I’m sorry to say I have found bipolar disorder requires a fake smile pretty much on demand, every day. We all have fake smiles for different situations but mine need to be at the ready, at all times, because I use them more than others. Fake smiles with bipolar disorder suck, but what can I say, I need them.
Sometimes it feels as if your body isn’t yours because of bipolar medication. It feels like the medication takes over your very being. It feels like you no longer have a human body but, rather, a collection of drug-related effects. This particularly happens when you’re getting on medications or tapering off medications, but really, bipolar medication can make you feel like your body is not your own at any time.
So often during the day I tell myself to, "Calm down," but this isn't because I'm buzzing around my apartment, it's because of my bipolar inner restlessness. Telling me to calm down would be natural if I was climbing the walls, but sitting still on my couch doesn't seem to be the time to do it. And yet, I do it all the time. It's very real and very necessary. Inner restlessness in bipolar disorder is real and it's necessary to know how to deal with it.
I hate taking days off work and I most especially hate taking days off work because of bipolar disorder. This is because I'm a perfectionist and overachiever and workaholic -- oh, and I need the money. So it's really hard for me to fight these personality characteristics (and the money thing) and give myself permission for the day off work because of bipolar disorder.
There are so many things that I want to do during the day but I can’t do them due to the invisible barrier of bipolar disorder. When I try to explain that to people, it’s almost impossible. I just can’t do things. It’s like I’m weighed down with 1000s of pounds. There’s an invisible barrier that bipolar disorder erects between me and what I want to do.
There are many things you have to cope with when you have bipolar disorder and one of those things may be intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that are beyond your control and can become obsessions. But they are thoughts you do not want and, certainly, obsessions you don’t want to have. Here are some ways to cope with intrusive thoughts in bipolar disorder.
I have bipolar disorder and I live with rules I make rather than living out any actual desires. This is because I have little-to-no motivation or desires thanks to bipolar depression. Nothing wants me to get out of bed. Nothing wants me to work. Nothing wants me to do anything. But I do those things and a whole lot more because of the rules-based living I do with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder makes me lose days. Whole days lost to a disease of the brain. And when I say “lost,” I mean lost. I mean I can’t find myself during lost days and I can’t find the lost days once they have passed. All I have a recollection of it losing them. Bipolar disorder causes these lost days and I hate it.
Like many with bipolar disorder (up to 50%1), I have attempted suicide, but the question is, did that suicide attempt change my outlook on life? This is an interesting question because so many of us have been in this situation. For some, the answer is definitely, “yes,” but for others, I think their suicide attempt didn’t change their outlook on life and, unfortunately, attempt suicide again, or, finally, die of suicide. For me, the answer is both “yes,” and “no.”
I believe you have to create things to look forward to when you have bipolar depression. It’s not enough to wait for things to look forward to like holidays, birthdays or promotions at work; when you have bipolar depression you need to create everyday things to look forward to. Here’s one way I do this.