Bipolar disorder is one hell of a roller coaster. After years of being (mostly) stable, I’ve been in the midst of a serious manic episode. I don’t see the not-so-fun symptoms of mental illness talked about much, and it seriously makes it hard to go through them. Psychosis is scary enough on it own, but add in the stigma, and the guilt and shame that come along with that, it’s hard to even want to talk about.
So let’s talk about it. Hallucinations, paranoia, delusions of grandeur. The “ugly”, hush-hush mania symptoms too, mood swings, impulsivity, insomnia, restlessness. It’s not all elevated mood and being hyper-sexual (which let me tell you, gets old quick.) Its terrifying, stressful, exhausting.
Spending money I don’t have, feeling and hearing things that aren’t there, panic attacks and freaking out at my loved ones, it’s not fun. Poor Gabe had never seen me like that. I avoided talking to him much because I didn’t want to scare him. I didn’t want to let my parents know how bad it was. I wasn’t “supposed to be like this anymore”. I had gotten so much better and been so stable for so long. I felt those familiar (not) friends of mine, guilt and shame, creeping in. I wanted to keep to myself but I couldn’t stop talking. No matter how bad I wanted to shut up my brain was going so fast I had to get things out just to be able to process.
I know that it’s not my fault. My brain doesn’t produce the chemicals it should, or it over produces them. Medications need tweaking, the weather changes and so does my mood, trauma anniversaries come and go, and so does life in general. I’ve learned over the years how to slow down, ground, and do the things that help cut it short. Making myself rest even if I can’t sleep, taking my meds, getting in touch with my psychiatrist. Now that I’m feeling mostly better, I know that I did as well as I could have done. It feels good to realize that, hey, I got out alive and unscathed save for being out $50 for duvet cover I didn’t really need.
This post might seem kinda blue, or maybe I’m just overthinking, but if you take one thing away from it, just let it be that it’s ok to not be ok.