Ten Reasons Why I Hate A Bi-Polar Episode (No Order)
1. I'm apparently not allowed to have any real range of emotion without Chris/my parents/my family jumping all over me. So if I am quiet, they think I'm depressed and if I’m happy or excited (because sometimes I am just very happy or excited), they ask me pointedly in “that way” whether I'm feeling manic or have more energy, etc. And it drives me crazy - literally. It makes me agitated and then I do think it makes my mood shift. Chances are, if I’m manic or depressed and they have noticed-I’ve ALREADY noticed way before they have!
***Note I love my family and I know they are trying to help, but sometimes it's just too much***
2. I have to tell people that I’m relapsing and deal with their response. For some of my friends, when they know, it's no big deal - I mean, they are concerned and they check in with me but they still treat me like I'm normal. For other friends, they look at me like I'm from another planet because they just don't have any frame of reference so they can say stupid things but they mean well. But painfully, for others, they sound like they are being supportive but then stop calling or having any contact and those are the ones that hurt the most. Some of my really close friends haven’t been in touch at all and I'm really feeling abandoned.
3. I hate that at this stage of things I'm aware enough to know when I'm indeed feeling manic (as opposed to being completely manic and not giving a shit or completely depressed and not caring about anything anyways) and to feel myself responding in a way that make things worse with Chris or is a bit inappropriate in a given situation but (and this is the part that I hate) I'm still fully conscious and I care about what I'm doing and the people that I'm doing it to. I can feel myself overreacting but don’t have the power to stop it. I hate that at this point I know and feel and have such a hard time controlling the little and big ways that the disease spills out and hurts me or the people that I love.
4. The impact on Chris. It's always there... behind every response or reaction, there is this underlying fear that Chris needs to take care of me and find ways to make it “OK”. And that means everything from physically being with me 24/7 because I’m on suicide watch to having to pick up an extra part-time job because we can’t afford for me to be off on disability (yet again) from work, or we can’t afford the new drug I’m prescribed that isn’t covered in our insurance. It’s so damn UNFAIR. It makes me feel awful as a person and as a wife to have to deal with how hard this is on him (and his family and even friends, since it completely ties him up). I feel like an equal partner when I'm well and I can work to put things in place to help but it makes things worse when I'm sick because it feeds into the shame and the guilt I already have and feeds the mania/depression that is swirling around me.
5. I hate waking up and knowing today is going to be worse than yesterday.
6. I’m a lot more private when I'm sick. I think it's because I have all these thoughts and feelings that don't feel all that presentable to the public and so I retreat into reading or posting on a Bipolar support group, etc. I think I often leave out those most important, like Chris and my family. But I HATE feeling like a burden, like my illness takes over everyone else’s life. It already takes over mine; it shouldn’t take over any one else’s. But then I retreat into myself, and then I feel abandoned because no one knows that I need them. It’s a vicious cycle that I’ve been trying to break.
7. I hate feeling afraid and full of anxiety and overwhelmed and on edge and resentful and pushed and prickly and tired and not tired and alive and dead - all at the same time.
8. I finally feel like I now have the support of a good physiatrist, but I feel like there is not much support in Burlington for me. I’ve already signed up for CMHA, but most of their group sessions are full by the time I get there to sign up, and they are all older people. I want to connect to people by own age, with my own problems. I really enjoy the Facebook groups, but it’s not the same as having the support of real-life people sitting in front of you. Even going into the hospital to have my weekly blood testing (which mentions which medications are being tested for on the form), I get side-way glances and whispers, like they are expecting me to start screaming like a crazy person. It’s hard enough to deal with this illness daily without dealing with the CONSTANT prejudice and wrong assumptions. And having no community support!
9. I hate that this disease is so intelligent and subversive. That it sneaks in and shifts the chemicals in my body and so I wake up one day and I have taken a different path then the day before. It changes my reality so that I feel like I'm in a parallel universe and that everyone else has it wrong (about me, at least) and I'm the only one that knows the truth. To some extent that's true - I am the only one that is inside my head but I can't take in anyone else's understanding of me as true and authentic. They say I'm a good person and worthy of love and I think I'm just fooling them and that they can't possibly know the real me – the real me that is damaged and wrong and bad.
10. I hate that I have to fight every day to stay “normal” when most people in the world just wake up in their bed and get on with their day. I hate that I can’t just get up and go to work and wait in traffic and go to grocery stores......things I can’t do most of the time. I just want to me a functioning member of society, and I feel like that option and chance has been completely stripped away from me. I want to live without worrying every day when the next relapse is going to happen; when it’s going to blindside