My Bipolar Mind
A look into my life living and dealing with Bipolar Disorder 1.
What started out as a misdiagnosis in my teens slowly turned into a nightmare. I went from an outgoing energetic person to a miserable shut in who never left the house except for work and necessities. I had no desire to be around friends and family, isolating myself from everyone except online interactions. I was on my last string of fighting off my demons before I finally asked for help from my family.
It took one of my worst panic attacks and suicidal thoughts to finally admit myself to the hospital for help. When I got admitted my life got flipped upside down. Within the first two days I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder and immediately taken off my anti-depressants and put on a mood stabilizer. I spent over 2 weeks in the hospital as the monitored me and made sure I wasn't going to be a danger to myself. These were some of the hardest days of isolation I had ever felt. I was only allowed visitors twice a day and for someone who is used to seeing my fiancé for hours a day, it was extremely hard. I wasn't given day passes until 3 days prior to my release. Once I was released, I was told that I would see my psychiatrist again and that an appointment would be booked for me. It was never scheduled and so I was put on a wait list to see him 2 months after my first bad reaction to the meds, but I'll get back to that.
Once I got out of the hospital things seemed to be going great. I was back into art and painting again. I was seeing friends and family regularly, and I wasn't constantly thinking about self harm or suicide. It felt amazing to feel good about life again. My days were filled with sunshine and hope for just a little while. This only lasted for a month or so before I dropped off the deep end again and went back isolating myself. They don't tell you that the first bit on new meds seems like a cure but once it settles into your system things change.
I was put on too high of a dose for my medicine which has caused me to become physically sick and mentally foggy. I was on this dose for almost 4 months. I missed time at work from throwing up so much and when I did go there was always a lingering thought of messing up and causing defects in parts. I worked in a car manufacturing factory at the time, where other peoples safety could be at risk if I had an off day with brain fog. Those days are the worst.
When the brain fog settles in, the thoughts in my mind race back and forth. The thoughts of your loved ones and family not wanting to be around you are gut wrenching and devastating. That you are just burdening them with your own issues. Thoughts of self harm and suicide flow like waterfalls and make it nearly impossible to not break down into tears. The worst thoughts come when you can't escape them, and you're trapped listening to them running through over and over again. Being unemployed due to your mental health causes lots of days like this.
Things aren't always horrible when you feel like this, though. Having the shakes and getting to pile on warm fuzzy blankets feels like animal hugs. Feeling nauseated and managing to keep down your favourite foods is a win in the books. Getting to cuddle up to your pets and feeling them purring and loving you back melts your heart. Getting tucked in and kissed goodnight by your spouse makes you feel less like a burden. These are the small things that have kept me going through this mess inside my head. Like tiny snow plows shovelling a path after a blizzard, I push through for myself and my loved ones. I won't let being bipolar define me and my life.