How I Get Through Bipolar Disorder Mixed Episodes at Night


It starts like an itch, and then my face is wet. It is not raining. The sky is clear, especially for this time of night. I am crying. Barely five minutes ago, I was laughing.

The depression drowns out the mania and sometimes they mix like a cocktail, having the effect of making me sick. These mixed states are one of the very worst parts of my illness. I’m at two different poles of my bipolar disorder. Right now, it’s nearly 3 a.m. as I am writing this, and my mascara is blurring because I am raw, vulnerable and simply do not know what to do but write.

I write because I am scared. I am scared of my own mind. Am I truly feeling my emotions, or is it my bipolar disorder? Am I happy, or it is hypomania? Am I angry and irritable because the situation warrants it, or is this a full manic episode? Am I crying because I am sad, or is it a depressive episode? Bipolar disorder lies. I feel like I cannot control my own mind at times. I feel like I cannot trust my own intuition. Is it intuition or paranoia? The questions stack like the foundation of a terrible building.

I am strong. I am a fighter. There will be a sunrise and tomorrow this might be a vague memory of a nightmare I would rather soon forget. For now, I fight my way through the dark because I stopped crying. Putting my thoughts to print purges it from the crevices of my mind. Sharing lightens the burden I feel.

I often get asked, “What are tips for getting through mixed episodes?” and I want to offer a platitude or an encouraging word, but mostly I am honest and tell them how I do it.

“One night at a time,” I say.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via cyano66.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Bipolar Disorder

Vector illustration of woman with rainy clouds and her thoughts, airplane, concept idea

The 'Advice' I Don't Want to Hear as Someone With Bipolar Disorder

“Don’t be upset.” “Calm down.” “Smile. It’ll make you feel better.” “Stop getting all revved up.” Never in the history of ever has communication of this sort had the desired effect on a person – especially one with bipolar disorder. When you offer this sort of “advice,” what you are basically doing is telling the [...]
illustration of a man with a water in his head

When a Bipolar Heart Breaks

It’s not easy feeling so intensely. I try to pull back. I try to not feel this way. If I could feel less, maybe I would. They give me drugs that supposedly help me to feel less. I’ve been on drugs that do that even more, but it’s hard to go back to black and [...]
Rear View Of Doctors Talking As They Walk Through Hospital

Why Switching Primary Care Doctors Was Good for My Mental Health

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my new primary doctor. We changed counties, and my old doctor was more than 90 minutes away. Quite honestly, my nerves are not equipped to handle the drive there, waiting up to an hour to see the doctor, and then the drive back home in the interstate [...]
ice hockey game

How Hockey Helps Me Get Through Bipolar Episodes

We are Blackhawks fans. My husband’s family is from Chicago, and when we started dating, he taught me hockey. I fell in love with the game and the team for myself. When we got married, “Chelsea Dagger” (the song that plays after a goal is scored) played after the priest declared us man and wife. I hesitate [...]