When you are bipolar, there is, without a doubt, the inevitable …
YOU ARE GOING TO CRASH!
(Numerous times in fact.)
You know it, I know it, and those who love us and are close to us know it. (No matter how in denial we may all be, it’s going to happen!)
SO WHY are we so hard on ourselves when it does happen? If we know it’s inevitable, why do we feel so bad that we are unable to stop it? It’s not like we summoned the crash. It’s not like we were happily awaiting it’s return. And its definitely NOT like we wanted it to happen!
We are going along with out day, all stable and pretty and not too high, not too low. Life is falling into place, the heavens are smiling upon us. We’ve FINALLY figured out how to coexist with our illness without letting it interfere with our daily lives. It’s bliss … but not TOO much bliss, because that would be mania. No, this is the kind of contentment that we can trust!
And then it happens …
It usually starts with one of the following things occurring:
We get behind on a bill
Get fired from a job
Quit a job
Start a new job
Someone is born
We get married
We get divorced
We meet the love of our life’s and actually JUST realized they are the person we’ve always been wanting
Our car breaks
Our hearts break
Our physical health is compromised
Our relationships are compromised
Our finances are compromised
Needless to say, it starts with a change. USUALLY a big change, but sometimes just a tiny change. Maybe you just moved your living room around and suddenly realized you hate the placement of the couch and how the light bounces off the tv, but it’s the only place the tv can go and so all you can do is move the couch back. Yes, it truly can be THAT simple. All it takes is for ONE tiny thing to fall out of place.
When it’s small, we usually don’t see the crash even coming. But the next thing we know, suddenly our hair doesn’t look right and our husband just doesn’t seem to be doing everything he can to be perfect and the kids are yelling and fighting a lot more and why is the car always on empty! Maybe a few glasses of wine will cure that. The gas tank in the car might not be full, but hell, my glass of wine will!
These crashes are slow, unforeseeable, sneaky, and always end the same way … Devastation!
When it’s a huge change, you can usually see it coming, I say usually, because sometimes it STILL manages to smack you in the face and knock you over. For example … here is how 2011 started for me …
Day ONE! January 1st – My husband moved out of our home. We had just filed for divorce
Got a new Car
New Car Broke
Then, after meeting new people and finally finding myself (or so I thought) husband decided he didn’t want a divorce. Now this was all good, however, it was sort of like emotional whiplash.
We began working on the marriage and he moved back in, leaving his new town house temporarily to his sister.
I started a new job
My friendships seemed to be taking a turn for the worst.
My grandmother died on the second day of that new job.
Our lease at where I was staying was up. The best choice for our family was to move into his town house. It’s small. WAY smaller than I was used to.
We bought a puppy. (I’ve NEVER owned a puppy!)
Job was going well, I was in the position I’d wanted to be in for AGES. And I was good. So good in fact, that they decided to move me to a NEW position where they thought I could be even better!
Somehow … with all these changes (and more, believe me, those were just the big ones!) going on, I totally did NOT see it coming. Was I blind? Was I oblivious? Was I naive? How could I not see what was about to happen??? I guarantee that you see it right now, you know EXACTLY what happened next, don’t you?
It was inevitable. There is no way on God’s green earth that I could have avoided it with ALL that shit going on. I’m not even sure if a person withOUT Bipolar could have avoided at least a tiny meltdown. So why was I so surprised when at my last shining moment, my breaking point, I fell into despair?
I was ashamed
I was embarrassed
I was disappointed
I was a failure
I was a loser
I’d spent the last year and a half studying bipolar, it was part of my every day life. I’d been on my meds faithfully for the past FOUR years! Even had adjustments made as they were needed. I was even running 5-9 miles per week! I was TAKING CARE OF MYSELF, DAMN IT!
How could I fail?
Why couldn’t I hold it together?
And all this disgust with myself made it all worse. People loved me, but I was sure that was soon to end. I was a mess. I quit my job, I chopped off all my hair and lost my marbles! No one would want to love me anymore. I’ve been here before, I should know how to avoid it by now. No one would want to go through this with me again, because it’s obvious now, it WILL happen again.
WAIT? It WILL happen again? There is NOTHING I can do to stop it? So it’s … not MY fault?
Yet there I was, knowing all of those things and still beating myself up daily. We all do it.
I start with apologizing … for EVERYTHING!
Sorry I’m not a good enough friend
Sorry I’m not a good enough wife
Sorry I’m not a good enough mom
Sorry I’m not a good enough website owner
Sorry I’m not good enough
I apologize to the point of actually pissing people off! But I can’t help it. I literally and 100% purely feel SORRY for all of it.
But reality is, I am good enough. I’m a faithful friend. I’m an understanding wife. I’m a wonderful mom. I’ve created an amazing website. I AM good enough!
And guess what … I know this might come as a surprise, but ….
SO ARE YOU!!!
Even if it seems like you’re not. Even if it seems like you will never be. Even if you can’t see it yourself. We can. And when I can’t, I know those who love me can see it too! We are good enough.
So what’s my point you ask?
Well it’s simple … TRY NOT to beat yourself up so bad when you crash. It’s not your fault. You’re not the only one. And it’s OKAY! It happens … and it will happen again. We have bipolar! And like arthritis, sometimes it just flairs up! And that’s OKAY too!
Why am I writing this post today do you ask?
It’s Spring. What many of you may not know is, Spring is AWFUL for us. Worse than winter. The weather is once again CHANGING, and usually so are our lives in one way, shape or form. And many of us will crash this spring. I did, many of our writers are in the midst of it right now. So if you do too, don’t feel bad about. INSTEAD spend the time taking care of yourself and getting through it.
Because THAT is what REALLY matters!