I don’t feel like I’m living. I feel like I’m dying. I’m not living life as it is passing me by. Trying to get through each day is torture. I have no motivation and no desire to do anything. The house is a mess and I honestly can’t leave the house to get groceries or basic supplies. I feel guilty because my husband works a full time job and picks up my slack. What kind of life is this? I believe things will get better because they have in the past. Now it’s just waiting to see when “better” will come for a visit again.
When I was younger, stress propelled me to work harder and gave me incentive to keep going. Now that I’m older and dealing with bipolar disorder, stress makes me want to shut down. Having bipolar disorder, my brain is already working overtime just trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy and balance. Now that I’ve added three graduate classes this semester I feel like I’m coming unglued. I complete one homework assignment or project and wish I could celebrate that accomplishment but I can’t because I’m constantly thinking about all of the other thousand things that have to be done. My brain is never at rest. From experience, I know that when I get like this I shut down completely and with so much school work I can’t afford to shut down. We went to the beach this weekend and it was the first time all summer. What did I do? Homework and completed a presentation. Lord, please give me the patience and mental rest that I need to be successful in life and school.
Why keep going when things are dark and swirling out of control? First off, God made you for a reason. It may seem like the people around you are always happy and in control of what is happening in their lives but let me tell you that’s not the case. I’ve been in your shoes many times. It was like I was in the center of this cheerful merry go round, watching everyone laugh and have a good time while I’m getting dizzy and sick to my stomach because I couldn’t make the world stop. I just cried and it seemed that no one cared because their lives were perfect and couldn’t be bothered with mine. I now know that was my depression lying to me, holding me hostage because it didn’t want to be alone. There’s three parts to everyone’s life cycle: 1. Been in a crisis, 2. In a crisis, and 3. Will go into crisis. That’s just life for everyone, not just you. We can’t control what goes on around us but we can control how we respond to it. Love yourself enough to keep going. You are unique and special, one of a kind. The world would never be the same without you. The sun will be a little less brighter and the night sky will be a little bit darker if you’re gone. We can’t depend on others to live our lives for us. Where’s the joy in that? You have a purpose. You may not have found it yet and that’s ok. Keep looking. Don’t give up. You may be just what someone else needs to keep going. Help each other instead of tearing each other down. Why keep going? You are needed. You are wanted. You are loved.
Hold on tight, it’s going to be a long, scary, and sometimes very dark ride. You will make some very stupid, stupid decisions over and over again and not know why. You will dishonor your body even though you don’t want to and not know why. You will be alone and you will be lonely. You will spend your days and your nights in tears. You will block everyone out but always wear a smile. You will always ask “What is wrong with me?” and never find the answer. You will self destruct daily. You will be down but you will also be up, which can still be a bad thing. All roads lead to destruction, or so it seems.
The tides will turn. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. You’re typing this right now so that’s proof you’ve made it through. Thank God for that. There will be people put into your life that will love you regardless of your past, and regardless of a stupid diagnosis. These people will carry you when you no longer can carry yourself. They will build you up when you need it. Let them do it. They love you and they want to do it. You will grow to have a husband that cherishes you and two beautiful children that adore you. You will have a church family that pray you through some very dark times when you can’t do it yourself. You will be successful in life because you survive and thrive. Take back your life. Take control. Love yourself and hold on tight.
Change used to be exciting but now it’s scary as it throws me out of balance. My family and I went to the mountains this weekend with our church youth group. It was a whirlwind weekend and the men slept in one bunk house while the women were in another. We went rafting and all of last week I kept thinking and saying I was going to fall out of the raft. My ill feelings came true and water scares me. I know what you’re thinking: “Why in the world would she go rafting if water scares her?” I don’t want my kids to see me scared of having adventures. I want them to see me overcome my fears and be able to have fun, even at my age. All of the activities coupled with not having my husband by my side at night threw me in a tailspin. Saturday night brought on a full blown panic attack. One of my friends tried to help me but I needed my husband. Even though it was late, he came outside and sat with me until I was ok. I depend on him so much and pray I never have to live without him. It has taken two days to recover and I hope I can make it out of the house tomorrow. Loving to travel creates a great dilemma as I’m scared to leave home and have my schedule disrupted. I just want to feel normal.
I need to change meds due to cost but I can’t see a medical provider until the end of August. I had to cut my meds in half and have been having severe panic attacks and have been crying all day. I barely made it through a quick shopping trip with my family yesterday before feeling like I needed to run away screaming. I know my family loves me but it would be nice to have friends that cared about me and helped me have a little fun every now and then. I just feel so alone and lonely. When the kids are here with me I barely se them or talk to them. They stay in their rooms and are about their own business. I’m seriously considering self admitting so I can change my meds faster and get through the process. If I’m going to do it I need to do it before the kids go back to school and I go back to school. I can’t stand this slow process. I just pray I make it through.
Don’t just look at the color of my skin or the color of my hair
Look beyond my smile and my laugh
What you see is not always what you get
I’m deeper than that.
Take time to get to know ME
Yes, I do have walls but they can be broken if you really want to see who I am
I can be a great person
If only you take the time to LOOK AT ME.
In addition to bipolar disorder, I also struggle with migraines. I saw a neurologist last week and was started on a new maintenance medicine. Three days later I had auditory hallucinations, night terrors, and sleep paralysis. Coincidence? I don’t know. The medicine is so new that my psychiatrist had never heard of it so there’s not any major psychological side effects reported with it. I can usually tell when these episodes are coming on and this came out of the blue. I was totally unprepared. My night terror involved rats running all over me. I couldn’t wake up although I was desperately trying. Needless to say, when I did, I was not in a good place mentally. I refused to go back to sleep. I can’t stand this. One medicine given to help one thing totally throws other areas out of whack. Now, due to the cost of Seroquel under my insurance, I will have to be weaned off of it before I can start a new med. “Things will get worse before they get better”. I’d better batten down the hatches because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
So, I met my new psychiatrist today. What an ordeal! I think he comes from the school of tough love. He was brash, loud, confrontive (that’s my word), and scary. There was nothing nice about him. If I started out answering a question in a way he didn’t approve of, he would raise his voice and stop me like I was a child. If I had a question about his written directions he yelled at me and made me reread them EXACTLY as he had written them just to make sure I understood them. Wow! I have seen two other psychs in the past and they could be described the same way. Is it their training or just their nature? I’m scared to go back next week.
I’ve had a terrible few days and see a new psychiatrist tomorrow. I was just sitting here thinking about myself and this is the conclusion I came to: My life has great value and a lot of people love me. Guess what. The same is true for you.