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How the Time of Day Affects My Bipolar Disorder

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Those nights. The darkness. The silence. The nothingness. The feeling of not existing.

Those mornings. The light. The noise. The clutter. The existence.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Night versus day. Sadness versus happiness, or too much happiness. Depression versus mania.

Why can’t I be the afternoon? Somewhere in the middle. In the middle of the silence and the chaos of everything.

I’ve found life with bipolar disorder is that feeling. Night and day. There are days you may feel alone in the dark and there are days you may get blinded by the light.

The morning, or too much of it … I wake up in the morning happy, energetic and full of life. But then it hits me. I talk too loudly and talk too fast. I skip from one topic to the other. I feel too happy. Not my typical happy. I feel breathless. I am catching my breath as I tell them my stories. I get too caught up with a topic. I stare at my phone and start messaging people. I start looking through online stores and adding stuff to my cart. It gets me excited. The rush of energy flowing through my veins. The inspiration on overdrive. My fingers typing on the keyboard rapidly. The words just flow like a river. The many metaphors I use in one paragraph. It feels great.

But I know it will end, and I will crash. And we all know that’s not a pretty sight to see. I try to control my thoughts. Slow down. Breathe. But then when I think it’s over, irritability is next. I feel the happiness dwindle and irritability takes its place. A certain sound can tick me off. A touch. It sets me into a mood I hate having. What I learned is it’s better to remove myself from the situation, if possible. I go to my room or get away from the trigger and try to compose myself. Remove the remnants of what irritated me in the first place. Try to remember what ticked me off may be something ordinary. So, if you can relate, breathe and try to distract yourself.

But, then the crash. The darkness.

The nights. Before I sought help, my nights were full of questions. They were full of what-ifs. What if I did this.? What if I did that? What if I just didn’t exist? Would someone actually care? They were full of thoughts. Dark thoughts. I would think of ways to end something so precious and something so beautiful. Even with a psychiatrist and a therapist by my side, I still have moments of feeling worthless of being nonexistent.

Thoughts come into my head telling me to do things. Giving me ideas of what I could do. But then I remember the reassuring words of everyone in my life. How great of a person you are! How happy they are because you exist! How you mean a lot to them. And you have meaning to them. That’s what keeps me sane. Those words mean a lot. Remember those words. Remember those people who love and care for you. Those people who can lift you up. They will bring you to your afternoon.

The afternoon. The middle. Right where a lot of us want to be. The balance of morning and night. The place you feel at peace. Not too happy, but not too sad. Just right. You are relaxed. You are inspired to do things you love. You exist. And you love that you exist. You can be sad. But you can pick yourself up. You are living. You are in the moment. You are you.

Original photo by author

Originally published: February 17, 2021
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