Bipolar Disorder, it is What it is.

My biggest failure in life right now is my continued expectation of a clear-cut black and white scientific explanation of my unusual thought processes to be handed to me on a silver platter by a well-spoken Englishman. This is to be immediately followed by delivery of a ‘quick fix’ pill or piece of advice that will counter all of my mental health shortcomings with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. Yes, I continue to expect such revelations even though I know deep down that such a thing simply does not and cannot exist. We can’t learn and grow without those unpleasant experiences being there to teach us, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming, right?

The last few weeks have been weird. Off. I don’t know quite how to describe it, I’m not myself, not that I am really even able to define ‘myself’ as one self these days, we are not ‘ourselves’? Bah. That doesn’t feel right either. It’s too complicated, so off and on, in and out not to mention the ups and downs of the manic depression that intertwines throughout my crisis of identities and frankly I am too tired to think about any of it without my mind exploding, the trouble is, it all exists within my head and so the fear circles like a great white shark, slowly waiting for the right time to drag my body with it into the depths below and rip apart my very soul.

If you were to look at the technical DSM definition of depression right now then I suppose I would qualify as heading into another depressive episode, Bipolar Disorder is so painfully repetitive and volatile. I was manic only a month or so ago although it feels like a millennia now. I knew and understood the secrets of the universe and the meaning of life, it was all I cared about, I wanted to write books about it, start affordable mental health retreats for people to get away from their responsibilities for a while and find themselves through therapy, good nutrition, like minded peers and ongoing plans for the future, all without the stigma of hospitals. Blah, blah, blah… All the good intentions, started letters to ministers and psychiatrists, lists of potential investors, grant application information… All forgotten once more, simply written off as another manic delusion of grandeur, delusion of thinking that maybe I would be able to actually do some good in the world.

And now? I still hold that “awareness” of those universal secrets but for reasons I cannot explain the passion has vanished, I don’t care about them, they feel like hum drum old news. It is knowledge that doesn’t seem to matter anymore, been there done that. Perhaps that is because once you have knowledge of the meaning of life you know that it is ultimately irrelevant, we are asking for answers to questions we already have been given answers to simply by our existence. The basic goal is living, and living a good life here on earth regardless of circumstance, ‘good’ defined not by a God or a religion or even another human, ‘good’ as defined by yourself. Don’t know what I mean? Listen to yourself, feel around for a bit, some people call it your conscience, you’ll find it.

I know all this and yet I don’t care anymore, maybe the fact that it’s all up to me leaves me with an overly simple choice, I can try and make good with what I have or I can give up. We all know what I should do but there are so many times when I just don’t know if I can be bothered anymore, I’m tired, so very tired, and there are many times when laying down to die seems like a perfectly acceptable and far more practical option.

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You can give me the science of Bipolar Disorder’s effect on brain chemicals until the cows come home, I know, I get it! “What goes up must come down”, yeah, I know, “tablets help”, yes, yes, I know! I am intellectually aware that even though at this very moment I just want to give up, I will feel good again in the future and realistically despite how it feels, I haven’t actually been feeling bad for very long at all. I will probably feel not only good in the future but AMAZING and there is a reasonable chance that I will believe I am receiving messages from God about the secrets of the universe again because Bipolar Disorder just is what it is.

There is also that little haunting, niggling truth that my Bipolar Disorder is going to be with me forever no matter how much I exercise or what concoction of tablets I take, it’s here for life with its good, its bad, its happy and its sad; oh how I love it and how I hate it. I wouldn’t be without it for all the passion, enlightenment, creativity and open-mindedness it gifts me with it must be so mind numbingly boring being ‘normal’ and yet the all-consuming darkness that inevitably follows the high always leaves me burning in a hell of my own making wondering why I continue to do this to myself. At least nowadays I know why it’s happening and what to expect from it, it’s a bit like Groundhog Day in that you can improve yourself with each cycle repetition, only you can’t erase the stuff ups, and there will be stuff ups.

I hate that I have dragged my family into this world with me, without their consent. I sometimes think of leaving them because I feel if I lived alone then at least I would only be hurting myself but then I wouldn’t have my husband or my children, my pets, I wouldn’t have all those reasons to keep going each day… There is no easy solution, I just have to accept it and play the hand I have been dealt the best I can for as long as possible, and I suppose, so do they. For better or worse, a blessing and a curse.

12 Comments on “Bipolar Disorder, it is What it is.

  1. I’m sorry you are feeling down, friend. I hope you are able to make it out of the cycle unscathed. Don’t do anything that will be permanent. Take care of yourself. I wish we lived closer. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, thanks for writing your feelings in to words .. I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’m not sure if “go through” is the right word when you are in the middle of it but I’m hoping if there’s a beginning , there’s an end = better days. Your family loves you and I’m sending some hugs from the desert and hoping tomorrow is a better day. You seem awesome! And fantastic writing . Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an honest piece. I can relate. I like to say I went through an awakening and then depression, but heck, maybe I really am bipolar. Looking from the outside in, I would explain it like having highs and lows but nothing in between. How long did it take you to be diagnosed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi 🙂 I wasn’t diagnosed until my late 20s although looking back I had shown symptoms since childhood. People don’t tend to go to the doctor when they feel too happy so Bipolar is often missed or misdiagnosed as unipolar depression. As humans, we all have different personalities, some of us are introverted some extroverted etc lots of people have ‘spiritual awakenings’ without mental health problems, but if you’re experiencing depression or your ‘up’ mood shifts are interfering with your work/friendships ability to live your best life then it might be worth having a chat to your doctor and therapists are always great to bounce those revolving negative thoughts off to too. ((Hugs)) Kate

      Like

  4. I think seeing the pain it causes others who worry about me is one of the worst. I don’t want to cause them more harm but we have this illness that doesn’t relent and has no easy answers. When the bipolar reality hit me it deflated all my “dreams” and I’m not sure what’s a good positive dream vs delusions of grandeur or whatever. It’s such a thin line. But when I look back at my strings of half-assed start-ups and unfinished projects I see the truth for what it is. It’s a painful truth to swallow.

    Liked by 1 person

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