31 Days of Bipolar, Day 8: How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways

What do you dislike most about Bipolar?

Err…. Is this a trick question? What do you hate most about being slowly tortured? Oh, there’s too many things to choose from. 

I hate the suicidal thoughts, feeling like there’s no hope in the world. I hate suffocating in psychosis, losing my my mind. I hate hurting those around me, I hate barely passing at university, I hate that just as I enter adulthood I have all these restrictions on me.

I hate so much of it. I hate it. I’ll narrow it down to my top 3.

One

The first thing I thought of, although I couldn’t let it stand alone as worst, is how it changes my personality.

Everyone is sad sometimes, perhaps crushingly so. But you remain as you. It is YOU that is sad. In Depression, that is so far from the truth. And it’s the same from mania. There are so many things that get taken away from you with this illness. The worst is that it will strip away any sense of self that I had. I don’t think I could ever explain how that feels.

Two

At least I eventually become me again. But when I’m stable I live in constant fear of the next episode.

It haunts my dreams, and every decision I make. I’m starting uni and I’m terrified. I want to move out but I’m terrified. Because each of these things could be the thing that brings me to the most suffocatingly terrifying place in my life. Each Depression I go through, I get closer to committing suicide. I genuinely don’t know if I’ll survive the next one, or the next one. At this point, it feels like life or death decisions.

How would you handle that?

Three

This is forever. Every single day I wake up, year after year, every phase of life, until I die. This. Is. Forever.

Every time I go through Depression, I hear the same thing. “It’ll get better”. And it will, I don’t doubt that. But then it’ll get worse again. It’ll always get better, but it’ll always get worse.

I know you’re just thinking that eventually I’ll be in control, and that’s true. At least I hope so. But when? There’s so much uncertainty. I could be fine for 20 years and suddenly kill myself. Look at Robin Williams, bless his soul. And what if I don’t get worse, I stay stable. That’s wonderful and I want that, but it’s still an entire lifetime of restriction, of pills, of that what if?

I apologise that this has been a less pleasant post. I try to be positive and accepting towards what I cannot change, but I promise you this is the unexaggerated truth of a deadly illness. It is not all sunshine and puppy dogs like you’d want us to believe. It hurts. And really, it’s just as important to allow yourself to know it sucks as it is to stay positive.

2 thoughts on “31 Days of Bipolar, Day 8: How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways

  1. You are right, it is the “forever” aspect that is a huge thing for many with chronic illness… you have expressed that well. As a T1 Diabetic I long for one day without injections or blood tests (at least 5 of each every day), of being able to eat … or not eat….what and when I want, of not having to make sure I have my survival kit with me (insulin, syringes or “pen”, blood test machine, test strips and finger pricker, glucose lollies, spare food) at all times, of not getting more and more complications, of people not judging me when low bsl affects my personality as the frontal lobe of the brain is deprived…. after all it is “only diabetes” people say. For me treatment is improving since I first was diagnosed almost 50 years ago. I do hope there is increasingly better help for you too.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. While I know there are many similarities in the feelings between different chronic illnesses, I often don’t realise how alike it can be. People of all illnesses tend to hide the nitty gritty and it’s easy to believe that it’s not all bad when you can’t feel what it’s like in their mind. Do you right about living with Diabetes? I’d be interested in reading it.

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