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.



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