The dark side of sunshine & bipolar
They say “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. If this is the case you would think that by now I’d be strong enough to face my demons head on. But its moments like today I’m not even strong enough to see tomorrow. I cringe knowing tomorrow will be like today, & the day before that. In fact I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to tomorrow.
It’s so easy for those around you who have not experienced a mental illness to come out with things that they presume will help. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lovely gesture, but for me personally it’s often a hindrance not a help. Of course I don’t show this. I go into an instant mask of happiness & false appreciation to help validate how they feel, not me. Because that’s me, I’ve programed myself into wearing this mask day in and day out during anxiety & depressed moods that I might be having.
When I’m in such a low period of my mood disorder it results in my inability to function in the “real” world. I have no strength to do this yet a smile is still plastered on my face.
I rely on those around me to be the stability I need to make it to the next day. I hate to know that I’m relying on others & I often avoid it for as long as possible. I don’t want those close to me knowing what’s really going on inside my head. I want to save them from the person I have become yet again.
I despise my feeling of weakness.
I despise myself for being unwell again.
I think of the quote “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. If this is the case why am I yet again not able to fight the black dog off? The thing is its slowly killing me. You can’t see it but I feel it. I feel it so strongly that urges to harm myself become more frequent. I become more tired & I can’t ignore the torment that’s been playing on my mind constantly. Any ability to rationalize within myself at this stage is no longer.
I miss the feeling of a clear mind instead I’m greeted with a thick black fog that stops me seeing the positives. Each day the fog gets lower & lower, the visibility of each day becomes worse & from this my ability to function becomes non-existent. The words of others roll around in my head for days. Worrying about the judgment I face if I don’t achieve what has been told to me. At this stage I panic. I push those close to me away in the fear of judgment & ridicule.
I constantly aim to persuade people into thinking that all is well & I’m bloody good at it I assure you! I constantly shock people when I tell them about my bipolar, in particular the depressive stages. I’m met with “but you always seem so happy” & “you’d never think anything was wrong with you”. These words are accompanied by a surprised look.
Hearing the word “wrong with me” sets my mind into over drive wanting to hide my true feelings from the world. I hear this phase so often, & it hurts. I don’t want people to think that something isn’t right with me. Of course people often word it like that without realizing what they have implanted. Most have no idea the effect that a simple slip up of a word can have on someone suffering a mental illness. I want to conform to society so my head is above water & my uncertainties of myself are hidden.
Associated with the peoples reaction is the stigma that is attached. This stigma is poison. It runs through your veins & you can’t escape it until you are well enough within yourself. Who knows how long that will be? Until that point the overwhelming feeling of fear engulfs every inch of you.
You drown in the words others have spoken.
You drown in your own fears.
You drown by the self-enforced isolation.
You drown in the stigma society has created.
You drown because stability feels so far away.
It takes one hell of an effort to keep your head above water & at times I wonder why I even try to stay afloat. How simple it would be to let myself drown in the sea of emotions. I then think to myself “you are only given in life what you can handle”. This gives me the determination to keep my head above the water for another day. Who knows what tomorrow holds? But at least I made it through today.