It’s been remarked from time to time that it seems I’m always contradicting myself. I’ll offer an opinion or make a statement one day, and then two days, two weeks, or two months later have the exact opposite thought. Sometimes the change can be quite dramatic. I’ll take a very strong stand on an issue and then later reverse myself completely
And they’re right. I do.
Many times it is just a shift in mood. I’ll admit that I can go from happy to sad very quickly. Sometimes I can shift within the same post. The very act of writing can make me realize that things are better, or worse, than I believed when I started. I feel like I’ve made great progress in maintaining my disease, and then the depression kicks back in and down I go. Or a depression can quickly transform into a mania. Or vice versa. I can be difficult to know what’s my mood really is.
I’m a rapid cycler.
It’s not always about being bipolar either. After living with this illness my entire life it has influenced and shaped my personality. Fighting some of these traits can change the way things are viewed. My success with overcoming some of the negative, or even the lack of success with the positive results in different perspectives. And that is reflected in what and how I write.
Environment has a lot to do with it as well. We all have good days and bad days. Work can be overwhelming and the pressure can affect my mood. Or it could be a bright, sunny day which just lifts the spirits and makes everything seem okay. Maybe a friend has hurt my feelings. Or the same friend gave me hope and love. Each day is different, and my mood; my writing can be different as well.
Sleep – or the lack of it often plays a part. When I’m tired everything just seems to be worse. And the tiredness can come from a night of frets and worries which carries over into the day. A good night’s sleep can be rejuvenating and completely change my attitude. Waking up early or late often throws my whole body rhythm off and gives the feeling of being out of sorts.
As I progress through my treatment I can realize new things about myself and others. As new things are learned opinions change. Tolerance of others can evolve as more is realized about other people’s situations. I hope I’m constantly growing, and this growth can be reflected in my writings.
But much of this is typical of everyone I suppose. Everyone is subject to physical, mental and environmental influences.
But then there are the big things. I’m a very passionate person, and it often displays itself in how I feel. Those feelings usually don’t shift quickly. But over time they can. As age progresses and knowledge is gained even the strongest feelings can transform. I think that’s called growth.
I receive a lot of comments concerning my position on relationships; specifically with bipolar ones. It’s generally overwhelmingly negative; there are a lot of people struggling with a bipolar partner. And being with someone who is bipolar can be exceedingly difficult.. I get all kinds of stories about the abuse, anger, frustration and financial or legal consequences from their bipolar partner. It’s a rare thing indeed to hear from someone about being supportive, and sticking things out in spite of the hardships. It happens, but not very often. Early on in my journey in blogging I took a strong judgment of people who couldn’t understand and support someone who is bipolar. It was my view that if someone really loved me, they would stick by me through all the ups and downs that come with this illness. Not staying in the relationship felt like the deepest betrayal. They must not have loved me after all. It is a part of who I am; can’t they accept that? And especially after I accepted my diagnosis and started working on getting better.
But that has changed.
Much of my position at that time was impacted by my own pain and loss. I thought things were improving; then the most important relationship I’ve ever had ended. And it ended very quickly. The pain was unimaginable, and I was completely devastated. I was also extremely isolated at the time too. Unemployment hit at the same time as the end of my marriage, and I spent way too much time alone. It’s no surprise that I was depressed. And I was angry; very angry. And my writing definitely demonstrated that.
But time heals all wounds.
I now realize just how hard it was. Damage that has been done cannot be undone. I heard an analogy the other day that hit home. Take a plate and throw it on the floor. It shatters into little pieces. So you tell the pieces you’re sorry. You might feel better, but the plate is still broken. Even if you manage to glue it all back together, it cannot be unbroken; ever. My marriage could not put the broken pieces back together; I understand that now. And talking to so many others about their experiences I can see how it’s just too much. By definition, someone who is bipolar go to the opposite extremes of behavior; excessive, out of control, and impossible to contain. Not everyone accepts that they are dealing with a disease either. How can you stay with someone who is so difficult that has no desire or will to change? Everyone has a breaking point, and being with someone who is bipolar can break it all too quickly. You might love a particular piece of wood, but when it catches on fire it may burn just to bad to try to pick it up to save it.
Who am I to judge? I get it now. At least, I think I do.
So yes; my opinions and perspectives and writings vacillate. Sometimes they change quickly and apparently without reason. Other viewpoints evolve over time; hopefully showing growth and new maturity. What I say today might not be what I say tomorrow. How I feel about something may develop into something completely contrary. But I write what I feel. And those feelings are not constant. I hope that those that read my words can understand that this is just a documentary of my journey day to day. And those days will go from one extreme to another.
I’m bipolar. We do that.