There have been a lot of things recently that have triggered me into a roller coaster of emotions. Hard, emotional things but, also normal things completely have me going up and down and up and down. I try to focus on my thoughts, just one single thought and to keep focusing on that thought until it doesn't cause my heart to pound and I don't feel like I am going to freak out. Until, I don't feel like the world is ending every single second of the day.
This is my life. Twenty four seven since 2008. This is MY mental illness. MY Bi-Polar.
I wasn't always Bi-Polar..or, maybe I was and it just did not present itself until I was much older. Who knows. My childhood was not traumatic or bad. My father was always dying since I could remember but, when your a child, you get used to things. So, it was second nature that my father had oxygen on and couldn't walk to the bathroom without turning blue and almost passing out. He had emphysema and lung cancer but, he had it since I could remember. The thought of him actually dying was not something I processed back then. So, I had a father who couldn't play with me and wasn't very nice to be around but, he wasn't horrible. Most people hear you have Bi-Polar and they think you must of gone through something so terrible in childhood that it messed you up beyond repair. For me, it was both but, not from my childhood. Out of all of this crap, at LEAST I can say I had a good child hood. Lets move on...
I knew, growing up, that my mother had "issue". There was no name because I was too young to ask. I just knew she had times where she wouldn't come out of her bedroom or she took naps like three times a day. There were times where she wouldn't clean the house for the longest time. On the other side of it, there were times where she acted almost childish and immature and wild to where it would cause fights between my father and her. I never understood it as being ONE thing. It was just things I noticed in passing you could say. I look back at it now and know that she was suffering from Bi-Polar as well. I understand and identify with it because now, well now... that's exactly who I am as well. It's MY Bi-Polar now too.
When I first started getting symptoms that something was wrong, it was really hard. The constant racing thoughts to all of a sudden losing that euphoric feeling was like getting hit with a frying pan. It was like being a coke addict and coming down off the worse high you have ever been on. One minute I was so happy talking a mile a minute to the next second, stopping mid sentence because I lost that manic feeling and went straight into a depression of having no energy to even finish my sentence. I was getting more low than I had ever been. I was cutting myself and burning myself and if it was a particularly bad day, I would get into the tub, with my clothes on, and try to drown myself. During this time, my father was months from passing away and my life as I knew it, had completely done a 180. I don't want to get too deep into specifics. We'll leave that for another day. But, it was bad and it had triggered this demon inside of me.
When I met my husband, I was in a low time in my life. I was a new mother, at the age of 19, who was alone, stuck with a man who she hated and who abused her. My husband was a breath of fresh air. He was a beacon of hope. A light in the distance. I was so happy and leveled out, mentally, for quite some time. But, with Bi-Polar, it didn't last. I started not wanting to shower, get dressed, clean, or take care of my daughter. I started going out and drinking a lot and leaving my husband to pick up the slack. I started hating my life for absolutely NO reason. The worst thing about it..I KNEW there was no reason.
See, with MY Bi-Polar, and I say "MY" because I truly believe each persons is quite different while still being similar, I am AWARE of what I am doing. The right and wrong. The ups and downs. The highs and lows. I am completely aware, deep inside my brain. I am not like a mentally ill person who is so far gone with their illness they do not know they are crazy. I know....and it KILLS me. Inside, I am a great mother who loves to be active and social. But, on the outside, I am a hermit who doesn't interact with even her family because she knows shes too incapable of even being nice or having the energy to play. I feel like I am at war, with myself. My husband walks in and says "Hi Baby" or "Good Morning" and I WANT to say "Hey! Good Morning!" but, what comes out of my mouth is nasty and mean. Why? I have no fucking idea. I sit there waging war with myself telling myself to STOP! Just STOP! Most days...I WISH I was mentally ill enough to not know who I was hurting around me.
My point is, this illness is real and I don't care who thinks it isn't. They do not suffer like me and they do not know what I go through. I get that. I understand because if I wasn't going through it myself, I wouldn't understand it either. It's hard to think about your brain being your worst enemy. Its hard to believe you would be mean to the people who mean the most. That you would hurt them in any way. Most people would bet their life on it.....Most people don't have Bi-Polar.
My illness is my own and I live with it every single day. I fight the demon every single day. I push its darkest thoughts away and I fight to be a social person who is kind. I fight the urges the demon makes me think about me not being worthy of love or hope. The urge that I should just end it all and help the people around me. I fight the demon....that is ME. This is My illness, MY Bi-Polar...MY fight.
Thanks for listening