“The only thing more exhausting than having a mental illness is pretending like you don’t.”-Unknown
Let’s keep it real for a minute, shall we? How many of you out there are bipolar or have Borderline Personality Disorder? Great, so a couple of you raised your hands and know what I am talking about; the rest of you out there may know people who have either, or both of these disorders, but you, yourself do not have them. Let’s talk about them and how HARD life can be with juggling these and honestly, how exhausting it is.
Before we talk about how hard it can be to have Bipolar or Border Personality Disorder, we should probably talk about WHAT THEY ARE, for those of you who do not know, or many know a little, but not a lot. Buckle up my friends, let’s dive into the educational aspect of this post!
Most people associate those with Bipolar disorder as being “extra moody”. Truth is, we are! To no fault of our own, of course. Being Bipolar is exhausting. One day your emotions are high (manic) then something happens and boom…….. you’re feeling down (depressed) and off your game. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster. You cant just “shake off” that down feeling and it can become overwhelming.
There is no single cause of Bipolar Disorder, but there are so many factors that contribute to it. Genetics, Individual Biology, and Environmental factors all contribute to Bipolar Disorder. Other factors include failing to use prescribed medication, frequent stress, lack of social support, and poor health can all lead to the development of Bipolar Disorder.
My days are easy to identify. I will have tons of energy, I will feel wired and ready to roll. I will feel like I can accomplish anything and everything, and I will have all the motivation in the world. With that, I also will have a hard time sleeping, falling asleep or staying asleep. My mind is constantly racing and I struggle to sit still. Several people will tell you I fidget, a lot. Some of those days, I wont want to be my normal touchy feely self, and I might get annoyed easily. I will start to transition into what feels like I am on edge and tend to be irritable. I do a pretty good job at noticing when my mood will start to swing and I try so hard to just be aware of it, and try to be more patient. That’s what I mean by its exhausting. I will put so much energy into trying to not be grouchy.
Then something, big or incredibly small will happen and BOOM……. The depressive episodes start. I will feel down, blue, sad, hopeless… You get the picture. I become be more lethargic, I’ll forget things, I cant concentrate and will zone out during conversations, and I will want to lounge on the couch or bed all day long, feeling like a total sloth. I am completely, and Aaron might add, irrationally sensitive. I take the smallest jokes to heart. It will then become my family who are the ones walking on eggshells, trying to avoid me so they don’t upset me, which makes me feel unwanted. It is honestly a vicious cycle, but it is one I am learning more and more about every day.
Border Personality Disorder
BPD is a long pattern of moment to moment mood swings. They mostly relate to relationships, self image, and behaviors. The swings are often triggered by some type of conflict with another person. People who have BPD usually have some other type of mental health problem, like eating disorders, addictions, or anxiety. Some of us have problems controlling and managing our thoughts and feelings, and can sometimes act reckless or impulsive.
An easy explanation of BPD is: We care too much, we apologize too much, we think and feel too much. Our feelings are extreme and intense.
Sounds fun right? *insert eye roll here* This is similar to Bipolar Disorder, but so much more intensified. Those who have BPD will tell you it’s hard to maintain a healthy relationship; we tend to self sabotage. The worst part about that is WE KNOW WE ARE DOING IT, but we can’t help it. We constantly think people are going to leave us, needless to say, our emotions are HIGH. We tend to feel helpless, bored, and tend to isolate ourselves. Then the rage will kick in. There are some days where I am just pissed off, mad, and irritable, and I struggle to let it go.
Everyday Is A Battle.
I am constantly fighting the battle of ups and downs, emotionally and mentally. Some days I want to be alone, but I don’t want to be lonely. Other days I will obsess over so many different things, because I have no idea what to do. I tend to feel this sense of rejection; especially if I stop texting people and because I stopped, I no longer hear from them. That has been my recent battle, and ultimately lead to the loss of so many friendships. Some days I will feel as though I feel nothing at all, and other days I will be filled with emotion and feel like my heart might burst. Describing me as complicated would be an understatement.
This is real life to me. It is so hard for me to wake up and ride these damn waves. I have tried medications, but doctors, at least mine, do not recommend medication since I have BPD. With my suicidal past, it would hurt me more than help me. I have been on different medications for my Bipolar Disorder and anxiety, but most of them make me feel like a zombie. With that being said, I struggle…. Every day.
Being Bipolar and having BPD makes it so incredibly hard for my partner. I have never really cared about their feelings until I met Aaron. I had never taken the challenges they faced with me seriously, until I started dating Aaron. The Bipolar Disorder definitely makes his life hard, but the BPD makes it even harder. BPD brings out my insecurities more than ever. Here I am, dating this incredible, gorgeous, faithful, intelligent man, who is undoubtedly in love with me, and I am constantly wondering when he is going to leave me; not “if” but “when”. He was married once before and together, he and his ex have a beautiful daughter. They do an exceptional job at co-parenting, but that is one of the few things in my life that I have not experienced. I have never dated a dad before, or a dad who was once married.
My insecurities are very frustrating to him, and I totally get it. She will text him about something with their daughter, or someone in his family will bring her up in conversation and I will instantly feel some type of way. I have no idea how to deal with it or even come up with a logical reason as to WHY I am feeling that way. It is like a flood that takes over. Anytime someone mentions her name, I almost instantly get weird. WHY!!!!! I have absolutely no idea why, but I am going to blame my BPD. I am so afraid of him leaving. If dig even deeper than that, it’s probably because I have never loved someone like this before and truth be told, I am TERRIFIED of a broken heart. I have had my share of break ups, and feeling sad that it ended, but I have never felt this way about someone before.
I catch myself wondering why we are together and if I am good enough every now and then. Super healthy right? I know. Deep down I know we are going to be together for a while, hopefully forever, but we never know what could happen. Until that day comes, I will always have this irrational fear that maybe one day the two of them will find their way back to each other. Ever since my divorce, I had decided I wanted to remarry, hopefully have another child. He has days where he will mention “when we are married” and my heart soars with excitement because I would easily marry this man. Then there are days where he will ask why marriage is so important and the fact it doesnt change much, and for some odd reason, I take that so personal. Then I go down that rabbit hole of emotions… If he isn’t looking for marriage, why are we even together, and then I find myself in that depressive stage and self doubt. Nothing really of his doing. He honestly has no clue why I get so down sometimes and it is so hard to explain my irrationality.
Since I am talking about relationships, let’s briefly discuss friendships; Friendships are hard too. I will be so involved in a friend’s life; What they’re doing, who their with, etc. I can talk to them every day or once in a while, either way, I will put in my all and my whole heart. If I start to feel like I am the only one putting in any effort, I will slowly back off, to see if they step up. (It’s a weird game I play with myself.) If they don’t, I watch the friendship lose itself. I have lost so many friends and gained so many acquaintances because I stop trying to maintain our friendship. Friendships are hard, but it’s harder when one person is putting in all the effort. When I stop trying, and I don’t hear from them, I take it to heart. It is hard for me to understand. I get so worked up and feel this sense of, I don’t even know, almost a sense of abandonment. I know it sounds weird and twisted, and if you cannot understand it, I definitely don’t blame you, because I am still trying to grasp a hold on it.
Life In Itself
Dating me is hard. I know that. Being me is hard! We never know what the day will hold for us when we wake up. I wake up optimistic, every day. I try so hard to let go of the negative before I fall asleep, and try to not carry it over to the next day. Every day is a gift, and I try so hard to be grateful and appreciate what I have. Some days it is hard for me to smile. Some days Aaron will try with all his might to get even the slightest smile from me, and it feels like the impossible. Other days, I have an insane amount of energy and I will be so excited about everything. Either way, its exhausting and overwhelming. I am writing this specific topic right now because today has been one of those days where I feel down and I struggled to smile. I felt impatient and frustrated, sad and blue, almost constantly. We went for a long walk at the Irvine Regional Park, saw some animals, but no matter how good of a day we had, I could not get away from what felt like a rain cloud hovering over me.
If you have Bipolar Disorder or BPD, please reach out to me. Lets converse about our mental issues! I could use someone to bounce off of when I am riding these emotional waves. If you think you may have either, but have not yet been diagnosed, please, reach out to a doctor for an assessment and help! By no means am I an expert or a doctor. I am just familiar with my own diagnosis and struggles, and I know not everyone is the same.
Love always, Lyndsey