One of the hardest parts about being bipolar is being ‘governed’ by my moods- being at their mercy, and being seemingly helpless to do anything about it. At least, that’s what it’s been like for me in the past. The rational, intelligent person that people know and like was sometimes ‘out of control’ and needed to hide, or even leave town (Ive done that all too many times).
That was the past.
Today, I’ve learned that if I go with the flow of my moods, instead of fighting them, I can better enjoy life and even turn my moods into something useful- both my upswings and my depressed times.
I used to try to force myself to follow the same patterns of sleep and activity that every other productive member of society follows. It invariably made me miserable, and even increased the severity of some of my symptoms. When I was depressed and forcing myself to be awake and interact with others and smile, I often lost my cool, couldn’t think straight, and rage-quit all kinds of things. When I was manic, I’d try to live my normal social and work life, and end up doing embarrassing and generally uncharacteristic things I’d regret.
Yes, I’ve tried medications. For me, they were worse than the symptoms of being bipolar. Try a sustained emotionally flat condition after experiencing the intense highs and flurries of creativity and productivity that mania produces. It’s like trying to quit a drug habit that’s built into your own brain. While meds made the lows a little less intense, it didn’t make me feel any more ‘alive’ or creative, and I could no longer concentrate on anything for long periods, like reading a book.
Being on meds just robbed me of all the richness that my natural condition produces in my life.
I have come to realize I am really only ‘out of control’ when I fight the way that I am. When I try to make the force of nature, that is my mood, conform to what everyone else expects, I end up miserable and fail utterly every time. Now, I embrace the positive aspects of my moods- the intense creative activity of my manic state, and the ability to concentrate on one thing for endless hours when I’m depressed.
Sure, it takes some practice, and I’ve had some help, redirecting away from where my moods used to take me. I still have to choose, and sometimes work, to keep strange thoughts in check when I’m manic. I still have to remind myself that when I’m depressed, it is an artificial state and I don’t actually have anything to be depressed about.
I’ve taken my power back.
I choose to see my moods as something useful and wonderful. I will find ways to work with my moods, instead of let society dictate to me how I should escape them. Today, I embrace the real me. I will follow a new path- my own path- towards a healthy, happy, and successful life.
- Connotations of ‘Crazy’ (kdub155.wordpress.com)
- Purpose of my blog (talkingaboutbipolar.wordpress.com)
- Living with Bipolar (peersupportd.wordpress.com)