Bipolar is NOT an Adjective.

I’ve been wanting to write for a long time now. I’ve been struggling with what to say and how to say it. I have a lot to say so brace yourselves.

I haven’t had “normal” sleep since going off my psych meds last December. In fact, I’m typing up this blog at 3am because I can’t just lay with my eyes closed, trapped inside my own head anymore. Night time is the worst time for my mental health. I often will be restless, anxious, angry, hungry, sometimes even delusional. Even if I get up early, eat properly, exercise, stay productive, etc. sleep still doesn’t come easily. Other than the intensity of my moods, thoughts, and just daily life, lack of sleep has been the hardest part about going off my meds. Funny thing is that lack of sleep intensifies all my psychosis symptoms, so it’s basically a lose-lose situation.

I’ve been debating about posting these next pictures. While I want to share the realities of being bipolar, I don’t want pity. I want people to see inside the life of someone with bipolar. I was talking with one of my best friends this past week about how I’ve been struggling. I told her sometimes I wish I never told anyone about my bipolar diagnosis, especially the psychosis part. As she wisely put it, “I think people associate it (bipolar) with really noticeably erratic or scary behavior because they don’t realize.” I was telling her about someone who didn’t know about my bipolar described a moody/aggressive animal as bipolar right in front of me and laughed about it. It was an awkward situation for me and I laughed along but it felt terrible. It was a totally innocent occurrence and I don’t blame the person at all. She isn’t the only one who does it. People use bipolar in such a negative and hurtful way sometimes. I try not to get offended. But imagine someone describing a crappy day of strange weather as bipolar. “This weather is so bipolar!” You just described the weather in a very negative way and associated it with a mental illness that is debilitating to many people including me. The next time you or someone around you uses bipolar to flippantly describe something they find erratic or scary or strange remember this.

This is me one week ago around 1:30am. I asked Ben to take a picture of me and Daisy. I only meant for him to get my hand and her paw in the picture. When I looked at them the next day I was embarrassed, disgusted, and generally discouraged. My brain said to immediately delete the ugly pictures but something in my heart told me to just wait. I waited. It’s been a week and God has laid it on my heart to share them. Yes, I still think they’re hideous. Bipolar is not pretty. Bipolar is debilitating. This night, in particular, I was undulating between screaming, crying, and laughing. Sometimes when I get rage with my episodes I can’t really control my body and I try to hit my head against things or pull my hair out. This night, Ben had to physically sit on me to keep me safe. The weather is not bipolar. That moody cat is not bipolar. I am. Please, please, please let’s start calling people out when they use bipolar in these hurtful ways. Until people start saying, “hey that’s not cool” it will never stop.

Also: Shout out to Daisy for being an amazing emotional support animal that night โค

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