It was as intense and as terrible as ever…but it passed and I’m still here.
I used the time right after things calmed down to really think about how to better deal with it all next time (because as of right now, I’m still anxious about the very-real probably-inevitable next time). I make myself a kind of guide, I wrote down tips and tricks and rules to follow and put failsafes in place and worked hard to plan ahead.
After that, I spent a lot of time thinking about anxiety and how to deal with THAT whole issue. I realized I kind of mix up what is my rapid mood fluctuations and my ever-changing anxiety. And in addition to talking and working through it all in therapy, I wrote down a whole hell of a lot about how to cope with it. I’m talking pages of ideas for working through it and calming myself down. I looked into causes and research about anxiety itself, because getting more of that kind of knowledge helps me feel way more in control. And don’t get me started on how the control issue is totally tied up with the anxiety stuff.
After that, I thought a whole lot about negativity, and how I guessss I tend to come off as negative. In my opinion, it’s because people don’t see or care about how I’ve had crippling depression for somewhere near 13 years. I try my damned hardest to do the optimism thing, but it ain’t my fault I suck at it. I wrote a whole thing about it, gonna post that later.
But in regards to my pessimism, my therapist and psychiatrist and other people who matter have been talking with me about how honestly? It isn’t my fault. I’ve gone up and down and up and down again and again. And all the while, I was doing all the right things. I was working hard, I was trying my best, I was keeping track of my moods, I was following a routine, I was surrounding myself with good shit, and most importantly I was seeing a psychiatrist. But the guy like, wouldn’t change my meds even though I was advocating for myself. I mean, my current professionals are in awe of how that could’ve happened, because it isn’t like I can hide my insanity when it fucking takes hold of me. I mean, nothing against my old doctor, but what the fuck. I didn’t fail, I was failed. And my therapist is trying to make it sink into my head that my past experiences aren’t my future ones. Again, it is hard to believe that because of how many times it has been proven to me that this shit is unavoidable. But maybe that right there is negativity. Because, apparently, there really is hope.
Anyway, here’s something I wrote in the beginning of April…
I always forget how it feels after it changes. You’d think that after all of the many dramatic ebbs and flows I’d realize by now that change is the only constant, that each and every precarious up brings another deeply disturbing down which then gives way to a period of near-peaceful respite. Because that’s what happens, that’s how it works. Change happens, repeatedly, up and down, back and forth, until the pendulum swings are less and less dramatic and my moods even out, as much as they can, at least. And it stops for a moment, for a glorious and beautiful moment, leaving me to prepare to repeat the process. (Or to forget about the process, and unwittingly leave myself open for a nasty fuckin’ surprise) Change is the only constant. That is the way of it. For everyone, yes, but more so for me and my bipolar disorder. Change happens in life, in everyone’s lives, but more so in mine, because god damn it to hell, I am b i p o l a r. If my emotional balloon rises too high into the atmosphere, it pops, and the dead remnants of latex fall freely back to the earth. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be difficult to choose, but “exhausting” pretty much sums it up, although it doesn’t capture the intensity of it. To find a new balloon and to then fill that balloon with helium? Exhausting. To watch the balloon ascend into the heavens knowing full well that the POP is just waiting to happen? Exhausting. To plummet back down as a mere shell of what once was? Utterly and painfully exhausting. The changes are exhausting. The terrible, dramatic changes…they are exhausting. But they are a constant I can rely on. And I have to be positive. The changes are a constant I can utilize, perhaps? That’s positive enough, I think. I still have to figure out how in the HELL I can use the bipolar insanity to my advantage, but it’s possible. I know that it has to be possible. If anyone can MAKE it possible, it’s me. Because I’m a badass bitch from hell (I dunno who said that phrase but it’s sticking in my head and my god do I relate to it right now). I can handle this shit. I have handled it, and I AM handling it. I’m kicking ass and taking names. I am strong. I am capable. I am fiery and fierce. And you know, come to think of it, maybe I have my goddamned d i s o r d e r to thank for that. It’s a fuzzy line to think about, a weird distinction between what about me is ME and what about me is my BIPOLAR. Sometimes I assume the line matters. Sometimes I’m grateful that it really actually doesn’t. Like it or not, I am bipolar. I have this fucking chronic, incurable mental illness. I’m surviving my life with it. I’m even ENJOYING my life with it. Because I’m a warrior, a fighter. And I have my imbalanced brain to thank for that; without something to war against, without something to fight, I wouldn’t be such things. Or like, it’d be different, anyway. I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be wildly creative. I’d be far less energetic and intense. Sometimes I wish I could be less intense, but I’m wired that way, so it doesn’t even matter. If I was a normal person, a non-mentally ill individual, I’d probably still be my bright and bubbly self, but I wouldn’t want to take the chance and risk it. I’m bright and bubbly right now, AND I’m bipolar. Look. This is who I am. I like who I am. I’m pretty fucking awesome. It ain’t worth dwelling on the what-ifs. And I might as well just put the intermittent desire to be “normal” out of my mind. I’m not. I’m using my bipolar-ness to my advantage just by existing. It’ll be okay. I’m gonna be okay.