Bipolar - Part 2

March 23, 2018

 

I wrote the definitions that go into "Bipolar" in an earlier post, and now a few weeks have passed I feel ready to write about what it means to me and the impact it has on my life, and the lives of those around me.

 

It means (in no particular order):

  • needing to work extremely hard trying to regulate my moods

  • the littlest thing can upset me and take over my day

  • that said, the littlest thing can also make me very happy

  • my “standard” state is depressed

  • I move between depressed, happy, hypo and back to depressed over about (currently) a 17 day period

  • it is hard to plan things in advance as I don’t know how I’ll feel at the time and I don't like letting people down, so it's easier not to plan

  • my sleep routine is massively important, if I don’t get enough it can push me into hypomania or depression

  • I flood my body with the best nutrition every day and it has made a huge impact to my energy levels

  • that said, tiredness is an issue because I have to work so hard mentally every day to try to keep on track, so even though my energy is up, it is still down a lot of the time compared to others

  • I have to be alert to when I feel good, in case it’s me actually feeling too good, and that could mean hypomania

  • I have times where I need to withdraw from others

  • when I withdraw, I wish others would make contact with me

  • that said, if I’m exhausted or pretty depressed, I may not want them to make contact with me

  • which makes it very tricky for those who do want to be in touch, because they may be rebuffed

  • not everyone understands when I want time to myself

  • I need a push to do things, but it’s tricky knowing the right amount to push me, because it could backfire

  • exercise is massively important. I know this, but it’s not always easy for me to follow through

  • I have lots of ideas but go off them when they become too hard

  • I have to seriously limit my intake of alcohol

  • this makes it difficult because I know I’m more fun when I have a drink or two, but I pay for that for days afterwards

  • it’s tricky to say that I don’t drink, because people want to know why, and I don't necessarily want people to know early on in a relationship

  • As a side note, I heard something interesting yesterday about people who don’t have children. We get asked why we don’t have children, and that seems acceptable, however people with children aren’t asked why they decided to have children. Not drinking is a little like that.

  • Relationships are tricky

  • Being married is tricky. Mr P doesn’t want to upset me, he wants to fix me, but he can’t, so he is very careful about what he says and when he says them. A lot of the time he doesn’t say what he wants to say because he is cautious about the reaction he may get

  • there are things that Mr P and others in my life can do to help me, but they take time and energy and thinking ahead, and all of that is hard work, even if they figure out which is the right one to do at the right time on the right day!

  • just like Mr P tiptoes around me, I tiptoe too (we'd probably be good at ballet with all this tiptoeing!). I have to be careful not to overshare my feelings as I don’t want to seem to criticise or be upset about things, things that often don't even involve him

  • that said, if I don’t share, the thoughts can go round and round and round my head and it becomes difficult to control them

  • journaling and blogging helps

  • being honest, in my own time and in my own way, helps

  • I very rarely ask for help

  • I mostly need to process internally before I can talk about things because I struggle with people potentially having opinions, making judgements or offering advice before I know what I think

  • external ‘interruptions’ can make or break my day

  • stress is bad

  • routine is good

  • this makes spontaneity difficult. So this, along with planning things in advance difficult….you get the idea....tricky

  • Mr P’s shirts were late back from the laundry and I became fixated on it, I couldn’t think of anything else and I became more and more wound up until they arrived

  • I am learning to set my boundaries, because these are not clear and I’m not good at voicing them because I don’t want to offend anyone - and then I end up in a situation that’s damaging

  • I am too grateful for the friendships, relationships, opportunities that come my way, and I don’t want to upset things, so I don’t speak up if they're not what I want or expected

  • I look for proof that people want to be my friend and that I'm not a charity friendship or pushing in

  • I want to be the fun loving person that I know is inside

  • I need to feel safe to find her and let her out

  • I need encouragement to do that

  • I seem to attract people who need help; or I am seen as someone who can help others, so people are sent to me with the “can you chat to so and so”. Sometimes this is done without asking me first, and I then have no choice. People don’t stop to think I might be in a shitty place, or my meds have kicked in and I’m half asleep. I'm happy to share and to talk about mental ill-health stuff, but it's not always the best time for me

  • I'm learning to fill my own cup first

  • I have suicidal thoughts. Regularly.

  • Sometimes the days are too hard and I literally don’t want to wake up, or I wish for something to happen so that I wasn’t here, and that I didn’t have to consider ending my own life

  • I often think life would be easier for others if I wasn’t around

  • medication, doctors, therapy, routine, mood tracking, is a part of my life

  • I build relationships with doctors and therapists, open my soul and my deepest thoughts, because if I’m not honest in the relationships, we won’t get anywhere

  • Doctors and therapists have their own lives, and this means needing to find and build relationships with new people as their lives take a different route. This is gut wrenching and sad, and is a fact of life, but still makes mine a little unsteady for a time

  • When people say “what can I do”, it’s extremely hard to give them a specific answer

  • The pressure that can arise from a simple msg asking how I am can be huge. It is so difficult to put that into a few characters, so many times the response will be “I’m ok”, which frankly, might mean I am, but could also mean that I’m not.

  • I am learning more about myself

  • I am recognising what is going on with me and figuring out ways to change the things I might want to change

  • I am becoming more kind to and about myself

  • I am working hard to destigmatise mental illness in an attempt to let others know that a) they're not alone, and b) those of us with mental illness feel a lot of things that 'normal' people do. The more we talk about it, the more we all will realise this, and this will help us all

  • I am working hard to be the person I was born to be, rather than the person others expect/ed me to be

  • I am lucky to have found Mr P, a person who loves me, despite all the hassle

  • I can speak extremely candidly with my Mum, something I would not have thought possible a few years ago

  • I have people in my life who want to stay in it even if they don't understand me

  • I am learning positive ways to change my thoughts and feelings

  • I am open to learning new ways to do this

  • I have hope that I can reduce my medication and live a less-medicated life

I know people with many different kinds of mental or physical health conditions will read this and wonder what I’m complaining about. I’m not complaining. I’m sharing what it’s like for me. There are people with conditions who have will things much worse, or at least different, so I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m hoping to educate.

 

The thing I want most, is to know I’m not alone, that I am wanted and accepted in people’s lives, even when it’s not so easy to be in mine. And as you've read, it’s not easy to be in mine for all the reasons above, and I'm sure, many more.

 

Wishing you the best day possible, love Becs xxxx

 

PS: Mr P's reaction upon reading this post was "that's f**ked up, how are we meant to know what to do?!". My reaction "I'm well aware how f**ked up it is".

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