I will attempt to try to describe it the best way I can. When I am cycling and in a low mood, I become angry as it appears to arrive out of nowhere. One moment I am feeling fine, then boom without any warning it rears its ugly head. I imagine it as a super villain who stands in a corner laughing at the chaos it’s about to cause.
My eyes start to slowly fill with tears as I struggle to control the mood. Those around me are left in the dark, unsure of what is wrong with me, or how to help me. At this point, I have no idea what I need from others. My main concern is keeping myself together and not to totally fall apart. Since these moods arrive at any time and in any place, it can be a struggle to keep from making a public spectacle of myself. The immediate reaction from anyone around me is to hug me, or to try to be as loving as they can be. My reaction to this comfort can sometimes come across as rude, when I am unable or unwilling to accept that comfort. The truth is, sometimes comfort will only make the situation worse. The tears will turn into sobs, which will without a doubt attract more attention to myself.
All of the above is just the tip of the iceberg. It is only the beginning of the low depressive state that will gradually manifest itself into my whole being. The switch in mood has just begun and the real damage will ensue soon enough. This mood is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and despair. It is coupled with the urge to flee, to flee from your anxiety, pain and your own skin. This is when I decide to become withdrawn and pull away from the ones I love. By pulling away I feel I am protecting them against having to witness my meltdown, as I spiral further into the abyss of darkness. It is a darkness that completely consumes mind, body and soul. Self-hate and guilt deepens as the depression strengthens. I tend to feel guilt regarding my disorder and the burden I feel this puts on my loved ones. I continuously apologize for a disorder I have no control over and yet I feel I am somehow responsible for it. I will start to feel they are better off without me. I am generally one to promote self-love, but this mood is so powerful and so all encompassing, it ruins your self-esteem and blinds you to any and all self-love you currently have.
Then the worst part, I start to feel like a monster with this disorder. I start to feel as if I don’t deserve to love or to be loved in return. I should be destined to a life of loneliness and self-loathing. This is where the fight truly begins, the fight between the diseased mind and the fight of the healthy mind. Sometimes the fight is simply letting the mood be and laying out for a day or two as it passes. I tend to surround myself with things that are comforting to me; such as my Mr. Apple Jax who is the best fur baby cuddle bug ever. Sometimes fighting back is to keep swimming. I tend to try to utilize the “keep swimming” method, as it seems to work best. So in a nutshell this is what it is like for me to cycle into a low depressive state.
This is my cycle many others have it so much worse than me. Sometimes the mood can last a day or two or sometimes for a few weeks. At times it can be so low that the only way out from the pain for some is sadly, suicide. This is most unfortunate, as I have attempted suicide a few times myself, with the hopes of getting relief from the pain and because you feel your loved ones are much better off without you. Here is a scary statistic: Suicide and Bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide. (National Institute of Mental Health)
I am now open with my loved ones when I get to the point of feeling this kind of despair. My hope with this blog is to enlighten and educate people who knows someone with bipolar. I hope that everyone can come together to provide a solid support system for the one who is affected by this challenging disorder.