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Embracing a Foreign State of Mind With Bipolar Disorder

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Have you ever been in a state of mind that you can’t quite explain?

Who am I kidding, if you’re reading this, then yes, you probably have.

The state of mind I am currently in has me quite confused. I have always, since I can remember, struggled with bipolar disorder and the thoughts it brings about. I usually have thoughts on one end of the spectrum or the other, but nothing in between. I’m either very depressed or very hypomanic. Either super positive or super negative. Everything is amazingly amazing or debilitatingly depressing.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Well, as I try to make sense of my current mental stability, I would like to share how I am thinking, so it might make sense for others as well.

The past few weeks, or even months, have been especially difficult for my spouse and I, and I have been surprisingly (even to me) handling it all pretty well. Yesterday though, I finally had enough and had a moment in a store where I started losing it. I was yelling at the manager, making everyone in the store get quiet and stare, cursing and walking out, complete with slamming the door for a dramatic exit. Once I reached my car and sat down for a minute or two, I realized how ridiculously I had just behaved.

This thought process was a foreign frame of mind I had rarely experienced before. On one side I realized how bafflingly dramatic I was behaving, while on the other side I just wanted to cry and throw things and scream. I’ve had times before I have struggled between positivity and negativity. But never have I had two conflicting thoughts about whether I was behaving rationally or not. In some weird rational way, I was struggling with being embarrassed by my actions, while also being so frustrated I couldn’t control myself.

The only reason I can imagine would cause this change in my thought process during a situation such as this, is that I had a hysterectomy eight months ago and am currently not taking hormone replacement therapy. I have this theory that without the hormones messing with my brain chemicals, my medications for my bipolar/anxiety/depression are actually working at their full capacity. I feel “normal” with a moment of weakness. Usually it would have been either I felt justified for such a reaction, or the situation wouldn’t have happened at all because I would have been so overly bubbly that nothing would have upset me. I am finding it hard to understand that I might actually have a little control over my thought process now.

Basically, I can either decide to let the whole situation and overwhelming last few months completely debilitate me… or I can choose to be positive.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that anyone can change their mental illness by simply choosing to think a certain way! With years and years of experience with my own mental conditions, I am fully aware that it’s usually beyond our control. What I am saying is this, I think I am now able to control my thoughts a little better than before.

So today, I have woken up with this goal to be as positive as possible. I have showered and started my day with a fresh start, planning to avoid all negativity that tries to come my way. It sounds like I am going through a hypomanic phase, but for the first time in my life, I genuinely feel like it’s a normal thing to do. I can embrace it without being over-the-top positive, just the regular amount.

Stay strong my friends, and I truly hope today is good day for you as well!

Getty image by jesadaphorn

Originally published: January 6, 2019
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