Or whatever you want to call it. I’m learning that any label beyond Bipolar Disorder and being able to say whether I’m “up” or “down” doesn’t really matter.
Part of the reason I struggle with identifying as someone that has bipolar, is that I never had one of those clear cut manic episodes where you max out your credit cards or stay up all night working on six different projects or not need to sleep or eat. I’ve never had an episode where someone could look at me and know that something was most definitely not right. Depression? My God yes. Mania or hypomania? Nope. One of my only tells is that I talk really fast, but I’ve always done that, even when I was little. Does that mean it started earlier than I originally thought?
I’m learning that its more subtle for me. It’s hard for me to identify, because I figured everyone’s brain did what mine did.
But here is what I’ve been able to figure out.
- I want to spend money. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t spend money. I don’t make enough money to spend it on anything but food, bills, insurance, mental health services (why does that always have to cost so much??). I very rarely buy clothes, and if I do it’s at a store like Gabe’s where I don’t spend more than $15 on something. There are times when I want to impulsively spend money and it seems like a good idea. But I don’t.
- I think all my ideas are brilliant, and everyone else just “doesn’t get it.” When I was making all those life decisions that is college, I thought I was going to save the world one kid at a time by teaching. I thought I was going to be a better teacher than everyone else because I was just that good. Most of the time I keep all that to myself, because I don’t what to seem like an ass. But if you look at my journals from when I was growing up…there are these periods of time where I thought I was the most insightful person on earth and had it all figured out.
- I have no patience, am constantly frustrated with everyone else, and easily become angry. I always thought that was simply part of my nature, but as we’ve gotten closer to the appropriate medication combination and I’ve gotten better at managing this, that has slowly dissipated.
- My follow through is horrible. Case and point–> My yarn chest. I crochet and knit. I am notorious for starting 3 different projects at once and never finishing any of them. I have half finished shawls, a wingless dragon, and about 4 different blankets I’ve started. Usually its because I’ve lost interest in it and have moved onto a different project.
I am starting to see how these things have impacted my life. I’m starting to see how some of these things were more obvious to other people than I thought. I’m starting to see how these things impact my relationships.
I still don’t understand how my cycles work, and I have a really hard time identifying where I’m at on the continuum. I can tell that my mood is shifting, but rarely can I tell you in what direction.
Moral of the story? I’m still learning what Bipolar looks like for me.