I’m on holiday on the beautiful island of Mallorca…in a wonderful spot, surrounded by beauty. I’m trying really really hard to have a good time and am succeeding at times. But…I just want to escape. Run and run and don’t stop until I find sanctuary..somewhere. I feel the same at home, I feel the same everywhere. I want to escape where I am, I want to escape my life, I want to escape…me.
I’m at the really uncomfortable stage of bipolar II where I am drowned by negative, repetitive, destructive thoughts all the effing time. I’m exhausted by it. And it hurts…constantly. I have to choose my moments to let it out, and then I could cry forever. A hectic month, new stressful job, father having a minor stroke…I know all these things have exacerbated it, but there is no room in the schedule for quiet time to recuperate in the medium or long term. I panic at the thought of it. I know many people with bipolar can’t work, but I want to pay my way. I just don’t know if I can.
So I’m mid-embark onto the wild world of software with its long hours, fast moving environment, younger, mostly male dominated week. 8.3-5.30 hours workday minimum, colleagues, and boss, all younger but a cool set of people and good product so I can swallow that having been out of the business a decade.
The job is pressurised and my stomach has been churning for months with the job hunt. My single parenthood is coming in to play and my bipolar well..its unpleasant. Anxiety wakes me up burning in my chest and throat, makes my stomach churn from just after waking. I know the % of unemployment for bipolar type II are sky high, and GOD but do I understand😁I’m struggling to keep this together and when I look into the future it seems so bleak with little respite ahead…just small snatches of life and a whole lotta work.
How do those of you managing bipolar and work keep it together? Please please leave comments. I’d love to change career, move out of the city and find a lifestyle where I’m just…content. Right now I just want to escape every aspect of mine..id take a leap of faith..I’m a software product lines in terms of future direction of the product. Biz and techie skills. I ran a craft supplies company for a decade. How could I transfer to an easier life outside Dublin????
I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been busy working – consulting for a startup a few days a week. I’ve loved it, despite its obvious instability – part of the very nature of software startups. Nobody talks about the fact that 9 out of 10 startups fail – it’s just the giant successes that make the news.
I digress…I’ve been feeling very “normal” lately. I still suffer from anxiety and for the first time have started having palpitations when I least expect them, and I still cry a few times a day. But overall I’m fairly buoyant, capable, clear minded, memory intact….well able to live and manage my life.
Is this my normality level? I don’t even know what’s normal anymore. Do “normal” people cry little and often, and wake in the morning burning with anxiety – which does pass if I keep myself busy.
If this is my normal, I’ll take it. Do you know what your normality is??
I got a job – of sorts. Consulting 3 days a week for 2 months, possibly more, with a small startup in Dublin city. It’s been great – I’m really enjoying it and my mind is clear, my memory functioning. I think it’s down to a few things – the change in medication – removing Tegretol, upping Lamictal, the keeping busy and not allowing room for negative thought, the social aspect – even the bit of exercise on the way to the train station. Whatever it is, it feels good and like I’ve hit a bipolar balance. I’m not religious, but thanks be to the Lord.
I wanted to post because this is good news. I watched the Fargo series recently and the words the chief said towards the end, when he resigned, really resonated. He said he used to be a positive person, optimistic about the human race and seeing good in people. But his job in the police changed that. I find the same about newspapers and most reporting media. It gives such a negative view of the world whereas when I look at the people around me, who are in my life – I see only good.
I have to stop reading newspapers – I remember seeing it was one of the bullets in a list of how to live a happy life.
Anyway…this current situation – long may it last. This is bipolar balance.
It’s never sunny in Ireland. All social events are planned indoors or with the caveat that things “may move indoors”. It’s almost the only thing you can rely on Ireland to provide (along with great Guinness). And all that suits me just fine. Dark grey days, wintry nights and I can hide away, wear warm, comfy clothes and have nobody give me a hard time about being anti-social.
But a week ago Ireland threw a curve ball at us. A mini heatwave of constant sunshine. The country has stalled, everyone has sunburn and “outside” is full of people wearing shorts, kicking balls, laughing and shouting. It’s unnerving. Quite simply, I can’t wait for it to end.
I’ve heard before that people with depression and bipolar struggle during the summer months the most – possibly for the reasons I’ve alluded to above. My question to you is- what’s your favourite season, and how does your mood respond to each one? I love autumn…the colours and the bright, cool, crisp days. And maybe the fact that winter’s around the corner. What’s your favourite?
It occurs to me that, as a person, I am generally appropriate. I ooh and aah when required, smile to ease tricky social situations, “like” all the right posts and as much as possible try to employ the personality filter residing in my head. I am appropriate, it’s just my moods that are bloody not.
A lot of the time it feels as if life is carrying on in spite of my moods, or that it’s life vs. my moods. A battle of opposites that is entirely wearing and relentless. Cue good things and good times – job prospects, a content child, sunny weather and social events pending, and all I can do is cry, cry, cry. My negative, destructive thoughts hit full flight and utterly ignore the good happening around me. Likewise I may be floundering and unemployed, with family worries and money concerns and my mood will carry me ebulliently over it all, barely dropping a toe into the worry and misery below.
Rarely does it seem that mood and life marry, thought that may be simply down to the fact that my “mood life” is always over the top, unrealistic and unlike the reactive moods of “normal” people.
What I still have is my mind. My sane, reflective, sensitive and realistic self that observes all this craziness stoically and reminds me what’s real. As Carrie Fisher said..”I am very sane about my craziness”.
Ultimately moods that are inappropriate to life events are what tag us as having mood disorders in the first place – therein lies our diagnosis. I know this and know it well and yet…. somehow it still surprises me.
I really don’t like all these negative posts I’ve been putting out there, and to an extent I apologise for them. Usually I hide it all behind a wobbly smile, but this blog beckons the bad words out. I intended for my posts to be helpful, pass on tips I’ve found useful, and I haven’t been doing that enough. So today…today was a very quiet day. My son was with his dad and in truth I had nothing on my agenda, so a lot of internet TV was watched (Blacklist you have a lot to answer for). But tonight I’m going out with friends. The last few days I’ve been quite down but have only told you guys. I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other and and what i’ve found helpful was the six words: “FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT”. Tonight, with dress and lip gloss on, I look the part and hell..I’m going to act my socks off too. Friendships must be maintained, social lives must be carried on. Fake it til you make it folks…we’ll carry this one off 🙂
The negativity rain has arrived. I have Tigger’s unhappy alter ego sitting on my shoulder, raining nasty negative arrows down that land with a concise little sting. And when he runs out of arrows, Bad Tigger runs around picking up the ones already shot and rains them down again. And again. In rapid, repetitive succession. Constant reminders of what a terrible, utterly hopeless human being I am; how life is useless, humans are all awful and it’s all bloody pointless.
Now I know my mind is sick right now, and I can deal with this. I can get through it as i have countless times before. But what I struggle with is just that – the “countless” word. That is my problem in dealing with bipolar this year. That I know that this will happen again and again.
Have any of you any words of wisdom you say to yourselves to help you deal with the constant upheaval caused by bipolar? I have lots of good tactics to manage day by day, but how do you manage or use a strategy to control this, well, rather depressing thought, that this is likely to be a situation for life?
I used to think I had a shot at the “mind like a diamond” part of Cake’s song “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”. At 25 I had an IQ of 154, came top of my class at one of Ireland’s best
universities and had a software career that was climbing fast. I moved to the US for a few years ..full of excitement and adventure and started to explore lands anew.
At 28 I was diagnosed with my first bout of depression,and a couple of years later, bipolar disorder type II. What followed hasn’t been a tragedy by any means and there have been small victories, but in so many ways it feels there has been a decline. Is it disease, medication or just age? Am I just experiencing a mid life crisis? The simple fact is that these days this brain of mine feels more like a blunt, unused instrument than a sharp tack and I can’t help but feel so…disappointed about it.
Emotionally I’ve always worried and been afraid, lacking self confidence in relationships, and my brain/intellect was the thing I could rely on. Now I can’t even remember a phone number and just feel a little …pathetic. I know I’m alive, I have food on the table and a roof over my head not to mention a wonderful family. I should be grateful, and for these things, and more…I am. I just can’t get over this feeling of disappointment about how things turned out.
My bipolar has also seen off three partners now and I’ve been single for years now – last year I turned 40. All my friends but one are married with young children and it’s just so damn lonely. I’m trying really hard to count my blessings but this voice at the back of my head is almost taunting me with these wishes and desires for how I hoped things would be.
Is it just me?