1. We are scared of our symptoms too!
Not a lot can compare to the feeling of our switch getting flipped! One minute we are happy & making the best out of life, & without a warning a dark cloud of depression consumes us. We look around & all we can envision is the world crumbling around us. We feel worthless, & the voice in our head doesn't help... Its just a constant reminder that we are failures & nothing more than a burden on our loved ones lives!
2. We have given up on ourselves more times than you know.
We are having another bad day & of course our mood & attitude is rubbing off on our better half. Not long before we start an argument & there's no going back from there. Once they take all they can handle they storm off leaving hurt & angry. They just want a break from us & our attitudes, who could blame them? They are tired of us & the way we act, so are we! They don't realize how sick & tired we are with ourselves. It was never about them, it was always about us. We cause all the problems in all our relationships & we know it.
3. We are great actors, once in character always in character.
Feeling manic? Better find a reason for working harder, being extra chatty, & social! Or feeling depressed? Better find a reason for feeling sad, or better yet hide it behind words like 'tired', 'sick', or 'allergies.' We are constantly drowning, holding on to the little air we have left, & in no way are we going to try to drown you too with our problems! We love & care for you by keeping our act up.
4. We are completely normal!
We laugh, love, & hate the same as anyone else. But ours is done on a broader spectrum. Where you may feel confused, we feel lost. Where you may feel concerned, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Just know the emotions you feel is 10x more powerful to us. Yet we still have jobs & families, & live just as anyone would. We just live it more!
5. We know a lot about suicide & suicidal tendencies.
Most of us have at some point in time has thought about, & possibly attempted, suicide. But there is more to it then just being depressed & then dying. We have thought long & hard about the motive behind 'wanting to die.' We take everything and everyone into consideration when planning our good byes. It's so much more than just dying.
6. We go from being proud of who we are to feeling like a giant mistake.
Some days we are strong & feel like we run the world. But we know this feeling won't last forever. We know there will come a day when we just can't seem to do anything right!! When we are bad & hating life it's because at the moment all we see is our failures. But when we are good, we feel like we have reached a milestone of success, & we wear it proud! (Wish those moments lasted forever!)
7. We don't know how to live our lives.
There is no manual for living with bipolar disorder & even if there was, everyone is different. & yes we know there are plenty of drugs that Dr's may prescribe. Some are blessed & find exactly what they need to feel like a 'normal' human being. Then you got some like me, who have tried many different things & nothing seems to work. It's a punch in the gut every time a medication fails us. So we find ways that help us manage our symptoms safely & in a positive way. We start by recognize our triggers & avoid them at all cost. & we only take on tasks we know we can reasonably handle!
Terri Lee Elliott