Living with bipolar I disorder is a like constantly being on a rollercoaster. The mania, the highs, are exquisite. You feel grandious. You can concur the world. There are no limits for you. Nothing bad will ever happen to you. You are a genius. Your creativity is unparalleled. Sleep is unneeded. Food is unneeded. You live on dreams and your high.
But like anything there is always a contrast to everything. Recently I have been depressed, for over two weeks now. I am not sure what started it. I should be happy, my book – “There Comes a Light: A Memoir of Mental Illness” is selling. People are sharing their stories with me. I made a new local friend and have plans to meet up with another. But everything seems hopeless, like there is no point in doing anything, going anywhere, talking to anyone. I’ve been going to my parents’ a lot because I don’t want to be alone with these pitch black thoughts.
I talked to my therapist about it this week and she suggested some homework in which I will be able to see I am more than “deep depression.” But when you are in such depression as this, it is hard to see the light, even a glimmer of hope, even a fraction of light piercing the darkness. I don’t see the other parts that make up myself.
I have been sleeping fourteen to sixteen hours a night on average. The latest I can manage to stay awake is eight at night. I take naps every day. My psychiatrist and therapist both say that if I need a nap, then take one. I guess it is all the medication I take that wipes me out.
I am not taking care of myself either. Every morning I, I cry, I mean balling , because of my sadness. I am isolating, which you should NOT do. I am not exercising consistently. I am not eating, I just don’t have an appetite unless I am around other people and when you live alone, well, that isn’t often. I am not showering as often as I should be. And what makes all this worth is that it makes me feel even worse because I want to feel better. I don’t want to sleep so much. I don’t want to have crazy hair and stink. I want to be able to leave the house. But it is like I can’t. I can’t control it. This is depression. A bunch of mixed up chemicals in my brain, swirling around not allowing me to perform even the simplest of tasks.
So, what to do? All those things I mentioned above that I am not doing, no matter how hard, despite my motivation. Try in little ways to feel a sense of accomplishment for anything I can do. Because sometimes even the smallest things should be celebrated.