There are a few immutable facts about having Bipolar Disorder. This post contains, what I consider, the most common behaviors common to people that have Bipolar Disorder.
Always put on your fake face before you go somewhere. This means wiping the grimace off your face and replacing it with something resembling a smile. This means having answers to common questions ready, OTHER PERSON: “Hey. How are you?” ME: “I’m pretty good, I’m officiating weddings. How are you?” OTHER PERSON: “I’m good. (“I’m involved in something really cool that you need to know about.)”. I will try to converse further. I’ve gotten pretty good at this. I’ve been doing it about 35 years. All my mentally ill peeps know this trick and practice it on the regular.
Suicide is a familiar thought. Not everybody acts on it, but way too many people consider it. And it doesn’t take much to drive a person to consider suicide. It’s really hard to live a bipolar life and,sometimes, its so hard that you consider the unthinkable…
Sleep Problems = Mental Illness Problems. Whether you’re not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, bipolars often have poor sleep hygiene. They find themselves trying each of the sleep medications with nothing working on a long-term basis. Or, on the flipside, you can’t ever get enough sleep-energy stored up to do much of anything. Whether its too much or too little, sleep problems usually equal mental health issues.
We’re scared of our symptoms too. I/ts really frightening to feel out of control. Either so depressed you wish a giant hole would open and swallow you or filled with manic energy that pushes you to do more than you’re comfortable with. The anxiety that pops up out of nowhere and grips you tightly. Making you think that the worse thing ever is about to occur. And believe me, no one likes to hallucinate.
We’ve given up on ourselves more times than you can count. We have felt the hole left where hope used to reside. We have said to ourselves, “No more…I can’t handle anymore.” I hear people express impatience about their bipolar friends. “Why can’t they just make a decision and do it?” We would love this ability. But in the depths of our illness, it simply isn’t possible.
So a bipolar hides much more than you can imagine. There’s a lot going on in that wonderful/terrible mind.