I am not Bipolar, I have Bipolar disorder.
This illness, like all other illnesses, does not have to define me,
I am not my disease, I am me.
BP & ME
Below I've provided a link for anyone so inclined to read about the more factual side of mania and depression. We are, however, as human beings, each INDIVIDUAL in our nature and experiences, so here are mine.
My Mania: LUCKY-- is the word that comes to mind when I think of the mania that I have experienced. In no way was it pleasant - although it seemed so at the time - but I've never experienced the extreme irritation and psychosis that can arise in a manic state. For the most part I noticed I was more creative; writing songs, drawing, painting, seeing everything more clearly in a sense... & somehow, alternatively seeing nothing at all, being trapped with racing thoughts. Their pace so quick even I was unaware of what I was thinking, they were unrelenting and it felt as though they didn't even belong to me. I had so much energy and was agitated even at the thought of being still, as if my body wanted to be moving at the same pace as my thoughts. My skin was crawling, I started exercising upwards of 3 times a day. I would call my best friend while sitting outside, curled into myself, sobbing- for no reason. I wasn't even sad. I was happy, I was ecstatic actually, but I was experiencing so much all at once that I couldn't take it.I was drinking/partying a lot more than usual, and in blunt honesty it was great, I could stay out till 4 or 5 in the morning, wake up at 8, no hangover and ready for my morning run- WHAT? I was like, super human or something.I no longer had use for the basic things we all need to be well; no need to waste time sleeping... or even eating - which for me was was a welcome change, because coupled with BP, I've also struggled with negative body image and binge eating, even since I was little.
BUT all this ^ seemingly positive-ish stuff? Is NOT healthy and can only be sustained for so long.
THE WORST part?
All of this was happening while I was undiagnosed. I thought I was going insane. I tried to suppress everything I was feeling, which only heightened the experience.
My Crash: Like I said above, you can only sustain a 'high' for so long, and what goes UP, must come DOWN! Oh boy, did I ever come down. I woke up one morning and the mania had left as quick as it came. I hit a brick wall, was run over by a truck and all other cliche ways to describe feeling down which cannot even begin to describe how I felt. Nothing mattered, I stopped going to class, slept all of the time. I had no focus, the once effortless became unachievable. I was frustrated & anxious. I started having crying spells for no reason, I experienced mixed moods-- I was agitated but my body wouldn't move, the racing thoughts became increasingly negative, and unfortunately slowed to a conceivable pace.
I've experienced chronic dysphoria(low mood)for what seems like forever, but the inescapable negativity, extreme sadness and discontent, which followed my manic episode, was new and horrid.
I'm so LUCKY to have been diagnosed early, in that I have only experienced 2 manic episodes and have recently started the medication piece to the puzzle of the wellness I hope to achieve.
I don't expect a smooth ride, all I can do is take the good with the bad, except and appreciate each moment for what it is because I'm here, and I'm alive and I'm working everyday to let that be enough. In the most basic sense... It could be worse.
below is a great resource for anyone recently diagnosed with BP