I am Bipolar 2 with a social anxiety disorder. This means a series of emotions can rage through me within an hour. I can be on top of the world at 9:05 and by 10:05 I can be balled up crying surrounded by broken dishes and broken relationships. I can be hugging my husband at 8:12 and by 9:45 we can be in a full blown fight because of my actions. I can be photographing my kids at 9:42 creating beautiful memories but by 10:12 I can be explaining to them why mommy is crying and daddy is screaming. One week I can run a business, be Mom of the Year, loose five pounds, keep my house clean….all with a smile and endless energy then next week cancel work and miss activities for my kids because I couldn’t bare to speak to someone new.
No one tells you when you’re first diagnosed that your life may fall apart. They will give you all of the side effects of the drugs you are taking but not the side effects of Bipolar itself. Bipolar is isolating especially in a world where we have become isolated by social media. It’s isolating when so much of society concentrates on what something looks like and not what it actually is. It’s isolating when the world expects you to be a certain way and you just can’t be that. The stigma – oh the stigma. Bipolar will hurt the relationships around you and can change the coarse of your life in a way you never expected. Bipolar can make reality that you may not create the little people you wanted because you can’t be the mom you planned on being. Bipolar is dark.
Bipolar is not a label I want to wear but it is me. It has changed my life in good and bad ways. It has activated something in my head to make my creativity soar as if my brain has been rewired – is that possible? There are days I can’t write the ideas fast enough or sketch quick enough. Then there are days I’m so deep in the world of darkness that I can’t even smile or laugh – just cry. Then days I’m lost in self reflection from the ups and downs of the morning that I have epiphanies about life and my purpose. Bipolar makes the person inside you scream to emerge. I sometimes think my Bipolar was triggered by the real me screaming for so long to emerge. Bipolar can be enlightening I guess.
So next time a friend or family member shares they have Bipolar think about this. They aren’t intentionally hurting you. They aren’t intentionally changing. They aren’t intentionally becoming something you are unsure of. They aren’t going to hurt you. Yes they may break down and cry for no reason or be so caught up in their thoughts that they can’t keep a date with you. Hang in there with them. It’s a tough journey that isn’t fully understood by doctors and therapists. It’s neurotransmitters, trauma, emotions – all mixing together to confuse scientists let alone friends and family members. Mental illness isn’t accepted or understood like many physical ailments others share. It’s hidden behind doors, behind personas, behind drugs, behind sunglasses and behind lies. We are scared to be isolated even more than we already are by the thoughts in our mind.