Mental Illness During the Pandemic
We'll get through it
One of the biggest problems I have ever dealt with in my life has been my mental illness. I was diagnosed with Manic Depression as well as Bipolar Disorder 2 when I was 13. Though because I was so young my therapist now thinks that it might be some kind of personality disorder instead. Like BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
I've experienced some rather difficult things in my life, although, thankfully, I was never without the necessities. I thought that I had figured out a good way to deal with my issues and control my emotions when needed. The pandemic, however, has made things exceedingly difficult. I hate being stuck in the house and I always had an out with my job or friends. Now that my job is work from home and all my friends have kids, and are therefore staying home to be safe, we have nothing to do.
I snap at my husband so often I think he'll surely divorce me. I've slowly lost my ability to control my issues. It constantly feels like I'm empty or that I'm drowning and nobody is listening to my screams. I feel so guilty because of it. My husband doesn't know what to do or how to help me. I try to tell him that all I need is his love and comfort, but realistically it's not always enough. I have such a poor self image as well. A lot of it is due to my grandparents; I lived with them from the age of 7 to 13 and I STILL get backhanded comments about my weight. "You're going to eat ANOTHER piece of bread?" "How much do you weigh now?" And so on and so forth with crap like that. I look in the mirror and all I see is my double chin, belly rolls and stretch marks. My husband spends a lot of time telling me how gorgeous and perfect he thinks I am, which is, of course, always wonderful to hear. I just can't turn off all the thoughts. And as you know that just brings unprecedented amount of suicidal thoughts. I'm pregnant and just the other day I spaced out and had a vision of killing myself after she's born because I had convinced myself she would grow up better without me; and that my husband would fare better without me as well. I snapped out of it and dropped the idea, but that's just one example.
The bipolar, or bpd, or whatever you want to call it, just makes it all the more difficult. I get so angry over the smallest, inconsequential things. Like the way my husband eats. Or the little things that literally all husbands do - leave the dirty clothes, towels on the floor, pee on the toilet seat, etc. I try so hard not to snap at him but I end up bottling it up inside and it explodes at the dumbest things. On the other end of the spectrum I'm so clingy. I've been told that it's due to an intense fear of abandonment or being alone. My husband has taken to calling me his 'little duck' because of how much I follow him around. Oh my gosh and don't get me started on the paranoia. We live in possibly the smallest town in Oklahoma and I still need to make sure and lock our cars and doors at night; I hate going out alone or at night simply because of all the horrible 'what-if's' that could happen.
Being locked inside due to Covid has just compounded all of these issues and I know I'm not the only one. I try to find little things that relieve the stress and mental anguish. Writing and my art are two of the biggest helpers. This website has definitely provided an amazing outlet. Not only do I get to write about my personal issues, but I also get to read about other peoples' experiences. I know that others are having the same problems right now. I just hope that y'all can find healthy outlets for all the harsh emotions that are running through your brains. We just have to make it through this quarantine and we will be all the stronger for it.