What is Bipolar?

I find myself asking this question a lot. Even though I have been diagnosed for almost 2 years I still don’t know much about my illness. I know what it’s like to live with it but not necessarily what it really is. So I looked it up. “Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”
That sounds so easy. So cut and dry. But it isn’t black and white. On one side of the coin, I can’t sleep because I am so excited and motivated and I want to work on every project under the sun! I might not sleep for 2 or 3 days and besides being tired I’m ok with that because so much gets done and I feel so good.
Now flip that coin… I can’t get out of bed. I’ve slept 14 hours and I’m still exhausted. Everything hurts, even my hair and my eyes and I don’t want to speak or be spoken to. All I can do is manage to cry and if anyone asks if I’m ok I burst into tears. I just need to sleep. When it’s like this I don’t care if I ever wake up.
Now what about the in between? When the coin lands on the edge. These are the days I try to balance. I try not to rock to far one way or the other. Most of these days my brain feels like it’s in a fog and my anxiety tries to break through. These are the days my past comes knocking.
Today I’m kind of numb. I’m in a fog. I can’t really focus and trying to even find my words is a stretch. I feel like everything is a distraction and my brain just can’t keep up. This is going to be one of those days that people notice I’m off my game and I’ll have to make up reasons why I’m not 100%. You can’t just say “yeah, I’m having a bit of a rough day” because they usually want to help fix it. There really isn’t anyway to fix it. I just have to ride it out like a storm and wait for the next wave.

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