Finding light through the darkness. My bipolar journey in quarantine

I saw the clip below yesterday and it just hit home on so many levels. I’ve been in my low the last couple weeks but hit the ultimate low the last few days. I spent the majority of the day yesterday in tears for no reason and last night I maybe got an hour of actual sleep. I know I will be coming back to a manic swing any day.

Quarantine is hard for everyone, it’s hard to feel isolated, restricted, to lose your routine, lose a little bit of the purpose you had. All the things that your mind tells you are lost because you aren’t physically going to your routine each day.

Depression is brutal no matter who you are or what time or conditions you are facing. I spoke with a family member yesterday and when I told them I was just at my low, they asked if things had really gotten that bad for us and I said no. Things are comfortably well. We are healthy, we are paying our bills, our marriage is good, the boys are amazing, I have a million reasons to be over the moon. That has absolutely nothing to do with why I’m struggling. What I fight is not a matter of bucking up or getting happy. It’s chemicals in the brain not working right. It’s pieces not firing and others firing too fast.

The first time I heard bipolar, I thought of someone being overly extreme, acting insane, reckless, dangerously impulsive. But I’ve learned that is not the case. It’s not sleeping for a few days, more than a few hours at a time. It’s starting multiple projects and unable to think clearly to finish any of them, it’s needing to be on the go but forgetting where you’re going. It’s being impulsive and buying things you don’t need or repainting a room with no notice. Things that all appear to be semi-normal but speed that up by 50 and that’s a manic episode. Other than my husband, hardly anyone has ever known I have them.

The lows….my word the lows are awful. I don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want to move, don’t want to do anything but lay down, sleep, eat, cry, and sleep more. The pain throughout my body is unbearable. There have been times I’ve had the shakes from the pain being so intense and played them off as having the chills. You want to eat and numb the pain but then throw up because the food sickens you. Showering is the hardest chore you could ever do. But you can cry in the shower without anyone knowing so you force yourself to take one. You do what you have to do you make it through the day then you disappear into your shell. At 5:02pm, I could go back to lethargy, naps, and disassociation until the next morning.

I’m finally coming back out. It’s finally starting to look up again. I don’t share this for pity. I don’t want attention or people reaching out…I won’t answer anyway so please don’t lol. (At least not for a few more days) as with everything I share, I know there is someone out there who is struggling right now and doesn’t see how the day is going to get better. There is no promise of hope, no glimmer of change. I want you to know it’s there, it just takes time. Whether this is just a cycle that you have to fight through or maybe your meds need to be adjusted, you WILL make it through this. You’re not alone in the world and you are not letting the world down when you have to take a step away. Don’t fight this on your own. I would not be able to do as much as I can without my husband. Having him by my side has increased my ability to handle these by 1000%. You don’t need a husband to do that, I’m just saying, find your person to help you when you can’t be alone.

A dear friend who struggles with the same has become someone to confide in but also someone who understands when I disappear for a few days or simply says I don’t want to talk. She gets me on a level no one else does. I love her for that.

This is a hard disease and it takes a toll on everyone around you. Please, if you are struggling, ask for help. Talk to someone. You are not alone 💜💕

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