What Mornings Are Like With Bipolar Disorder


There are days the alarm sounds and I rise. There are other days when my alarm sounds and my heart starts racing. And still there are other days when my alarm sounds and I cannot move. It’s not the weight of the blankets. It’s the weight of my existence. The buzzing continues and in my mind I beg it to stop. Rolling over hurts. On these days it could go a number of ways.

The delusion that my office couldn’t possibly go a day without me. The projects I’m working on that are going to fall apart. This somehow lifts me out of bed. I text my boss letting her know I’m late. Tears in the shower. Tears as I stare in the mirror blowing my hair dry. I can’t figure out what to make for breakfast or lunch, so just plan to go without. On the drive, I promise myself I’m going to keep it together. Fighting back more tears I will them not to fall. I walk into my office as if all is well and turn on my computer. The flood of emails brings on such overwhelm I find myself running to the restroom. Anxiety now fills my body.  I shouldn’t be here. There is no graceful exit at this point.

Another way is to notify my boss I will be out sick for the day and roll over one last time. Sleep well past noon, at least hope to. When I wake again I am full of guilt. I should be at work. I should be a functioning member of society. The tears fall staining my pajamas. Why can’t I keep it together?  I was OK yesterday. Just yesterday I completed reports, answered emails, went for a hike, made dinner. I can’t do this any more. Enter suicidal ideation. I think about all the medication bottles. I think about the bridge only 25 minutes away. The voices begin to shout… you don’t belong here. They are better off without you. There is no more sleeping. Escaping the chaos in my mind. 

When my feet hit the floor I feel weak, flush, scared, uncertain. I stumble around my house for a while not knowing what to do. Eventually I’m a crying mess somewhere on the floor.

The last option is to acknowledge it’s going to be a rough day. I can feel it in my bones once that alarm sounds. I make no rash decisions on whether to go into the office or not. I lay still a few minutes longer and breathe. I need coffee. I do not beat myself up for having bipolar disorder and the subsequent mood fluctuations. I sip my cup of coffee and consider how the day can play out.  I try to stay ahead of the emotional game. I take it one minute at a time.

That third plan is the ideal. It’s a work in progress, or rather what I’m striving for. Mostly it’s a mix of option one and two. I usually get myself to work and I usually have to go home early. I struggle with just allowing myself to be… good day or bad day. But, I’m working on it.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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