Thursday, November 5, 2009

More About Bi-Polar

I was talking to my wonderful friend Joy from Joy To The Blog about having her make me one of her beautiful ATC's for my bi-polar. She has a daughter who suffers from mental illness so she really understands, plus her ATC's and altered OOAK art are amazing. You can check it out here at her shop Endearing Ephemera.

Joy asked me what my bi-polar felt like and when I wrote the answer back to her it seemed like something I'd like to share in my ongoing quest to remove the stigma from mental illness and educate people about bi-polar.

My bi-polar (type II) feels like a constant struggle of one part of my mind against the other. Like there is a black vortex that is pulling strongly at me all the time, and even though I know it's the worst place to go, I'm usually not strong enough to fight against it.

I am sane, therefore I know most of my bi-polar feelings are irrational, but they are usually stronger than the rest of me, leaving me frustrated logically and somewhat crippled emotionally. Paired with my social anxiety disorder, which keeps me from being comfortable around people, it leads to a really lonely life.

Many people I know say, "Well you know me, so it shouldn't be a problem to be around me", but that's exactly the problem. Even with people I know I'm rarely able to go out and interact with them. I'm able to go to the grocery store, or library where I'm anonymous yet I'm unable to go to church, where the people know and care about me.

You can imagine how frustrating how frustrating this would be for a person logically. If you're interested in reading more about my type of bi-polar you can check out this post.

When thinking about this post, I wanted to find the ribbon for bi-polar. You know how all illnessess have a ribbon like the red AIDS ribbon. Well I found 3 or 4 different ribbons, so I don't know which one is real. I guess since we're bi-polar we can't make up our mind one only one, lol!


Sarah said...

I like the ribbon comment. Although I don't have bi-polar, I have an INSANE phobia of vomit. It is completely irrational yet I still succumb to it with panic attacks. I can't imagine living like that day after day. I can avoid my phobia usually (unless I'm the one sick), I wouldn't be good having to deal with it day in and day out :( Sending strength!

blueviolet said...

I like how you described it but I still can't really understand. I do get the part where you say you're more comfortable being anonymous than being with people you know. That makes some sense and hits home.

I think my brother might be bi-polar but it doesn't sound like the same kind you have. He tends to swing from rages where he makes threats and isolates himself, to periods of calm and reason.

Sara said...

Bi-Polar is so difficult for everyone involved. I know of several people that suffer from it and each presents just a little bit different. My most recent experience was with my 14 yo sister. In my home, she was flipping from mad to sad to euphoric to raging. She lit fires. She bullied, she has problems with her social relationships. She has behavior problems. She doesn't recognize authority. Then on the flip side, she is fun, sarcastic and believes herself to be a good kid. She does well in school. Bi-polar just feels quicksliver to me. So hard to pin down, so elusive to help the person suffering.

Thank you for continuing to share.

Diane said...

hah! @ the ribbon thing. :)

i feel very honored because i actually have met you in real life. and you call me sometimes. and even though i usually hate talking on the phone, it always seems our conversations are so short and that it could go on forever. {hugs} i know you love me. :) i love you too. i also love joy. i'm so happy the three of us have somehow met in this huge sea of people! it was meant to be. lol

i like that you are talking more and more about this. i'd love one day if you could meet zoe and talk to her.

Joy said...

Pam, I was thrilled you asked me to make you an ATC. The way you summed up how bi-polar makes you feel was eloquent and insightful. So glad you shared about it here.

He & Me + 3 said...

Thank you for sharing because it is good to know what others are going through. sure makes it easier to pray.

Kerri said...

Great post, Pam. I have OCD and anxiety issues, so I can relate to being sane, and knowing your thought are irrational, yet not being strong enough to stay away. People who do NOT struggle with mental illness or who don't have a loved one who does, really don't get it. It's not their fault they don't get it, it's just hard to understand when you haven't experienced it.

Love the ribbon comment! :P