Bi Polar and Me
Do you think you have Bi Polar? My psychiatrist asked me this question yesterday during my annual psych review yesterday. I had to stop and laugh because at that moment I was feeling on top of the world and if I only took that moment into account I would have said NO. Instead,I thought about every day, every week, every month and I said “YES”.
You see most days I don’t notice the Bi-polar. People around me may but I don’t. I am classified as Bi Polar Mania, which means that I can go days without sleeping, I am high functioning, multi-tasking, going 100 miles an hour and well I get stuff accomplished. Except, I am also irritable, short tempered, hyper, obsessive compulsive, and as my family puts it just plain annoying.
Then the bottom falls out. I get tired, don’t feel like doing anything, get depressed, start to withdraw, stay at home, and barely function. This used to occur only every few months but over years it became more frequent and eventually the bad days took over the good days. I still, however, had never truly experienced the complete opposite end of a Manic episode until February of 2014.
Those few days were some of the worst days of my life. I felt like Alice in Wonderland when she fell down the rabbit hole. Now when I feel something similar to that coming on all I have to say to my husband is I feel like I am going down the rabbit hole. No other explanation is needed. I felt no emotion during that time.No sadness,anger, happiness, anxiety,bitterness,depression – NOTHING. It was like I was in a vacuum sealed jar. It was so isolating and alone and I couldn’t get out. I didn’t know what was going on at the time which is what made it worse.
That experience made me stop and realize that Bi-Polar is not the same for everyone. I read articles about people with Bi-Polar who are on a successful medication regiment and work full time jobs with 6 figure salaries, actors and actresses, politicians, and business men and woman and I wonder why I can’t. My husband looks and me and tells me,” You are not them, You are you.”
Do I wish I could do those things, I do. On those days I find myself wishing that, I stop and remember what I tell my daughter about finding the positive in the negative and I remind myself of the positive. Because of my disability I am home with my daughter everyday, we are able to homeschool, on my bad days I can rest, I can blog anytime of the day I am awake, I have learned new things about myself, I look at the world differently than I did , and I am learning to accept myself for who I am.
Bi Polar is an illness and although we don’t see the symptoms on the outside like a broken limb or a scar from surgery, the scars inside are sometimes worse than a scar outside. Many people struggle every day to hide this illness from people, I have just recently stopped being embarrassed about it and have told people the truth. There is not one set of symptoms that fits everyone who has Bi-Polar so it can be hard to find the right medication and right treatment plan and even then you cannot “cure” the problem but instead you “treat” the illness in hopes that the person can lead a life with the least amount of ups and down as possible.
So before you right off someone as “moody” or “crazy”, stop and ask the important question,” Is there more to the story than I know?”
You can check out another article I wrote about the Secrets Behind Mental Illness.
For more information about Bi-Polar you can visit the National Institute For Mental Health.
If you are someone you know are struggling there is help. Reach out to a doctor,nurse, or other healthcare professional. If you don’t think it can wait and is an emergency, head to the nearest Emergency Room or call 911.