Draining the thoughts out of my head looking for some sleep
I can’t sleep so I am going to try writing. It usually is pretty cathartic and I need to get my thoughts to settle and fall into place. None of you really know me except the select few who are my friends but I have no shame sharing what I am going through. I have been having a pretty rough street fight with my bipolar, and it fights dirty. Looking back I see I was overlooking a lot of things connected to my bipolar. I was moving downhill long before things got really bad. A few months ago I would crash so hard I would self-harm. I would start hitting myself in the head or pounding my head into the wall. I don’t know exactly where this urge would come from but it would grant me a moment of calm and a brief moment of freedom from the anxiety. Seeing this I should have known it was a sign of my illness not being properly managed. I greatly regret that I didn’t see what was really going on back then instead of so far past it. It was something that affected the people closest to me, and my overlooking it hurt them too. I was clearly having swings throughout the last few months and did not address them. I had a large stressor in my life in the last month, which pushed my ill managed issues over the cliff. I have not had any self-harm actions since the day I promised someone I care a great deal for that I wouldn’t ever do it again. That promise has kept me from doing anything in some tough moments. Unfortunately physical harm was the only thing I was able to avoid. My swings became incredibly intense beyond anything I had ever experienced, and I had not ever learned how to handle changes so intense and rapid. I was on Adderall during the first week of all of this. Being on this stimulant helped aid the low-grade panic attack I was having constantly, with short spikes of intense panic symptoms. I pulled myself off of the Adderall. During this I would have very rapid switches between hypomania and increasingly deep depression. The switches could come at almost any time and would be triggered by just about anything. I would sometimes switch multiple times a day. I can’t really express how unfathomably exhausting it is to experience a rapid mood swing, and having multiples is like having all of the blood drained from your body. The episodes seemed to get more frequent and more intense by the day. I was going to therapy throughout all of this and waiting for my appointment with my psychiatrist. Much of my episodes were mixed episodes, which is where you are both manic and depressed at the same time. This is a hard feeling to explain but it is intense and it is unpleasant. When I am manic my thoughts move at 500% and I am generally very edgy and irritable or incredibly outgoing and bright. Mixed episodes give me that energy and the uncontrollable speed and drive, but all of it is focused in an intense depression. I would find myself pacing, pulling on my hair, crying, punching walls, throwing things, screaming, and the feeling was like being trapped in your own body and wanting to rip your skin off because you can’t escape the anxiety and tension inside you. I recently learned that manic episodes actually cause brain damage, which is a terrifying thought. I had about three massive manic periods in the last month. The worst of which led me to rip my kitchen apart, scrub my shower, do ten shots by myself in my apartment and then go long boarding at night trashed. I had to work the next morning at 7:00am. More terrifying was the depressive episodes. After every manic episode comes the inevitlble depressive crash, and they are the worst things I have ever had to deal with by far. Every time I get manic I have a feeling of terror and dread just knowing how dark I am going to get. I had been talking to a really amazing friend throughout the morning and warned them that I was manic and would probably crash. We talked throughout the day and when I started to crash they stuck with me as I dove downhill. This time it was different though because I didn’t bottom out and hit a specific level of stable depression like I normally would. I just kept going down further and further. They kept talking me through it and doing all that they could to help, which is why they are one of my best friends in the world now. I deal with a lot of suicidal intrusive thoughts just in general. They are relatively harmless and are mostly just annoying, but this crash had a different tone to it. I started to have serious thoughts of killing or hurting myself and wasn’t tentative or scared of the idea. I know I was lucky that I had someone talking to me through this because the thought of what could have happened if I hadn’t scares me now. They talked me into getting in my car and going to the ER where they are trained to deal with this since I was alone in my house. I sat in that ER for hours and hours with my amazing friend talking me through it the whole time. I am terrified of hospitals. Eventually I was so exhausted and had calmed down enough to go home and sleep and be safe. After that night I had another week of rapid and horrible mood swings. I was drinking a lot during this period of time and smoking a lot of pot trying to numb my feelings and pain, none of it worked. I was out with some friends at a bar when I got a harsh message that sent me into a downward tailspin incredibly quickly. It kicked the rickety support I had rebuilt right out from under me. I almost broke a storefront window and then just shot straight downward into depression faster and harder then I ever have. My roommate put me in the car and drove me to the hospital ER parking lot just so I would feel safe. I had to sit on my hands to keep from pounding myself in the skull. Like I said I took that promise more seriously then any other I have made. The thoughts of harm were intense and overwhelming this time. I sat in that car with my teeth clenched crying incredibly hard for hours. Eventually I was so exhausted that he took me to my parents place. They made me sleep in their bed so they could watch me, which made me feel like a stupid child looking for attention. I woke up a few hours later and went to my apartment and just sat in the living room listening to music for about 5 hours. I then had to somehow muster the energy to go to class and take a midterm after all of that. Getting to an emotional state that intense makes your whole body feel like you ran a marathon. After all of that the swings continued. Waking up was like a game of roulette as to whether I would wake up manic or depressed. In the early morning I would have swings multiple times in minutes. I would start crying then laughing and crying again. This made me feel like I was losing my mind. This is what life with bipolar is like when you are not in control. My meds have been adjusted and I am finally starting to have less intense swings and they are not as frequent. I still cry every day, but that has it’s own reasons. Some days are better then others, and just because I am getting better doesn’t mean I don’t still have lots of episodes. I have beautiful people in my life that have carried me through this when I was not strong enough and I will never be able to repay them. There are still a lot of unresolved things in my life right now and a lot of tension and I hope it can be laid to rest soon. To everyone who has been there I love you more then anything. I never thought I would have friends like you. I have a lot of love and I care so much for all of you and I hope everyone who is or was in my life remembers how much I love all of you. You get me through the hard times and bring me the beautiful times. I guess that’s enough for tonight, I am going to try and sleep now, and hopefully stop crying again haha. Oh emotions, well it’s a rollercoaster ride. One day at a time.