Bipolar: riding the rollercoaster of emotion

One of my fellow bloggers just wrote a blog post with the same title as this one, but titled Dementia. It immediately struck a chord with me because I could easily insert my illness, bipolar, and have a very similar story. So I did just that.

I guess I want to talk about bipolar and how even when you’re doing all the things you’re supposed to be doing, it doesn’t take away the really hard days like yesterday. There are just fewer of them.

This winter it seems to be all about light. Or at least a difficult day starts with looking outside and seeing dark skies, rain and about the same kind of light that you would expect at 5pm.

My initial reaction is “oh, no.” I feel like the day is over before it’s even began and I know the depression aspect of bipolar has me by the throat. It’s like someone has me on the floor with their foot pressed against my neck, choking me of joy, happiness and contentment for the entire day. Then it is mercifully lifted by a long sleep.

So back to yesterday. I managed to make a batch of scones, because by chance I saw a recipe for scones on the back of new package of flour. I thought baking might lift my mood, but then I ate three or maybe four and just felt guilty all day.

It’s a constant battle to believe and enjoy each moment on these days when I just feel dark inside. I watched a movie, thinking it would give me something to blog about, but I didn’t enjoy it so I almost felt more depleted. Movies are another happy place for me. But not this time. So I soldiered on, doing a little knitting of socks for my daughter until it was time to pick her up from school.

And all the while the foot pressed to my neck kept telling me, “You’re not good enough. You should just give up.” It’s hard not to listen to this voice but then I remind myself (one of my many tools) of all my blessings.

Just before putting my son to bed, my mood lifted and I felt true joy. Listening to him ask me if weekends should really be extended and they should have Thursday afternoon off school too.

When the days are like night, and I struggle just to get through, it really is my family that keeps me going forward. I am grateful today to be alive, to have been able to exercise, to have my medicine and the sense of purpose that Mabel Hartley gives me.

Today, I will enjoy living. The foot has been lifted from my neck and I can be myself. My true self when the illness doesn’t rob me of so much. We are all living with illness in some way, and I would only say that giving kindness to yourself, or your loved one touched with illness, is the best way to get through to the next day, which will inevitably be better. Onward to all the blessings today brings when I feel myself.


4 thoughts on “Bipolar: riding the rollercoaster of emotion

  1. I’m gald you found the ‘Roller Coaster of Emotion’ helpful. I have had my periods of depression, and Maureen’s love has pulled me through on many an occasions.. I have also been fortunate to find a great Therapist who taught me to think my way out of depression. I know bipolar is rather different Music, and meditation are two of my natural therapies for Black Dog. Keep baking, writing, and finding the light moments in life.

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