Being Alone

The nature of being bipolar is that of feeling alone.  Very few people understand the illness or how it affects me.  Even those who also suffer with this disease have little idea of how it makes me feel or how I try to cope.  Yet the more alone I feel, the more I need to have others around me.

Depression is a miserable and lonely place to be.  I feel lost and alone in the overwhelming sadness and despair.  I care about no one or nothing, and feel like no one else cares about me.  I just want to crawl into a deep hole and hide from it all.  I feel isolated from the rest of the world.  Yet the more I crave being alone the more I should be surrounded by others.  People do care, and are frustrated in their inability to lift me back into the world of the living.  But it’s something I just cannot see.

Mania can also produce a feeling of being alone.   No one likes to be around someone who is so irritable and annoying.  I push people away with my intolerance of those who disagree with me, or who can’t understand why I’m so frustrated.  As I reach the extremes of mania I can be scary and irrational, and I am avoided and shunned.   People think I’m crazy; and they are right.

Everyday life is influenced to extremes because of my illness.  I know I’m different from most others, and as such feel separated and alone.  I feel defective because of my disease, eroding my self confidence and leaving me feeling like I’m inadequate and broken.  What should be just normal interactions with people are complicated and difficult.  Everyday tasks become daunting and seemingly impossible, adding to my insecurities and setting me apart from others. I crave contact, yet am paralyzed by the fear that I am going to be rejected as a freak.

Even when I’ve been in love, which should be the complete opposite of loneliness has only resulted in solitude.   For an all too brief time I’ve enjoyed the warm comfort and feeling cared for and cherished for who I am.   But because a person with bipolar is so difficult to be with, up until now they’ve all ended in failure, leaving me even more lonely than ever.  Whoever said “It’s better to have loved and lost is than never to have loved at all” was certainly not bipolar.  When you spend your life isolated and alone, being given a glimpse into what could be just emphasizes the desolation and seclusion when it inevitably ends.

But the truth is, you really can’t live it alone.  I need the support of those I care about, providing hope and understanding in the depths of my depressions.  Maybe they don’t understand how I feel but they can accept that I feel the way I do.  I need the help of Doctors and therapists to overcome the chemical curse that has put me in such a dark place.  I need others to bolster my confidence and remind me that I’m not as defective as I think I am.  I need people I can trust to help keep me grounded and recognize the signs and push me towards getting help.  I even need people to step in and intervene, alerting health care or even law enforcement when I get too out of control.

Even with the severity of my illness I’m very fortunate to have a good support system that helps with these feelings of being alone.  My Doctor does an awesome job, always being available to help adjust my medications with or without an appointment. My therapist has continued to meet with me and help me through some of the worst of times; even agreeing to continue when I had no insurance or means to meet even a small co-pay.  My family has stood by me and provided emotional and financial support through all the ups and downs.  And maybe, just maybe I’ve found someone who really does understand and can put up with all the baggage and trials that go along with this illness.  I am taking a risk, but I’ve formed a strong relationship with someone else who suffers from being bipolar.  Sure, there are challenges that will come from the ever changing moods that may or may not coincide.  But at least I feel like there is someone who ‘gets’ me.  I don’t have to explain why I’m so down when there isn’t a reason why.  I am tolerated as I blast through the exuberances and energy of my highs.  And the fact that they understand the extremes, I trust that I will be taken for help when it’s justified.  And since I have the same understanding and empathy, I will provide the same.   Will it last?  Only time will tell.
Now more than ever, as lonely as it seems, I can believe that I’m never truly alone.  And when it’s all said and done, none of us ever really are.

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7 Responses to Being Alone

  1. Dawn Doucette says:

    Thanks again for sharing your story and experiences
    this post really hit home..
    This is my first Blog site,and I’m not sure what the forum is for something like this.
    I only know I can completely identify with this post… especially the feelings of loneliness, I can be in a room of people,and feel utterly alone,not feeling as if I’m connected with them at all..


  2. I am reading your complete Blog-( well i have started to and it will take a while )
    So out of the blue i would like to ask you if you if you have a pet ?
    I have found over the year’s that individual’s with many different type’s of Bipolar have an affection toward’s animal’s.
    I as an example have four dog’s,another individual i know has a love of hamster’s.
    I realise that this is not a perfect comment but because you were speaking of being alone jogged the subject from my mind.


    • Actually, when my Mom passed five years ago she left me her cat. And yes, she is a big source of comfort and it’s definitely nice to have some company. As much as I love her though, she can only do so much to help with the loneliness. But this too shall pass.

      Thanks for your comment, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog.


  3. Hannah says:

    It’s so nice to read your story and know that it is not only me feeling so lonely and isolated, although I would never wish these feelings upon anyone. It’s so hard to tell people that you are bi polar and I have only just found out I think secretly I have known for a long time, I can still not tell my family and only 3 of my friends are aware. Did u find it difficult to tell your family?? I don’t want people to judge me x


  4. Therese says:

    I am very alone, I have a wonderful husband that understands bi-polar but there is often times i don’t what his around, i want to be alone, have you felt this way? I also have 4 dogs and 4 cats, but my poor dogs may not come into the house, my cats seem to talk to me and it is a small comfort. I lost my children because of being bi-polar and that left a major hole in my heart and they are no longer my children, they only visit me. They fortunately stay with my sister but she doesn’t understand and none of the rest of the family does either. All I want to do most of the times it just sleep, do nothing, judt sleep, forget there is a world out there. Does anyone else feel this way?


  5. Therese says:

    Oh I just wanted to add that your blog has given me hope.


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