Having a low mood due to an existing mood condition is a difficult thing to manage, with all honesty. Harder even is explaining what it feels to someone else because honestly, the words don’t make sense or give the feelings any justification. There are no words, really.
There are things that are normal to the bipolar patient but outrageous and outside conventional norms to the rest of the world. To quell the mental nausea of mood swings, one would get prescription medication for maintenance. Although these are mood stabilizers that give a floating feeling and a focused mind, I shunned most of them for the horrible side effects: migraines, slurring, shaky hands and fingers that can’t even hold a pen or a glass of water straight, and the inability to procreate or conceive while on medication.
A handful of Hollywood celebrities possess the diagnosis. But there is absolutely nothing glamorous about this illness. Absolutely nothing, save for the spike or bursts of creativity and aplomb during the best of the manic phase.
Mania, at its finest, produces the most brilliant of ideas. It’s like perpetually being on the summit of a mountain with all the stars and glorious mists in tow.
But all the suns of mania goes down eventually. Sometimes, it dips suddenly and gives way to the crashing waves of depression. It’s deafening, overwhelming, occasionally unbearable, stupendously odious.
Some fellows find themselves slashing their wrists, or jumping off ledges, or overdosing on some sleeping pills. The impulse to destroy is there, and so is the pain of the stigma of the unspoken violence that any bipolar patient may darkly succumb too at one moment of ennui too many.
Others (and I believe myself to fall more in this category) simply wither in a corner despondently and wait for the dark clouds to disappear, bracing one’s self in an unnamable despair that is reserved only for those who were given the blessings and curses of feeling emotional extremes. We utter words just for the sake of uttering them, but inside we swim in the pools of hitting the lowest of the low points a human being can possibly have.
Swimmingly, my mind just spins with ideas but I cannot hold even the most basic ones down. There’s a silent panic and terror at the prospect of being stuck in this flighty thought pattern. There’s a bit of a fight here and there to stay conscious and aware of the present moment. In these times, I’ve stopped asking the Universe why this kind of lot is handed over to me. I just know that like the other previous cycles, it will soar me back up soon like a perpetual roller coaster ride. And sink low again. And swing up again. On and on it goes until all life ceases in me. Life is, in essence, a perpetual bracing of one’s self for the best and for the worst.
Meanwhile, I eat cheese and bread to assuage my poor soul, as if the comfort of the palate extends to comfort the deepest bowels of my soul. I absorb the unfortunate tide of my mood. And do my best to stay on in this manner of just being until my hyper days go back to fuel me anew.
Like I am always fond of telling my significant other: “It’s going to be okay.” I tell myself that over and over again until the clouds stop hovering and clear skies go back again.
Suffering from mental illness can be frustrating for both the patients and their families, but there are lots of people who can help. Students who are interested in working in the mental health field, may also want to pursue a healthcare management online degree.
It’s going to be OK.