As most of you know, I struggle with bipolar disorder. And anyone with a mental illness, or anyone who loves someone suffering from a mental illness knows, this is the worst time of year. This is the transition from light to darkness, both literally and metaphorically.
Bipolar disorder is kind of a cluster of symptoms, but in the simplest terms, it is when a person cycles between periods of mania and depression. But the definition is easy enough to find. Anyone can pick up a DSM and figure it out. But let's set aside all that bullshit for a moment and just focus on the experience of bipolar disorder.
|Actually, kind of exactly like this.|
Bipolar feels like creativity and like listlessness.
Bipolar feels like sleeplessness and sleep.
Like color and grey.
Like passion and emptiness.
Like relationships and loneliness.
And worse of all...
Bipolar feels like doing everything right and falling apart anyway.
You find that when you were once waking up at 5 AM to exercise, you now cry in your bed at 7, because it actually physically hurts to will yourself out of bed.
You find that all your incredible, creative ideas no longer interest you and fall to the side because you simply cannot find the energy to pursue them.
You find that although you once inspired people and were a leader, you are now exhausted by the presence of company. But being alone is equally unbearable, when you used to feel content with yourself.
So right now I'm suffering. It's just the right time of year for that. But I want you to know that I WILL be happy in spite of myself. I don't know how yet. Every day I'm learning how to manage this illness, and I'm sure that someday I will be better for it. It's just that right now it feels hopeless. But as my favorite blogger says, depression is a lying bastard, and life will get brighter.
And dammit, I can do nothing but believe her. Have faith in me, friends.
|Remember bliss. It's coming back, and it's worth waiting for.|