I’m really tired. Not just physically tired, but emotionally tired too. Living with this disease is a daily struggle and takes strength and perseverance. Right now, I’m short on both, and I feel like I’m losing my fight.
I am physically tired. I know that this is directly related to being depressed. I have absolutely no energy. All I want to do is sleep. My brain doesn’t want to work and I feel like I stay in a stupor all the time. I can’t focus. I sit at my desk and watch the work piling up, but just can’t get motivated to do anything about it. I don’t even have the strength to worry about losing my job because of my lack of performance. When I’m not working I don’t have the energy to do anything at all. I just don’t care.
I’m tired of hiding. Because of the stigma associated with bipolar disorder I feel like I can’t let people know. Even though I’m dealing with a dark depression, when I’m around others I try to force myself to appear ‘normal’. I know I don’t always succeed, so I isolate myself so that no one can see the depths of my suffering. Hiding the mania is more difficult, but I know if people really knew what I was thinking and feeling they’d be scared as hell.
I’m tired of being alone. Not only does the depression separate me from everyone, but in the long run I always end up losing friends and loved ones; either through removing myself from interaction or their inability to deal with my mood swings. My manias are very angry and destructive and I end up driving off everyone around me. Everything and everyone make me angry, and I push them away so I don’t have to deal with them.. I’ve had very few friends that have stuck by me for very long, I’m just too hard to be around.
Trying to make new friends wears me out. It takes a lot of effort to develop a friendship under the best of circumstances, but with my illness I have to work even harder. I’m constantly on guard not to let out my secret and scare people off. Not to mention, where do you go to find friends? I can’t take the chance at work. What happens when they do find out I’m ill; when they’ve had enough it could easily become common knowledge. Most people don’t understand what it’s like living with bipolar, and friendships rarely survive when they eventually find out. I can make friends with other people suffering from bipolar disorder through support groups, but when you have two people fighting their own mood swings it becomes difficult when the moods sync up. Two depressed people will withdraw from each other, and when I’m manic no one can stand me, even if they understand.
How do you develop new relationships either? That’s a combination of hiding the disease, difficulty with meeting new people with the potential of developing a relationship, and the resulting loneliness that is there by being alone. Most of the time I feel like it’s impossible to ever be in a lasting relationship. Even if I do find someone with whom there’s a mutual attraction, time has proven over and over that it won’t survive long term. And when do you let someone know about the disease? If you disclose your problems too soon they run away before getting the chance to really see who you are inside, but not telling them right away is dishonest and misleading. I get tired of even trying to figure it all out. .
I’m just exhausted with trying. I’m constantly trying to cope with the day to day challenges. I feel bad all the time when dealing with depression, and I’m generating excessive amounts of energy during a manic episode; sooner or later I just burn out. Trying to deal with the loneliness and isolation becomes overwhelming. Just trying to live a normal life takes more energy than I have.
But what alternative do I have? I can’t afford to live if I give into a depression and hide away from my job. Not having friends and living in isolation is just another cause for being depressed. It’s hard enough to try to control mania with conscious effort, if I didn’t even try there’s no telling how destructive I’d become. Suicide is never an option. I’m trapped in this constant state of exhaustion. My only hope is to continue with the therapy, with the medications, and with self awareness and acceptance I can finally get this disease to the point I can maintain. It hasn’t happened yet, but I have to hold on. Someday, it has to get manageable.
I’ve got to keep trying, no matter how tired I am.