What is Bipolar Disorder to me?

The Bipolar Writer Defines What is Bipolar Disorder

I had an interesting question posed to me this week. The question was this: what is it to have bipolar disorder and what is it?

Since starting The Bipolar Blog in September of 2017, this has never been asked of me. I am always writing from experience because I am Bipolar. It is who I am. The ups and downs of this life are second nature to me now. I never thought that within this blog I would have to define what is it is to be Bipolar.

To me, being Bipolar is living with the constant highs and lows. Mania and depression rule my life. I have been through depression cycles that have lasted years at a time. I have manic episodes where I max out my credit cards and feel as if I am on top of the world. My behavior becomes reckless and I become elated at what I can do when I am manic. At times it comes in cycles and the rare occasion it cycles really fast.

My depression episodes are when I am at my lowest. I am the worst version of myself. My darkest thoughts are there waiting to consume me once again. Everyone gets depressed at some point in their lives. But, for someone who is Bipolar, it means that your depression reaches levels that no human should have to live with on a daily basis. At least it seems that way when my depression takes over. Depression can your best friend and worst enemy.

Depression and mania can happen at any one moment. It can be instantaneous. You’re fine one moment and then the world changes. You wake up feeling as if the world is crashing down on you. It is crashing down on you. Depression takes you over, it becomes your familiar companion. The next minute, you are on top the world.

Depression and mania is war in your mind, and each one wants to take you over for good. When you realize it, you find that you can win some battles and lose some. It’s the best way to survive.

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What is Bipolar disorder? It’s the extreme highs and lows. The worst parts of being a human being. It means taking medication to get to point where you can deal with life. For some, it takes years to get to that point. The battles they never go away. It leads you to different and equally horrible things like insomnia and anxiety. It can drive you to do things that you never would have imagined.

Things like suicide and self-harm become a part of your illness. You get lost in it, and for some, they don’t survive it. Those of us that do, have to work to get the real story out there into the world. To better educate the masses.

Being Bipolar should never define you, but at the same time it is who we are, and that goes for every mental illness. Part of the problem of the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is that we don’t accept it. We don‘t accept that this illness is a part of us. It’s not a bad thing. I know for so long I thought it was bad and I had to hide.

I am Bipolar. I am The Bipolar Writer.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:
unsplash-logoGlenn Carstens-Peters

unsplash-logoEhimetalor Unuabona

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24 Replies to “What is Bipolar Disorder to me?”

  1. This is so powerful. I can only imagine what you are going through. It’s great that you’re strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant description …. I’m guessing that your writing really helps. You must have to be very disciplined to keep it under control?? ☀️

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      1. Yes, I can understand that …. well done, it’s hard work. But we all love your writing, so the bi-product of the bipolar is read and adored.

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  3. Hi, I can relate so much to your writing. Somedays I feel wonderful and other days I’m wondering what the heck am I doing here? Its great to know that I am not alone and that so many of us have this “thing called Bi-Polar” Like you said its who we are and we have to live with it and share our experiences so that we know that we are not alone. Thank you 🙂

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    1. I was reading one of your new posts, which linked to this one, and just wanted to agree that it means so much to me that you share your experience with others and remind us that we’re not alone. I was diagnosed with bipolar a couple months ago (I swung from a period of depression/suicide attempt to very extreme mania) and have been thinking about bipolar as it relates to my identity. I’ve been going back and forth between denying my diagnosis because I think I’m a lot more than just “mentally ill” (which I think can be both a positive yet also self-denying and isolating mindset), and thinking about how at the same time, it does play a very real role in my life. I think it’s encouraging that you really own your diagnosis and are so outspoken about it.

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      1. It took me a long time to get there so don’t get down on yourself. I still struggle some days with it. This is for life, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to share your story. These comments mean the world to me.

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  4. I would disagree with your statement that everybody gets depressed at some point in their lives. Everyone experiences periods of low mood, but not everyone experiences a mood disorder, and I think that’s a distinction worth making.

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  5. This reasonates massively with me at the moment after a manic episode I am now in the aftermath and in a huge depression it pervades all my thoughts and actions. I lived 8 years mes free and learnt to manage myself. I an now full of meds and I can’t see a way out. I’m 41 and this « illness has won. I don’t have any fight left

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    1. You have to not let it win entirely. I know it feels hopeless now. I have been down the road way too many times to count. Give the medication some time. You might be losing the battles but it really is a war. Don’t lose the war. If you. Need someone to talk to you just have to ask.

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      1. That’s really kind of you to reply, I don’t recall feeling this lost and desperate, I have a young family and even that can’t motivate me to get better it feels as though any glimmer of hope has gone. I used to pull my trainers on and often in tears I would head into the hills albeit in tears- it would clear my mind and at the other end if I was manic it would slow me down. I just don’t know how to hang on when it feels like I am free falling and watching my life disappear, seemingly hopeless to hold onto it.

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      2. It’s not going to be easy. In my last suicide attempt in 2010 it was the fact that somehow I had survived when the doctors said I wouldn’t that changed me. I have my writing now that gets me through the worst parts of me.

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  6. It sounds like your Bipolar Disorder is a very rapidly cycling one. That makes it so much more challenging to live with. I was happy to read that inspite of it, you have a strong sense of who you are as a person; that you have been able to move beyond letting the diagnosis dictate who you are. First and foremost you are James. You have a condition called Bipolar One. And you have learnt how to manage it.

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