I Need a Break from Bipolar
I need a break from bipolar. Like, seriously. You know when people say they need a vacation? These people have no idea what it really is to need a vacation. When you have a chronic illness, you suddenly understand what real, daily pressure is and how much you need to get away from it – if only you could. I wish I could get a break from bipolar.
The Stress and Pressure of Bipolar
People have no idea how bipolar affects every minute of my life. From the time I wake up feeling exhausted and not wanting to move, to the time I take my meds, to the time I don’t want to move from the couch because of pain, to the time I take more meds, to the time I must use my coping skills to be moderately stable, to the time when I must try, desperately, to use every trick I know to try and calm myself down so that I can sleep. People have no idea the kind of stress and pressure bipolar puts you under – every, single, goddamn day.
And perhaps, worst of all, all the above is invisible. People practically think I’m making up all that pain. People practically think I’m making up all that exhaustion. I’m not. All of that is very, painfully, horrifically real.
And, on top of all that, is that I’m mentally fatigued from having to deal with all that all day every day. Seriously. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, as they say. Bipolar treatment does its best to keep me alive, and I am, so clearly it works, but it’s not exactly the most foolproof thing or the most 100% effective thing (especially when your father just died).
A Break from Bipolar
So what I need, more than anything else, is a break from bipolar. And this doesn’t mean an average vacation as I have found that the average vacation can make bipolar worse, not better. I mean a real, mental break from this brain disease. I need someone to relieve me of the suffering for just a little while. Maybe if it just happened for a few days, it would motivate me to keep going knowing that it could happen again.
However, a vacation from bipolar, as we all know, isn’t possible. No one can fix your brain for a week like you can visit a sunny and sandy destination. There are no vacations from bipolar.
And that is tough to swallow, it really is. I feel for everyone with an uncontrolled chronic disorder because it’s the same for all of us. We all suffer every day. And it’s hard for all of us to swallow that reality.
But, as I’ve said before, there are reasons to keep going. There are reasons to fight rapid cycling. There are reasons to fight depression. There are reasons to fight pain. Those reasons are likely different for everyone, but they exist. And the biggest, perhaps, is hope for the future. Hope that the future will not be as bleak as the present. The hope that the future will bring a bit of a break from bipolar because treatment will simply work better.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.