Friday, 23 December 2011
How do I feel today?
This is the perpetual question I find myself asking as a bipolar sufferer. If I feel good, is it inappropriate? Is it a mood swing? Do I ever get anything that I would consider "normal"? It is bad enough to suffer the stigma of others and society as a whole. We end up putting a lot of doubt onto ourselves. I have had a very long period of mostly anxiety and depression. I can't pinpoint it but started about May in 2010. I managed to get away on a vacation in October of that year. It was touch and go whether I went in the end but I went and enjoyed it. Apart from the vacation, I have suffered mostly from anxiety. When my mood switched suddenly to elated and then manic in January 2011, it is not surprising that it felt good. If you read my blog posts from January onwards, it shows how I became delusional. I thought I had found the "answer", some kind of Nirvana. I went for weeks on 2 hours sleep or less. The only saving grace is that I didn't leave the house. I confined my night time activity to the computer. Being awake all night became the "norm". I am not sure if anyone really recognised that I was sick. New friends probably couldn't tell. I still related to people including doctors and no one noticed. Unfortunately I had no regular contact with a cpn at this time. I made grand plans to visit friends in Canada and the USA. I arranged flights and hotels to make it more "real" when doubts crept in. I wasn't getting the encouragement I wanted from my friends. Nobody wants to tell a bipolar sufferer they are wrong. They just let them get on with it. The phrase "tough love" comes to mind. The longer the manic episode, the bigger and longer the crash. My crash came in April or May. The realization about the trip I had planned sank in. I had to dismantle the trip best I could despite entering a deep depression. I was so embarrassed to tell people that the trip was off, even though I knew they understood. This led to a bad period of anxiety and depression. In the lowest point, I attempted suicide. I got support from the crisis team and it got me past the crisis. It was only really deferred because I am only just getting past it. I seem to have rambled on. Blogging is so much easier when you are hypomanic. It may not make total sense but it flows easier. I was meaning to talk about the perception of friends and family to sufferers. It is understandable why they would back off when you are down. It is less understandable why they back off when your mood lifts. They seem to assume that you are ill ( as my wife did on occasions). She would blame any assertiveness on being manic. it was very frustrating and hard to combat. There is a middle ground called "NORMAL" even though we find it hard to define. Please give us a break. It is bad enough being bipolar without stigma, whether it is from society or self.