Bipolar has destroyed me.
I suffer from a mental illness known as Bipolar disorder. Most people know it as the “happy and sad disorder”. Most people know it as one stage you are elated, and the other, you are depressed.
Yes, you are right about the “sad” being depression. But the “happy” spectrum, you aren’t entirely right. I’ll give it to you, when one is manic, they can be happy, feel like they’re on top of the world, and they feel almost invincible. But what the teachers in health class and the media hides from us is the angry, the violent, and the impulsive part of mania.
And of course, when one has bipolar, they are almost prone to have anxiety, too. It comes hand and hand.
Fortunately, there are medicines out there for Bipolar. The side effects suck, but hey, at least you aren’t sneaking out every night or shoving pills down your throat as a suicide attempt.
Unfortunately, when you treat the anxiety part of the bipolar, you start feeling manic. So, there is really no treatment for anxiety in bipolar people, unless you want to be manic all the time.
Also unfortunately, as I mentioned before, the side effects from the medicines suck. They are so terrible that sometimes I refuse to take my medicine and my mom fights and fights with me about it. For an example, I can’t remember what I did yesterday, because one of my side effects is memory loss. I can’t wake up in the morning because some of the medicines I take are extremely sedating. Not waking up in the morning means I don’t go to school, which then causes anxiety from missing classes. Then I’m too anxious to go to school, and repeat the next morning. Then, as I miss more school, I get even more anxious and start to fall into depression. You know how that goes. Either not eating or eating too much, can’t get out of bed, sometimes cryings spells over absolutely nothing, sometimes self-injury, and even suicidal thoughts (or attempts)…
But then the mania comes in to save the day. You start to feel motivated, you get out of bed, you meet with all your teachers and get caught up in one day from missing two weeks of school; you feel like you can do anything. It’s great. But, also not so great. Night comes around, and you want to sneak out. You don’t sleep because you can’t; you are too manic for sleep. You start using drugs and alcohol (when someone on as much medicine I take should never do those things). Drugs and alcohol are downers for the brain, so eventually, you go back into depression because of the drugs.
I haven’t even gotten to the worst part of mania yet. I have lost EVERY relationship important to me because of mania. Anger and impulsivity is a dangerous combination. I get angry at the slightest things, and I lash out at my friends and family. I say things I didn’t even think about saying. It just comes out. I hear myself say such nasty things and think, “who the hell is inside me saying this?”
I have destroyed every relationship I have in my life. Friends are gone, boyfriend is gone, my mom is incredibly stressed out, etc. I told myself earlier today that I wasn’t going to talk to anyone anymore, because I don’t want to hurt them. I told my doctor I am afraid of myself. I am afraid of what I’ll say to my loved ones, what I’ll do, what I’ll intoxicate myself with…I’m afraid I’ll cut and ruin my beautiful skin, and honestly, I’m afraid I will kill myself. Sadness and impulsivity is another very dangerous combination, because you’re sad and frustrated, and don’t think about what you’re doing…and all of a sudden, you’re bleeding from a blade or you’re downing sleeping pills and you then get sent to the hospital.
I’ve been impatient hospitalized twice and outpatient hospitalized three times. I haven’t gone to school in three weeks. I scared almost all my friends away, and I hurt my boyfriend so much to the point that I broke up with him because it’s too painful to watch me hurt him. I am angry, violent, and impulsive, yet depressed, and drowning in life.
I want to give up. I want to drop out of high school, because how am I ever going to catch up? Tutors? How am I going to show up to them? I don’t ever want to get involved with anyone again, whether that’s a family member, a friend, or a boyfriend. Not because these people are in the wrong, but because it is mentally draining watching myself hurt these people; the ones I love.
I want to give up.
But guess what? I’m not going to. I have survived this far, so it can only get better from here. My illness takes over my life and completely ruined it. But I have to remember: It will always be smaller than me. It operates within me, I do not operate within it. It may be all the planets in the universe, but in that case, I am the universe. I was there before it. A planet cannot exist without the universe, but the universe can exist without the planets.
I’m done letting this illness rule my life. I’m not going to let it feel like I have to isolate myself. I’m also not going to let it destroy my new relationships with people. It will beat me up, but I will slap it right back.
Do whatever to stay alive. Not only alive, but do whatever to LIVE. I don’t want to live like this anymore, so I’m not going to.
I am a 17 year old female, and I suffer from Bipolar disorder. I live in Chicago, Illinois, with my mom, brother, dog, and guinea pig.