Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Bipolar is a fight that I understand

People read my stuff for different reasons but I have to stay true to the main purpose: helping "normal" people understand what it means to be bipolar and helping the victims manage or overcome it.

With that said I thought I'd start a new series based solely on the symptoms involved and the issues that come in to a sufferer's life because of them.

It's tragic in a slight way. I feel really good right now but I have to write about these dark times. I have to temporarily transport myself back to a place I fought so hard to leave. I do not feel great all the time and I don't mean regarding the normal ups and downs. I'm talking about head problems beyond the norm.

I still have to go up against some stuff but it is a greatly reduced version of the painful trials I used to endure. This is what I want to help bring to the rest of you who may be suffering.

I have personally experienced almost every single thing on the list that follows. I wasn't even aware of how much I had to deal with until I went through a bipolar forum and took notes. I truly wasn't aware of how much s**t was no longer in my life. I knew I was better but I was so busy with the fight that I hadn't realized how much ground I'd covered. With that in mind, here's the list:

-Don't trust most or all people. This has many aspects to it. Due to your inability to interact properly with anyone, you have a warped perspective of how people should be treating you. So, however they're treating you is always wrong in your eyes.

Maybe someone has hurt you in some way and due to how you are, your ability to handle emotional pain is ineffective. Any wrong done to you, no matter how minor or major, is too much in your opinion. It's ALL major. Your tolerance for abuse is completely gone. Everything is deeply personal to you.

-Paranoid, feeling manipulated at every turn. You are no longer in control of any aspect of your life. You can't make the day happen the way you'd like. It leaves you feeling weak, ineffective, defenseless. From there, when someone steps in to help or tries to tell you anything, it is perceived by you as a personal assault. Maybe the other guy really is an ass but you react too strongly. You no longer feel in control and it angers or scares you. Probably both.

-Ashamed of your illness. The whole mess feels like your fault even though it isn't. You can't "be like everyone else" and that is destroying you inside. You feel like a leper from days gone by. You "know" you are a diminished, faulty person and it hurts. You are "less than" and no one can convince you otherwise.

-You've become fully disabled, unable to function on any level. This is the end of the road. You're completely helpless. Totally reliant on the assistance of others be it the government, your family, whomever, but not yourself. You can no longer do anything for yourself. Left to your own devices you face death, insanity, or institutionalization. I personally reached this point. Nice place to be! Kinda like waking up in a hospital bed in the Twilight Zone with a hangover. You're done.

-In the fight of your life trying to get disability compensation. This is the fun filled period that precedes the above condition. Trying to convince a judge that you are just as screwed as you know you are. If the government doesn't step in and give a hand, you'll simply change statistical categories and become a citizen of one of the three cities I mentioned in the above item.

Any of this sound like you? I was almost all of it over a period of eight years. And I'm just warming up. There are far many more symptoms to list and define. Almost all of them were my life in its entirety. But that's the key - WERE my symptoms. I got out and you can too. For your sake, please contact me.

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