Today and everyday that we can prevent suicide from happening is so important.
As you know I have bipolar disorder. What you don’t know is that in high school I was bullied terribly, suffered from severe panic attacks and depression. At that point in time I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar. It all became too much and I attempted suicide. If I hadn’t survived my suicide attempt 11 years ago I wouldn’t be here today. It was because of my supportive family and doctors that I made it out alive.
The feeling of despair, not wanting to live because you have no fight left- I know it is all real. Those feelings are so painful or maybe you have feelings left at all. PLEASE reach out to your loved ones, a doctor or call a crisis hotline 204-784-4073 . Your life is valuable, every single life is valuable.
I received suggestions that you beautiful creatures would like to hear more about the three subjects you discovered in my post “Clear the Air”. So I would like to start by diving a little deeper into the subject of being a moody creature versus a BiPolar Bear. In the following two posts we will discuss how bipolar is not a choice and we are not monsters.
We are all moody.….you experience sadness, your father experiences joy and I experience content. Moods are described as “A temporary state of mind or feeling” – we all experience moods in one way or another. The key word in this definition is “Temporary“. While a Polar Bear can also be moody – we also experience episodes where the moods last longer and are more elevated. We experience these long lasting, elevated moods while we are going through the depressive or manic phase of our illness.
Often when people refer to a person as moody, they are referring to a person being “Hangry”(anger due to hunger), stress due to work, having a rough day etc. These are all moods that a person can control by executing their own self care protocols. Fortunately for the stable creatures of the world – you are in better control of your moods. I am not saying that life is a cake walk, I am I simply saying our struggles are different.
When a polar bear is going through a depression – eating healthy, sleeping correctly or going for a run sometimes helps but most times it takes a lot more work to come back to the light. We first spend hours, days or weeks thinking about how weak we are for not getting out of bed. Going through every motion with a sense of impending doom looming over us. Then we have to fight the social pressure when everyone starts asking “What’s wrong? What can I do to help?” It all becomes too much so we withdraw, miss work, curl up in a ball – THE CRASH Finally, we realise we need to get help. We make the doctors appointment, go and make sure our medications are in order. Now we are off to therapy where we have talk over all our most painful feelings and memories. We know we have to keep fighting and pushing ourselves because no one else can do it for us. This is THE FIGHT and it won’t be our last.
I want you to understand that I don’t believe any of us creatures have it harder than the other. Your struggle is your struggle and no one else’s. It is never ok to say someone’s struggle is less then ours. Only you know how badly you feel in your situation. If you are struggling please reach out and talk about it. Admitting you need help is the first step to recovery. I have created this blog to start conversations and help fellow creatures on their recovery journey, please share. #ItIsYourStory
This time around I didn’t speak about Hypo Mania or Mania. The next post about how bipolar is not a choice, will discuss mainly a Manic episode I experienced.
Today my goal is to clear up some common misconceptions about Bipolar – the way people believe us polar bears act and react. Also, I am going to talk about the idea that polar bears are just moody creatures.
First, I would like to say that from my experience BiPolar is not like PMSing. You aren’t just bitchy and irrational one minute then content the next. It also doesn’t mean that my moods shift from happy to mad or sad rapidly. A diagnosed polar bear will experience long periods in depression , hypomania or mania. These periods last anywhere from a week to years. So please stop referring to moody people as bipolar it is just plain offensive.
This next one, I think is common sense. However, you wouldn’t believe the number of people that think being BiPolar is choice. Would you choose to have your leg amputated? No…? Then why would I choose to have an illness that induces feelings of despair, anxiety and worthlessness? The point is that we don’t have the ability just snap out of it or move on – sometimes it is hard enough just to think straight. Please be patient, use validation and don’t give up on the ones you love.
This last point just absolutely mystifies me – people are actually scared of others suffering from a mental illness. Instead of attempting to sympathize with the polar bears, people run in fear. We may have issues, we may have a lot of baggage and be overly complicated. However, we too can also be extremely empathetic, wonderfully artistic and/or remarkably intelligent. Please do us all a favour and educate yourselves! Having people try to understand what I am going through, is one of the most powerful parts of my journey. Thanks for ready :): #wearenotmonsters
For more information about Bipolar: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/bipolar-disorder
I started this blog to create a better understanding around mental illness and start conversations. Please take the time to ask the hard questions and give the honest answers. Thank you for joining me on my journey! #endthestigma