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.
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.
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?
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.