I never talk about it. Never really acknowledged it until recently. Maybe I was just in denial or maybe I truly didn’t see the severity of it but to be honest I’m waving the white flag. Its time. Time to realize that I’m not normal. Time to see that I need to make some changes before this illness takes over and destroys everything good I have ever built. It’s time I came to terms with who I am….Bipolar. I am Bipolar and I’m sure you hear that word thrown out quite a bit, I know I have. But does anyone truly know what it’s like to be bipolar? Probably not…there is such a stigmatism behind mental illness that we do not discuss it. A behind the scenes disability is what I call it. No one knows your suffering but you and for the most part you can’t even admit your suffering from it until the damage is done and all your left with is the aftermath, the apologies and the guilt of what you’ve done. How can anyone even begin to understand that it wasn’t you. I mean it was but not truly. You wouldn’t say or do those things, would you?
It’s an exhausting existence to say the least but it’s also amazing. When in mania every breath of air is new, sweet and crisp. Every song speaks to your soul as if made just for you and for this moment alone. Life is great..life is better than great! I can do anything, be anyone and the constant surge of energy and creativity is as bad as a drug. It lies to you, it causes you to make unrealistic goals, to not see the real picture. You are essentially painting a more beautiful and brighter picture over an original. In 2016 I was manic for the better part of a year! I believed in my mania, all the things that weren’t real. An endless constant high of adrenaline, ideas, lists, goals and selfishness. The mornings filled with the taste of Redbull and cigarettes, the sounds of music and laughter and days filled with ideas coming from every part of my mind, so fast that I couldn’t even make them out anymore. I was fast…too fast…2016 was a blur. The nights were filled with more music, louder and constant. The taste of red bull with cigarettes remained with an added ingredient, Vodka! Partying and self-medicating is a horrible alternative to the disorder but it’s also a temporary remedy that consoles if only for the moment. Drinking fuels your mania and mania takes over logic. Suddenly your values, ideas and beliefs are no longer important and are negotiable. You awaken the next morning and you’ve hit your low, your filled with regret, distaste, embarrassment and unvalued. No one makes you feel that way though, only you can do that. You allowed it and even pushed it on because for that moment you were invincible.
How can I be so many people? A successful accountant and dedicated work-a-holic, loving wife and mother, best-friend and daughter. I am those things but I’m also very much bipolar and ignoring that fact will only make it all worse. For myself and those I love it is imperative that I seek help immediately. It’s time to understand who I truly am behind all the titles and labels. It’s time to see my true painting. It may not be as beautiful, wild and exotic as I would like it to be. It may hurt me to face the reality of it all; the things I’ve said to the ones I love, the way I have acted and lashed out, the constant drunken nights that were uncontrolled and most importantly I need to learn to forgive myself. The regret when you come off of a manic high is the worst and all of a sudden you are at an all time low.
The sounds are no longer sweet and soft. Food no longer tastes as delectable as you once thought it did. The drinking isn’t for fun anymore but more to drown out your sorrows. The depression, regret, guilt and sadness becomes overwhelming and the only feeling you feel is exhaustion. The text messages and phone calls are minimal and the only outside experience you share is when your forced to work or face your family. They don’t understand and they take it personal, they all do.
“Why are you sad?”
“Are you ok?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
You can’t say how you feel, not again. It feels like you’re looking for attention or you feel like they’re just going to be annoyed by the same rollercoaster you have been on or years. Only now you’re getting worse because they don’t tell you it gets worse with age, with stress, with alcohol etc. So you say your fine and pile on a fake smile hoping they will stop asking because deep down its irritating you. Your becoming slowly irritable and everything that everyone does annoys you but you know that it’s not okay to express that annoyance. So you continue to hold in all the anger and sadness and irritability, until you snap at the wrong person and say the wrong things that you can’t take back no matter what you do. You don’t care because they deserved it, right? It felt good letting that out. Then you see what you did and how that relationship or friendship has been effected by your words and actions and you start to see its not right. You’re not ok. Then hits the regrets again and sadness. Its all downhill until it isnt anymore.
Until life starts to slowly pace up a bit and you slowly start to feel ok again. You know that it temporary but for the moment it’s great to not be in a super sad depression and it feels great to not be racing through life like it’s a race. For that moment, you come to terms with who you are and that’s Bipolar.