Bi-polar is a bad word in our culture. When my docs said I may fall into that category with my manic depression, I was devastated… But you know something? As hard as it is, I don’t really care what other people think. It’s not like it’s something we CHOOSE to have.  I didn’t wake up one morning and think, "You know, I think I’d like to make it harder for people to interact with me.  I think I’d like to be laughing one second and burst into tears the next.  I think I’d like to have a short fuse, even with my children, whom I love to bits.  While I’m at it, let’s throw in some mania and be tempted to run through our savings, rack up our credit cards, and book a vacation cruise for just me and DH – who cares where the boys go?"  My body is just differently wired and I have a different chemical balance. 

    

I tried 2 AD’s and didn’t like them.  They were still horrible when it came to side effects after 6 weeks and most of the people closest to me agreed that they made me more anxious, more irritable, and didn’t seem to be helping.  It was between the two drug trials that the BP word first came up…  I thought I would die.  Bi-polar people are crazy!  I wasn’t crazy, I was just a little off kilter!  Right!  Right?  RIGHT?!  But you know, the more research I do, the more people I talk to, and the more I live with that stupid word in my head, the more I understand.  There really are more people out there who fall into the "bi-polar" category than you may think.  A lot of us are still functional.  We’re very normal until you get close to us.  Then you see the crazy spending, the wicked mood swings, uncontrolled crying, disturbed sleep, bad eating habits, and the strains we put on our relationships because of our "odd" behaviors and other characteristics that come with the territory.  And while being manic depressive or bi-polar is by no means Carte Blanche for bad, or disruptive behavior, it explains a lot of the "WTF was she thinking when she did that?!" moments.  We weren’t thinking.  At least not with the rational parts of our minds.  We were taken over…  For me, it’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Truly, there is that much of a difference.  It isn’t that pronounced on every cycle, but there are plenty of times when I really do feel like 2 different people…  or even 3-4 different people.  And I never know which one will come out and play today.  Or which one might step in if a situation gets to be stressful, or make me angry, or make me feel vulnerable, etc.  I feel like a hostage in my own body sometimes.   

     I am looking at trying another drug because my manic phases are becoming harder to resist, and my down swings are becoming harder to come out of and less easy to predict.  I still hate the stigma that is attached to being "bi-polar," but it’s also none of anyone’s business.  It’s my job to figure out what works, and as long as we’re trying to help ourselves, no one should make us feel worse.  I didn’t let someone slap a label on me to make me feel better.  I am not giving up by trying medication.  I am taking charge to better myself and my situation.  In turn, I am making it easier for my husband to want to be around me, and my children to not look at me in fear and wonder, "Which Mommy will we see  today?"  I am doing what I feel is necessary to get better.  While I don’t necessarily like the idea of swallowing the Magic Dust every day to feel normal, I loathe the idea of pushing my family and friends away, and ruining our lives with my frivolous moments.  Despite what others may think, it’s a lot harder to face your depression/bi-polar tendencies and stare them down as your try to figure out how to dissemble them than it is to let it run/ruin your life.  I choose to fight.  I choose to stare it down.

     And days like today, I think I just might win.

     But tomorrow, I’ll feel like giving up.

     And who knows where/who I will be Wednesday? 

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