The World Through The Lens Of A Bipolar Millennial

The World Through The Lens Of A Bipolar Millennial

One day, I can feel like I'm on top of the world, and the next I'll crash deep into a darkness.
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When I wake up, I honestly have no idea what kind of day I'll have. Maybe it'll be a fun, exciting day without a worry in the world. Maybe it's too exciting, and I do things I'll later regret. Maybe I'll be too depressed to do anything, maybe I'll isolate myself from friends and family. Maybe I'll go to class, maybe I'll skip and go on some adventure. Maybe, just maybe, it'll be a decent day where I'm productive without letting my happy or sad emotions get the best of me.

The problem is, every day I wake up unsure of how my emotions will go and how that will impact my day. And sometimes that's a terrifying thought, other days, it's not too bad.

This is the life of living with bipolar disorder, unsure of how your emotions will be one day form the next, feeling like little to nothing is usually consistent in your life.

I have a rare form of bipolar disorder 2. Most bipolar 2 individuals experience longer periods of depression with manic episodes here and there. I instead experience longer manic episodes than depressive episodes and rapid cycle (so instead of a few weeks at a time experiencing different episodes, it's every few days), which often can cause severe mixed episodes. Because of this, my fear that one day I may be to manic and the next too depressive is all the more real.

I've lost friends because of my actions from my bipolar disorder. I lost a boyfriend from it. I lost trust of loved ones for a time because I couldn't control my mood or actions.

My emotions switch like a light. Just one simple thing can set me off in a manic or depressive episode.

I've blown thousands of dollar in one day. I've attempted suicide twice. I've done spontaneous things that have caused major personal repercussions (ex. skipping class to go to the mountains, drive two hours for a cup of coffee then drive back, getting lots of tattoos) or done spontaneous things that have been somehow blessings in disguise or just good therapeutic things (ex. getting a cat, painting my room five times in a year, dancing for hours non-stop).

I've done countless things I've regretted because I either feel far too "high" or far too "low". I almost dropped out of college because of my bipolar, I had to take out loans to pay for who knows what I've spent money on. I had to get reported to campus health services for suicide attempts, I was not only almost hospitalized for my eating disorder, but also because of my mental state.

Living with bipolar disorder is no joke. It's nothing to laugh about. It's something to take seriously.

Bipolar disorder doesn't just go away; it's always there, it's always going to be.

One day, I can feel on top of the world, and the next day I'll crash deep into a downward spiral.

Some days, I feel like my high energy and happiness will never end, other days I feel like my deep self-loathing and tears will never end. Other times, on either spectrum, I become anxious because I know they will end, and I'll find myself in the opposite side of the spectrum in no time.

As I've gotten older and my bipolar disorder has gotten worse, I can't hold a job long anymore, my grades (which used to always be straight A's or all A's and one B) are now Bs and Cs with an A here and there. My card gets declined sometimes now, something that never happened before. I constantly change up my wardrobe and hair and overall appearance depending on my moods.

Because of my bipolar, I feel like I no longer have a sense of who I am and what my life is/should be.

I can be unreliable sometimes now because I can forget oblgiations and do something else that better fits my mood or emotions. I don't take as many opportunities that could help better my future because of my emotions that day. I don't do as much of what I used to love because my bipolar gets in the way. I still relapse in my four year long eating disorder frequently because I can't control my emotions.

I've tried several different medications, none that have helped. Some made me rapid cycle more severely than I already do, others zombified me and made me want to die more than I already did at the time, others made me too drowsy to drive or walk to class, some made me even more severely manic than I already am, and others made me shake so much that I couldn't write or type.

Because of this, I've chosen to live without medication, and whether that's the best decision or not, I don't know. But I have to trust that one day, I can find a way to be okay.

I go to therapy weekly for my bipolar disorder. I reach out to others when I know that I'm deep in a manic or depressive episode and need help from someone else to make sure I don't do something rash.

I'm dependent on others because my case of bipolar disorder does not allow me to be dependent on myself anymore. It's not that that will always be the case, but where I am in my life now, it is the case.

Bipolar disorder is a part of me, but it is not all that I am.

I am my accomplishments, my dreams and goals. I am what I have done to help and better others and myself. I am not only what my emotions are when I'm deep in a depressive or manic episode. I am creative, inspiring, fun, people-hearted, caring, open, loving...I am uniquely me.

Bipolar disorder does not make me weak. It just makes life harder to live.

And even though my bipolar disorder makes it harder to get by day to day, I'm thankful I have it because it allows me to see the world in a different, creative way.

Cover Image Credit: Chickenese Deviant Artist

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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