If you know anyone with bipolar then you will know how important it is for them, and those closest to them develop a ‘second sense’ around your triggers. I call these dodgy moments when you are reacting to triggers but still able to function: bipolar blips.
It’s like a life-support machine where your goal as a person with bipolar is to stay on an even keel, (like a flat-line) and blips are undesirable occurrences to ride out until you can help yourself back to living and not being merely ‘operational’. Feeling ‘operational’ is not equal to being unemotional either.
A bipolar blip for us is a STATE OF EMERGENCY, differently to an anxiety attack. An anxiety attack is about mastering yourself just enough to get AWAY from this risky situation because you become mentally overwhelmed with negativity.
A bipolar blip for me has this pattern:
Stressful situation in life coupled with big public exposure/ required social interaction and exhaustion from late nights and early mornings.
Hatred of the idea of being social and pretending that you’re alright.
The feeling, when Depression at faking it overwhelms you so much that you want to die because that is the only way the pain will stop.
Simultaneously fighting with a death-wish and thinking about how to help yourself: upping your supplement intake, blood sugar level, and your meds and SLEEPING in a safe environment. Behaviour will be loud, emotional and defensive and we don’t have the wherewithal to be fucking polite about it.
Lying down and crying a lot. Drinking water to prevent dehydration.
Reciting positive affirmations, prayers, or going to a safe imaginary place in your mind.
Taking increased dose of meds.
Trying to sleep.
The next morning, it’s important to eat well, take your supplements and get some air, anything that helps eliminate the common brain fog that sufferers feel.
You might, (because we don’t live hermetically sealed lives) have to apologise in some way to your nearest and dearest for your behaviour. But now you have the ability to do so. As far as you’re able to warn them, do. Throughout, override the desire to run from people and do just be honest with them. Where words fail too, touch is a very good communicator to express:
‘It’s not me, it’s what I’m dealing with, and it’s not your fault either.’
I find it very difficult to know how best to involve my family in caring for me because I am so busy feeling overwhelmed. What I want to express is:
I am very tired and vulnerable and I know I am not well.
Please acknowledge this and act as rapidly and kindly as you can, without argument, to help me do what I need to do to get better.
I promise I will love you for this, beyond anything else you could ever think to do. I’m sorry that I don’t have the strength to show that right now.
~ Pola ~
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash.