What It’s Like Being Bipolar

It's a different way of experiencing the world. Everything feels more commanding and intense and textured and encompassing. It's to feel absolutely deeper and stronger than other people. Everything is attached onto layers of meaning and analyzing and intensity. You talk too fast, laugh too much and react stronger to sounds and sights and emotions. You feel intertwined with other people because you feel their thoughts and scars and fears as if it were your own. Everything in your life feels interconnected, part of a deeper purpose. You find spiritual metaphors in the ordinary and in a conversation your mind races ahead to brand new subjects with questions and questions and more questions. You don't mean to come across as flirtatious. You don't realize you're being confrontational. And a day to you feels like what would be a week to anyone else. So many emotions and thoughts and epiphanies are packed into every moment and you feel exhausted being with people, like you're performing... like you need time away to process and process and process this crazy roller coaster that is your life.

 

You have this intensity of focus where you'll forget to eat and sleep, completely lose track of time when you're immersed in something. You're creative and passionate and sometimes when you're writing, it feels like the words are just pouring out of you as if you're in a trance. You have this mission impossible attitude about everything, where when you're fighting for something you don't give up until you win and get your way. You're charismatic and charming and so full of life.  But then because you know people so well, know how your emotions are coming across, can feel how you're affecting them it's so easy for you to manipulate. You're impulsive, you think in black-and-white extremes, and you're psychically empathetic. You crave to feel free and that's why you won't medicate easily.

 

When you're in depression, you lose yourself. You stop fighting and trying. You just need to sleep and sleep and then lay in bed until you fall asleep again. You're exhausted and you feel constantly sleep deprived, even when that's all you ever do. You don't have the energy to eat or shower or pick up your phone. It takes an insurmountable effort to get out of bed and to leave your house. Your bed feels like the safest, most comfortable place and you don't want to be anywhere else.

 

Your thinking is slowed and contorted. Sometimes it feels like you're trapped within a glass box or in a fog or that everything happening is as if you're underwater. You mind goes blank on words to say in a conversation and you can't understand what you're reading or studying. It is almost impossible to make decisions like deciding what outfit to put on or what to order at a restaurant. You start crying when you realize you can't complete basic tasks. Your texts go unanswered, appointments unattended, and you start to push away everyone in your life. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and you're falling behind.

 

Your memory has been obstructed and when you think of the past few months, you can't latch onto things... like it's all trapped within a fog. It terrifies you when you're taking to your friend and realize you cannot at all remember what they're referring to. You feel completely disconnected from yourself, like a phantom and a third-party observer within your own brain. It's being trapped in your personal version of hell, where you've lost everything that was you.

 

It's thinking of killing yourself, hearing voices telling you how to kill yourself and then being so terrified and confused, crying and crying, wondering how you ever got to this point.

 

It's spiking from that back into Heaven. Everything is euphoric and perfect and your life is amazing again. You have a rush of ideas and going through that inspired so much new writing. You analyze your depression and now you understand God better, understand love better. You came up with new philosophy theories, can now understand theology better. You throw yourself into all these new projects and your heart is beating so fast at night that you can't fall asleep even if you wanted to. Your pupils are huge and your face all lit up and animated when you talk to people. Everything is your favorite and everyone is your best friend and everything is good and beautiful in the world. You see through to the core of people— to their hearts. You're all trusting and forgiving. You reach out to everyone and make strangers feel like you've known them your whole life.

 

Your dreams have always been extremely vivid.  But now you're waking up from these intricate storylines and they're predictive of what your symptoms will be the next day. When you're in depression, the dreams feel more invigorating and real than when you're awake.  When you're switching into mania, they are anxiety nightmares— searing into your memory these twisted, creepy images you won't be able to forget.  You brain locks down parts of the dreams into your actual memory. And you start to get lost within defining your reality.  

 

But then you feel so happy that you cry. You feel so overcome with thankfulness that you cry. You feel so immersed in peace that you have to cry. You feel like you're running ahead of everyone else and you feel misunderstood by them. They don't feel with the intensity that you feel and they can't comprehend why you feel emergency toward so many things and they cannot feel all the textures of your passion and gratefulness and empathy and you wonder if you're even capable of being fully known.

3 Comments

  1. Erin
    June 22, 2017

    This makes me feel so understood in ways that nobody in my life is able to do. The intensity of the world around me is magnified when I’m manic and I feel the world connected to me as if we are one and then lose it all to depression in what feels like an instant and it’s like falling to the ground from the tallest of rooftops and I lose my connection to the world and myself and I hate it. I am so grateful for your posts and videos that I could cry, I have been following you since late 2016 and your videos gave me the motivation to finally get diagnosed after 5 years of being dismissed by GP’s I finally got diagnosed bipolar by a psychiatrist, now I feel so relieved and hopeful for the future. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  2. Derrick
    August 24, 2017

    I’m a 39 year old father of two, music producer and I’ve worked in

    many areas of the entertainment industry for the last 20 years.

    Although I’ve only just properly understood what mental health is,

    I’ve experienced anxiety and depression my entire life it seems,

    which has been further complicated by the suspected Asperger’s

    (high functioning autism) and ADHD that I’m halfway through

    diagnosis for. I’ve lived a very confused existence, not truly

    knowing who I am and being very insecure about why I feel and act

    the way I do.

    I’ve been addicted to most drugs and alcohol, I’ve also had

    problems with over eating and binging whether it be with substances

    or food. I have physical health problems caused by my binge

    drinking and unhealthy lifestyle. I’m now totally free of these

    addictions and my liver has started to reverse. Over the years I’ve

    had serious accidents, fights, lost jobs, fallen out with countless

    people and had problems integrating into society and dealing with

    life as a whole. Throughout most of my existence I’ve always

    preferred to be isolated and away from society, as a coping

    mechanism for my insecurities and mainly because I tend not to get

    into misunderstandings when I’m on my own – life seems to be much

    more settled for me this way.

    In 2014 I started a painful journey to the present day which

    ultimately ended in destruction of everything I cared about. It

    affected my family, I lost my partner of 24 years and ended up

    significantly in debt, all fuelled by my complications

    understanding the world and impulsive behaviour. I made a bad

    business decision which took away my structure, income and

    stability, culminating in me becoming very depressed and full of

    anxiety.

    During this time I had several breakdowns and became unable to

    communicate, which resulted in self-referring myself to my GP for

    help to find out why I wasn’t coping. This then led me on the path

    to the present day with over 30 hours of counselling and 12

    separate consultations later, I’m finally starting to get the

    answers to what has been going on in my life and giving me closure

    on many things I’ve lived a life of confusion about.

    Ironically, I now feel the best I’ve ever felt about myself but

    have been left with a total mess of a life to look back and reflect

    on, with plenty of confusion and an inability to function some

    days. This didn’t need to be the way it is, but I can understand

    that society is still in its infancy of being able to accept

    differences and that public knowledge has been very limited for the

    complications I’ve suffered.

    Since getting the right support, making massive strides to better

    myself and understand my problems, in March 2017, I walked 200

    miles throughout the month for Cancer Research. This was part of my

    rehabilitation, if you like, and it was a great way to mentally

    reflect on all the things that had happened in my life. Since

    December 2016, I have totally transformed my life in many areas

    that were causing me serious struggles before.

    Talking is key – I cannot emphasise this enough. If I’d been able

    to talk years ago I wouldn’t have needed to suffer and nor would

    the people around me. I believe that society as a whole was to

    blame in not understanding and treating metal illness as a second

    rate health problem. It feels like you should just get on with it

    and expect no support unless you became sectioned. As a teenager

    and young adult in the 90’s and 00’s, we never had discussions

    about depression or anxiety and I only really knew what they were

    properly last year, once I started the process of getting support

    for my problems.

    For me, not having closure or the ability to discuss my problems

    with anyone created a world of pure confusion and deep insecurity

    about why my mind works the way it does and why I cannot connect

    with the emotions of others. It forced me to stay quiet and suffer

    in silence. If, as a society, we are all armed with important

    knowledge about how our emotions can affect us day to day, I

    believe that there would be far fewer people lost and turning to

    substances to create a world they feel normal in.

    I’ve made it through a serious amount of challenges and I’ve not

    stopped fighting to get to a better place, despite continuous

    battles and problems always there to stop me. It’s a really hard

    place to be in where you have loads of friends and family but no

    one to talk to. That’s the biggest challenge in getting answers to

    your struggles, trying to get other people to understand and relate

    to the world you live in or have lived in your entire life.

    I now talk loads about my emotions, but up until last year I hadn’t

    spoken to a single person my entire life and naturally I was a

    ticking time bomb waiting to happen.

    I signed up to become a Champion a couple of months back and intend

    to do as much as I can over the coming years to raise the volume on

    mental health awareness to try help people like myself get the

    answers and get them sooner.
    Abbott Laboratories Pharmaceutical company have a team of experts

    helping patients around the world.Vist http://www.abbott.com/ to

    get help for yourself and for your loved ones.you can also send a

    mail(info.helpcentreabbottinc@gmail.com)

    Reply
  3. You did it !

    Reply

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