Pity Party

It’s very easy to feel sorry for myself.  Why have I been cursed with such a horrible disease?  Why do I feel bad so much of the time?  Why is there so much pain and suffering?  My illness not only affects myself, but those around me.  How is that fair?  Why me…

In my history I’ve only had a little time where I’ve been stable.  I’m either lost in a depression or over the top in a manic episode.  In fact, about the only time I’m not dealing with one aspect or another of my illness is just in between going up or going down.  There’s just very little relief.

Depressions are bad. As you descend into the darkness you know what’s coming.  I’ve always heard that most suicides occur as a depression begins, not in when you’re in the bottom of the pit.  It’s the anticipation of the misery that brings the hopelessness; you just can’t go through this again.   I understand that.  It’s bad enough that depression brings despair and destroys hope, but knowing that it’s caused by an incurable disease just makes it worse.  You know that even if you make it through this episode, there will be another.   Why shouldn’t I feel bad for myself; it’s never going to end.

Mania brings a different kind of suffering.  My manic episodes are not the euphoric, fun highs.  I get angry.  The energy I have is overwhelming; I physically feel like I’m going to explode.  The rage is all consuming.  Nobody understands how smart I am, I’m unappreciated at work, and I’m surrounded by idiots that just get in my way.  Several years ago I got really sick during a particularly bad mania.  It got so bad I ended up in the hospital in the Cardiac Care Unit as my heart was just about to stop.  I was originally diagnosed as having had a heat stroke, but what made me so sick was an overdose of adrenalin brought on by my mania.  All that rage and energy produced more adrenalin than my body could handle and it just started to shut down.  My symptoms became physical.  And then there’s the aftermath of an episode.  Jobs are lost, finances can be in ruin, relationships are destroyed and people are hurt.  There can even be legal ramifications that can take years to resolve.  For me the suffering I experience in my mania is just as bad as a depression, only I don’t realize that I’m being irrational until after it’s over.

And then the depression starts again in a never ending cycle.  It’s just not fair.

I believe that Bipolar disorder is the worst kind of mental illness there is.  Sure, there are illnesses like schizophrenia that are clinically worse.  But with the more severe illnesses there is a lack of awareness and break with reality that can keep take away the realization that there’s anything wrong.  Being bipolar you know that you’re sick, it’s beyond your control and it’s never going to end.  Why do I have to deal with this?

Why shouldn’t I feel sorry for myself?

But the fact is, I don’t.  I understand that it’s an illness and not a weakness or anything that’s been deliberately done to me.  It may seem unfair, but it’s just the cards I’ve been dealt.  The pain of depression is as real as any physical disease.  The effects of mania are tangible and agonizing.  But my energy is needed to fight for survival and cannot be squandered feeling that life is so unfair.  In life there is nothing we have to face that exceeds our ability to cope.    Don’t feel sorry for me.  Give me your support.  Give me your compassion.  Even if you can’t understand what I’m going through, understand that I’m going through it.  I need empathy, not pity.  I refuse to feel sorry for myself and refuse to accept that from of others.

I am not a victim, I am a survivor.

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16 Responses to Pity Party

  1. the seeker57 says:

    Pity party is the disease talking. It’s a gift from God. There’s a use for it if you can pass this stage. Ponder on this and write something positive about it in the blog. Keep calm and carry on. Pax

    Like

  2. You are an insperation! I wish I had the strenght to see the deperesion like you do and keeps fighting.

    Like

  3. zozespot says:

    You put it all into perspective so well and said what I wish I could have. you have tons of strength. xx

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  4. While I may not be able to understand the true pain brought on by your disease, I can definitely appreciate the damage it has done to you. I find your resilience remarkable and inspiring. I wish you even more strength and good luck in your fight and know that you do have people out there who are wishing you success and goodwill. I am one of them.

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  5. buddhasal says:

    You’ve done a great job at turning poison into medicine. It’s great that you have the courage to speak out loud and from the heart. At least you’re not in denial; adversity can be more challenging when we fail to see the obvious. You are more than a survivor, you’re a champion of life!!

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  6. babajij says:

    Brand New here!…Hi…Ya have my Support

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  7. jomaidment says:

    Yeah. I love your rawness when talking about the condition, but the fact that you own it. I am currently on a crash and burn from a brief manic episode that lasted on and off for two weeks. The outcome being short and snappy with my partner, bursting into tears for no reasons and fearful of the big D hitting again soon.
    So to stop feeling low. I am now going to turn away from a trigger – job hunting and everything that goes with it and do something pleasant. Play the new deliverable of HALO 4 which turned up today. Give fighting, be strong and keep the ownership. Proud of you x

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  8. You are so brave to write about this! I suffer from Depression also… I don’t get manic…I go from Depressed to NUMB…but not a ‘comfortably numb…’ it’s more of a “I’m-a-robot-trapped-in-this-body’ kind of numb. Thanks for your courage to blog about this!

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  9. I do this a lot with my depression, too. I have a very similar thought process, but I do find that thinking this way has made it even worse. So I try my best to list the things that aren’t so toxic in my life, the things that give me a little light, a little hope. Once I start listing I find that things are better than my mind allows them to be. It’s a small step, but something I thought I might mention in case it helps you in any way. Thank you for sharing your struggle with the disease.

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  10. I find your posts so very interesting and personal, and while I do not experience the lows and highs to the degree you do, still I do experience them. I can’t say anything inciteful which is not what you want anyway, I don’t think. You would like people to understand just what it is you are going through, and I believe I do.

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  11. Cassandra says:

    Like you, I tend to be consumed with anger and adrenaline rather than blissed-out euphoria while manic (which I do have, but is rare for me). The all-encompassing rage is terrifying, and then shortly after that, a sink into despair? It’s no wonder that so many people with BP attempt suicide! I’m sorry that your cycles are so grueling and I wish you the best of luck surviving them.

    P.S. Congrats on your new employment!

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  12. Very nice post. Yes, you will, prevail. It really does not seem fair but would you rather be schizophrenic or a severe personality disorder?

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  13. Prince says:

    this tugs at my heartstrings. i have had this disease my entire life. when i was three i knew something was wrong–my earliest memories. but i also have severe personalities that date back to my earliest memories.

    i can say, with pride, that if i had never been so sick, i would not be the bright, intelligent, creative person i am now. yes, my life feels hopeless. at age 21, i’m already tired of life. but i keep fighting. for what reason? i don’t know.

    do birds wonder why they fly? no. that’s how i live.

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    • Prince says:

      oh and i don’t even get the mania phases anymore. i get the rest of the bullshit episodes. years ago the manic episodes disappeared.

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  14. Pingback: The Power of Care | The Cranky Giraffe

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