It’s Happening Again – Bipolar Disorder

“Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are. Because my bipolar went untreated for so long, I spent many years looking in the mirror and seeing a person I did not recognize or understand. Not only did bipolar rob me of my sanity, but it robbed me of my ability to see beyond the space it dictated me to look. I no longer could tell reality from fantasy, and I walked in a world no longer my own.”
Alyssa Reyans, Letters from a Bipolar Mother

I knew this would happen again. I knew that there was only a matter of time before I’d be sitting on my bedroom floor, looking into the mirror, and begging myself to hold on. Desperately trying to sort my thoughts, positives to the left and negatives to the right. What about the ones that made absolutely no sense? Where do they go? I had dealt with a week or two of symptoms so like I said.. I knew that there was only a matter of time. I keep track of my moods daily…Monday was great, I woke up that morning with a positive mindset. New week and a new month. I planned to put most of my focus on school. Tuesday, there was a little change… I began to worry about everything. I have always been one to worry. My mother goes up the street to the gas station, once 15-20 minutes pass I instantly panic. What is taking her so long? If she was just going to get a pack of cigarettes? Did she get into an accident? Was there a robbery and were they holding everyone hostage? Okay that sounds ridiculous but those are the thoughts that cross my mind. Wednesday I cried. I remember talking to my sister and I told her and only her that I knew I was about to have a break down, an episode. I use to try to ignore the signs praying that it would all just go away.. without getting worse. This time I was on it! I paid close attention to every little thing that seemed off.

  • Irritable
  • Angry
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Hypersexual (I really do not like talking about this one but I want to be honest)
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling guilty
  • Paranoia
  • Little to no sleep
  • Excessive talkativeness

The one thing I am trying to figure out as I type this is whether this was a mixed episode or just a manic? I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder in April and I will never forget what led up to it. From the time I was 12 up until I was 16 going on 17 I was only diagnosed with major depression. For the first few years I felt like shit. Complete shit. Switching medications and therapists left and right didn’t help with that feeling. For me the first sign that I was dealing with more than major depression came in late 2014. Something wasn’t right and I knew this, yet nobody listened. The medication I was on only seemed to make it all worse. So without permission from my psychiatrist I stopped taking it because my gut feeling told me that Zoloft was only hurting me. “It has not reached your full therapeutic level yet.” BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT!!

I recall trying to strangle myself. OUT OF THE BLUE! I had been fine for the most part, Every time I talk about this I always describe it as something exploding in my head. Something ticked and when it did I lost it. All I knew was that I wanted the suffering stop. I wanted these thoughts to leave.. I wanted to die. This attempt is what led to me being placed in a youth group and meeting my current doctor who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. I cannot express how thankful I am to have her as my psychiatrist.

I am not trying to write about my whole experience with mental illnesses..at least not all in one post.

Tonight when I had my breakdown as bad as I wanted to give up, I didn’t. I made a promise to myself awhile back that no matter what…. no matter how awful I feel I will NEVER give up. I locked myself in my room and turned the music up to drown out my sobs. I created a playlist specifically for these moments. I need music that speaks to me… that helps me pull myself through. I cut up construction paper and wrote “I feel” statements on them. I wrote myself a letter and read pages from older journal writings. After I was calm I wrote my mother a letter.. and cut up more paper, writing how I currently felt. Once I was able to think clearer I read them all out loud.

I often see others joking about being bipolar because they were just crying and now they are laughing. It is so much more than that! Most times I have trouble trying to explain it.. explain the episodes, my actions, feelings, my medications, all of it. THIS IS NOT FUN! Living with a mental disorder is not fun! It is nothing to joke about.

My site is named Helping Hands for a reason. I am sharing this for a reason. Not everyone is open about what they have or are currently going through.. I am. I want others to know they are not alone. It is not easy to keep pushing through. That moment when everything hits you and you ask yourself what is the point? What is my purpose? Why do I deserve this? Why does anyone deserve to feel this way? It is scary.. I know…but it is not the end. It is not all that there is to life. The quote I found and chose to use for this post stuck out to me because it is how I feel.

24 thoughts on “It’s Happening Again – Bipolar Disorder

  1. I also dislike when people joke about disorders. Whenever I hear people say things like, “I’m OCD,” I want to explain to them how that statement is not okay. I’m glad that you are letting people know they aren’t alone. Thanks for sharing your stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this 🙂 I can’t imagine how difficult this would be. My sister struggles with OCD, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Reading this made me feel like I may be able to understand her a little better and gave me hope 🙂 Thank you for your transparency!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mus.kins,

      Reading your comment I thought you might be interested in checking out Letters of the Mind blog project (or even participating) which Jaimarie may contribute to soon.

      It is a an open blog where those diagnosed or directly impacted by a mental illness can write to their disorder in whatever medium they choose. This is a brand new blog and has, as I see it, two purposes: The first is as a way to grow and challenge how we relate to our illness and the second is to educate other people about the various mental illnesses that people live with every single day. With education comes understanding and with understanding stigma begins to fall ill and eventually dies.

      People have contributed pieces for the disorders your sister suffers so I thought perhaps it could be helpful to you. And perhaps, as a family member you might consider writing about how one or more of her disorders impacts your life. As a support person, the impact on you matters just as much and people need to understand about this aspect as well.

      Best wishes to you,

      Memee

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are in fact quite blessed to have discovered your proper diagnoses so early on. Bipolar is complicated and most of us suffer an average of ten years misdiagnosed with various depressive orders. I am happy you found someone who would listen and that you do such a great job of journalling your progressions. You are so far ahead of the game! I have Post It notes with “facts” about me (the positive stuff) on my closet doors across from my bed so on days when I am incapable of getting up or feeling anything positive, I can read them and maybe not slip headlong into, well, the shit side of being bipolar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When she first diagnosed me I spent weeks feeling angry because it took so long for me to find someone who listened. I realized I couldn’t spend all of my time upset over the first few years.. I needed to focus on the now! Thank you so much!! How do the post it notes work for you??

      Like

      1. I love them. Some are things I wrote for myself. Others are things written by other people, who I trust, about me. It’s a great affirmation. It helps me to recognize that I am so much more than my illness but also that I am a pretty rockin’ chicka! LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I think your words can help not only those who are suffering from depression themselves, but also those that love them and sometimes don’t know what do to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I first posted this I wasn’t sure if it would touch anyone. The comments I have received, all of the love. It makes me glad I chose to share this. To know it has helped some understand a little better is motivation for me to keep on doing what I have been doing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was also very young when my symptoms started, 13 years old. I was rapid cycler. My mom brought me to countless doctors, I was even hospitalized. But in the early 90’s it was thought that children could not be bi-polar. Tests after tests, even an EEG to check my brain waves (the thought was that possibly I had epilepsy which was causing my extreme mood swings). I was finally diagnosed at 21 when a week after I started Prozac my head basically exploded, exactly as you describe. I had a full psychotic breakdown. I am sharing this because I want you to know I am now 35 and I’m still here, although it is hard somedays to be. I am disabled due to my bi-polar and other mental illness that often run hand and hand with it. But I’m here. That in itself is a victory. I will not let this disease kill me. I will not let it win.
    PS: I saw you on Instagram, you “liked” my post about mental disorders not being adjectives. That is how I found your blog and I am glad I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, for taking the time out to comment. Reading this gives me so much hope, knowing that you have been dealing with the same..and you are still here. You are still fighting. There have been so many times where I become discouraged and feel like what is the use of trying or going on when I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I hope you understand how much you sharing this means to me and how it has touched me. I will not let this disease kill me!
      I wish you the best.

      Like

    2. Hi Kim,

      Reading your comment I thought you might be interested in contributing a piece to the Letters of the Mind blog project.

      It is a an open blog where those diagnosed or directly impacted by a mental illness can write to their disorder in whatever medium they choose. This is a brand new blog and has, as I see it, two purposes: The first is as a way to grow and challenge how we relate to our illness and the second is to educate other people about the various mental illnesses that people live with every single day. With education comes understanding and with understanding stigma begins to fall ill and eventually dies.

      I am the first to write something about bipolar and Jaimarie has expressed an interest in writing something as well. Please check it out and spread the word about the project. Everyone’s contributions make a difference in how those blessed with health see and interact with us.

      Sincerely,

      Memee

      Liked by 1 person

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