When I was diagnosed with Bipolar there were all these terms thrown at me and I could barely understand what was going on and how it applied to me. It was overwhelming and I think that’s why it was easier for me to shut down and stay in denial. I don’t know exactly when it happened but I know that I started to accept my diagnosis as being true when I was able to identify these symptoms and sometimes even predict them in my daily life. Till this day I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that I can predict certain mood swings. It makes it hard on one hand because if a downward depressive spiral was coming then I felt this sense of doom and worry but when I noticed the highs starting I would relish in the sun like a cat sunbathing knowing that this state won’t last long and it’s far more pleasant than the lows.
To better understand Bipolar and how it relates to me specifically I thought I would share some common terms. First off I’m Bipolar II. Which means I have more depressive moods then manic. When I talk about the highs I’m referring to the Mania, which is a heightened state. At this time you can have a lot of energy, feel like you don’t need sleep or become reckless. This time is dangerous because you don’t always make the best judgement calls. It could be simple like starting a project that you’ll never finish or going on a binder of risky behavior. Now the lows I think are even more dangerous. This is known as depression but for me I have Major Depressive Disorder so I spend a lot more of my time in a depressive state. This is generally feeling down, worthless, no energy, wanting to sleep a lot, not taking care of yourself or having a purpose. These dark times are when I feel at my worst. It feels like I’m in a deep dark hole with no light in sight. I often feel like this state will last forever and despair will settle in. Unfortunately this takes me to even darker places of self-mutilation and even suicidal thoughts. As a person suffering from Bipolar I swing from one state to another, changing moods and behavior. If I’m “stable” which I use that term loosely that’s when I’m not swinging but just hanging there. Not really having strong feelings in either direction. The medications that I take are meant to stabilize my moods but it’s not a perfect solution. It can sometimes lessen the intensity of the mood but not fully prevent it.
Normally I spend a lot of this time in my head. Thinking about my life, over and over again in my hamster wheel and waiting for the next swing to come. Which one will it be? How bad will it be? Can I cushion the blow and effect on my family? This is when my favorite term comes to mind, PEACE. I never really free to let go. I’m constantly in my head. There are days I wish I could turn it all off and just feel nothing. Just hear silence. Just feel at peace!