I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I was feeling really anxious and depressed, so my psychiatrist upped my meds. I then felt worse. Crying every day. Crying for no reason. My parents came over one day while I was crying, and my daughter told them, “She’s been crying a lot lately.” I don’t want my children to see this, but it’s inevitable. The first day I started crying, both of my girls ran up to me and gave me hugs. Eleanor got a tissue and wiped my tears away. I have such amazing kids, and I’m still struggling to find a way to explain this to them. They asked me if I was sad, and I told them yes; sometimes Mommy gets sad. That’s the only way I’ve explained it so far. My kids are five and eight, and I know they wouldn’t grasp the concept, the truth about my disorder.
So I lowered my dosage of the meds, and I’ve been feeling better. There were two nights in a row this week that I couldn’t sleep, and that took a toll on me. I also think it made me a little manic, which is a good change for once. I’d rather be manic than depressed. Last night I walked in my sleep. It’s happened twice now, and it’s because I took too many pills to try to get me to sleep. I did sleep last night, though, so that’s good, although I am still exhausted, not caught up on my sleep yet. I think it was anxiety that kept me awake those two nights. Anxiety is also something I want people to understand. None of this is because we’re weak, not strong enough people to handle life. Anxiety is depression’s best friend, and most people with depression or bipolar disorder have to battle that, along with the depression. I take meds because I’m bipolar, and I take meds for generalized anxiety disorder. I was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Watch Girl, Interrupted if you want to try to understand that. The bipolar disorder takes center stage, so that’s what I usually write about.
It’s still frustrating to me that people don’t understand this, the mania, the depression. My husband and I got into a big fight this week, (although making up was great) and I just felt like he was being so mean, and criticizing pretty much everything I do wrong. He doesn’t get it. Even though I’ve explained it a hundred times, even though I’ve had him read books about it. The way he was treating me let me know that he doesn’t get it. And maybe he never will.
My hope is that one day, everyone will understand. I won’t be criticized for all of my personal traits which are symptoms of my disorder. People will understand this. If I could change this, believe me, I would. I want everyone to understand that. We aren’t faking anything. This is real, and it can suck. Bad. It’s been hell, a hell I can’t escape from. People need to know that we take meds because we want to be better. We want our mood swings to be better, more balanced. I’ve been trying for three years to get stabilized. It’s frustrating, and I often just want to give up on life, to end my life. But I won’t. When I feel like that, I talk to someone about it. I’m very needy and I need a lot of reassurance, because when I’m in that much of a low, I don’t feel like I will ever get better. People tell me I will, and that’s what keeps me here.
I want to get off of this emotional roller coaster. It’s hell. I want people to understand what we go through, and know that it’s not something we pretend to have. We need to establish an effective dialogue, one that convinces people that this disorder does not mean we’re crazy. We’re just different. We feel the same feelings as everyone else, only they’re amplified. Our highs are higher; our lows are lower. Our emotions are extreme. I have to be reminded that the feelings I feel are the same as everyone else. Just extreme, and sometimes extreme to the max.
I joke about being bipolar a lot, because humor helps me cope with this. It’s just not okay when other people attempt to joke, but only end up saying something untrue and hurtful. It’s also not okay when people throw “bipolar” around, labeling anyone they perceive to be “crazy.” I’ve deleted many people on Facebook who have said anything hurtful about this disorder. I don’t want friends like that. I want friends who are understanding, who are open and accepting with their feelings about bipolar disorder whenever the term is brought up. I want a world that is compassionate. A world that understands.
Maybe someday, somehow, It will happen.