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Sara Berelsman

Swim With Me

Self-loathing is something I do best. It never ends. I have knots in my stomach, bricks on my chest, a lump in my throat. I’m anxious and depressed at the same time. I try to be positive. I read articles about how to get myself out of this. But I can’t. It consumes me; it takes control, and no matter how hard I try to steer this boat, it sinks. 

My self-talk is negative. Always. If I talked to other people the way I talk to myself, I’d have no friends. And it’s not even intentional. The thoughts just come, and come, and never stop. Not until I’m out of the low. 

Therapy and Becoming Who I'm Meant to Be

Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply function some days.  Lots of days. 

Every time I leave my therapist, I feel so much lighter.  He is amazing.  I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to know the exact right thing to say, the thing for me to think about, to feel better.  I could never do this on my own. 

My Emotional Roller Coaster

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

It Will Get Better

I hate myself right now. 

I hate myself every time I’m depressed.  I just started a new medication after gaining 9 pounds in a month on the previous med I tried, so I’m depressed about that on top of having general depression.  Since I’m starting over again on a new medication, I have to wait out the 4-6 weeks it can take for the medication’s full effect.  At least I’m able to get some thoughts down today.  All I’ve wanted to is sit around or lie around and exist.  I don’t even want to exist.  I don’t want to die, either, if that makes sense. 

My Best Advice About Living with Bipolar Disorder

When I’m high, I can fly.  When I’m low, I sink into the deepest, darkest place.  I keep wishing I could change this.

One of my medications in particular gets me through the day.  It’s actually supposed to help with anxiety, but it sort of has the opposite effect on me.  I’ve realized that without it, I am worthless.  Less than worthless.  I just want to sit there.  To merely exist.  I don’t want to rely on pills to get me through life, but I know I have to.  I know because I’ve gone off my meds.  Many times.  I felt better, so I thought I didn’t need pills.

Sara Berelsman

Sara Berelsman has an MA in Literature from Eastern Michigan University, and is currently working on an MA to become a substance abuse counselor.  She published a memoir in November called My Last Rock Bottom, about her alcoholism and bipolar disorder.  She was diagnosed as bipolar a few years ago and enjoys writing to educate others about mental illness.  She writes for a couple of newspapers and lives in a small town in Ohio.  She has two small daughters and is married to a firefighter.