Surviving Bipolar

It’s been several months now since my brain last attempted to murder me, and with the passage of time the harsh lines that defined that episode and the resulting hospitalization have blurred somewhat. Now I look back and wonder how I could have even THOUGHT about suicide, let alone planned it…..only the method, and whether I had the nerve to go through with it, were in question.

And that scares the hell out of me. Because it could happen again. Because it probably WILL happen again. I’m doing great now, but as I’ve learned to my sorrow, remission is just another part of the cycle; I cycled in, and no doubt will cycle back out at some point.

I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish bipolar were like chicken pox, which is (usually) a one-and-done proposition. Failing that, I wish I could take meds only when I’m actually ill—I hate being a zombie in the morning and a space case the rest of the time. I even scare myself while driving sometimes because I forget to check my mirrors and go along my merry way without being fully aware of my surroundings.

But that’s the price I have to pay for these magificent periods of tranquility. It’s infinitely better than not having them at all, which I fear would be the case if I were not being treated. I still wonder how an illness I didn’t really know I had until three years ago could come screaming out of nowhere and blow up into a raging case of bipolar 1.

Still, it’s easy to forget in between episodes how very sick I can get, especially in times like these when I’m well and all’s right with the world. While there’s no need to borrow trouble, it’s best for me to remember that it all can go bad on me at any time…..and that surviving bipolar means being vigilant for signs of trouble without letting the illness run my life.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

2 thoughts on “Surviving Bipolar

  1. Love the first sentence! How it absolutely describes our predicament! But even in its present state it is potentially lethal, partly by our inattentiveness but also by our complacency. It is less likely though given your awareness. 🙂 And that is the secret, I think: being self-aware and proactive 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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