This has probably been the longest since I started this blog that I haven’t posted in it. There’s a simple explanation for it: I haven’t been up to it. I still don’t feel up to it, but I’m doing it on this very early Saturday morning because I feel that I need to. It’s a way to kind of clearing my head.
I picked the particular feature picture because even though it doesn’t go all entirely what I’m talking about in this post, it describes a lot of how I feel, which makes it very relevant to this topic. I feel it would help bring home what I’m about to talk about, and make it a little more personable. Besides, I really like this quote.
While I don’t try to self-diagnose, I do recognize certain things about me. These last few days, I’ve been experiencing what I believe is the mixed features part of my bipolar disorder. Indeed, most of the time I seem to be depressed or having mixed features. In case you don’t know what that is, you have symptoms of both extreme of bipolar disorder at the same time. In my case, I’ve been feeling depressed, but irritable and hyperactive. With the exception of a few days, I haven’t really been sleeping. Feeling like the life of the party, but feeling miserable at the same time.
It’s actually a little reminiscent of my major depression of 2008 till 2012. Granted, I wasn’t always depressed during that time; in fact, I had a hypomanic episode for five months in 2011, which led my social worker I was seeing at VA to diagnosis me with bipolar. The only real difference between now and then is the extremity. Right now isn’t anywhere near as intense as those times. I don’t have the urge to do something crazy to myself. But it’s still annoying and sometimes debilitating.
Mixed episodes, or mixed features as what the new psychiatric manual Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) calls it, are said to be the worst. I truly believe it is. The biggest fear with them is the suicide possibility. Its said that when you’re depressed, you’re less likely to have the energy to commit suicide, but because a mixed state has the characteristics of depression and the energy of a hypomanic or manic state, it increases the possibility of suicide because you have the drive to do it. No, I’m not suicidal, but it’s a very scary thought and possibility. For the people going through it, it’s very aggravating. It actually explains a lot about my own disorder, because I noticed that most of the time I don’t always have a full hypomanic episode, but I can be depressed and energetic at the same time. Or I can be excited and all over the place, but feel sad at the same time. It’s very confusing, and it’s very complicated to explain. Most people wouldn’t know what the hell I’m talking about, and I don’t really know how to describe it. I just know it’s irritating as shit, and it’s fairly documented in my history of treatment.
I haven’t really been fully compliant with the medication, and this kind of started about two weeks ago, when I was missing one of my meds because of a clerical error. Now I’m just all over the place. I’ve taken my meds during this time, but not as often as I should.
In a sense, I feel like my body isn’t mine. I’m just going through the motions. There was one night I was trying to go to sleep, and my whole body just felt out-of-place. It’s already uncomfortable for me to sleep, because it takes hours for me to get comfortable enough to go to sleep; hence the reason I need to be medicated in order for me to sleep. So add that to feeling like my body was out-of-place, and it’s simply not good.
I haven’t really talked about this to anyone, because I didn’t want to go through the whole explanation of how and why I feel this way. Like I said earlier, it’s confusing and complicated to explain. I didn’t want it to seem like I was asking for sympathy, something I haven’t done and don’t plan on doing. I told someone not too long ago that I don’t ask for sympathy; I just ask for understanding.
I didn’t want to open up about it, only for people to take it as though it’s a personal attack on them. I didn’t want to hear about how there are so many people who have it worse than me right now, and snap out of it. I didn’t want to hear people tell me what I should be doing to try to get over it, what I should be doing with my time since it looks like I’m not doing anything, and other insensitive bullshit. I didn’t want the counterproductive “motivational” speeches. I also didn’t want certain people to find out and treat me like I should be guarded and have a babysitter. So, I just chose to keep it to myself, until now.
This bipolar living sucks. It’s a common disorder, but I still wouldn’t wish this on anyone. You feel like you have no control over your own moods, emotions, and body; I pride myself on having a very disciplined control over my emotions. But people don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. People don’t see what goes on behind my walls, and with each passing moment, it’s becomes harder to keep certain things in check.
I’ll be fine. Just need a little time to put myself back together, before the next episode hits. So even though I probably won’t be posting almost daily for a little bit, I’m still around. It’s just important that I get to healing. If anyone has been following this blog, they would know how important that is to me.
I’ll see you on the other side…