I’m using the above image a bit facetiously. Not because I don’t think it works for a lot of people, as a representation of Bipolar mood disorder, but because it doesn’t work for me. Since I was told my medication was too expensive to cover, I’ve been working to manage my mood swings without, again. And I’m so tired of it. It’s exhausting to try to be something stable when you’re body, your mind, your chemicals are all fighting you.
I guess it makes me angry because that big smiling face is a farce, to me. That’s not how mania manifests itself in my case. I often wonder if managing would be easier if my highs felt good, but they don’t. I’m dipping off a high now, one that terrified me. I know I’m getting depressed, and I almost welcome it. It’s so much easier when all the thoughts about harming are directed at oneself.
I’m still buzzing with aggression, rage settled under the surface of a face I’m trying to keep calm. I’m trying not to be annoyed at every passer bye, every silly comment that a stranger throws my way. But I am annoyed, often angry at everything. Even my kids, who were in the sweetest, most amazing mood this morning. And I ruined it. I couldn’t sleep last night. Too much energy, to much agitation. My dreams were a whir of angry snapshots. I just wanted to drink coffee and not talk. But they were happy to see me, full of joy to be awake. And I ruined it with my shitty mood. I could see myself ruining it and wanted so badly to just be better. I sent them to their room to change into clean clothes and I screamed into a pillow so loudly I’m still having a hard time talking. It calms me, rage screaming. But it scares them. And they wonder what they did, when they didn’t do anything.
My daughter cried and instead of feeling bad it made me angry she was crying, but I shoved that anger down and held her and kissed her and cried with her. And I felt it slip away from me, the rage. But my hands still trembled, my world still blurred and I felt like the world’s shittiest mom. My daughter drew a picture of a frowning face on her white board, to gauge where my mood was. She told me, “You still have time to turn it around, mom. You can get a smiley face when I get home.” I hope that’s true. I hope, by the time she gets home, I can appreciate her for a while. I want to feel like smiling and playing, not just force myself to do those thing, mommy motions.
I feel depression creeping up. It does that, especially when my moods start to effect others, and it’s even harder to manage because it doesn’t scare my kids as much, so I don’t try as hard. If my daughter had to draw a depressed face on me, it would look neutral, no matter how hollow it feels. That tells me that I’m more likable when I’m depressed than when I’m manic. And I understand why. I just wish I didn’t have to manage between two terrible choices. I’m so tired of managing.