You’ve probably heard the phrase “You won’t really know what it feels like until you experience it” and, oddly, it usually comes about to a person who obviously hasn’t experienced it and has absolutely no understanding of it.
Like when a person of favorable size says around of person of generally unfavorable size, “Sometimes I feel so big. You shouldn’t worry about what other people say about you. You look great how you are.” As you may be aware, favorably sized person has pretty much used bigness as a benchmark of ‘lowness’ in her life. And even if one doesn’t know it consciously, just like this person doesn’t really know what it feels like to be big, a person of generally unfavorable size (or some other unfavorable attribute) can definitely feel the somewhat insulting feeling towards people of their size.
Or someone with Crohn’s reveals that fact- and some person says, “Oh, one time I had food poisoning- and it was the worst thing ever!” I’ve actually… *ahem* roomed with someone with the disease and three people- no joke, my friends- went on about some stomach bug or another. Sure food poisoning and sickness is horrible, but trying to relate to a person’s lifelong disease by referencing a nigh incomparable illness just shows how ignorant you really are.
Of course, I’m not immune to such antics either, though when I recall such instances I don’t think myself cute at all. I do, however, find it cute when I’m the object of said antics.
So, I have bipolar disorder. When I first realized it fully, I began to notice that it’s not just me being calm and sweet to being depressed- because I knew for certain what that shit felt like, and was quite aware when I was dragging myself through it. No, it wasn’t normal wavelength to flatlining through sludge.
There’s something else. It’s not ‘angry mode’. I’ve found the most common dichotomy of bipolarity in popular media (including cartoons, especially anime) is Calm/Happy and Psychotic/Angry.
No, my coin has FUCKING ECSTATIC on one side and DEATHLY DEPRESSION on the other. Often, I’m running along the narrow rim of normality, bumping over annoying people and small disappoints and the like before teetering on one side, losing balance, rolling down the wide diameter of one side then a slight rim job and then to the other side until something makes it all stop- a bottle of pills or a really good book or a long walk at 3AM.
What I’ve come up against the most is “Well, everyone has their off days.”
Now, that’s a completely true statement, but how can anyone tell me that after years of trying to stay on the rim, how can anyone even imply that I don’t know the difference between how I feel when I’m having an ‘off day’ or a ‘good day’ or depression and mania?
What bugs me the frickin’ most is that I begin to second-guess myself. My biggest clue that a majorly devastating depression is about to hit is when I begin to roll around in the euphoria-filled wonderland of mania. Mania now feels as recognizable to me as depression, but if I’ve heard that phrase recently I began to count off the good things that have happened to make me have a ‘happy day’.
And that’s how I felt today. I don’t remember who said something ignorant about bipolar disorder- it might have been someone’s post on Facebook or some shit- but I remembered the baseless sentiment and it stuck to me.
When I’m manic, I get the munchies, no weed needed. I’ve been eating constantly, but telling myself that I’ve just gotten off my period (even though I mostly get cravings before my period, and never after), and that I haven’t been eating as well as I should (which has also been true- but I’ve been eating better overall. Nothing as good as when I was eating nearly vegetarian at school, though),
When I’m manic I can’t concentrate. I’ve been multitasking in my free time for almost five days now, unable to spend good time with my sister (on anime or 642 and various other things) or anyone. Even on my computer, I check this, then this, then this, then this. And I’ve been telling myself that all of it is so very fun and no one would be able to stay on task, right?
When I’m manic, I get aroused easily. Now, I’m usually that way… But now I know it’s different, because I wake from sleep too aroused to lie down. I sit at the computer watching a youtube video or reading a comic, planning on going to bed in about half an hour and then BAM, I know I won’t be able to read or hear another word without relief.
When I’m manic, I go into panics over the stupidest things, and one not so stupid thing: I fully understand I’m manic now, and have been for nearly a week and this depression is going to be killer, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. That’s the not-so-stupid thing. Stupid things? Working at Denny’s yesterday, cutting tomatoes, and the way the tomato slices look- the shapes appear within:
They got to be so scary that I stopped slicing tomatoes, diced them, and didn’t look back. The dark is too dark, and I can’t look anyone in the eye, it’s just too much!
I had to stop myself from screaming with delirious joy because we had Taco Bell downstairs, but I couldn’t keep the squeal away when my sister gave me her churro. I laugh out loud because the feeling in my chest is too much to contain, and I bite my arms to stifle the ants beneath my skin. And, hell, I’m too damn sore to do that again, though I can feel my body reeling with that energy.
I just hope I hit bottom within the next three days. I’m off from work. I haven’t been depressed for an extended period since January, and had mild manic attacks since then. But this… This is no ‘happy day’. I’ve been the same thing for fucking months. I’m doubting myself on going to a new school, on ever finding any lovers, of seeing my brother or any type of friend anytime soon, of ever truly liking my sister again or not thinking my dad is not worth talking to- but none of that bothers me at the moment.
But it will when I roll over to the other side, where I go so much more slowly…They won’t be simply ‘bad days’, they will all be the culmination of a goddamned depression that I simply don’t want to deal with, especially when I’m so alone in it.