I’ve spent many a year sat in therapy trying to understand my own mind, which is difficult for anyone but even more so when your rapid cycling episodes change on a bi-weekly basis. Why would I put myself through it? Sitting opposite a relative stranger discussing my deepest and darkest thoughts? Well imagine if you will waking up one day feeling like the only thing that makes sense is for you to spend all of your money, the impulse so great that you can think of nothing else…
or waking up with an over whelming feeling of self hatred and loathing that leads you to think that the only solution would be to end your life. Pretty extreme right? Right. But these are the extremes of thought and emotion of someone with Bipolar.
I don’t wake up every day with this extreme mind. Sometimes it feels like I might be on my way through the depressive door which to me looks like the entrance to a haunted house; foggy, cold and smelling slightly stale, other times I feel like I might be about to ride the train all of the way to Clarksville with The Monkees. But I catch myself, i get off at the next available stop, before I walk through the door, and I sit there contemplating; wondering if this is the episode I’ve been worrying about falling into? In the last instalment of this blog I detailed the noticeable changes I go through when I’m walking up to my very own haunted house… and I stand by these – they are very much the pattern I fall into but what I’ve realised is that I’m not in that haunted house right now or last week or even the week before, hell I’m not even outside.
It can be difficult to know the difference between feeling depressed and feeling sad, especially if you’ve been balanced for a long while and you’re getting all of the signs directing you to the haunted house, you understandably panic. And often the panic and the anxiety surrounding it is worse than the going through it. But here’s the thing, I could rationalise this, it was RATIONAL thought, and this is huge! If you can rationalise your thoughts or why you might be feeling a certain way, it is likely that you’re not on that train to Clarksville or in the queue for the haunted house either.
I could rationalise albeit not straight away (after a few days in this instance) that there were legitimate reasoning for why I was feeling so blue;
- Autumn is coming and as much as I love the weather and wearing hats and scarves, it always without fail knocks my mood for six.
- I have hospital appointments coming up this week and I’m extremely worried as to whether they are going to take me off my medication or what they are going to do about my hyperthyroidism
- My hyperthyroidism has been causing me a lot of physical pain; joint paint, sickness and headaches mostly
- My dad died not even two years ago (2 years will be in November) and I am missing him terribly
- I’ve started a new job (about 6 weeks ago) and it’s a very challenging role and I always takes ages to settle down
- I am lonely, as the seasons change and months go by I recognise how single I am and how much I’d like to share my life with another person
- Archie had fleas, thus my flat had fleas and I had to pay a large sum of money to have my home fumigated so naturally I was worrying about money.
All of these things are things anyone would feel sad about or a little under the weather about; it’s completely rational. So what’s my point? Bipolar isn’t rational… it doesn’t allow you that luxury to give yourself the brain power to think things through and rationalise how you’re feeling.
Note. I’m not saying it’s exact science, I mean sometimes I can be three rooms into the haunted house and I can suddenly see how I got to that point, what path led me to the front door as it were but it’s the exception to the rule. So if you’re questioning yourself at the moment or giving yourself a hard time for feeling sad or happy or irritated. Ask yourself – can I rationalise this? Bipolar is a bitch, but it’s not always thee bitch, sometimes it’s just life.