Understanding Bipolar Disorder

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.

Let’s Get Uncomfortable

I’d like to take a few moments to talk about something that’s really serious.  It’s a topic that pretty much everyone avoids.  I don’t mean to make anyone uncomfortable with this, or make anyone worry, or worry about me.  I’m just dealing with a lot right now and really need to get some stuff out, and since I can’t really talk about this with anyone, what better way than to just talk to my laptop about it haha.. So the topic I would like to talk about is suicide.

If you have been following me for a while you know that I have depression and have recently been diagnosed with bipolar depression. Back in June I was offline for about 4 days.  I got a lot of messages asking where I was and if I was ok, etc.  To some I just told them I was busy.  To a few I actually told them the truth.  I had been in the hospital.  I spent two days in the psych ward being evaluated for suicidal thoughts/actions.  Which has lead to me actually being able to get the help that I need.  So all in all, it actually worked out for the best, even though it was probably the worst two days of my entire life.  I’ve been meeting with a social worker and had to go through all kinds of screening bullshit to see if I would be accepted into this mental health facility program.  Thankfully, I was accepted.  To be honest there were days when I was pretty scared and certain that I would not be accepted and I was terrified about what would happen to me after that. But, thank goodness I was and my first psych appt is next week.

The reason I am even wanting to talk about any of this is because if you are someone that deals with this, you know all too well that no one around you understands.  You may not feel the urge to end your life every single day, but it is always in the back of your mind. 24/7.  So when you have bad days or weeks, those feelings are escalated.  The thing that bothers me the most is when someone hurts you and then you express that they have hurt you, and they respond with, “You’re crazy, its just your depression making you this way, I haven’t done anything wrong”…… Ok, the first wrong thing they did was being a complete asshole by even saying that and trying to justify their actions by blaming your illness.  That breaks my heart every single time and just makes it even harder to want to make yourself relevant in someones life. There’s no point right?  Work has been a huge stress for me right now because I had been promised that I would be able to work half days on Wednesday’s so that I could have a mental break in the middle of the week and also be able to schedule all of my dr/psych appts on those days.  It was a struggle to get those days off and felt like my needs were not important.  I have become so accustomed to this in my life that it is sickening. Mental illness is such a huge problem in this world but no one gives two shits about it.  We don’t matter.  We are defective and don’t deserve compassion and understanding.  This is how I feel and am treated almost every single day of my life. So you have to ask yourself, constantly, “Why am I even alive anymore?” .. Why do you even bother with anything when all you are is a waste of space and a burden to everyone.  Of course there are the people that say they care about you and “you’re so special and everyone loves you”… That shit drives me nuts. It really does. I know certain people care about me, as I care for certain people. But those people also don’t have to live inside this mind and body and deal with how others treat me. It angers me when someone says that suicide is selfish. No, its really not. It’s selfish of the ones around us who want us to stay around knowing that we are suffering and TO US that is the only way out. I know that’s a harsh thing to say, but its true.

Laying all of this out there isn’t an easy thing to do. I spend 98% of my time online only spreading positive vibes on all my platforms, because no one needs to be subjected to my struggles. But this one I just really needed to get out because I  know there is someone out there who feels exactly the same way and they need to know that they aren’t alone. It’s hard living a life that no one around you understands.  It’s like being in another country and not being able to communicate with anyone.  Hell, half the time I don’t even understand myself, so I can only imagine how hard it is for others.  But that doesn’t mean that we are not important and should just be shoved aside.  I could sit here for hours telling you all of my triggers or bad things that have happened to me as a result of my illness, but the point is, I just really wish this world would change. I wish people would change. I swear, one of these days I am going to fix this system and the stigmas around mental illness. We all deserve that much.

no title, just words

Depression has got me channeling my emo side. ha..

Did you go through an emo stage? I don’t think I ever outgrew mine actually. Im still quite weird and dark when no one is looking. Ill wear a certain necklace, shirt, etc; underneath so no one knows its there but me. It makes me feel like a super hero in their everyday disguise. But really Clark Kent, you’re not fooling anyone with those fake glasses. Do they even have lenses?… mine do. Ya jerk.

Honestly, my whole blog and instagram makes me feel like a super hero in disguise. People at work don’t know what I do outside of here.  Or if one or two know, they don’t know how to find me.  I like it that way.  Its like my little secret. I like it that way. Is it weird that i’m somewhat embarrassed by something that bring me so much joy? My parents know I blog and cook and am working on a book and such. But I’ve never told them the name of it. This is like my sanctuary. I don’t want the real world to find me.

Oh, FullSizeRender (24)depression. You’re such a funny little monster. One bad day turns into a never ending repetition that lasts for weeks.. even months.  Sometimes longer. I have taken anxiety meds since I was 14.  Only to be followed by anti-depressants a few years later. Don’t get me wrong. They have saved my life. Many times over. With as much money as I have spent on treatments over the years, I probably could have paid for a brain transplant by now. That would be great actually… Or maybe just half a brain transplant. I’d like to keep the part that makes me good at cooking. That part can stay.

I hope my kickstarter funds. I want to spend my days making new recipes. I want to live in my happy place. One step at at time though, right? Im working on a cookbook. Did you know that? I haven’t told a lot of people. I think I was scared that I would give up half way through. But its actually coming along quite nicely. I will finally get to birth a child. A child made of ink and paper. It’s going to be glorious.

I apologize, Clark Kent. You’re actually a pretty swell guy.