Sometimes, I feel it is. The ups and downs and ins and outs of everything. I know it’s not just me — even so-called “healthy” people deal with it … as soon as things start to look up, their car breaks down or they get sick and have to miss work or the furnace is done for — or or or…
It’s just how life is.
But recently, I’ve discovered my life reallytrulyhonestly hasn’t changed much in the past decade.
I’m the same, little, frightened girl who can see the life around me but can’t reach out and touch it — for whatever reason. Sometimes I’m too tired, sometimes I’m detached/dissociated, sometimes I’m too sad (OK, a lot of times I’m too sad, and on and on.
It’s odd realizing this, though, because not too long ago, I was pretty darn proud of myself for how much I’ve grown and changed and moved on.
And I can’t deny that I have, in a lot of ways. But I was slapped in the face yesterday with the fact that I’m not THAT different than I was at age 22 (my birthday is a week from today … I’ll be 32!) … so, yeah … I definitely stumbled back a few steps because the slap was, well … intense, to say the least.
A little background first::
I talked about this in a previous post last year, explaining (my take on) the link between mental and physical illnesses.
At that point in my life, I was being told I only have ‘severe depression and anxiety.’ And that’s what I believed, or let myself believe for three or four years. But before that, I had been diagnosed as bipolar II with severe anxiety disorder — for five years. They believed it to be bad enough that I was on an anti-psychotic/mood stabilizer during my entire pregnancy. And then one doctor just … took that away.
I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of happy because I was able to go around saying, “I’m not bipolar! See, I’m not as crazy as everyone thought … it’s just the lupus making me depressed.” … all the while, doubting this UNdiagnosis (sure, it’s a word — it’s Mother’s Day, I can do what I want!)
Anyway, lately I’ve started to feel the same way I did when I first went into the hospital and, interestingly, while I was talking to Marybeth about maybe going to be evaluated, I received a call from disability (I’m appealing, of course) and the man was nice enough to tell me some information I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Namely, the doctor who did my psych evaluation for the initial disability application DID diagnose me as ‘bipolar II with severe anxiety and depression.’ Hrm… Curious, no?
Looks a lot like what I wrote in my inpatient journal nine years ago, and subsequent journals, actually — ↓ ↓ ↓
Another interesting thing is I’m kind of the same as Marybeth (and other ‘bipolarees’) in that I do drastic things when I’m manic/hypo, or even depressed … these pictures were taken during the time I supposedly wasn’t bipolar anymore::
but yeah… i wan’t at All manic at these times … especially not with a mix of blonde, brown, red(ish), and Blue & Purple hair. that’s Totally normal. (OK, for lots of people it’s normal, but not for me — not with my family and their reactions to such things about me..)
Although, when I cut my hair last month, it was interesting, I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was thinking about it that much. So the next day, after taking the kiddo to school, I came straight home and went into the bathroom.
And started chopping away. It HAD to be done. I even missed an appointment because of it — a psych appt I desperately needed to go to.
When my mom picked me up later that day, I pulled my hood down (it was raining) and I said, “don’t freak out.”
She didn’t … she simply said, “doesn’t that mean your life’s not going that great when you do that? Because I have a history of doing it…
But the main point of all of this is how i FEEL …
OK, so I haven’t changed the things I do and the way I react to life, but the first journal entry I read yesterday (I was told to find old records and info and such to help my doctor now) was something my counselor had asked me to write.
— How I feel during a panic attack.
I attempted to explain it, but spent two pages first writing how I feel all the time. And I feel no different now. Even on medicine for anxiety.
I thought I’d grown so much and was more aware and sure of myself, but, like I said above, I’m still the same, scared little girl I’ve always been … looking for support and understanding and not finding it from anyone besides my “Crazy” friends. Which, don’t get me wrong, I adore that I’ve found these people who do get me. I just wish soooo much sometimes that I could be “normal.”
Because, I mean, if nothing’s changed since my early twenties, what’s gonna change by my forties or fifties?
I’m hoping a lot will, but inside … I’m thinking, “not much.”
I talked about this last night with a friend who has no clue what’s going on with me … just to get a feel for how she felt about life … and she said she’s changed so much in the past decade. And she probably has. But I thought I had, too.
But I had many, many words in sharp black and white telling me otherwise :/
How about you guys? How do you feel?? Are you progressing as a person with your illness(es), or are you stuck in the same cycle/circle I’m in?
(If you’re progressing, I’ll be the first to clap and say, “more power to you,” so don’t be afraid to speak of your successes. I’m just curious here…)