Last week I got diagnosed (again) with Bipolar. The nature of this beast is that despite having a feeling several years ago that this is what was going on, writing about it, accepting it, etc, you start to swing into manic mode, feel amazing and then convince yourself that you are really good. Add in some pseudo spirituality and people to support your delusions and that’s a potent cocktail. Then add in some terrible relationships that you entered into during your manic phases and it’s like gasoline to the fire. In short, I can see, with some grace, and with some embarrassment, how I’ve gotten to the point I am at now. I can see my entire life with some clarity that I haven’t had before. It was similar when I realized I am autistic but there were still a lot of questions that plagued me about things and patterns that have happened. Fun fact: they are only aware that about 30% of people with autism also have bipolar, so I haven’t found a lot out there about how this is experienced.
My current therapist is unsure which type but leans toward bipolar 2, however, I have not shared everything with her due to the fear of various trauma that has come from dealing with people in the mental health profession. I suppose it doesn’t matter in the end, the treatment would be similar either way. And the meds will tell the tale of what works and what doesn’t. For example, I have been on and off antidepressants since I was 17 and they only made me either more depressed, or completely manic, although I didn’t know it at the time. Enter mania and you stop the meds because everything is beautiful and you’re convinced you’ve healed and you’re basically a god in a human body who can do anything.
It is entirely possible that the idiot Dr who diagnosed me with schizoaffective bipolar a few years ago was correct. As traumatizing as that was, and I had only seen him twice, I’m starting to see how he might’ve been right. It just wasn’t handled correctly and I got put on meds that ultimately made me suicidal and more psychotic.
It has only been because I’ve taken ample time to cocoon myself after the last bad relationship to begin to see things more clearly without the distraction of getting triggered everyday and focusing on my own healing. I honestly do not know how people do relationships. No offense, I’m sure great ones exist, but it seems to be a whole advanced level of a video game that makes no sense to me. Maybe someday I’ll have better luck. I’m not holding my breath.
It’s a mindfuck to look back and see how many choices I made during mania. There is a measure of grace knowing it was literally my brain and not a character flaw. I grieve so much. I regret so much. I can feel both things: the grief and the grace. I can only go forward. I keep reminding myself: I didn’t know. I was doing what I thought was true and for the best. How can we know when we don’t know or have the resources? Bipolar is mostly genetic as well and my family just didn’t get diagnosed with anything mental health related. But I can see it everywhere now. Even in my own children, which is a whole other thing.
There is some terror at the moment. The new meds being what they are, will take some months to stabilize my brain, if they work. Mental health meds are a long drawn out process that I’ve been through many times and I’m currently in a place where I am so fucking tired of life that it’s a slog to see the road before me. I’m not sure I have anything left right now. And there is also terror knowing the dark turn the brain can make in that space. I fear the psychosis as well.
I’m making strict boundaries for myself, as much as I can. With others and with choices in general. I have a few people I can check in with when I need to check what is real. And I have a team of mental health professionals that seem trustworthy so far. I’m afraid of my life crumbling around me. I have one more child I am raising and there is a lot of pressure to keep everything somewhat together. I’m all he has, besides his older brothers.
I try not to look at the devastation I’ve caused but I also know it wasn’t just me. That’s how it goes. It’s never black and white. So many things make sense now, the way I’ve behaved, the way I’ve approached my work, the extreme swings and regrets. The thread of magick within all of it and the ways I’ve gone too far to the other side. A few years ago when the schizoaffective diagnosis came up, I lamented as I believed maybe I wasn’t gifted after all. But some years and experienced have made me wiser and I will not be throwing that baby out with the bathwater this time. I most probably will always see things differently, exist in some fringe space, thinking outside the box. I think many people with bipolar are afforded that glimpse of the divine. I’m still sorting it all out.
What I do know is that there must be grounding. I can make all the art in the world during manic phases but when the depression comes, everything is meaningless again and it’s the ultimate self sabotage. Perhaps the medicine will even out the extremes, reduce impulsivity and help me create the life that I’ve always wanted. There is no cure for this disease and I have very little hope for light at the end of the tunnel currently, but I’ve read that many people have had success and normal lives once they find the right meds, so with a prayer to my ancestors and crossed fingers, I move forward.
(sidenote: this is also one of those times I think I need to delete or redact everything I’ve posted online, including old blog posts, but I’m going to leave them for now and see how I feel later. I’m allowed to evolve given new information)