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“Bipolar” Down Days

bipolar days crying eyesToday has been rough, like, really rough. No, there was nothing external that happened, it all came from within me. I had another one of those scary wake-ups in which I have no idea where I was. I have lived in this house for 4 years, yet still, when I woke and looked around I recognized nothing right away. That is scary as silly as it sounds. Confusion scares me.

Right off the bat I was anxious. I got up, took my morning meds – 2 anxiety meds and an antidepressant. Then I took care of the dogs. Well, I yelled at them for not sitting and waiting for me to pour out their food. This is always an indication of my mental state. I ADORE & LOVE my dogs, so for me to yell at them for something as silly as their energetic anticipation of a meal is out of character for me.

After we finished up all our doggy business, I headed back upstairs and scrunched down in my bed, hiding, really. I laid there for a while as anxiety gave way to depression. Then I decided I would go to Starbucks, get out of the house, maybe take the dogs through the drive-thru.

I got up and tried, after freshening up, to decide on what to wear. Let’s just say this ended with me yelling to Sammy, our Doberman mix, “This is just too hard!!!” at which point and I sat down at the end of the bed and cried.

Next scene: Me in the bathroom, outfit determined (an OLD tee-shirt and a nondescript hoodie). I put on the tee-shirt and proceed to cry until the collar of the shirt is stained with tears. At one point I looked up at myself in the mirror and said to myself, “Pull yourself together.” But here is the thing about mood disorders, you can’t just “pull yourself together” on command. You gotta feel your way through it, as awful as those feelings may be. So – I cried some more.

I didn’t feel safe at home. I needed babysitters. Back to the Starbucks plan. I painted on some makeup, including my brand new Urban Decay eye shadow I have coveted for years. Despite the name (mildew) it is a gorgeous green and brings out the green in my eyes. (Plus the green hid the red of my just-crying eyes).

So I went to Starbucks and ordered a whole milk grande latte. I put in my earbuds and listened to Ron Pope. I felt safe. And when my boyfriend text me that he was on his way home I picked up my mess and headed home too.

Here’s the thing, you do what you gotta do to be safe. I’m a cutter and the urge is alive and well today, but I have so many reasons not to act on those impulses, but being home alone with my depression wasn’t going to work. Was I happy at Starbucks? Hell, no. I was that sad drifter character in a movie. Being beautifully bipolar can be anything but, today is my example. But you, I, have to remember that tomorrow is a new day and just as I had no idea today would be so low, tomorrow could be higher. Hopefully not too high, but high enough that I feel safe.


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“Bipolar” Down Days

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2015). “Bipolar” Down Days. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Jan 2015
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