Mixed states. Apparently this isn’t a thing for bipolar II, at least according to the DSM-IV. But, this feels very real. This is the only thing I can really relate to in over a week. The only thing that makes complete sense.
I haven’t felt comfortable saying “I’m having an episode” because I couldn’t figure out what the episode actually is. I can’t be depressed, because some mornings or nights I feel great. My mind is racing, I’m smoking, I’m drinking, I’m making a lot of plans. But I can’t be hypomanic because I’m completely uninterested in sex, I am noticing a lot of negative self-talk and low self-esteem. I am judging myself harshly and wondering what it might be like to just disappear. But within the same day I’ll make an impromptu trip to Kohl’s and drop a couple hundred dollars, make some online purchases, and get myself into a financial hole (a hypomanic symptom). I’m restless. Sometimes I just want to sleep but I lay awake in bed tossing and turning. I check my phone and somehow it’s 1 AM. I’m still awake, so badly wanting to be asleep because “life fucking sucks, and sleep is my escape.”
I dread going my Prac site, but once I get there I feel amazing because “I can handle anything and my life is a true blessing.” But the evening comes and I’m looking at a screen through blurry vision wondering why I feel so incredibly low. I’ve felt confused about my relationship, wanting to roam free and live my life alone. A field of fleeting thoughts race across my mind about whether or not I’m happy in my relationship. There’s also a part of me pushing her away and building up walls. I feel unworthy and unlovable, I need to set her free. Two very distinct cycles I go through when I’m feeling hypomanic or depressed. I am hurting the woman I love so dearly, unable to reach out to her and say I need help because 60% of the time “I don’t”.
I can barely put into words how I’ve felt so pulled in different directions over the past week. How confused I’ve felt. How difficult it’s been for me to put my realities in words because it keeps flipping so quickly. And now I still feel like shit, because I’m sick. Mentally sick.
The worst part? Well that’s easy. The worst part is I’ve done everything to manage my moods. I haven’t had a significant episode since June, and it’s currently November. I practice mindfulness, I exercise, I eat healthy, I go to therapy regularly, I’ve done group therapy, I do research on mental illnesses, I’m enrolled in a counseling graduate program, I’ve learned my triggers and I avoid them. I’ve been doing everything to manage my illness with the exception of medication, and I thought it was working! But, here I am. Realizing that I might have mixed episodes too. Recognizing how terrible it feels and how much trouble I could get in when I’m feeling this out of control. Feeling sorry for myself because no matter what I do or how in depth I understand my illness, it’ll come back and get me. This is my reality and I need to learn to be okay with that. But, it’s still a hard pill to swallow.