My Personal Account

Being bipolar can be maddening. The ever so daunting thoughts. The indecision. The opposing poles. Constant doubt. Add the fear of judgment (anxiety) and obsessive patterns (OCD) to the mix and you’ve got a cocktail for an adventure. More or less, you get me in all my glory.

For the majority of my life, I thought everyone’s brain operated like mine. The battle, ya know? Actually, most of you won’t know because you aren’t directly affected by mental illness or addiction. Yes, I have co-occurring disorders. Any time I am hospitalized, I am in a specific section separate from the majority of patients. My thought processes are quite different from others. My alcoholism convinces my mind that it is ok to injest toxins at a lethal level. It goes further than convincing as I crave. With three years sobriety, these cravings have subsided but that doesn’t mean the occasional urge doesn’t slip its way through.

My mind plays tricks on me. At times I am certain I am not bipolar and that I do not need medication. Other times I know that I am and I accept it. The friction that is caused by the addictive part of my brain and the chemical off balance of bipolar, creates havoc somedays. There are bad days and then worse days. The worst days usually follow many bad days in a row. The worst days leave me bedridden. The time since my last episode of worst days is significant in my recovery. I haven’t been hospitalized since 2013, a whopping five years. For two of those years, I was still in active addiction causing days of darkness. Those days haven’t happened since I surrendered. I have had rough and depressed days but no bedridden ones. (Knock on wood)

I can only imagine what it is like to have a fully functional brain or one that doesn’t play tricks on me. The reality is that I never will and am forever in debt to an imbalance that does as it pleases. I keep waiting for the day that I crash, again. It is inevitable. I am hopeful that the medication will continue working, keeping me stable and functional. It has only been a year since I agreed to take medication for bipolar disorder and a year and a half since my diagnosis.

The ironic part is that when I am sick, I do not realize it. When you have lived more of your life unmedicated than medicated, you learn ways of coping. Not all are the healthiest but coping nonetheless. The weight gain, days in bed and crazy mood swings try desperately to signal me of something wrong. I don’t listen. I eat. I sleep. I cry. I laugh. I get mad. I sleep.

Living with many mental illnesses can be disabling. It is an invisible attack that no one sees coming. Nor do they feel its damage. It is unexplainable and frustrating. It is difficult. While my diagnoses do not define me, they do affect me. Altering my thought process to extremes at times, resulting in bizarre behavior. Uncontrollable behavior.

At almost 40 years old I choose to remain positive and aware when dealing with my mental illnesses. I approach each day with a new outlook. Although I am not curable, I am hopeful. If you or someone you love are struggling to accept depression, bipolarity, or any other mental illness, keep in mind that there will be better days. The two best solutions I have to offer are educate yourself and seek professional assistance. Discussing your symptoms makes it easier to cope. You are not alone.

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18 Replies to “My Personal Account”

  1. I can truly relate this piece I live life in a perpetual cycle of slight stability or total madness. I have just started my own blog to share my journey through poems and short stories. check it out if you get time hopefully you might enjoy it.
    Peace πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily I have found the correct cocktail of medication that keeps me stable. That solution has worked for me after many trials.

      Like

  2. Although substance abuse doesn’t play a role in my sickness, I have a past with domestic violence that fortunately after several decades I was able to escape from. I never sought treatment or support just moved on as if nothing had happened. After several life changing events I had what I call a melt down, causing me to go on sedatives and anxiety medication for weeks. After many sessions with a therapist I was diagnosed as a manic depressive with manic anxiety and panic disorder and bipolar 1 disorder. My current psychiatrist suggested my sudden mental illness was a combination of devastating current events and the past I did not deal with or acknowledge has reoccurred. As you suggested seek help , advice or support for issues that may be affecting your mental well being.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So enjoyed reading your post. Sort of anyway. I appreciate knowing that I am not the only person in recovery (29 years sober) who suffers from a mental illness. (Bipolar 1). My wish is that I could find a face to face meeting of people who suffer from both. Until then, I find comfort knowing I’m not alone. Thanks Eve!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this! It’s nice reading the perspective behind living with a bipolar disorder. Not everyone’s experience is the same, but I feel like the world needs to hear more views of people that live with mental illness. I, personally, live with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Sometimes day to day living can be a struggle and sometimes they’re great. Many people don’t understand it though. It’s important that we educate and share. Would you be interested in sharing your story as a guest blog post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand the struggle and agree with you about sharing. I would love to do a guest post for you. Thank you for asking. I try to contribute as much as I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, you are right, educate yourself, take help from your psychiatrist & psychologist. You can be a better person, never loose hope, just keep working on it. May God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I can’t remember the last time I read something that so accurately described the gruesome feelings that went through my body nearly every day during my highscool days. The sense of being alone is one I know all too well, but reading posts like this helps me remember we’re not the only ones; thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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