I spent the majority of my life trying to run away from my problems thinking that some change of scenery would change what was wrong in my life. And yet everywhere I went, there I was. Why it never occurred to me that I was the common denominator through all of it will always haunt my intelligence.
You can’t run away from yourself, stupid! And your body can’t even handle walking up three flights of stairs to your apartment. What makes you think you’ll be able to outrun anything at this point in your life?
So I finally stopped all that insanity and instead I started exercising with my demons. As much as I don’t want to admit it, they are a part of me. If I ever want to learn how to control my bipolar disorder, I have to accept and understand the darkness that comes with it. I just have to allow myself to feel. But when your emotions are so intense that they seem to swallow you whole, it’s hard to remember that they’re only temporary. The light will always return. No actually, it never leaves. It just travels along my spectrum of extremes waiting for its chance to shine.
I’m all about changing the perception our world has of mental illness. We need to start teaching kids that crazy is the new cool! People need to know that our depression and mania is due to our sensitivity to feelings that are extreme and deep and overwhelming. In my opinion, what society calls an illness is in actuality a God-given gift. We didn’t ask to be born this way but it makes us special and should never be looked down upon. I proudly claim my crazy because it makes me who I am. It’s a part of us that we can’t just turn on and off whenever it’s convenient. Society needs a better understanding of what it means to live a life of mental disarray. I consider us warriors for battling an inner war day after day and continuing to live the best we can when it has taken the lives of so many.
I knew it was coming and tried to prepare for it as much as anyone with bipolar disorder can, but it still hits you like a ton of Mac trucks. Not only do I deal with bipolar but I also live with numerous chronic health conditions that came after battling cancer over a decade ago. For some reason, the physical health issues seem to come exactly when I crash from a manic period. I don’t know how or why that happens, but it never fails.
So basically I’ve spent the past two days in bed going through these sweating fits that I assume are hormonal in nature. There’s really no rhyme or reason to their onset so there’s no way to prepare or plan on how to work your day around them. I just have to bundle up in sweats and a hoodie to grin and bear the grossness of profuse sweating while trying not to soak anything else other than what I’m wearing. They usually last for 30 minutes but come and go throughout the day. And there’s no telling what day it will happen. Or how many days it may continue.
I have important things I need to take care of tomorrow so I can’t afford to lose another day to this annoying symptom that I’ve yet to understand where it comes from. I’m in the process of looking for a new place since my lease is up at the end of the year and I already have an appointment set up for tomorrow. I don’t want to miss out on finding the perfect place for me so I pray that I don’t see the beginning of a true crashing spiral.
Usually my crashes start out with some health problem laying me up in bed for a day and then it just seems to get harder and harder to get out of bed as each day passes. The spiral begins. Then the spiral takes over. I’m trying really hard to stay aware of my shifts and cycles so I can prevent them from controlling my life like they always have. I’m praying really hard that I will get out of bed and function tomorrow instead of losing another day.
Okay, so I think I’ve finally accepted that the doctors may be correct in diagnosing me with bi-polar 1 disorder. For the longest time, like 14 years or so, I didn’t want to admit to myself that I actually have a mental illness. After talking with a therapist today, I realized that I have exhibited every symptom of the disorder at some point or another and just haven’t been aware of it. It’s probably more like I never wanted to be aware of it. Well… unfortunately I can’t ignore it and believe it’s not there anymore. Damn. I guess I have to deal with it now, huh?