Temporary 

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t even feel like a person anymore. At least , I don’t feel like me, although who else could I be? This is just another facet of who I am but it seems so foreign and feral and disconnected. I can’t even jerk off without disassociating. I lie on my back and stare at the ceiling, feeling inhuman.

Everything feels cinematic and unreal. I feel reckless, on the brink of frenzy. All my instincts are primal and I keep them in check because I’m not completely psychotic, but fuck, I just really want to beat the shit out of someone or get beaten by someone else, spit blood, break my knuckles, something. Snort a bunch of lines and never come down because the goal is to never come down. I’m functioning incredibly well on less than 6 hours of sleep a night for at least two months. 

And I fear that whenever I wake up, I won’t be like this anymore.

I would take the compulsive masturbating and rage and OCD and racing brain and agitation over deep depression any day. 
I remember not being able to get out of bed. I remember needing 12 hours of sleep just to barely function. I remember dozing off in every class, pushing my work until the last minute, being a zombie, the constant mental breakdowns and wishing I would die because I already felt like I was.

I would do anything to not be that way again. And every time I have a second to myself, I fear I will slip back into that place and I won’t be able to escape.

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Withdrawing.

Another night of feeling invalidated, feeling alone. Sure, have another one of my cigarettes. Tell me all about your plans for the future. A friend of a friend comes to the table, reluctant to sit down (later I learn about his transphobic and homophobic nature, it’s no wonder he didn’t want to sit with us, we probably reek of queerness). My friend starts to introduce us to him and I interrupt by blurting, half-drunk, “He doesn’t care” and am I wrong?

My mood fluctuated from cackling in the passenger seat of my best friend’s car about how we didn’t even want to go to this stupid thing to sulking, slumped, drinking a two-dollar Shock Top and smoking a Seneca, texting my best friend, “Sorry, I’m depressed.”

And then the sex talk begins and I just want to smash that beer glass into my face.

I’m mad at everyone and I have no right to be. I’m just crashing back and forth and the rage from my disorder is erupting within me at random points. Something as small as a facial expression or the positioning of a limb or how this new guy sounds like every other boring fucking white kid on the planet is enough to trigger me.

Two beers down and I’m drunk, in part due to exhaustion, in part due to an empty stomach. We get up to leave. My friend (who we came to see at this shitty sports bar) asks, pleadingly, pathetically, “You can’t stay for five more minutes?” and I growl back, “No.”

Let’s fast forward to the next night. Riled up yet devoid of all energy–how it’s possible, I’m not sure. I binge eat and go from dancing on my patio to The Weeknd to sitting on my bed (with this terrible pain in my neck), totally exhausted but resisting sleep, listening to Radiohead. What a turn of events.

I have plans for tomorrow morning but I’m honestly not sure if I’ll be able to wake up in time. Waking up has been a struggle.

Also, those deep feelings of sexual repulsion have still been happening to me. I thought they would subside, but I guess not. But that’s just another thing for the people around me to not take seriously.

Should I stay for five more minutes?

This Is (Not).

It’s not what I want.

This depression is numbness, total indifference. I can’t feel enough to even write a half-assed poem or work on a draft of a story. It takes me weeks to answer emails. Every decision feels like it was made in a fog of carelessness. I can’t wake up in the morning. I really can’t. I now require eleven hours of sleep. It never used to be like this. And when I do get up, my eyes are slowly closing in my 9:30am class, but I can’t even have caffeine to alleviate the struggle, so I just get up and go to the restroom and sit and go back and try to keep my head up. I’m late with all my schoolwork and so little effort goes into it.

I thought I was doing better for a while, but now I realize I was just becoming numb.

My answer to most things is something like, “I don’t care,” or “It doesn’t matter.”

I just need to keep pushing through

but that’s all I ever do anyway.

Four Months

Almost four months I’ve been gone from WordPress. I don’t know what happened. Well, that’s a lie. I became very depressed. I just didn’t have the motivation. My last post had to do with the election. I still stand by “Fuck Trump.”

Over the past four months my life has consisted of extreme lows of self-harm, depression, suicidal ideation, apathy, and stress, as well as a month-long hypomanic high that basically just had me sexually aroused to the point of being in pain. Unfortunately, the hypomania didn’t last. I rarely ever experience hypomania, so when I do, it’s a fun change from the rampant depression.

I got some gene testing done to give me more insight into my medications. Turns out everything I’ve ever been on (except Lithium, which can’t be tested) is ineffective for me. Except Latuda, which I found strange, considering it did nothing for me while I was on it, and Invega, an atypical antipsychotic which I’ve been on for a couple months now. It’s okay. The side effects are terrible. I’m already a binge eater but the Invega has increased my appetite and I’ve gained a little more weight, which is the exact opposite of what I need, and it also obliterated my sex drive. Which sucks because, hey, I enjoy(ed) masturbating, but now I have no desire to. I’ll go weeks without it now, and any depiction of sex or even affection on TV or whatever makes me feel sick.

But I feel a little bit better on the Invega. Stress on “a little bit.” I definitely don’t want to die, but I’m not where I need to be. I feel stressed and out of control, like I’m just going through the motions of life while not truly enjoying anything, and I have a severe issue with lack of motivation. I haven’t been doing homework and I haven’t really been going to class. A lot of this is situational. Which makes it more difficult.

For those of you who have stuck around–thanks, I appreciate it.

– Z

World Bipolar Day (A Late Post)

In honor of World Bipolar Day (woo-hoo!) I thought I’d fill out this questionnaire. And yes, I am two days late!

1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?
Bipolar Disorder means living in a completely different way than everyone else I know…it means never ending therapy and medication. It means that the little things destroy me. It means struggling to find ways to cope. It means I am complex and I can’t expect anyone else to understand.

2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
Before I went “downhill”, my life was fairly “normal”. I had always been an emotional, sensitive, quiet child and I would never have described myself as “happy”…BP has always been there, really. It just took time for it to truly emerge.

3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?
12 (which is young, and I used to doubt my diagnosis often, but no longer do).

4. How do you manage your symptoms?
Good question. I should go to therapy more regularly. I still haven’t really found coping mechanisms for my day-to-day life. It’s sort of come naturally as I’ve aged and become more mature. Medication is a must, though I have yet to find the right one.

5. What is life like for you now?
Life right now is difficult. I’m very quickly approaching my date to graduate from community college after what feels like three very short years, and in that time I’ve grown a lot. I’m struggling to find a job, which puts a huge damper on things, as more financial difficulties keep popping up. I’m trying a new medication. I’m working on college applications and trying to deal with the huge changes coming up, such as leaving home for the first time. I’m terrified. It’s a scary time.

6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?
I’m incredibly grateful to have very loyal, loving, empathetic friends, and I hope to keep them for life. They can’t understand but they can listen, and they do so willingly. I am truly grateful for them. As for my not-so-close friends, I’m not against sharing my diagnosis, but I know I will be stereotyped, and since I am bipolar type 2 and not type 1, there are huge differences that most people are completely unaware of. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, but I have had people tell me that they can’t deal with my emotional and, well, dark nature, but who needs ’em? In the workplace, I continue to find it frustrating that I can’t exactly disclose my diagnoses to employers. Anxiety and BP make it extremely difficult to work more often than not, but I don’t feel as though it’s something I can share.

7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?
I think there is a huge stigma when it comes to mental illness, and bipolar disorder especially. It comes from a lack of understanding. Most people have experienced some sort of depression and anxiety, but bipolar disorder is different. There’s this uniforming picture people have painted in their minds of bipolar disorder – someone incapacitated for months, then the same person going skydiving suddenly. Bipolar is incredibly unique to each individual and I wish it were discussed more.

8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?
Thankfully no, but I think much of that comes from my privacy.

9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?
It may seem hopeless. It may seem hopeless more often than not. But it’s manageable. I know it’s a struggle. It’s beyond a struggle. But think of who you would be without it. Think of all the gifts it DOES give you. You are beautiful no matter what, and you are strong. You can do this. You. Can. Do. This.