Road to a Bipolar episode: Day 1

I find that when I am trying to explain or relay the feelings and emotions I go through during an episode to another person, that it is best I do so when I am experiencing them. Otherwise, I feel like I am not making sense even more so, and I feel that I have a huge mental wall up between the part of me that what feeling those things and the part of me that is feeling the way I am at that very moment, disallowing me to explain anything properly. So, today as I am feeling an episode coming on, I am going to record and catalogue what is going on in my brain from now until it passes.

Day 1: High Anxiety (2.17.13)

Over thinking is the name of the game today. I try as hard as I can to not worry, or think in certain ways, or certain thoughts specifically. What I can’t stop, I try to push out of reach of my consciousness. I am beginning to obsess over things. These things bother me on even the sanest of days, the difference is, on those days I can mostly control the effect they have on my mood, and I can strategize ways to eliminate them or work passed them, most of all, I have optimism and hope. In this stage, I can’t simply just “let it go” or “focus on something else.” It starts off as a little seedling triggered by something that could have absolutely nothing to do with the seedling. The seedling then grows and grows until it is a huge tree with roots tangled in every area of my mind. I can turn so that most of the tree is out of sight, but it is never gone. I can try and distract myself, but one wrong move and the tree is in full view again. It’s not even always a move I make, sometimes it’s like there is an outside uncontrollable force, forcing me to look at the tree. I am my own worst enemy in these episodes. The seedlings start off as things that would bother most anyone, but my bipolar disorder gives them light and water, and I give them room to grow. I am constantly expanding on the problem, or seedling, in my head. Part of me tells myself that I need to calm down and it will be okay, that in a way most of this isn’t real, it’s just my bipolar talking shit. The other part of me tells myself that I have to think about all of this long and hard, that it would be irresponsible not to. The second part of me eventually goes on a masochistic rampage. I force myself to think, worry, and exacerbate problems in my head until I am consumed by loud thoughts and emotional pain. Why? Because part of me tells me I deserve it. I am then officially at war with myself. Everything becomes so loud. As soon as I quiet one thought or idea, another, even louder than the last pops up. Every now and then I get a moments rest only to start mercilessly verbally abusing myself in my own head as more seeds begin to sprout. At some point I begin to create new seedlings that have little to no truth to them.

And now for a moment of raw honesty…

Common seedlings:

  • I am 22, I live in my parents’ house, I don’t work —> I am going nowhere in school, I have had to stop and start numerous times, now I am only taking two classes, one of them isn’t credited (math) —> I am weak, bipolar is just an excuse or a crutch, and everyone I love thinks so. I tell myself I will do better, work harder, and make things happen. I tell my loved ones the same. I get them excited and I let them down. —> I feel like I tell them things and never follow through. They probably smile and think I never will follow through when I tell them things or share my ideas and plans with them. —> I am a constant disappointment.
  • I have no money. I hate relying on my parents financially. —> I am a financial burden and I hope they don’t resent me for it. I am not someone for my siblings to look up to, and I have paved the way for them to be weak like me. —> I want to get a job, but I am scared. Lately, I never know where I will be at mentally, and I know how that can and will affect a job. I don’t want to have to call in sick or let an employer and coworkers see my differing moods. —> Most of the people I know have been working steadily since the age of 15 or 16. I didn’t start working until I was 18 and I haven’t worked in almost two years. —> I know what getting let go or feeling I am not living up to my potential in a work place will do to me, especially while in an episode. —> This makes me feel that I am using bipolar disorder as a crutch again, that I am just too much of a weenie to deal with real life and I can’t admit it to others or myself.
  • I want to talk and let this out, but I don’t want to. I think that is asking for others to justify my feelings. Its weak to need your feelings justified by others. —> I don’t want to be someone who needs to ask others permission to feel the way they do, and talking about any of this would make me feel like I am one of those people.
  • I don’t want to deal with this myself, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for those I love to have to endure this as well, without understanding fully or actually feeling anything. In my opinion, if you don’t understand or feel something, physical or mental, the less natural patience you have for it. —> I am a burden on everyone I love. —> I don’t want anyone to catch onto what is going on in my head because I am sure it gets so old for them. I keep thinking that every episode I have or general upset I have, is one step closer to them snapping and abandoning me. —> I try and feel the exasperation they must feel, or the gearing up they must do every time I go through this. I don’t want to be exhausting. It scares the shit out of me that, for some people, what I give is not enough to cancel out what I take because of this. What’s even scarier is thinking that the people I am closest to could turn into one of those people. —> I give everything I have and I love harder than I could ever put into words, but sometimes I think nothing I can possibly do will ever match the strain my bipolar disorder puts on every relationship I have.
  • I want a happy, healthy, loving relationship. I want marriage, till death do us part. I want children, a family of my own, and a loving home that I helped create. —> As intense and unpredictable as my mood cycling and emotions get with the monthly hormonal changes of a healthy female, I can’t imagine what pregnancy would do to me. I have read in several different places that many doctors discourage pregnancy in bipolar patients for a variety of reasons. —> I don’t like to think about adoption and surrogacy, I want to create another human. It may sound selfish, but it is a precious experience, a gift, to give birth to a child of your own. Even so, I don’t know that I could have a child, knowing the possibility of what I may pass on. Bipolar disorder is something I would not put on the shoulders of my worst enemy. —> Every day, my idea of my “future” when I was young, is inching closer and closer. I have been told time and time again to not worry about all of this now, but if I don’t, how do I prepare?
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