If You Are Bi-polar Or Love Someone That Is......

....this entry may help you.  it's actually a letter i sent to a very important friend of mine, back in november of 05.  but, i was reading through some old letters and journal entries and i thought this one could probably speak for a lot of people who have been diagnosed with bi-polar or other mood disorders.  also, maybe somone who loves someone with a mood disorder will read this and understand a little better what it's actually like for their loved one.  so, i decided to post it:

 

11-10-05

Hi, Friend.

I decided to write you an e-mail since I want to say more words than I can fit in a text message and I don't want to burn any of your phone minutes.

So, I haven't been avoiding you...no....never that.  On the contrary, my life (or my ability to manage it) has gone helter skelter on me.  There's just too much **** on my back.  There's always too much **** on my back but, most times, I can manage it all right.  However, with my son's imminent departure bearing down on me and the expiration of my Section8 voucher rapidly approaching (combined with the fact that the question, "Where will be living next month, [for Christmas…our last Christmas before my son leaves,"] has still not been answered) I’m just about to buckle.  I think my back is half-broken already anyway.  My neck certainly must be (as bad as it’s been hurting for forever.)

Anyhow, this is the last phase before I slip into deep depression, usually.  Right now, every ounce of my energy and attention is consumed by the effort it requires to NOT drop the load strapped to my back.  Once I drop the load, I will likely fall into deep depression.  I must avoid that at all costs since the potential for me ever returning from that blackness again if I re-enter it is not high.  Things are starting to get neglected or set aside.  So are people.  So, please don’t take it personally as a form of rejection (or anything else) that you haven’t heard from me.  It may be a while before I re-up my **** and free up some of my energy so I can pay attention to anything other than staying alive.  But, you can still call me or send me messages.  You don’t have to just pretend that I don’t exist until I get it back together.

This happens to me all the time.  It’s the cycle of manic-depression.  Something happens to trigger a mood transition and then I’m flipped over.  This time, the trigger happens to be that life put ONE MORE STRAW on my back:  The odds have suddenly become excessively stacked against me.  The fact that the odds have taken such a dramatic turn has caused me to become honestly, (and justifiably) fearful for our survival.  That fear was the straw; the “trigger.”  The trigger activates a chemical response in my brain which, subsequently, effects my thought processes and moods; my perceived ability to cope.  You can imagine the rest.  It’s a chain effect.  It sets off an EXTREMELY unmanageable string of sequences. 

So, anyway, this is all old-hat to me.  I don’t think you’ve really been that exposed to it.  Whenever I get to this point, I usually just quietly fade out on the low until I cycle back out of the depression.  Then I just magically resurface.  But, for some reason, I felt like giving you an explanation this time.

So, I hope you understand.  I love you.

Sincerely,

Your beautifully soulful, talented, loving and giving bi-polar friend….

MysticWriter MysticWriter
36-40, F
7 Responses Feb 23, 2007

My wife of 9 years now has been diagnosed with bipolar for a few years now. I knew about the ups and downs, but perceived it mainly as various shades of grey. Not to downplay the seriousness of the emotions felt at all, but I never saw it as an illness that could change someones behavior or seriously contend with (and win) over someones normal minded morals. <br />
She has had spending issues in the past, but didn't really attribute that to the bipolar. Three weeks ago I found out she has been physically cheating on me with 3 other men she met on the internet for a year. And has talked and sent pictures to many others. Devastating to say the least.<br />
So we have been talking frequently and in depth to try to understand what happened. She continues to see her therapist and we have been seeing a marriage counselor to help as well.<br />
At this point I am struggling to understand how this can happen, and what she feels. What she needs. That is what led me to your post. And I am thankful for it. You speak of support and family being there for you. I know I have "taken care of her" over these years, and done everything I can as far as taking on all responsibilities, giving her time to rest and have time to herself, encouraging activities which I see make her happy. But it seems it was not enough.<br />
<br />
When you're depressed, what kind of support helps? She's told me "I'm not doing well, I'm not in a good place." And I feel for her, but what can I do to help? These are the things I struggle with and am trying to answer.<br />
<br />
Regardless, I thank you for your post and wish you the best of luck. Your outlook and perspective is inspiring even to those of us who are not bipolar.

you don't mind if I copy and paste this to my friends do you? I don't want to take any credit for it, it's just spoken so well. and I couldn't bare writing anything of this magnitude without giving up on it and deleting it..

Hey!

I don't mind at all! The more people you help the better!

I have just been diagnosed with bpd, literally at Christmas. <br />
<br />
What you write explains exactly what I felt before I slipped into where I am now. This is the second time I have slipped into a deep depression in a couple of months. I have no idea of this is normal but I'm really struggling to come out unscathed. <br />
<br />
The lack of support shown by my friends and family really make me feel alone and if anyone can tell me a coping mechanism I can use, it would be greatly appreciated!

I know what you feel, especially when it feels like your loved ones aren't giving you any support.. or leaving you altogether.. Recently, I've been able to cope with and sometimes control my cycles. I found that I won't go over the deep end hallucinating if I just ignore it and don't feed it. The depression side, is a little harder to explain. I came to a realization that even though I might feel completely hopeless and depressed, that what i'm thinking about isn't logical at all. Sure many things I have merit to be sad about but I don't have to let the sadness control what i'm doing or my decisions. I realized that these cycles into depression could be preparing me for life in the future instead of crippling me. I get to spar with life's roughness and cheap blows so that i'm ready for him in when we actually get in the ring. We've seen life's lows when people without bipolar haven't and they'll come to us for help in the future. The first time I went into a depressive cycle thinking of it as a learning experience, it felt really weird, but very liberating. I can only describe it as me being happy while depressed, and not one of those episodes where you're manic and depressed at the same time either : P After awhile, depression was just another part of my life and it didn't bother me. Now, I think it either started going away or I just haven't taken the time to notice it. Keep strong and don't ignore the emotions. If you need anybody to talk to, I'm here.

Yep, yep. It's so depressing just thinking about it because we are so hard to live with and a lot of times people don't understand or remember why.

I wish my significant other would have expressed what you did. He just shut me out. He doesn't communicate well.

ha, it's opposite with me : P I was the one that got diagnosed bipolar but it was my significant other that stopped communicating : P.. : /

that was brilliant,took my mind into blank x<br />
sounds just like me and my feelings.

i understand very much i was dia,5 yrs ago was put on meds but decided to work my program drugs yes! well now im on meds lamactrel 250 mg have been for yr and half it helps when i dont do speed but sence this has all happened ive went back .. some days want to die some kill some disappear and i will soon im also border line schz so go figure this theres help , get try its out there i know just what ur going through hugs and a prayer djuna