My whole life, I’ve been an extremely logical person. I think about and plan out my life. I am extremely organized in my thought process. If I am going on vacation, I think about what to pack months in advance and write a detailed plan for what to take. If I have a homework assignment, I have to make sure it’s as perfect as I can make it. I’ve always slightly been an overachiever, especially when it comes to things like school or work. Why do I do these things? Because the unknown scares me. The fear of failure terrifies me. And feeling like I am not in control gives me anxiety.
That’s why bipolar disorder is hard for me.
Because it’s all 3 of those things.
I feel incredibly out of control of my life, like I don’t have a handle on things like I used to. I feel like I am failing myself. And most of all, I never know what is going to happen next.
I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This means that my moods can shift at the snap of a finger. I never know if something is going to send me spiraling into depression or make me abnormally happy.
Take this scenario: My roommate bursts into the living room where another roommate and I are sitting together, having a great conversation. She says, “Let’s go to this party!” One of two things can happen. 1) Sudden depression. I’d think, “She wasn’t talking to me. She was clearly talking to my other roommate. They don’t want me with them at all.” And then I’ll completely shut down and shut everyone out, even though it’s such an unrealistic thought. Or, 2) Sudden high. I’d think, “Oh my goodness! Let’s go! This is going to be so much fun!” And then I’d get this crazed look about me and will be totally unlike my normal self, but I’d be the life of a party. (Of course, I could have a totally normal reaction as well, but those obviously don’t bother me at all.)
Or take last night, for instance. I have been keeping a very regular sleep schedule lately, because that seems to help balance out the depression and make it more bearable. But last night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I felt wired. I knew I had an early meeting for work this morning, up in downtown Salt Lake City, about 1 1/2 hours away from my apartment because of rush hour. I could have been incredibly upset at myself, likely to slip into depression, for not sleeping. I was counting down the hours of sleep time I had left. 7 hours turned to 6, which turned to 5, which turned to 4. But I was having another hypomanic episode, and honestly couldn’t care less that I was losing sleep. I didn’t feel like I needed it. My roommate came into our room at 1:00, and I have no idea why, but I just burst out laughing. Nothing prompted it. But nothing could stop it.
And then later today, after work, I slammed into depression again. Thinking about it, I have absolutely no idea what happened to cause it. I can only think that I was so exhausted from my lack of sleep that I was feeling exceptionally emotional. I have no idea…
This is what my life feels like. A crazy, unpredictable rollercoaster. You know, like Space Mountain in Disneyland. My life is a rollercoaster in the dark, and I can’t see where I’m going next. I only feel the turns whipping me as I zoom along this crazy track of life.
And that unpredictability is exhausting, never knowing if I’m going to be depressed, hypomanic, or normal. Like I mentioned earlier, I have no control over what is going to happen. It just happens.
I have an unpredictable mind.