just staring at the wall with nothing on my mind. Completely blank and numb. Sometimes I sleep for extended periods of time and still wake up exhausted. Sometimes I don’t sleep at all, for days at a time. Sometimes I eat a lot, and other times I don’t eat at all. I know that my house is messy and that I need to clean it, but I can’t. Because i’m a piece of shit and deserve to live in filth. But then ill get a surge of energy and clean the house from top to bottom.
Hopelessness in amounts of no matter what anyone tells me, that they care about me, love me, that i’m special, popular, smart, talented; I feel like a complete failure and no one should be subjected to having to spend any time with me or around me. That I have screwed up so much in my life that I don’t deserve to live anymore because i’m just going to screw up my future and there is no point in living long enough to reach it. Even seeing things that I have accomplished is still never good enough. Tangible proof of success, and still viewing it as a failure. Needing constant reassurance that you are loved and cared for, even if you can’t believe it.
I get angry at everything. Sitting on the couch next to my fiance and his arm brushing mine can send me into a frenzy of anger. For no reason what so ever. Uncontrollable anger that just angers me more because I end up saying things I don’t mean, or have no control over what comes out of my mouth. Saying something in my head that I know will have a horrible consequence and tell myself I shouldn’t say it, but then say it anyway. Anger that is so intense that I literally feel my blood boiling. It’s completely irrational.
Things that I cannot stand to hear when i’m having an episode
- “You haven’t taken your meds today have you?”
- “Just lighten up”
- “Get over it, life is hard for everyone, not just you”
- “You seem fine to me”
- “There’s nothing wrong with you, its all in your head”
- “You’re faking it for attention”
- “It’s not that big of a deal”
These are very destructive things that people have said to me, and i’m sure whoever is reading this, if you deal with this disorder, I know these things have been said to you as well. For the ones who don’t have this disorder and do not understand it, imagine yourself in a crowded room. People keep bumping into you and knocking you down. You yell at them to stop, but no one hears you. Then everyone starts speaking another language and you hear it in a thousand different places and volumes inside the room. Nothing you do shuts it all off and makes it go away. You start to sweat, get dizzy, feel sick to your stomach. But then in a blink of a eye, it’s gone.
I hope that this post has shed some light on this disorder and may help someone dealing with this be able to help someone in their life understand a little bit of what we go through. This isn’t even a fraction of the mood spectrum involved with this disorder. These are just the main ones that effect me the most. If you are dealing with Bipolar disorder and struggle with relationships around you, seek help. You don’t need to be afraid or embarrassed. There is hope out there for you, I promise. It’s not easy, and its not fun. Trial and error with medications is the worst part. Name a med, I’ve tried it. It’s all about getting the right combination. Please, just don’t give up. Help other understand you. It’s all we can do.