I have bipolar disorder and I live with rules I make rather than living out any actual desires. This is because I have little-to-no motivation or desires thanks to bipolar depression. Nothing wants me to get out of bed. Nothing wants me to work. Nothing wants me to do anything. But I do those things and a whole lot more because of the rules-based living I do with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder makes me lose days. Whole days lost to a disease of the brain. And when I say “lost,” I mean lost. I mean I can’t find myself during lost days and I can’t find the lost days once they have passed. All I have a recollection of it losing them. Bipolar disorder causes these lost days and I hate it.
Like many with bipolar disorder (up to 50%1), I have attempted suicide, but the question is, did that suicide attempt change my outlook on life? This is an interesting question because so many of us have been in this situation. For some, the answer is definitely, “yes,” but for others, I think their suicide attempt didn’t change their outlook on life and, unfortunately, attempt suicide again, or, finally, die of suicide. For me, the answer is both “yes,” and “no.”
I believe you have to create things to look forward to when you have bipolar depression. It’s not enough to wait for things to look forward to like holidays, birthdays or promotions at work; when you have bipolar depression you need to create everyday things to look forward to. Here’s one way I do this.
I’m stuck in a bipolar depression and yet, I’m trying to exercise. I’ve never been successful at this – ever. Now and then I have been on exercise programs, but I’ve hated every one and none of them have stuck. Not to mention the fact that getting my depressed butt out of the house to do anything is almost impossible. I have no energy and everything hurts all the time. Bipolar depression makes exercising almost impossible – but I’m hoping the truth is that it’s just “almost” impossible.
Fear and pain are realities of life, but we can’t let fear and pain make our decisions for us. As soon as we do, they will be the masters of our fates. But we all need to be the masters of our own destiny. In short, we need to stand up to fear and pain and make our own decisions, even though it can be very hard.
I’ve written before how critical sleep is to those with bipolar disorder but just how sensitive is bipolar disorder to sleep changes and what can you do about bipolar’s sensitivity to sleep changes? It’s important to know what happens with your bipolar disorder when your sleep patterns change, even a little. That sensitivity can make all the difference to your day and what coping skills you choose to employ. But how big a change in your sleep does it take to affect your bipolar disorder? How do you deal with sleep changes with your bipolar disorder if you detect them?
I consider bipolar disorder to by my main enemy most of the time and I’m trying to win against my bipolar disorder. But the word “try” sucks. I hate the word “try.” Yes, I’m “trying” to win against my bipolar disorder but all this “trying” is exhausting and full of failure.
Functioning and bipolar disorder is a constant struggle. I know this is true not just for me, but for so many with serious mental illness. And part of the oddity of my functioning with bipolar disorder is that if I stop functioning, being productive, I just won’t start again.
Because of my bipolar disorder, I fake happiness – a lot – like, all the time; like, every time I leave the house. This is due to several factors but, obviously, one of the primary ones is that I, typically, am not actually happy. I am, typically, depressed. And people don’t like that. People don’t like constantly-depressed people. So my bipolar disorder forces me to fake happiness.