What does it feel like to have Bipolar Disorder?
Posted by PurpleMoonbeam
10th Sep 2012

Being bipolar feels much like wading through treacle in a cold, dark stinking cave. But, sometimes it feels like being the ball bearing in a pinball machine, whizzing randomly around, smacking my head off things.

I feel like two completely different people; one of me with a bit of a handle on life and the other like a space cadet, terrorised by my acute senses, the hallucinations and my screaming, racing brain. I feel out of control some of the time, but mostly I feel numb and lifeless, disconnected from my body and from the world around me.

Bipolar disorder makes my body so heavy and fatigued, and persistently sleepy. It makes me feel like I am living in a lead suit. Sometimes it makes me vibrate with boundless energy with no means of shutting down; but oh so soon, I crash back into the lead suit.

The hallucinations make me feel like I am crazy, mad, insane, and not deserving of my place in this world. I hide away unable to make sense of the warped and distorted world I am trapped in. I feel such an intense feeling of terror that cannot be escaped.

The bipolar 'Rapid Cycling' robs me of my platform of stability, it leaves me with no choice, but to climb aboard the roller coaster, put my hands over my eyes and hope for the best. Once the roller coaster is in motion, the only way off is to jump and terminate my existence.

The suicidal impulses suck the breath out of me and paralyse me with fear. I get pinned to the couch by an invisible glue, an overwhelming gravity. Then later I'm left with a sickening feeling of guilt and shame that makes me sob for hours and haunts me for days.

The Bipolar 'Mixed Episodes' slam me into a wall and smash my world apart to expose the goblins and demons that terrorise me with psychotic images and sensations. My emotions are smashed against a wall over and over relentlessly. My senses are torn to pieces by walls of sound that break into shards of glass and seek me out with rapid fire motion. Like heat-seeking missiles.

That's what bipolar disorder feels like to me.

So, how the hell do I learn to live with all that? My psychologist admits there is no magic formula, nor are there any fixes for any of the paragraphs above. This may be what my future looks like, but there again, it may not. It may be better, but there is a chance, I may have worse challenges to come yet. The medication will hopefully reduce the highs and lift the lows somewhat, so I will still be on a rollercoaster, just hopefully, a tamer one.

The picture of the tree that accompanies this blog depicts the journey ahead for me. A long slow journey upwards before I can reach the clear blue sky. But, I have a message of hope that I have written to myself and read aloud each morning:

Just for today; I promise to continue living. Tomorrow is another day.

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