There are days where I can get up, leave the house, it seems that I am ‘normal’ and can blend into mundane. I can wake up on time, go about my day and feel like I have some control. They might be few but they do happen from time to time.
Other days I’m not as lucky and they aren’t so good. It might take me several hours to get up, my mind might be as cloudy as a British sky where I can’t focus on one thing for more than a few seconds, I might last less than an hour before I cry uncontrollably on and off for a day, week or month.
There is a switch that controls my emotions and myself. I do not have the power over this switch. There are no warnings, text alerts or reminders about what this switch is going to do or how it will affect my day, week or month. It is as if I have been strapped onto a rollercoaster I never asked to go on and there isn’t a point in where I can get off- this is a glimpse into what my bipolar disorder is. There is no control. It is terrifying and it is disruptive. Even with words, metaphors and analogies it is so hard to explain or paint a clear picture of what bipolar disorder is for me.
However, in the lack of control I experience with bipolar disorder, I try to have the most control over other parts of my life. For example, I love organisation, planning and lists. Every part of my day is organised down to the minute of when I wake up and go to sleep. I spend a lot of time organising my weeks and months in both digital and hard copy diaries so I have time to process what my routine is. I find it calming and helps turn off the noise in my mind. So whilst sometimes I can’t control or plan what my emotions will be like, I can try to organise other things. I’ve tried meditation and mindfulness but that doesn’t work for me, making lists and organising is my own form of meditation. It works for me and can calm me down.
I’ve found that everyone’s own bipolar disorder is so different; text books, medical journals and fact sheets, doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists might know what this is on paper but they themselves can never fully grasp what goes on in our minds. When we share our experiences, tell our stories and try to paint a picture of mental illness it is in the hope that those suffering in silence feel courageous to step out of the dark, seek help and join the conversation.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community