Being bipolar comes with a lot of symptoms and issues. From deep depression to anger to euphoria and every emotion in between, this illness will touch every aspect of your life. But being bipolar can affect other areas indirectly as well. It can produce byproducts of the illness that impact personalities, phobias, and disorders. I may or may not have had a predisposition for these things, but there are definitely parts of my life that, although indirect, stem from this disease.
I am insecure. Years of bad decisions and irrational behaviors have taught me that I can’t trust myself. I never know if what I’m doing is a reasonable thing or just another day of the crazies. The constant second guessing of myself greatly erodes my self confidence, which leads to the insecurities.
I am afraid. I am afraid that the illness will again take over and pull me down into the depressions or propel me over the top. I am fearful that this time I won’t be able to recover. I am scared that the consequences of whatever behavior comes from the next episode will be devastating.
I am angry. Sure, anger and rage are a symptom directly related to being bipolar. But even when I’m not in an angry episode, I am angry that I have to deal with this stupid disease. Why me? What did I do to deserve this hell that we call bipolar? It’s not fair, and it pisses me off.
I am sad. Just like anger, it is a predominant feature of bipolar disorder. But even more, it’s very disparaging that I’ve hurt so many people. All the relationships that have failed as a result of this disease leave me melancholy and blue. I hate that I’ve missed so many opportunities, and screwed up other ones. I’m sad that I bring so much trouble to so many I really care about.
I am arrogant. Yes, I said arrogant. You read so much how so many famous people who have been diagnosed as bipolar. There is the documentation that people with bipolar disorder tend to be much more intelligent and creative. There is the self perception that in spite of, or maybe because of this illness I am smarter than others who don’t have the disease. I do tend to run on the manic side, and the boundless energy that results frequently makes me much more productive than my peers, giving me the feeling of superiority.
I am impatient. I get so upset with others who just don’t understand what it is I have to go through on a daily basis. I am intolerant of people who have less energy or lack the quickness I seem to have. I do not suffer fools kindly. And with the arrogance that I can have, they’re all fools.
I am frustrated. There are so many things I feel like I could do if I weren’t bipolar. I feel held back as a result of bad decisions I’ve made during the various mood swings. I want others to understand my feelings, and am frustrated that I just can’t make them get it.
I feel defective. I know there’s something wrong with me. I don’t think like everyone else. I’m set apart and isolated by my illness. I am odd. I feel that my behaviors make it obvious that I’ve got a problem. I feel broken and weak.
Being bipolar truly does touch on every aspect of life. From direct consequences from all the mood swings to the peripheral behaviors and feelings that result. Would I have these issues if I weren’t bipolar? Perhaps I would. But regardless, this disease is so overwhelming, if there’s any potential for these problems being bipolar brings them out and makes them worse.
Or maybe I’m just being over dramatic. I forgot to list that one.