It’s Not Easy

I know that I constantly say this but I’m just going to keep drilling this into everyone’s minds: mental health is definitely something that not a lot of people are informed about despite it being so prevalent in society. I think it’s still somewhat of a taboo to talk about so not many people bring it up, which is understandable because there are some people out there who aren’t comfortable talking about their mental illness.

Luckily – luckily? – I’m not one of those people.

I want to help shatter the stigma that surrounds this topic and that’s one of the main reasons this blog even exists.

There is absolutely no way you can look at me and know certainly that I suffer from bipolar disorder… unless you somehow run into me at an asylum. Then you could maybe guess there’s something off about me. That’s my poor attempt at comic relief. Sorry.

Jokes aside, you can’t be sure. It’s an invisible disability.

Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder are stigmatized as being unstable, dangerous, and incapable of living a normal. To tell you the truth, around the time I was diagnosed I wasn’t the most… mentally sound person you could meet. In fact, from the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2013 I was having a hypomanic episode that eventually led to full-blown mania. I won’t go into great detail of what happened because it’s a ridiculously long story and I was so dissociated I don’t remember a lot of the story. You’re still free to ask me about it because I try find humour in it. And, well, every time I talk about it, I get to analyze the story a bit more.

I was never a danger to anyone… except maybe to myself but that’s another chapter of “Storytime with Deirdre.” You can ask me about that too. I won’t mind. For now, all I’ll say is that 2013 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life. That’s not even a hyperbole but simply the truth. If you were present in my life at that time, you would probably agree. But I’ve come a long way since then and these days I’m relatively stable.

I take a cocktail of medication every day… antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. It sounds a bit much but the combination of that and support from my friends and family is what keeps me sound. And despite being stable, it’s a daily struggle for me. There’s a constant battle going on in my head and, yeah, it’s difficult. I struggle every single day to stay afloat because for me, happiness isn’t just happiness; it’s mania. Sadness isn’t just sadness; it’s depression.

It’s difficult to explain, but that’s how it is.

As I mentioned the other day – I think – I’ve been mostly stable the past few months, which is great. At the same time I can’t help but have this feeling of a possible relapse eating away at me. I’ve read that most people who have bipolar disorder will eventually relapse, even after being stable for years. Maybe I’m just being paranoid again… but isn’t that one of the symptoms of mania?

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3 thoughts on “It’s Not Easy

  1. Deirdre…you clearly are able to laugh at yourself, see the lighter side; I’d argue that makes you saner than most “normal” folks! Some could be seen to take their thoughts and beliefs (but not themselves, for that is prohibited in their belief system) quite seriously – here’s one such example, a review of a book of talks on Tibetan Buddhism: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1301988786. Others similarly adhere to their comforting belief systems. These adherents to ‘belief systems’ are a majority in society. What would you say about their level of normality, of sanity?

    1. Thanks! I will definitely check it out. I just finished “A Clockwork Orange” and started “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” so I’ll make sure to add that to my reading list. 🙂

      – Deirdre

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