Being beautifully bipolar can be tough to say the least. One minute you are lower than the ground you walk on, the next you are higher than the heavens. Luckily, there is some in between time where things seem to balance just so and you function like everybody else.
Depression is a part of bipolar disorder. It rears its ugly head in many different forms – irritability, lack of interest in just about everything, isolation, fatigue. It is different for everyone, sometimes a mix of these symptoms, sometimes other symptoms not even mentioned.
When I am depressed I suffer from severe fatigue. I simply cannot get enough sleep. I will be in bed for 16 hours a day, nodding on and off. It is kind of incredible – to sleep more hours than I am awake. My energy level is so low.
Sometimes when I am severely depressed I will forget to eat or just not bother at all. When you have no calories to burn, you get tired. Obviously this does not help me. When I am already tired, then starve my body of the calories it needs to create energy – you guessed it, bedtime.
Maybe you can relate to this, maybe you can’t, but I wanted to throw it out there so that maybe you won’t feel like the only one who suffers from this or that maybe you will understand someone else who battles fatigue. Please don’t ever think a depressed person is merely lazy. Fatigue is a real symptom of depression.
Even though you may be exhausted, try to get out of bed or off the couch, to socialize, to get some sunshine and exercise. These things will help. But know that if you can’t, if you need to sleep, that resting is okay and that your depressive episode will pass.
I’m having a rough day, dear reader. No, nothing has or has not happened. It is just my old friend depression coming to breathe on my neck. I know for those of you who do not live with a mental illness that includes depression, it may be hard to understand. “What’s the problem?” you might say. Or “I don’t understand why you feel so down.” And that is mental illness in a nutshell. Often times there is no “reason.” But there is, really, it has to do with things like neurotransmitters and bits of the brain, at least that is what doctors think anyway.
But today, for me, it kind of feels like the flu. I am exhausted and have spent most of the day lying in bed. Not sleeping, just lying there. I don’t feel like eating. My head kind of hurts. “Well, maybe you are getting sick,” you say. Maybe. But my money is on plain old depression stopping by to hang out. Yuck.
But, instead of continuing to lie in bed, I got up. I put my contacts in. I caught up on emails. I am writing this post. Later I will chat with my mom. And these things, these little things, may not make me happy, but they make me productive. They distract me from the feelings of worthlessness and ugliness that depression doles out in spades.
Being beautifully bipolar isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. You have to take the good with the bad. And today is just one day. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow can always be better.