One of the hardest things I have to deal with as a bipolar survivor is the fear that when I get depressed, or even just in a bad mood, that it is signaling the beginning of an episode. It’s not even the issue of actually having the episode that is so hard for me, because the episode may or may not even happen. It’s the fear of it happening that is so hard for me.
In other words, if, in fact, I do end up going into a bipolar depressive episode, it is made that much worse by the fear that has preceded it. And if I don’t go into a full-fledged depressive episode, I have at least experienced emotional upset by the fear and the feelings and thoughts that have stemmed from that.
Either way, I feel the unfairness of it all. First of all, the original, “Why do I have to have bipolar disorder in the first place?” You know, the old, “Why me?” victim mentality that we survivors have tried so hard to overcome in order to become survivors in the first place.
After the initial self-pity, I begin the other “life isn’t fair” questions; such as, “Why can’t I be like ‘normal’ people, who can just get in a bad mood once in a while and not think anything of it?” I wonder why I can’t simply be depressed here and there, like “normal people,” and not worry about it – just figure I’ll get over it, and assume it’ll go away on its own eventually (in a short period of time, anyway).
Then, of course, I chide myself for even comparing myself to normal people, reminding myself that I am normal for me, and that is what counts.
Then I remember that I’m human, and that’s ok! It’s ok for me to be in a bad mood. It’s ok for me to be depressed. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m headed for an episode.
Do you see a giant S on my chest? No, of course not. I am not Superwoman, and I shouldn’t expect myself to be. I need to learn to give myself the same breaks that I would give anyone else or that anyone else would give me.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, placed on medications, stabilized, and eventually became a bipolar survivor, I did not become Superwoman. Nobody expected me to never get in a bad mood or never get depressed again. So why should I assume I never would?
We need to remind ourselves that bipolar disorder is a real disorder. No, it doesn’t have a cure as yet. But it is manageable. And though we still may get in bad moods or get depressed from time to time, it simply means that we are just as much a part of the human race as anyone else who doesn’t have bipolar disorder.
Getting depressed or getting in a bad mood once in a while simply means that we’re human.
Wishing you joy and stability,
Remember God loves you and so do I,