This blog is to show how difficult bipolar disorder can be. I know for me medicine is a touchy subject and for others as well. While this may not happen on a regular basis but hopefully it will atleast give some insight on the disorder. I feel lucky in a way because I do not experience the depression side very often. What I struggle with the most is mania.
The last two weeks I have to admit have been difficult. Either I wanted to come home from work and spend the rest of the day in bed or wake up with the urge to do something insane. Two weeks ago I woke up and decided I wanted to compete in the next Xgames. So I went and got a freestyle bmx bike, road it for three days and decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I Seriously considerd quitting my job to join The fire department. I also went on a $500.00 shopping spree because I woke up and decided I needed a whole new wardrobe. That same week I also decided I was going to put a pond in the backyard to fish in but like the bmx bike and firefighter idea I soon lost interest. For me nothing about that seemed unusual at the time. In fact when someone tried to talk me out of it I would get angry and my mood would change and be furious the rest of the day. That’s basically been my whole entire life until I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Turns out not everyone thinks and feels the way I do. I seriously believed everyone had these thoughts. That is my normal. I never knew what it felt like to be stable. That is until I was diagnosed and after trial and error found a combination of medication and coping mechanisms that allowed me to think rationally. It was like a little light bulb in my brain switched on and I was like woah that does sound stupid.
After starting and taking my medication regularly I have to say it is nice to not be on an extreme roller coaster ride all the time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t go through phases where I don’t want to take my medication that day or decide I don’t need it anymore. You may be wondering why I didn’t recognize something was off or do anything about it. The answer is simple, I don’t know something is wrong. Even with the highs of feeling euphoric and lows of crushing depression its like I am back in my world. This is my normal. There is one problem though, something is definitely wrong. Completely utterly beautifully wrong. Luckily I have a great support system that recognize what is happening. They help me realize I need help. How do they do it? They start by asking me the “Question”.
When I am in the throes of hypomania there are a ton of things people can say to me that can cause my mood to severely shift from euphoria to shutoff and angry. There is one question though that is the absolute worst thing you could ever ask me when I am in this state and that is “Have you been taking your medication?” For me being asked that question is equivalent of being punched in the face. Whether it’s family, friends or whoever . To me when someone asks me that I instantly get defensive, angry and my thoughts start racing with questions of my own. What right do you have to ask me that? So you wouldn’t like me if I wasn’t on any medication? Have you taken your medication today since you are asking about mine?
I hate it, but it is the exact question I need to be asked when I am in a hypomanic state. I will tell you why, even though I don’t want to hear it I need to hear it. In my mind waking up, deciding I want to be in the next BMX Xgames is a no-brainer. Of course getting a pet goat and have him live in my back yard is the best idea I have ever had. I have no clue why I can’t see anything wrong with the way I have been acting because all those things seem great to me at the time. To the people around though it all sounds insane. They know something is not right, I am not okay at the moment. So here comes the question the one I hate but need to be asked. Have you been taking your medicine? Even though I am overcome with rage it also forces me to start questioning my actions as well. As much as I am upset with them I get upset with myself as well because I couldn’t comprehend that something was wrong. Seriously it is embarrassing to come down from hypomania and realize all the ridiculous things you have said/done. Whether it was the fact I did not want to take them or I needed to go have my dosages adjusted, if it wasn’t for someone asking me I really don’t know how long it would have taken me to realize on my own that something wasn’t right.
So, do I still hate when someone asks me about my meds? Of course, but I am forever grateful to my family and friends for having the courage to ask me. It is easy for me to sit here and say that I struggle with my bipolar and I am constantly trying to win this fight with it but I know it is not easy for the people around me. I admire their strength, I appreciate their compassion and their patience. Without them asking me that tough question I wouldn’t be as stable as I am today.
I say to anyone out there who feels the way I do when asked that question is that remember the people asking you care about your well being. Just try and keep that in mind the next time you are faced with that question.