I’m finding that oftentimes, when discussing bipolar disorder, we only discuss the depression side of things. Rarely is mania ever a focus.
This is most likely because mania seems, on the surface, to be a very good thing. I mean, hey… I have more energy, I am more creative, I am super confident… But what about the side of mania where my thoughts aren’t slowing down, my anxiety is at an all time high, and I am irritable and ready to fight everyone.
You see, the frustrating thing about bipolar disorder is that as soon as I am getting used to navigating my depression, mania hits. It’s almost as if my brain becomes aware that I’m finally starting to manage my depression well, so it decides to present me with a new challenge: mania. I can’t just be normal. I’m either ridiculously depressed or ridiculously irritable; I either dwell on one thought or I can’t dwell on any thought because there are too many; I either want to be loved or I want to be left alone; I’m either sleeping all day long or I can’t fall asleep ever. It’s so frustrating living like this. Regardless of which extreme I am experiencing, one thing is certain: I am not in control of my disorder, but rather, my disorder is in control of me. People keep telling me “your disorder does not define you,” but I find that hard to agree with because it affects every area of my life. I see things through a lens of bipolar disorder. I have to evaluate everything based on “am I acting appropriately or responding to this situation in a right way or am I responding to this in the way that I am because I’m bipolar?” There is no, “I have bipolar disorder” in the midst of a bad day; a day whereby I go from one extreme to the next in a matter of hours. No, it’s I am bipolar, and I can’t control this.
And I’m not sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.
I’m finding that I rant a lot when I’m manic. Maybe because I’m pissed at the world… for no good reason.
It’s hard to blog when I’m manic because there isn’t really one thing I can talk about without my thoughts being everywhere. But it’s easy to blog when I’m manic because I have a lot to say.
It’s hard to love when I’m manic because I don’t know if I’m loving genuinely or from a place of false confidence, security, and all the strange feelings that come with being both a female and manic. But it’s easy to love when I’m manic because I have no reservations.
It’s hard to be a Christian when I’m manic because I have a flood of random extreme emotions that cause me to think inappropriately, react inappropriately, and speak inappropriately, as well as an overwhelming sense of anger and anxiety that makes living the standard Christian life difficult. But being a Christian when I’m manic is easy because I serve a God bigger than my mania.
And that’s what it all boils down to at the end of the day.
When I feel controlled by my disorder, I know a Man whom the wind and waves know His name and must cease.
When I feel misunderstood, I have a Father who understands.
When I feel that my thoughts are too much, I can rest in the Almighty One, who is never overwhelmed or silenced by the depth or speed of my thoughts.
I have a Creator who creates something out of nothing. A Creator who is not afraid of my mind. A Creator who loves me so intimately that he isn’t going to let me drown in my thought processes. A Creator who enjoys relationship with me, even on the bad days.
So I will find rest in that. Even if my mind doesn’t want to rest at all, I can rest in that I am a daughter, I have a good inheritance, I have a good Father, and he isn’t afraid of the things that myself or anyone around me fears in me.