All was pretty normal in my life until I woke up one Sunday morning.
You may have heard the saying;
“When you have bipolar, you wonder whether you’re going to wake up as Tigger or Eyeore.”
Well, on this Sunday morning, I woke up as Eyeore for absolutely no apparent reason. I was filled with anxiety, depression and just pure emptiness. As someone with bipolar disorder, I can say it happens a lot. I feel like shit for no reason at all, and there are no triggers.
On Sunday, I felt like I was trapped inside my own body. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to eat. I didn’t know where to walk, what to say, how to feel or what to think. I’d stand in my backyard staring off into space, off with the fairies. It’s like I wasn’t even thinking, all I could feel was the sinking feeling inside me, the feeling of being lost. I’d find myself sitting on the edge of my daughter’s bed doing the same thing when I actually went in there to tidy. I’m amazed I managed a stack of pancakes for the kids and hubby’s breakfast, but I felt so strange, I couldn’t eat one myself.
My brain stopped
On Sunday, my brain stopped working properly; it literally got stuck, it couldn’t focus and it couldn’t make decisions. I’d just stare. I could feel my heart beating through my chest, anxious about something but unable to pinpoint what it was. My mind would catch a breath and quickly think about something like what work I had on or what I was going to do with my son on the school holidays, but those thoughts quickly turned to dread, they made my heart beat even faster and stronger.
I made it through the day doing what I had to do and went to bed hoping that in the morning, I’d wake up feeling like Tigger.
Waking up like Tigger
I did, I actually woke up feeling like Tigger. I felt bouncy, happy and energetic, but only for a short while. *insert sad face*
My body used up the one ounce of good energy it had stored, and I went right back to where I came from the day before, although this time, I was more depressed than anxious. No matter what I did, nothing could make me feel happy. Nothing could make me feel excited for the day or confident or keen to do the things I’d usually enjoy even though I knew how it felt. That’s the hard thing, knowing what it feels like to feel ‘normal’, what it’s like to achieve the things you can when you feel ‘normal’ but you just can’t get to it, no matter what you do.
When I’m feeling my kind of normal, it’s so much easier to deal with the shitty stuff, and my patience is excellent. But, this time my fuse was short, very short. I lashed out at the kids and instantly felt extreme guilt; I didn’t have control. I wanted to give up, curl up in a ball and hide from the day, but as someone with high-functioning bipolar, no matter how horrid it feels, I kept going because I knew I had to.
The kids were shuttled off to their grandparent’s place, and I finally had the house to myself. I work from home, and so I made my cup of coffee because the last one went cold. I sat down to look at my to-do list. The house was quiet, awfully quiet. I usually like quiet, but today with my bipolar depression (the downward cycle) that has crept up to greet me, the quiet reminded me of how lonely I felt. Bipolar; it’s a lonely condition to have.
With bipolar disorder, I feel like I’ve been strong for so long. Being a mum, being a wife, look after the household, run a business, grow a business…I just want to let go, and my depression wants me to. But then my anxiety, well, it won’t let me go because, well, what about everyone and everything else? Having bipolar depression and anxiety at once is utter hell, the noise is deafening. There have been times when I’ve hit my head against the wall or hit myself in the head because I want everything to stop, to sort itself out, to make sense. You know how there’s constant loud music you can’t stand and can’t control? Well, that’s like my mind, it goes on and on and on, there’s no off switch.
Look for the positives
It’s 5 pm on a Monday as I finish writing this article. I have crossed off the things on my to-do list. I ignored two phone calls because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to take them (I did call back). I’ve made the mistake of checking Facebook. Everyone seems to be at the beach or doing fun things with their families for school holidays while I feel guilty that I’m not, mainly because I’m too anxious to leave my business for a day. On a positive note, I am thankful there are leftovers for dinner tonight, and there’s less than one week until a cleaner comes to spring clean my pigsty of a house.
The house is still quiet; no one is home yet. I just want someone to hug me, not because I ask them to but because they want to. I dream of going back to the normal me, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few weeks. It’s the luck of the draw with bipolar.