When I started this blog, I wanted to share my experiences and what little advice I had to offer. I felt so much comfort reading others blogs I’d find in the corners of the internet of those struggling with this disorder, I’d love to help just one person myself…
As I have gotten older, despite what I expected, I have become less and less familiar with my Bipolar. This disorder changes, our brain chemistry changes. You can have the whole thing like clockwork, be on top of your medication, or not, be fully in control and know how to predict and handle episodes. Overnight, bipolar can change.
This is the main reason I stopped writing, I was no longer in a position to offer advice, I wasn’t even in tune with myself any more. The ups and downs came, I was not able to pick up on warning signs and symptoms. I have not kept on top of my meds.
As I have grown older, my Bipolar presents differently. In ways I dont always recognise. However, a few themes ring through, Here I outline the hardest part of living with this disorder.
Needless to say, Bipolar disorder comes with bouts of severe depression. Even outside of these episodes, I am constantly haunted by urges and thoughts of suicide, harm or destruction. This can range from an in the moment urge to say drive off the bridge I’m on, or to making a full on plan, regardless of intent. (I have zero suicidal intent, I am too afraid of death.)
The depression can come on so quickly. Yes there are warning signs, but I often miss them. Going for long periods of time being absolutely fine, I forget to check in. I don’t notice the fatigue or the negative outlook setting in. I will start to underperform at work, disappear from social circles and sleep 12 hours a day before I get even an inkling that maybe something is up. With bipolar, we can literally wake up in depression. Being fine the previous day, this is hard to anticipate, let alone manage.
This is made so much worse when we crash from a high, imagine being so happy to all of a sudden wanting to die. It’s heartbreaking, it hurts a whole lot. It’s like a crash in the most intensive way possible.
Despite having this blog for a number of years now, psychosis is something I am terrified to discuss. I’m not crazy, but I am. We’ve all experienced those moments where we misinterpret something visually or audibly. Walking past a stack of laundry in the night seeing a shadowy figure, or however this has presented for you. This is how I have experienced my hallucations, but rather than a one off, these misinterpretations happen multiple times per the hour.
It’s terrifying not being able to trust your own senses, your perception, your own mind.
The Rollercoaster & Identity
I like to think that as time goes on, I am getting to know myself more and more. Things I like, things I don’t, my opinions and perspectives on life. I am not, however, the same person when I am depressed, manic, or normal. None of these stay the same, I draw on different memories, have a different outlook with different goals and different perceptions of my own ability. I don’t know who I am day to day.
By far, this is the hardest part of my disorder that I have had to live with. How to make decisions…
People say to trust you gut, but mine resets every night. I wake up in a different mood and therefore am a different entity, nothing correlates to who I was yesterday.
Every thought, every opinion I have is followed by “Is this because I am depressed or manic?” “Do I only think this because I haven’t taken my meds?” “Are my meds masking my true self?”
How am I supposed to decide what I want out of life, or what is best for me, when I am a different version of me all the time.
So I turn to others, I bore them to death and frustrate the hell of them by waking up back at square one AGAIN. But I can’t help it, sleeping literally rebooted my brain.
Being bipolar is incredibly incredibly frustrating, and lonely.
Leave a comment if you have experienced any of these feelings.
One thought on “Bipolar Disorder – The Hard Part”
What an awesome article. Ive had bipolar for years yet you have just taught me more than the medical profession has ever done. Thankyou. Keep up the good work