I was a sweet, sensitive, young girl who had a few best friends. I spent many hours of my childhood days playing along to my imagination. Nothing could be more entertaining or fulfilling to me back then. Though rather creative and resourceful, I lacked self-confidence and emotional stability at times. I often felt insecure and uncomfortable in many social situations. After being surrounded by crowds of people, I would inevitably crash and need time to recuperate. As a toddler I could be quite colicky after being around groups of people, mom and dad would say. I would become irritable after a long day, such as school, and just needed some time to do whatever it was I desired, to just relax without any real expectation. Stress had been, and still is a significant trigger for an episode in my case. When stressed, I become overwhelmed and have a breakdown and quit (or almost quit). I’ve been known to give up on quite a few things I have started due to the significant levels of stress and the changes in my mood. It has always been disappointing and devastating especially when it happens repeatedly, one after the other. I begin to feel like I will never amount to anything or succeed in life. It killed me whenever I would give up, but I had to do what was best for me at the time regardless of how badly I wanted it or who or what it was affecting. One thing I have always admired about myself is my ability to keep going and try again even when I’m unsure if I’ll make it through. Sometimes it can be rather tiring and there are times where I feel like giving up all together. There has even been many times where I have felt like ending my life, but I become too afraid to actually follow through with it because of past experiences. Also, I begin thinking of those who would miss me and be absolutely devastated. I don’t want to hurt them. There are numerous times where I can recall lying in bed flooded in tears feeling hopeless and lost. The feeling of wanting to end my life is no stranger to me. Those feelings seem to come and go. One moment I’ll feel perfectly happy, upbeat, and silly, and the next I begin to notice myself slip into a deep, dark, depression. This endless cycle has become my life.
Start something new –> Goes great for weeks, maybe even months –> Crashes into a wall of depression –> I quit or give up –> At home all day trying to get my life back on track –> I end up feeling like a failure –> Attempts to try again (work, school, etc) –> The cycle repeats itself
One of the most difficult tasks is discovering how to break the cycle. To find success and happiness without crashing into a wall. Many may ask or wonder how can someone with bipolar avoid the crash? This is something I still have yet to figure out as well. I have come a long way, but there are always those set backs every once in a while. I still crash and am left to pick up the pieces. Much like rebuilding or starting over again and again which in itself can be exhausting. Many have stated and I agree, that living with a mental illness is a full-time job.
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”
-Mary Anne Radmacher