I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

run for the hills……she’s bipolar

on May 31, 2013

i seriously questioned whether to include that information in my first blog yesterday, but as i said there, if i’m going to blog i’m going to do it as honestly as i can, and it’s a big part of what and who i am. the stigma associated with being bipolar is fairly huge, i was only diagnosed a year or so ago, up until then i was told i had depression and anxiety and was often medicated accordingly. i’ve been on and off medication since i was 15 years old, being that my brain hadn’t finished growing i think it was a mistake but i had little choice in the matter, i was becoming too difficult to deal with so my mother put me on meds.

if you search the word “bipolar” on twitter, you’ll find a string of teenagers saying things like ‘today’s weather is totes bipolar, wish it would make up it’s mind’ or ‘my mum is so bipolar, she’s like angry and then ok all the time’ or even ‘my computer is being so bipolar’ – the misconceptions are staggering. a lot of people claim to be understanding of the condition but still believe that a person can “snap out of it” if they really wanted to, that they’re a bit depressed and if they really wanted to be better they need to get off their arse and try. because the world thinks like this, a lot of bipolar sufferers end up with a planet of guilt on their shoulders because we feel like we’re letting the side down, that we SHOULD be able to just snap out of it and choose to be better, choose to be happy, choose something other than pain and misery. the fact of it is, there is no choice. when you are at your darkest, every moment hurts so much that your only choice is to either keep breathing, or not, and sometimes the energy it takes to just keep breathing is all you have in you.

i had a friend call me yesterday in tears, she is also bipolar and has moved back in with her family and the situation is not good. they are frustrated with her staying in bed for days and not eating and keep telling her to choose to be better, and i honestly understand this frustration, if i saw a loved one in such a state i would want to help and if i couldn’t help i would be frustrated, but imposing on her that she has a choice is compounding the problem so much that she just isn’t coping, and as much as friend’s want to help, they get freaked out when you’re at your lowest and can’t get it together. so i’m the person she calls when she’s at her lowest, because at the end of the day she knows that i wont judge her and that i know what it’s like to be down and feel like i can’t get back up again, and it makes me feel good to be that person for her, to pull her through the mud, she’s a beautiful and kind person and i’m thankful she knows to use me when she needs to but ultimately, she needs understanding from the people around her every day, people need to understand that yes, sometimes when we are down we do have some control over our mood and can pick ourselves up, but sometimes, at the very lowest points, we just need love and patience and support.

my partner doesn’t necessarily understand what i go through but he knows the most important bits, that when i’m down that low it’s not my fault, it’s something that’s happening TO me, not something i’m choosing or not just laziness. he knows that any opportunity for a moment of happiness is one that i grab with both hands and don’t let go of, so in that respect i’m so lucky, having his support gives me a platform to pull myself up onto. he understands depression, most people do i suppose as most people have experienced at least some form of it, and i believe that slowly but surely, there is greater acceptance of depression and anxiety within society, hopefully one day soonish bipolar will gain the same understanding.

there are a handful of folks that do just want a pity party, and it’s up to you to figure out what is genuine and what’s not, but if you have someone in your life that suffers from bipolar or severe depression, try giving them a little space but letting them know you’re there if they need you, it’s pretty simple but often all a person needs to start to feel better. we all need support, as much as some of us deny it, and a little understanding goes a long way.

i grew up with a lot of misunderstanding and guilt, my family is deeply passive aggressive and backhanded, two faced as it were. so as an adult i clarify almost everything i find myself wondering about, and this puts a lot of people off. i think a lot of people assume that i’m looking for a fight or drama but it’s in fact the opposite, i’m clarifying openly because i DON’T want drama or a fight, if i think something might be wrong i just ask straight out, and this works against most of the social parameters currently in place and probably puts a lot of people off side, but i’m hoping in writing my blogs people will start to better understand that i’m just a person trying my best, that i’m a bit left of center but always trying my best.


2 responses to “run for the hills……she’s bipolar

  1. ajensz says:

    Awesome blog, I am bipolar also and it is so refreshing to read a blog by someone who IS bipolar, and not just pretending. A real Bipolar sufferer can tell.

    • mckarlie says:

      Thanks a lot 🙂

      Wow people pretend? I haven’t come across that myself but I’m relatively new to blogging, I can’t imagine why it seems rather twisted :\

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