One of my biggest struggles in life is all the emotional ups and downs I go through. We all have our ups. We all have our downs. And for me, those two things are extreme opposites. I haven’t shared this with my readers before, but I am bipolar… manic-depressive, not CRAZY, which is the common misperception of the public. Some days I have amazing awareness, non-stop energy, I am a superhero who doesn’t need to sleep for days and I become a whirlwind house wizard in addition to the fact that I can do all and be all to myself and everyone around me. Life is awesome, exciting and fun. That is mania.
Everyone who is bipolar loves mania. Mania is fun and exciting and you’re not afraid of anything because you can (or at least believe that you can ) do it all. Unfortunately, the downside of bipolar is the depressive phase which is extremely oppressive. Depending on where you are in the cycle you may not have the ability to get out of bed in the morning, shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, go to work, talk to a single human being or even stay awake. It is everything that mania isn’t. Some days you have zero functionality. Manic is the superhero and Depressive is the anti-hero, the antagonist, the bad guy, your own personal villain and, unfortunately, the villain spends more time ruling the roost you call your life.
I am not talking about multiple personality disorder, that is a completely different disorder and should not be considered as remotely similar. Yes, I have two totally different sides of me, the fun, perky side that everyone loves and wants to be friends with and the depressed, non-functioning, all I can do is sleep side where I cannot even be my own friend. Which do you think I prefer? Obviously the manic side. Being depressed and having the inability to do anything sucks the Golden Egg that has fermented from lack of use. Sadly meds work amazingly well on tempering the mania, pushing it down, keeping it at bay but does very little to remedy the effects of the depressive side. Bipolar depression is more severe than most depression medications can handle. And then there are people like me who have epilepsy. Most medicines lower a person’s seizure threshold, epileptic or not. So I am limited to what medications I can try. You’re probably wondering now why I would be on medication at all if I can choose the manic side simply by not taking the medication. Mania can lead to making poor choices, choices that can impact life greatly in a negative way or worse, lead to death.
Anyway, I tell this to you, my readers, because if I’m not sharing with you or commenting on your posts it is not for lack of wanting to but for lack of being able to. Bipolar depression tends to dominate much of my days because I do take my medicine daily. I wish I could have ups and downs that were not extreme, but as I said, I live life on a roller coaster. There is a lot of drama and a lot of pain that I cannot control even when I try my best to do so and then there are moments of fantastic, incredible and amazing flashes of brilliance and performance which is where I wish I could live my life… but being manic isn’t always all that. I just quit my job. I don’t have another job lined up and I’m not really looking for a job. Why? Because I quit when I was manic and then like a switch being flipped the next day I was depressed (though not about quitting my job) and not able to do what needs to be done to get a new one.
Anyhow, just wanted to take a moment to say something, anything to let you know I am still here, I’m just not a whole human being right now.
With you by heart & thoughts 😉
I ride that roller coaster too along with my mother and two sons. The only good thing about being bipolar is when the depression hits, if you can hang on long enough you’ll swing back the other way eventually. Otherwise I’m not sure I could make it.
It’s during the times of lots of energy and creativity that I try to use the scheduling function and go ahead and write posts ahead of time and schedule them for posting. I try to keep at least one weekly feature set up to post just so folks know I’m still kicking. It doesn’t always work, but I try.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but hang in there. It will get better. And if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, you might eventually find a med cocktail that somewhat stabilizes things so you can function somewhere close to “normally”.
Thank you Crystal for sharing your personal experience with me. I well definitely take your tip to use the scheduler to keep the blog going when I cannot. And, by the way, I love the idea of your feature for the month being Christmas Lights. Good for you for taking care of your needs even when you cannot leave the house. That is an important skill for all of us to develop… what is it we are missing and what can we do to substitute for it effectively. I will definately be following your Christmas Lights to share in the cheer with you 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
great post. I appreciate your openness. I have worked with and work with many patients with bipolar disorder issues, and they are great people, full of creativity and love for life, even when life is a struggle! I will be following your blog. I found you on Blogging 101, the last few days. Glad I checked in as I love following personal blogs about struggles with bipolar and other such challenges…
Thanks Natasha for stopping in and reading it. Talking about mental disorders is not always easy and I think that is mostly due to the public’s misunderstanding and lack of education. Still though, we worry about being judged when we come out of our personal “closet” to people. It is always a risk. I am so glad you have found a way to help others. I know that creativity is a huge comfort to me and I am in an art therapy group with other bipolar women. Art therapy gives me a reason to get up, get dressed and do whatever else I can to get to counseling. I always schedule my private counselling session right after art therapy. It keeps getting me there. Thank goodness! I don’t know what I’d do without it.
this is a very interesting piece – thank you for writing it. i know that as i have gotten older, my depression has gotten worse. sometimes i wonder if i am on the border of depression and bi-polar depression. i am also turning 50 in a few months and i know these hormonal swings are not making it any easier – worse.