• Carrie

Sometimes Life is Hard

Being bipolar is hard. It's not a little difficult, it's not easily overcome and if you don't practice the right treatment, it can literally ruin your life. Your mood swings can become so out of control you may have endless failing relationships, lose jobs, miss opportunities such as getting an education, or flat out live in chaos. Having bipolar disorder is not an automatic sentence to pain and suffering, I'm saying it is just hard.

I sort of feel like complaining today. I try to stay positive, but sometimes there's no way to sugar coat the truth. Having anxiety disorders, plus PTSD plus the ups and downs of bipolar disorder can become overwhelming. I feel very fortunate to have managed to get a higher education (a BA in English) and to at least maintain a job. Luckily, I still have a wonderful partner but it has not been easy for him. He has dealt with all of my struggles since day one. I appreciate his patience every day of my life.

People who do not struggle with mental illness may not understand the weight that comes with it. Before treatment, when normal activities became so hard it was difficult to breathe, I seriously wanted to end it all. There were scary times of treatment in hospitals where I was far away from the outside world, friends, and family. My depression got so sever I literally had no feelings. The world could've ended and I would have welcomed the end with open arms. I have clawed my way to some sort of stability, but it took years.

You would not believe the mistakes I have made in a manic state. The people I have hurt, including myself, have struggled to forgive me, while the embarrassment of my past behaviors can never be erased. I wish so badly life could have been different for me, but I can't change the past. Every day I think about the things I have done. I would give anything for them not to be a part of my memories, every day, every hour, every minute.

My anxiety has brought me to my knees. It has stopped me from socializing, from talking, from rationalizing, and from living. I have sat in tears, terrified of basic things that life requires. Taking the trash out, talking to neighbors; my anxiety would not let me. After a long struggle to keep me from straight panic, I can now at least function without fear. Again, it took years to get here.

So to wrap this rant up, remember that mental illness will drain you. It will hold you down and kick you. It will speed you up and confuse you with it's energy. But even through desperately hard times, happiness is attainable. It seems impossible, but it's not. Keep fighting.

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