The following is something I wrote while deeply depressed and in no way gives any indication as to my current mental state! Please proceed with caution as it may contain triggers!
What people don’t understand is that I’m hiding it and that it’s easy to hide it; all you have to do is put on the mask. It is at times so easy to hide the depression, it’s so easy to hide the mania, it’s so easy to hide the suicidal ideation. It’s easy to wear the mask because it’s easier than talking about it. Wearing a mask and hiding it all is easier than the ugly truth: I want to die. Wearing the mask is easier than admitting to the things you have done while manic. Wearing a mask covers it up, it covers up the pain, it gives you normality if even only for a minute.
Tonight, as I sit talking to friends and family, I fake it. I tell them what they want to hear. I send texts saying, “I can’t wait to see you,” while I’m wondering if I will ever see them again. I send texts saying, “I miss you” and I wonder if they will miss me.
The danger comes when the mask comes off; in those private moments, alone, at home. When we aren’t faking it for the rest of the world we are left with only ourselves and our demons. In these moments sometimes our demons can become too much to bear.
Tonight, I sit and I let every emotion I have been having pour over me. I am angry, so I scream. I am sad, so I cry. I am happy, so I laugh. I am manic, so I dance.
Mania is one of those things that is hard to explain to someone who has never felt it, and while it can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world it can also be one of the most terrifying emotions to look back on. Mania can be unique and different for anyone who experiences it, and one of the symptoms of my mania that I’m not sure is shared with everyone who experiences mania is the gap, or rather the gaps. Gaps is the word I use to describe my experience with memory loss during manic episodes. For me, looking back on manic episodes is like looking through fogged up glass. It’s hard to know what I was thinking in the moment, it’s hard to know why I did what I did, but probably most concerning it’s hard to decipher what actually happened. As I look back on my college years I have realized that I honestly can’t remember much. There are bits and pieces, but between the extreme highs and lows that I was experiencing due to my undiagnosed disease, not much of my memory is left. The most terrifying feeling is when someone brings up an event that happened in college, one that was significant, one that I should remember, and I have no recollection of the event.
Sometimes it is necessary to live for something other than yourself because living for yourself isn’t enough. It’s not enough to keep you alive. Sometimes living for a moment or for a person or for an event is necessary to keep afloat and this is something many people who aren’t bipolar and who don’t have a mental illness don’t understand. So, what do you do when you are living for a moment or an event and that moment or event passes and is gone? What do you do when you’re living for a person and that person either dies or becomes someone not worth living for? As I sit here the wedding day of my best friend approaching I sit and I wonder. I wonder what I will do when I don’t have this event, this moment to look forward to anymore. I wonder if I will be enough to live for and I wonder how much longer it will be until another person or moment comes along that is amazing enough to want to live for. But, there is a problem with picking people to live for. While I would easily choose any member of my family or any of my closest friends choosing a person to live for is much harder than it sounds because you see when you choose a person, you live and die with each interaction you have with them. By this I mean that if you and this person have a fight and you’re angry with them they may become less of a person to live for and your life therefore is threatened. The thing with living for people is that it’s very dangerous to live for something that is merely human and can make mistakes. What’s easier is to live for a moment something that you can make up in you’re mind bright and shinny, so that you can imagine the moment perfectly and think of it often.