The Pain of Living with Bipolar 2 Disorder
Wednesday, March 29 2017 Hannah Blum
Living with bipolar 2 is a constant challenge
I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crowded room, elegantly dressed from head to toe, screaming at the top of my lungs. My mascara dripping down my face and hitting the floor like blackened rain drops. I keep screaming, but no one can hear me. Strangers, friends, and family wave towards me with smiles filled with glee as if my pain is invisible. Then it hits me. It is invisible.
The pain of living with bipolar 2 disorder, also known as bipolar depression, is difficult to explain. There is no Merriam-Webster definition that can accurately describe it. The depression is crippling and the hypomanic episodes are both physically and mentally exhausting. You feel out of control and lost. No amount of coffee can get you hyped for the day and no amount of encouragement can motivate you. The stigma of bipolar disorder is equally as painful, causing you to isolate and loath your own reflection. I wish they had as many pills for ignorance as they do for all other illnesses. When those around you don’t acknowledge your pain as being real, it causes you to doubt yourself and feel like an outcast in society. The pain from those negative thoughts is draining and all-consuming.
The Most Painful Part of Living with Bipolar 2
The part of bipolar 2 disorder that is the most painful for me is the guilt. The guilt I feel for being lost as if I did it on purpose. It bullies me to think of myself as unworthy and ashamed. As someone who is viewed by others as being selfless, the idea of emotionally hurting others is overwhelming. I feel like I am constantly saying “I am sorry” even in situations where an apology is not necessary. In severe hypomanic episodes, I can be irresponsible and irritable. In depressive episodes, I am nonexistent and isolated. It is an out of body experience. I go from being confident, energetic and social to withdrawn and insecure. It’s like seeing yourself from the outside withering away as if you were watching a sad movie in which you are the star. However, the irony of this movie is that if I could choose to live without bipolar 2 disorder, I would not.
I blame bipolar for the internal pain that is so difficult to explain to others, but I also blame bipolar for feeling emotions so deeply I crave to help others. I blame bipolar for challenging me to find strength at my weakest point. Bipolar shares with me its pain and the day I stopped letting society make me feel ashamed, was the day it shared with me its gifts. If it were not for the pain, I would not be the woman I am today.
How does living with bipolar disorder feel to you? Share your experiences in the comments below.