Be nicer to my boyfriend.
Call my mom more.
Finish decorating my apartment.
Stay out of the hospital.
Get rid of my raggedy sleep/loungewear and replace with grown-up clothes.
Look presentable near-daily.
Eat significantly less dairy.
Increase my physical activity.
Take advantage of nice days by spending time in the sun.
Don’t deny when things are difficult; allow myself put myself first at those times.
“It is the way it is” is no longer acceptable; actively work toward improvements.
Continue to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts and that I can separate myself from them.
Actively work towards socializing more.
Actively keep in touch with friends.
Tag Archives: bipolar
Be nicer to my boyfriend.
I was 19 when I met my boyfriend. And, looking back, I was a completely different person. I was a sophomore in college and that September when I arrived back at school I decided to stop taking my meds. I think it was a curiosity thing. I had never consistently taken my meds, but I had also never completely stopped taking them. So I was curious what would happen. I had little to no responsibilities besides produce good grades and maintain good health, and I was morbidly indifferent toward the latter. I spent the summer before (which was dark and deep in its own way and certainly deserves its own post separate from this) hypomanic. I entered the new school year all sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I went out every weekend and drank until I puked. My favorite part was trying on different personas. Themed parties were in, and I was more than down to get into character. When there wasn’t a theme, I created my own. And every night ended with my favorite game: Who am I going to fuck tonight? (Answer: Whoever responds to my 2am-bootycall-text first).
I hit my breaking point during halloween. I was dressed as Peter Pan that night. The original plan was Tinkerbell, but I impulsively box-dyed my hair brown one day, so Peter it was. I have a very specific memory of running down the street, yelling back at my friends that they either needed to catch up or I’d meet them at the party. What a metaphor, huh? Well, anyway, that’s where my memory starts to blur and all I know is that I crashed that night. I ran straight into that spot where mania meets depression and the two enter into a violent love affair with full intentions of, quite literally, murdering me. Within a few days, I was on a train home to “rest.” I resumed taking my meds and within a week I was healthy enough to be able to convince my mother that I was healthy enough to return to school. Between you, me, and I’m sure my mother’s inner voice, I certainly was not healthy enough.. Whatever that means…
We met as a one-night stand. I was drunk and dancing in a haze of manic promiscuity. “I’m crazy.. no seriously, I’m crazy hahahah” was actually a good pick-up line for one night stands and relationships that meant next to nothing. Guys looked at me with amusement, bewilderment, and lust. I can only imagine what others thought of me. At the time, I couldn’t care less. And now, the past is the past. It turned out pretty damn well and even if it hadn’t, you can’t change the past, so whatever, right?
It’d be really cool if I had a point to this post. I don’t. Just reflecting. *shrug*
Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. I never actually said the word “bipolar” and the person I told is a person I will probably never see again, at least not in a professional setting. However, it was the closest I’ve ever been to telling anyone at all in my professional world about my mental illness. So maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but it definitely got my heart pumping. And the response was one worth noting.
It was the last 30 minutes of the last time I will see this specific person. She asked me what my major in college was and when I told her it was Psychology, she joked that, “That completely disproves my theory! I always said that all psychologists are nuts themselves because all my friends that were psych majors have so many issues of their own, but obviously you don’t.” I let out a laugh and switched the topic.
But it was brewing in me. “I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER BUT IT’S OKAY,” I wanted to scream. Eventually I managed to get out, “Actually, I do have mental health issues.” She responded with something along the lines of, “Really? But you’re so NORMAL! You’re the last person I’d ever suspect to have that stuff. You’re so normal and put-together. I hope you didn’t take offense to what I said it was just a joke! And I really mean this all as a compliment.” I told her I receive treatment and “I’m also heavily medicated, which allows me to be the normal person you see.”
It was scary, but it felt good. Like now this one person knows that someone who looks so “put together” can also have mental illness. The two CAN go hand in hand. It’s small: one person, one very weak admission, but it’s a start, right?
Last thing worth mentioning: When I came home and told my boyfriend the story, his response surprised me. He was against me “coming out” in the workplace. He said after he told the head of HR at his company that he suffers from anxiety, he’s since felt “she can see right through me” and “is always looking out for signs that I’m not okay.” He said that even though she seemed supportive and understanding, he regrets telling her. He told me to “be careful.”
Why did I stop cutting? I’m in bed, feeling really shitty, with the gross crying. You know, the kind where I get a hand towel because tissues are useless against these kind of tears and my nose is all snotty. Gross. And then the panic-y breaths start coming, which freaks me out and my heart begins to palpitate, freaking me out even more.
I’m grateful this is a rare situation now. When I was little, it came every night. Every night I’d cut myself to make it stop. When I get like this, it’s still my instinct to reach for whatever sharp is close by. But I don’t. Why not? It works. Brings me relief no benzo or substance has been able to match. So, why not?
Well, for one thing it’s messy, but I’m already gross and messy, so that doesn’t count. Then there’s the annoying task of having to hide the evidence – Especially difficult now that I’m living with a significant other, but it’s certainly not impossible.
In all honesty, I don’t even think it’s a big deal. It was reason for doctors to decide to send me inpatient when I was too young to have a say, but that’s no longer a concern. So, why not?
I think hard, and I remember. I remember my mom finding bloody tissues in my garbage and crying. I remember my boyfriend finding the shallow scrapes I’d made more recently and crying. It hurts the people I love. And that, in turn, hurts me. So I don’t.
and footnote: there’s way more behind and within self-harm than the blunt version I just told. I’m just getting out my current thoughts here.
Love is messy. It’s not perfect. And I think sometimes it just comes out wrong.
So last night, I pretty much just told my boyfriend I was still offended by what he said. He asked me if I knew why he said it. Well, no, not exactly.. He said that at the time he was thinking, “So I’m just going to let her not take her meds and then in a few days she’s going to be stuck in bed or yelling at me for no reason or just not well and it’ll be my fault for not being more insistent right now that she take them.” He said he was just frustrated that I was being so stubborn about not doing something so simple as telling him which pills to get me, opening my mouth, and swallowing. He said he realizes now that I was right, taking one dose of meds a few hours late isn’t going to affect my mood nearly as much as the amount of alcohol I had consumed that night and that he didn’t need to push it. But at the time he felt like he did. And now he feels like shit because he said one stupid comment that turned out to poorly affect my mood for nearly three days. He takes it back.
Okay. I’m not an easy person to love, I knew that long before we’d met. But I guess I’ve gotten so comfortable with him now that I forget that sometimes. I forget that he worries about me. And I forget that sometimes he feels at fault for my moods.
It’s an interesting thing to have to take care of yourself for someone else’s wellbeing in addition to your own. I think I’m still trying to figure it out.
P.S. He actually said to me, “And it’s not like just not brushing your teeth.” Lol. You think he read my post? 😛
I came home last night pretty drunk. Smoked with my boyfriend, got into bed, and was absolutely ready to pass out. Mindset: I haven’t brushed my teeth, but who the fuck cares because I’m fucked up and about to sleep forever and it’ll be great and I’ll brush and floss in the morning. My boyfriend was laying with me and asked if I took my night meds. I told him no, but whatever I’m going to take them in a few hours.
So I don’t fully remember what happened next, something along the lines of him being a bit stern in telling me to take them and me going into don’t-tell-me-what-to-do mode, which probably came out as, “If you push it then I promise you I will never fucking take them.” Whatever.
And, again, I can’t remember where exactly this fit in, but I guess he was slightly angry with me for not taking them and said (this I do remember exactly), “Don’t fuck me over,” which translates to, “don’t let me plan my future around you and then have you go and kill yourself or stop taking your meds or something and fuck me over.”
We’ve known each other and been together for 3+ years. In that time, I’ve been hospitalized ONCE. I had a manic episode, recognized (after independently calling my doctor) that I wasn’t safe, needed to go inpatient to stabilize, and I voluntarily checked myself in. Yes, my boyfriend was there to drive me to the ER to go through the finding-a-bed process, but, realistically, if he wasn’t there, I would have taken a cab. My point is, I have bad times. This is a chronic illness that can be treated, but not cured. I know that and he knows that. However, I have NEVER given him a reason to not trust that I can and will take care of myself.
He apologized this morning after realizing I was holding a grudge. I haven’t accepted it yet (hence the angry rant). I’m still so mad that he said that. I’ll find a way to get over it, obviously, but FUCK. I’ve pretty much just been hiding in my bed all day and he’s been out in the living room or whatever. I don’t even know.. I’m just so mad he said that.
To those stuck in bed, stuck in their heads, stuck on a rollercoaster… Keep fighting xx
Taken from namimass.org:
“The vision of World Bipolar Day is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day will be to educate the world population about bipolar disorders and help improve sensitivity toward the illness.”
I don’t know how to educate you on bipolar disorders without reciting textbooks and statistics. Honestly, I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. I can, however, educate you on my illness. (Note: Educate you on my illness, not me. There’s a difference.) I hide it. You won’t see it so much unless you’re really, really close to me. When my [medicated] illness is showing, you’ll see me quiet. I may seem a little “out of it.” Other times I may be talking too fast. You may think I’m a little drunk or high. In a way I am, but the substances are supplied by my brain and I never asked for them. Sometimes I may seem irrationally irritable or annoyed. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be. When things are bad, you won’t see me at all. Finally, sometimes, occasionally, you’ll just see me.