“does bipolar go away?”

23 Feb

No. No, it doesn’t.

I don’t think that there ever was a time I didn’t have this disease in my brain. I think it was minimized, something I could control to some degree, something I could compensate for. But my extreme sensitivity as a child? My varying moods, my shyness-all things that could be normal in a child, but which seem, in hindsight, to be indicators, potentials.

Being molested by a neighbour, watching my mother slowly die over a number of years, only letting go when told there was no point anymore, trying to hold on to the splinters we called family-I can’t help but think these things, and puberty, forced the hand and took me from merely strange, to a little crazy.

I had a nasty habit of hitting things when angry. Things like thick wooden fences and concrete walls. I’d turn on friends in an instant, for no reason even I could discern. I’d shut myself off, blocking the world out for days.

I found lovely delicious drugs which liked me back.

I think most of my adolescence was spent in denial. Denying anything was wrong to any of the shrinks who saw me-pushing away anyone who might have wanted to help me.

What’s surprising is that Mogo was willing to be with the mess I was, and staying through all the late night accusations and needy MEMEME that involves so much of bipolar for me. Nothing was ever enough. I needed to be shown, I needed his love to be proved. As if staying with someone who’d sit in a bathtub running cold water when she was freaked out wasn’t proof enough.

Babies came. PPD came. My mind left.

There’s an awful sense of doom when you’re diagnosed and you realize that this is it. After years of not knowing what it was, years of Mogo saying “I think you might be manic-depressive” and me snapping “Fuck off-I’m not crazy”, years of pretending everything was ok and maintaining a life that was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, you suddenly think it will be ok. You have a reason.

But then you realize that that reason is a life sentence. You will never escape your disease. It IS you. It’s part of you, it’s formed you and in some ways, you’re at it’s mercy. You’ll take drugs for the rest of your life, and you’ll hope like hell they don’t stop working. You’re thankful that there are drugs that make you mostly normal.

Bipolar doesn’t go away. There’s no magic switch to turn on and off. There’s no secret formula to fix your brain. It just is. Cancer you can cure. You can get a new heart. Your brain? All you can do is drink a magic potion, and hope it works.

Do I wish there was a magic switch? Hells yes. I worry daily that the drugs won’t work-now that I’m on Lithium, and it works, and I can see the chaos I spawned and what the ultimate ending I was headed for I worry. Because my BPD, untreated, is a death sentence. If I was still untreated, it’s more than likely I would be dead by now. I could feel it building. It’s why the periodic feelings of “hey, swallow those pills/cut yourself” scare me so completely. Because they are still there, and I fear them. I fear that voice, and I fear, more than many things, returning to that state of living.

You don’t realize how bad those voices, those thoughts are, until they’re not there. Every day, for years, I thought of dying. Of taking my own life. Those thoughts became friends-bad friends, but friends nonetheless. They were always there.

Now, living without them is such clear bliss that I would have trouble going back to living with them in my head everyday.

I wish it would go away. I wish I didn’t have to take 4 pink pills every night. I wish I didn’t have to worry about my children, how I’m affecting them, if they’ve inherited it. I wish I didn’t have to worry about my husband, who has spent far too many days wondering where his wife went, and if she was going to survive. I wish I could say I’ll never be hospitalized ever again.

I wish, I wish….but at the end of the day, it’s not going away. So we pick ourselves up, and soldier on, hoping we stay strong, yet preparing daily for the worst.

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8 Responses to ““does bipolar go away?””

  1. Julie Pippert February 23, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    This says so much about what this disease is, and how it affects. (you)

  2. Beth February 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    Wow. You hit me hard with this post. You sounds like my past, present, and future. It helps me so much to hear of others struggling with this illness. Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that this won’t go away. Some days I don’t want to be sick any more and some days I don’t think I’m going to make it any more. Thanks for your honesty. I’d love to add you to my blog roll if that would be ok and if you would want to link to me that would be great!! Thanks again.

  3. thordora February 23, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    Link away Beth! Always glad to meet other bipolars.

  4. exactscience February 25, 2008 at 8:18 am #

    You don’t realize how bad those voices, those thoughts are, until they’re not there. Every day, for years, I thought of dying. Of taking my own life. Those thoughts became friends-bad friends, but friends nonetheless. They were always there.

    A little too close for comfort.

  5. thordora February 25, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    I don’t miss that part. Not. At. All.

  6. love February 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Did you know that fear is the result of this, have you ever read a mind is a terrible thing to waste read it place yourself around people that love you cod liver oil is a help they did a experience once and they gave them diolisis to a sycophreic and he was cured eating a certain way is your answer get to a nutrient christin doctor or add christ anther is a sho called knowing the facts.

  7. love February 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Did you know that fear is the result of this, have you ever read a mind is a terrible thing to waste read it place yourself around people that love you cod liver oil is a help they did a experience once and they gave them diolisis to a sycophreic and he was cured eating a certain way is your answer get to a nutrient christin doctor and add christ anther is a show called knowing the facts.

  8. moelib March 25, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Wow. Some interesting things here. I was diagnosed with bipolarism last summer. It was funny. I always knew I had a problem with depression (my whole family did) but I never thougth it was that bad. Then one day, I came home from work and was angry at the kids for doing their chores and I started yelling at them…and could not stop…I couldnt hardly breathe. I was just yelling and could not even hardly form a sentence. Then I spent the next two days crying. I thought I was going crazy. It was then that my doctor did some tests and decided I was bipolar. I knew my mother was manic depressive but I did not realize that they were the same things. The doctor prescribed Celexa and I don’t think I have ever been so “even” I think back to the last job I lost and all the histrionics and crying and yelling and thinking how unfair they were to me. It’s actually a godsend to know that all this was caused by a problem that can for the most part, be controlled by medication. It’s just scary that it is here for a lifetime. Thank you for your posting

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