Wow, it’s certainly been awhile finding something that I want to blog about. I guess I decided to start this blog because…Well, to be frank with anyone who is brave enough to read this, I suffer from (what I like to call) genetic bipolar disorder.
Basically, this just means that it’s been passed along through my biological family. It’s a disease that affects my maternal side of the biological family, and unfortunately has a high death rate amongst them. It seems that at least one per generation feels the need to take themselves out. Me, being the Psychology major that I am, decided to do a little research.
What I found were articles that basically stated the same thing, “There’s a strong link between bipolar disorder and genetics.” Although, none of them have been able to prove it as a definite yet, and I must admit that it’s a rather scary disease to suffer from. Before we cover the stages that I usually go through during a bout of it, I want to kind of get everyone on the same page as to what exactly “Bipolar Disorder” is.
Bipolar was, once upon a time, a completely separate disease from “Manic Depression” (i.e. you go from really, unusually, happy to extremely sad, and down in the dumps, at the drop of a hat). Now, research has found that the two diseases are, in fact, one in the same. Bipolar is usually linked to other diseases like mania, schizophrenia, and other mood disorders.
The National Library of Medicine defines it as, “Bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person has periods of depression and periods of being extremely happy or being cross or irritable.”
To be honest, it’s a rather difficult disease to understand. Everyone has different stages, everyone handles it differently. It’s all a matter of perception. The older you get, however, the more distorted those views become. The feelings of anxiety and failure become much more prevalent, and the want to discuss these issues with another person begin to die out. We become more scared of the future, and the fact that we won’t be able to live up to these ridiculously high standards that we set for ourselves but believe that society has set before us. It soon becomes a cycle that we can’t escape.
My “cycle” usually goes somewhere in the neighborhood of this:
Stage 1: I become unusually happy. I wake up with energy that I didn’t have twelve hours before, and a self-confidence that I have never had in my entire life. I see the world through rose colored glasses. I feel like I’m going to be fine, and everything will some how (magically) work itself out.
Stage 2: I begin spending too much money. I neglect bills, I neglect debts, and dig myself into deeper holes. I buy things that I really don’t need, whether it’s new clothes, DVDs, home furnishings, dinners out, weed, etc. I buy myself ten minutes of happiness, in hopes that no one else will notice the sinking feeling that weighs me down.
Stage 3: My sexual drive sky rockets. I begin to seek men to be intimate with. Our bedroom acts are of a darker nature. I use sex as a punishment to myself. I know that I want to find/come across a man who loves me for the fucked up person that I am, but I settle for who ever is free and available. We have a one night stand, I send him packing as quickly as possible, and then spend my day regretting the night before while finding someone new. Yes, I always use protection.
Stage 4: I plummet into darkness. When I say that I plummet, I mean that I fall into a hole with fifteen, two ton weights tied around my neck. Everyone who sees/meets me, assumes that I am just the same adorable, smiling, little woman that they have always known; in reality, I’m crying myself to sleep every night. I’m clinging to the edge of sanity, hoping that some higher power will reveal him/herself, and tell me that yes there is a reason to live. I sleep less, eat less, cry at the drop of a hat, and step away from all physical contact. I’ll reach out to one, maybe two people, but the moment I mention that I have suicidal thoughts, am brushed to the side only intensifying how I already feel. It’s a difficult thing to deal with when you already feel forgotten and alone.
Here is where marijuana comes into play for me. I don’t have health insurance that will cover “mental health”, and checking into a facility isn’t an option (corporate heads and CEO’s usually aren’t chosen from the psych ward). Luckily, $40 worth of pot (which is, from my research, half the price of one weekly session with a therapist) will last me an entire week. It calms me. It slows my mind down so that I can form coherent thoughts. It causes me to have a small appetite so that I can eat just a little bit of food for the day. I usually eat one meal a day, with little to minimum snacking. Out of an entire week, I eat between three and seven meals, total. I will occasionally go days without eating simply because I don’t care to, have forgotten, have no appetite, what have you. I’ll explain my relationship with food in a moment. I can actually sleep, though. I mean, I will sleep. I will feel at peace while I rest. The voices that run rampant in the back of my head, will get quiet for the night. That’s a rare thing.
Being a stoner isn’t some random, happy, go-lucky, lifestyle for me. It’s been the one thing to save my life. The one thing to calm me enough that my anxiety attacks don’t just over take me in the middle of the day/night. Well, it used to do those things for me. While it still does, the overwhelming feelings of failure and disgust out do it just a little.
Finally, as promised, my relationship with food. Food is pretty, it tastes good, but to put it simply; How willing would you be to pick up a fork and eat, if you spent your childhood being told you were fat by your own parents, and being put on diet after diet? Couple this with being told at the dinner table that you have to eat, and…Well all I can say is welcome to the world of The BiPolar Stoner, loveys.
**** I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ANYONE/EVERYONE WHO READS THIS BLOG AND SUFFERS FROM BIPOLAR (WHO ISN’T RECEIVING TREATMENT) TO SEEK IT ASAP. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT AND LET IT GET OUT OF HAND AS MINE HAS. TRUST ME, IT’S NO FUN BEING STUCK BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE.