One of the most annoying parts of bipolar disorder, for me anyway, is feeling like I’m stuck in a mood that I can’t get out of.
Example: I had a long day this past Sunday, traveling four hours round trip. While not in the car, I was surrounded by crowds of people. It was exhausting, and both my husband and I were, let’s say, a bit sensitive by end of day.
There was some confusion of how to get back on the highway, and I felt he was a little too snippy with me.
I was offended and annoyed.
My mood went further south, and I could not snap out of the irritability and depression I felt.
We stopped near our home for a bite to eat, just as we exited the highway. The young woman that waited on us further irritated me with every step she made, every correction she made to the things my husband said, and the way she made us wait to take our drink order, our food order.
I noticed every detail, and I was laser-focused on negativity.
The hubs tried to cheer me up. He quickly calmed down once we got inside and to our table.
I felt differently.
I was short, I didn’t want to have a conversation, and I did not want to make eye contact with the waitress.
On many of these tiring days, it is hard for me to break free from what I’m feeling.
It is frustrating to not be able to come to my senses and snap out of moods.
I thought of the refrain in the U2 song above. Why can’t I say to myself, “Hey, enough with the bad mood. It’s time to act rationally and just have a good time”.
But I couldn’t. Sometimes I can’t.
My feelings are often my master, and after years of therapy and medication, it annoys me to be annoyed so much.
I feel immature and out of control. I know there’s a difference between the way I handle stressful events, and the way others handle them.
The biggest difference I observe is others can let things slide easier, especially after a few minutes of frustration or disappointment.
Even though it makes sense to me to just let it go, I can’t.
I observe that I’m acting irrationally, but that doesn’t change the outcome.
The best I’ve discovered so far is to keep practicing the examination and alteration of thoughts into positive ones, to frame things better, to keep working on cognitive distortions.
Do any of you feel this way? Are you compelled by your moods, and if so, what are you doing to work on that? How about those that have made breakthroughs? How did you do it?