My Personal Prescription for Bipolar Agitation


When the agitation gets this high I seek destruction. I drive faster, I eat more, I kick things, I yell, scream, storm out. Ultimately I think I want to die. Crawling in my skin, crawling out of my skin. Sharp tongue. Raised voice. Constantly rubbing and pulling at the back of my neck where the tension lies.

Tears roll and I scorn them. How could I be so weak and pathetic? What is this even about? Pacing around the house like a caged animal. The answer has to be somewhere. Although I’m not really looking, I just can’t sit still. I can’t find my breath. I don’t even want to breathe. Ultimately I think I want to die.

Pouring the medication into my hand last night I wanted to add more. If three is supposed to be the magic number, maybe six is even better. Perhaps it’s nine. Electric currents of impulsivity fueling my decision making. Each buzz hits my hand and jostles the bottle, one more pill fell into my hand. One more than is prescribed. And again. As I cup them in my hand I wonder if I find the right combo, maybe this time I won’t wake up. I won’t have to fight this intense agitation. Feel like some out of control monster that has to hide away from work, from society. The noise is too loud. The light is too bright. I am too raw to be in the world today. Yet I feel too broken to be alone.

I turn to social media for help, reassurance, something to tell me I’m OK. I’ve pushed friends away long ago. Some just not capable of understanding and some just lost patience as rapid cycling bipolar throws me up then throws me down. I am guilty of not picking up that phone. On days like today I am convinced no one would want to be around me. Hell, I don’t want to be around me.

My house is small. An echo chamber. Just like my mind. If I yell and scream into this space it just comes back at me. I feel trapped. Alone. My neck hurts, my head hurts, my heart hurts. I wouldn’t wish these feelings onto my worst enemy. How ironic because in reality I am my own worst enemy. The skill of self-compassion is missing from my tool box. Truth is I kicked that box out of sight. So here I am. In pain. Raw.

Constantly fighting myself, my symptoms I forget I have tools. Calming techniques for agitation, or at the very least dispelling the negative energy. I think I am beyond sitting quietly for art. I need to blast some music and get this knotted up body moving. Quickly I make my way to the treadmill. Luckily the prescription for exercise is unlimited.

The Mighty is asking the following: For someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have your mental illness, describe what it’s like to be in your head for a day. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Bipolar Disorder

drawing of a woman

When It's Time to Start Over Again, Again

Everyone gets in a slump from time to time. When a slump is coupled with a breakup and mental illness, a little slump can turn a lonely home into an abandoned property with overgrown bushes and boarded-up windows. I think I’ve plastered, without much knowledge, some type of “no trespassing” sign over my skin these [...]

A Letter to Myself at 15, From the Woman Who's Still Alive

Dear 15 year-old Denise, I wish this letter could’ve gotten to you in time, but you’re alive! Let me tell you what you need to know outright. Before you even get to high school, almost everyone you know is going to call you selfish and over-dramatic. They’re going to ask why you’re so angry all the time. [...]

When Having Bipolar Disorder Means Your Head Is a Balloon

My head always feels full; like a balloon that has been blown up almost to the point of popping. Except what’s in my head isn’t air. It’s worry, constant worry, over the impending anxiety that hits me as soon as my feet hit the bedroom floor each morning. Anxiety takes over as soon as I [...]
man with colorful head

The Spectrum of My Emotional Rainbow as Someone With Bipolar Disorder

It’s of nature but not a seemingly natural progression. It’s my nature — and one that cannot inherently be changed; sometimes muted, sometimes controlled, it is still always present, always has been and always will be. My blue, indigo and violet days are heavy. I feel full of wet sand. Staying awake just to spend [...]