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When Stability Is Foreign to You as Someone With Bipolar Disorder

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Stability is still such a foreign concept to me.

Ever since I was a young girl, I experienced mood swings that at times felt scary, out of control and destructive: to me and others around me. I became used to experiencing debilitating depression, hopelessness and self-hatred. I had a terrible relationship with my body, which led to eating disorders and engaging in self-harm for over a decade. I also had explosive outbursts of anger and periods where every little thing made me feel irritable and agitated. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered these symptoms to be part of a bipolar disorder type 1 diagnosis.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I’m pretty open about having bipolar disorder, but it’s not something that I bring up frequently. It’s quite an interesting mood disorder. The past few years of my life have been a cycle of exhilarating, fun and fast highs followed by crashing, ugly, dark lows, with little gray area in between.

Lately, I’ve felt as though something was wrong with me. I haven’t been flying and I haven’t been crashing. I’ve been suspended in mid-air. It’s kind of boring here (because the highs can be fun, even if they are destructive), but I’ve come to realize this foreign land is stability. I’ve realized this is most likely how the average person without a mood disorder functions on a daily basis. I also realized that I’ve been taking my medication regularly, which was something I used to struggle with.

Stepping into this newfound stability is like walking outside to fresh air after being cooped up inside all day. It’s like being afraid of flying and finally landing after a long flight. It’s something beautiful that I didn’t even know existed in the first place. Like I said, at times it feels boring. I’m not constantly writing, moving or painting at four in the morning. I’m also not staying in bed for hours on end, spending my days crying or wishing that I just won’t wake up.

So I’ll sacrifice those manic highs and say good riddance to the depressive lows. While I know I’ll always experience ups and downs as a natural part of life and having a mood disorder, I think I’ll stay in this land of stability for awhile.

Landscape photo of rolling hills

Getty image by skyNext

Originally published: December 29, 2020
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