Exhausted

“I just want the bad feelings to end”

Yesterday I had a great day. Work was great, I felt great, everything was good, until suddenly it wasn’t. Lately it seems to happen like that. One moment I’m fine and the next my world is falling apart. Last night was probably one of the worst nights I’ve had. I felt the overwhelming sense of being alone so deeply. I have honestly never felt so low. I seem to be saying that a lot lately, that I’ve never felt so low, but life has a funny way of reminding you just how bad things can get. I contemplated driving myself to the hospital. I desperately needed help but I so desperately need to keep it together. Truth is, I don’t have time to not be okay. I don’t have the luxury of being so depressed you can hardly function. I have to function. I have to go to work. I have to pay my bills. I have to not disappoint my parents with another job thrown away because I’m incapable of functioning like a normal human being. Im in a constant battle of acting rational while living with an irrational mind. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted.

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8 things I wish people would know about my schizoaffective bipolar disorder

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8 things I wish people would know about my schizoaffective bipolar disorder.

1.I am NOT my illness: for so long I battled with the thought that I would forever be defined by my illness. I wore it like a coat and it completely consumed me. Over time I have come to realize that while I have schizoaffective bipolar disorder, I am not schizoaffective bipolar. It’s true, that there are parts of me that are different and parts of me that give in to the illness, but I am stronger than my brain would have me to believe and one day I won’t allow this illness to rule over my life.

2. I have psychotic symptoms, but that doesn’t make me a psychopath: Seriously, thats a totally different illnesses, and yes psychopathy is a mental illness.

3. My psychotic symptoms don’t make me crazy: Over the past couple of years I have struggled with maintaining a solid grasp on reality. I’ve had visual and audible hallucinations. I’ve been absorbed by the sun in my moms driveway, and I truly thought I was going to fix the nations justice system, all while being able to speak telepathically with my cat that I believed was going to kill me. I know, that sounds absolutely nuts, and believe me, it was absolutely nuts, but I’M NOT absolutely nuts. Having these delusions, hallucinations, and thoughts are completely involuntary and while they aren’t real to those around me it is incredibly real to me, but you know what, those delusions and hallucinations pass and once they do I am completely able to think and act rationally just as well as every other person on the planet.

4. Having bi-polar disorder is more than having mood swings: This one is huge so I’m going to stick with the bold print. BIPOLAR DISORDER IS MORE THAN A MOOD SWING. The best that I can explain my experience with bipolar disorder is like this. One day I can wake up and I feel incredible, but not just incredible, euphoric. Nothing bothers me, I’m unbelievably happy and motivated and I’m incredibly social. Spending money is absolutely no problem and I don’t believe that my actions will have any real consequence. So I feel this way for a few weeks, maybe even a month, but then I wake up one day feeling so low that I seriously don’t want to live anymore and I’m clouded by darkness. I isolate, there’s a lot of self-loathing, and I lose all of my motivation to do anything that involves me getting out of my bed. Having bipolar disorder has caused me to have low self-esteem and low self-worth and has impacted my life as more than “just a mood swing”.

5. I am still a functioning member of society: Just like you I go to work, pay my taxes, and have somewhat of a social life. Truthfully, you wouldn’t even know I was mentally ill unless I told you or you caught me in the midst of psychosis. Mental illness doesn’t have a specific face, and often times it appears very ordinary.

6. My illness is not an excuse, it’s a disorder: If I were to break my leg people would have no problem excusing certain behaviors, so why am I not given the same consideration for my broken brain? Schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a very serious and very legitimate illness with very real and debilitating symptoms. So, if I say no, I can’t leave my house to go out because I’m too paranoid or too depressed, or no, I can’t go to work today because I quite literally can’t force myself out of bed this isn’t an excuse. It’s a symptom of an illness that needs to be taken seriously.

7. I’m not open about my illness because I want sympathy or attention: I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m open about my illness because the stigma surrounding mental illness is alive and real, and it’s surrounded by ignorance. Speaking out about my illness not only educates people, but encourages people going through something similar to speak out about their experience as well.

8. Despite what Tumblr says there’s nothing romantic about mental illness: Seriously, there’s absolutely nothing romantic or enticing about my illness. My depression isn’t something that’s beautiful. In fact, it’s really dark and ugly and produces a lot of worry in those that love me, and my mania isn’t exciting. At times it can be catastrophic and I don’t want to say that I’m hard to love, but there is A LOT to put up with when it comes to me and unless you’re willing to go through hell and back and still love me the same, you’re not the one for me.

I could honestly go on and on and on with this list, but I think that 8 points is sufficient. Mental illness is so prevalent in today’s society and we can all benefit from a little more understanding. Depression and anxiety is something that has been circulating social media for a bit (which is awesome!) but I wish there were more on other illnesses as well, so I’m doing my part in spreading the knowledge!

Existing

This week my therapist and I made a safety plan. Not because I want to die, but because I do have really dark days and I do have suicidal thoughts. That’s right, I said it, I have suicidal thoughts but I don’t want to die! I’m actually terrified of dying. Nothing in this world scares me more than the thought of dying, but sometimes I have thoughts of doing things that could end my life; like swallowing a bottle of pills or driving my car into a tree. I don’t have to be depressed or be in the midst of a particularly dark day, but suicidal ideation is a symptom that I live with and I know I’m not alone in this.

It’s a strange feeling, not wanting to die but not always wanting to exist.

Feeling Flat

It’s been a little less than a week since I’ve started back with my medication and I am absolutely bored with my emotions. Adjusting to being stable is always difficult. You live your life experiencing the extremes in your mood and then suddenly things are rather flat. You don’t feel too much or too little. Mostly you don’t feel much at all, and let me tell you…IT’S ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. Not only is it hard it can literally be unbearable. Nothing is fun, nothing is funny, nothing is sad, you’re never quite happy. You literally feel nothing, and who wants to go through life like that? I’ll continue to take my medication regardless of how much I hate being stable, because it’s important for those around me to be able to stand me, but something’s gotta give.

Totally Defeated

The hardest, most honest post I’ve ever made. 

Some days I find peace. Some days I struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. Some days I truly don’t think that I can do it anymore. But I do. I always do. This month has been one of the hardest months of my life. I’ve been totally defeated. I’ve been mentally and emotionally exhausted. I’ve cried so many tears and felt so much heartache. Two months ago I was singing a totally different song in a totally different key. I thought I was happy. I thought I was moving on. I thought I was getting through it; but really I was manic. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t going to last and ultimately I was going to crash and burn. So here I am, sifting through the fiery wreckage trying to salvage what I can. I’ve crashed, I’ve burned, and now I’m seriously drowning. Drowning in darkness. Drowning in the depression that inevitably comes after a manic episode. I’ve spent so much time debating on whether or not I wanted to write this. I’ve spent countless hours willing my fingers to type out the words, too afraid of the repercussions and judgement. For the first time since being diagnosed I lacked the courage to share my thoughts and my journey. I thought that this place I’m in was too dark and too consuming to share with others, but it’s so important for me to get this out of my head and into the world and I think it’s important for people to catch a glimpse of the dark side of mental illness, not the romanticized version.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and my illness during these recent episodes. Being Bipolar means so much more than drastic mood swings. It’s sleepless nights and endless spending. It’s crippling insecurity and self-doubt. It’s lonely and isolating. It’s contemplating the value of your life and ways to end it only to wake up the next morning feeling complete joy and full of worth. It’s absolutely emotional whiplash. It’s totally exhausting and confusing, and it totally sucks. But at the end of the day I’ll get through it because I always have. My darkest nights have led to the most beautiful sunsets. Because of this I’ve experienced true joy and true sorrow and I’ve explored the realest parts of myself, and that’s something to rejoice in.

Self Care

Self care is SO important and it’s often placed on the back burner. We live in a busy world surrounded by busy people. We’re so preoccupied with taking care of those around us that we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. When I was going to weekly therapy sessions, my therapist always made it a point to ask me what I was doing for me and how I was taking care of myself. Then it seemed like a chore, but now it’s a necessity.

When my husband  left I was absolutely terrified of how I would handle it mentally and emotionally. I was scared that I was going to fall back into the darkness of depression. I was worried that I would lose my grip on reality. I was worried, because for the first time since my diagnosis I HAD to keep it together. I HAD to make myself get out of bed in the mornings and go to work. I HAD to remain level headed and in touch with reality. Before, if I had an episode or mental breakdown things would be okay. I had someone there to take care of me. I had someone to rely on financially. Now that it’s just me, I’ve had to make extra sure that I take care of my mind, but most importantly my soul.

Lately I’ve been working less but somehow I never seem to find time to relax. I’m always out with friends, spending time with family, or running errands. I’ve been so worried about making sure my day is full so that I don’t have time to feel the pain and reflect on my broken and failed marriage. Today I realized what a disservice that was. This is a time that I need to feel and heal. This is a time for me to put myself first and make self-care a top priority. This last week my lack of self-care came pouring out, and boy did it hurt. This whole time I’ve thought that going out and having a good time with friends, drinking milkshakes, and treating myself to whatever it was I wanted was self-care. I was so incredibly wrong. I think at this point my self-care looks more like allowing myself to feel all of the emotions I’ve refused to acknowledge throughout my divorce. I think it’s crying in the middle of the day only to come home and cry myself to sleep. I think my self-care at this time in my life is getting really real with myself and reflecting on the part I’ve played in this and figuring out how to grow from it. Self-care isn’t always rosy and relaxing. Sometimes self care is feeling all of the pain and discomfort and emptying yourself so you can be filled with something better.

 

Why Did Everything Change?

It’s astounding how quickly people change; how quickly our feelings for one another can change. One day we’re married, holding each other close on the couch. The next day you’re gone. To be honest, forgiving you for ripping my heart out of my chest hasn’t been easy. Some days I miss you. Some days I hate you. Some days I thank you for giving me the freedom I so desperately needed. Today, I’m just hurt. I’m hurt that you can leave without looking back. I’m hurt that you’re so eager to move on, to be done with me, with us. But, today I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that during my day full of hurt I was surrounded by people that love me. I’m thankful that today you made it clear to me that even on my worst days, I’m better off than I was. One day I will be with someone that loves me in the peaks and the valleys. Today it was made clear that you aren’t that person, and you know, that’s okay. I’m thankful for the time that we had together, but if I’m being totally honest, I’m more thankful for everything that I’ve gained since you’ve been gone. My loss was great, but there was so much more to be gained.