As exhausting as rapid cycling can be, I have to admit that I like the perk of not being depressed for weeks or months on end. I have always thought that those that struggle with Type II Bipolar are remarkable, because frankly, I’m not sure how I’d fair during an elongated depression.
That being said, after a brief three day run, I woke up today feeling much lighter.
It’s astonishing how a slight shift in my chemicals can change my world so drastically. The same things that I looked at yesterday or a couple of days ago and felt absolutely overwhelmed by or saw as the worst of the worst possible situation now look simpler and endurable. Nothing about these things have changed; it’s all me. It’s the way the gloomy part of my brain chooses to whisper in my ear and distort my vision.
That’s what I’ve learned to anchor myself to when I’m going through a state that is especially challenging – be it mania or depression; or my favorite, a mixed state. I continually remind myself that what I see and feel during these times aren’t always truthful, but a scribbled over version of reality.
Sometimes I have to remind myself 200 times in one day NOT to act on that thought/feeling; to just wait and see if I feel the same about it next week. My depressed thoughts may tell me that someone doesn’t like me, or that I am inadequate, or that I totally suck as a mother; but that’s all it is, my depressed mind saying that to me (for fun I guess?).
I cannot think of a more effective way for me to appear nuttier than peanut butter than treating every dark whisper as a fact.
Once you open a can, it’s open. Once you express a thought to another it cannot be unheard by them.
My best advice is DON’T DO IT. Just hold on, wait until you see the little signs that you are rising again, before you run with ANYTHING! (I say this realizing that there are going to be some things that just have to happen, that cannot be put on hold. Sometimes life doesn’t give a shit if you’re bipolar and doesn’t have time to wait for you.)
At times when I am in a depressed state, I hole up and interact as little as possible. Yes, partly because it is too damned challenging and I simply don’t have the energy; but the other part is, the less I do, the less of a mess I’ll be making out of things around me.
The people in your life will understand, or they won’t. The ones that do not, will either get over it or they will get on with it (it being life) without you.
The important part is that you won’t be trying to undo a bunch of regrets when you shift into the next bipolar state.
It will all be okay, just keep holding on!