When you tell people that you’re Bi Polar you get the look, followed by the questions. “Are you sure you’re Bi Polar? Have you been diagnosed by a doctor or self diagnosed? Maybe you aren’t really Bi Polar, maybe you’re just really stressed out because of everything you’ve been going through and you just need a break”. I just love those questions! I just want to say “Yeah.. and maybe you’re just really stupid but don’t realize it yet.. maybe you should go get diagnosed by a doctor for it”.
If someone tells me that they have a mental health disorder my first response is never “Naw.. you don’t have one of those.. you’re just stressed and need a break!” If you knew how extremely hard it is for a person to not only be diagnosed with a disorder but accept it and learn to live with it you wouldn’t say such stupid things. No one wants to go through life knowing there is a problem with the chemistry in their brain and we damn sure don’t want to be questioned about it either! It’s hard enough to just say we have it, and live through our daily lives trying to deal with the massive mood swings. Don’t make us defend ourselves to it too.
I want to try to explain to my readers what it’s like to have a Bi Polar pendulum mood swing. We all know that women can be a little moody when they are suffering from PMS. No I’m not being sexist, I am a woman and I know what it’s like to have a period, be bloated and miserable wanting to cry one minute and scream and yell the next. We’ve all gone through it. A pendulum swing is not the same thing. The best way I can think of to explain it is a visual explanation. Did you ever see the movie “The Conjuring”? If not you need to it’s a really good movie.. but that’s neither here nor there.. Anyways.. if you did then you remember the scene where the witch picks up Nancy by her hair and swings her around from one side of the room to the other, but at this point no one can actually see the witch so it appears as if she’s just being thrown around like a rag doll. Well when you have that Bi Polar swing you are flying across the room, only its in your head and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Most people stay in the “normal” range pretty much all the time, only ever swinging when something bad or good happens. Say the death of a loved one, or maybe winning a large prize. When we lose someone we swing to the depressed side, which is logical. You expect to be depressed or have people depressed when a loved one passes away or because of an accident, house fire something that happened to swing them in that direction. Just like you’d expect someone to be manic if say they won the lotto, or maybe found out they were going to have a baby or become a grandparent. For someone like me, those mood swings happen for no reason, other than we are alive and breathing. Sometimes the mood swings come on gradually, slowly creeping up on us a little more every day. Sometimes we are thrown across the room into either depression or manic. The massive quick swing is worse for me, because I have no time to process it. This is what I am going through right now. I felt the swing happen yesterday and it literally feels like I’ve been picked up and thrown against a wall. I feel it happening but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Like I told my therapist today, I feel like I am plugged into the electrical outlet and the current is swimming through my veins and if I try to just hold those electrical impulses in I will explode but if I let them out I may end up in a hospital wearing a nice coat that makes me hug myself. I want to lunge out at people, telling them every bad thought I’ve ever had about them. I want to throat punch complete strangers. I want to run a marathon. I want to get in my car and drive off into the night leaving everyone and everything behind. But I’m one of the lucky one’s, because I can recognize that I’ve been swung into the manic phase. Or in my case the Hyper Manic Phase.. because ya know.. just being plain ol manic isn’t enough..nooo we gotta add hyper to it! Because I can recognize it and put into words what and how I am feeling I can somewhat control my actions keeping the general public safe. I can not however control my feelings, meaning I will continue to feel angry, and hyper and alone. I will feel like the smallest problem is now the worlds biggest. Like a mosquito bite is equivalent to a King Cobra strike. There is no in between when you are manic and that is truly miserable. I don’t want to hurt or stress my family, but being alone in my head will and can hurt me. I suppose I should be thankful though, because manic is so much better than depressed. Especially when you’ve become depressed for no reason what so ever.
All I can do is continue to take my weight gaining, diabetic causing medicine and hope for the best. I already exercise, watch what I eat. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I see my therapist.. I do all the things people will tell you to do to help control the mood swings but they don’t last. I just keep praying that one day my family and friends will truly understand that I loved them deeply, even when my mood kept me from showing them.
Some may wonder why I’m blogging about this today. I am because I want to help spread awareness Not everyone can just “get over it” or “chose to be happy”. Some of us need a little more love and understanding in our “swing times”.