Suffering with Bipolarity

The mood swings. The irritability. The rigidity and violent anguish that seems uncontrollable. The not sleeping. The racing thoughts. Up and down, and all around, not able to really “connect” with other people. Sleeping too much. Lethargy. Downward spiral, and a brutal sense of uselessness. It’s such an unfortunate reality, and until I was formally diagnosed and prescribed Depakote, Lamictal, and Klonopin, I had very little insight into my own undoing, and the devastating effects it was having on my professional and more importantly, my personal life.

Unless you’re dealing with this inescapable harsh reality, it’s almost impossible to explain. Most people don’t really want to hear it anyway. It’s almost as if they fear they may “catch it”, and only until recently was it even slightly openly admitted to, and discussed in public forums. I know that I would NEVER mention it to anyone, especially at work, for fear I may be fired. Of course they wouldn’t say that was the reason, but if your employer felt there was even a remote possibility of a “high risk” employee, there goes your job. And maybe that’s just me being paranoid..never being quite sure is all part of this frustrating, exasperating experience.

Bipolar Disorder feels (to me) as if you have a deep, dark, black sea of a secret that you’re constantly drowning in, but never actually settle into the peace of a final breath. It’s also dealing with the medications side effects like hand tremors, dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain. But since the benefits far outweigh the negatives, I soldier forward, entrenched in an isolated foxhole. I know I’m not alone. I’m actually functioning much better now. I’ve stabilized, and come to terms with my reality. It’s hard to fight sometimes, but I will never give up, I will never go home, I will stop hiding, and I will support others who are navigating through this illness that starves for your full attention most of the time. This is not something I asked for, nor would I ever want if I had a choice. Genetics and a traumatic childhood made the choice for me.

I guess I will end this letter by saying to the loved ones of those who have Bipolar, please try to forgive, please try to understand that it isn’t personal. Utilize resources for yourself, even if the person you love doesn’t. Establish healthy boundaries, and make peace with the life you were given, because as the saying goes… “God never gives you more than you can handle”. And if this the “gift” you were given, you are one serious badass.