I Hate Myself for Having Bipolar, I Forgive Myself for Having Bipolar

Bipolar disorder feels like a curse. It feels like somewhere, somehow, I’ve ticked off an old, horror-movie, crone and she’s cursed me to 1000 years of suffering. 1000 years of grating, clawing, slicing, pounding agony.

Any why do people get cursed? People get cursed because they did something wrong. I must have done something wrong. I must have done something unspeakably wrong. And I hate myself for it.

I Hate Myself for Having Bipolar

It’s the crazy, bipolar thoughts in my head, I know, but they tell me that I’m bad – I must be because I have bipolar disorder. Having bipolar disorder proves that I did something wrong. Why else could I possibly have to endure this life? This life of suffering? This life of tears and sorrow and pain and loneliness and general fucked-up-edness.

Being bipolar feels like being deficient. And who wouldn’t hate themselves for being this altogether deficient.

Swirling Bipolar Thoughts of Hate

These are just a tiny smattering of the thoughts that haunt me. On the bad days, they overwhelm me. On the bad days they convince me of my self-hatred and they drive me to consider the only way of rectifying the problem – suicide.

But the truism about thoughts of hate is that they aren’t true and they are counter-productive. We have to forgive ourselves for our bipolar, for our perceived deficiency, if we are to move forward.

I Forgive Myself for Having Bipolar

I Forgive Myself for BipolarNow, I realize that I’ve done nothing wrong. I realize that life happens. Bipolar happens. Bad things happen to the best of people. So there is, natrually, nothing to forgive.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t need, or at least use, for forgiveness though.

Because even if the deficiency isn’t real per se, and even if there is no fault per se, it doesn’t mean that real forgiveness isn’t helpful. It’s our own brains perceiving the sin and it’s our own brains that can release that by offering forgiveness.

So, on the worst of days, when it all feels like it’s over, futile and useless, I remind myself of forgiveness. I remind myself that I deserve forgiveness as much as any other human being. I remind myself that the bipolar isn’t my fault and that I didn’t do anything wrong. I remind myself that the forces that messed up my brain were not out to get me, they just were.

And I remind myself of these things so I can move on. Because it takes a lot of work to fight the bipolar, I don’t need to fight myself at the same time.

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  1. I found myself here AGAIN this weak. Fortunately I have someone in my life now who cares enough to read the material and does not get tired of reminding me of where I am and it is not my fault. So I keep trying. Hope you all do to.

  2. I was diagnosed bipolar a year ago. I am still learning to deal with this and also trying to understand.. i have lost some friends along the way.. i am a single mother of a wonderful beautiful 4 year old boy and i have days where i am so helpless..i make decisions that are not right and i have so much to understand..

  3. I hate bi polar. I’ve fought it for so long but not sure how much fight is still in me. My episodes are terrible. If it was for my family I would have no problem killing myself. Good luck to all with illness love you all

  4. I know all too well the struggles of bipolar. I’ve had struggles with mood swings, suicide attempts, cutting, and anxiety. I had my first hospitalization at 11 and was misdiagnosed until I was 16. After I was given a concrete diagnosis, it all made sense to me. I began doing as much research as I could and found great ways learning to deal with the Bipolar lifestyle. Even though the only treatment that I currently have is medication, I think I’m fairing decently. I’ve managed to tame everything to thoughts most of the time. It takes an incredible amount of self control many days, but it is doable. My faith (Christian) has been my rock throughout this long recovery process. God gives us all our own things that we have to deal with in this life, our own crosses to bear. I know that the struggles of this lifetime will eventually be traded in for an eternity with our creator, and that gives me some sort of solace. There are some days where it is terrible. The thoughts seem overwhelming and I don’t want to get out of bed for fear of doing something I’ll regret. While this burden may seem too heavy right now, eventually you learn to contain everything to your head and not to actions.

  5. I have a friend that suffers from bipolar that I truly care about and it means the world to me to understand this illness because I see this person soul and it hurts me to see her suffer thru these mood cycles. It’s truly hard for ALL involved but I take it day by day,step by step to stay by her side no matter what so when she come around to feeling well it won’t be to hard for her, I’m praying that she find the the meds and not give up.

  6. Ugh … I don’t even know what to think … sometimes I joke that I must have done something horrible in a former life to have deserved this. I don’t like to be bitter (or do I? I think I am getting used to it) but I do not understand why I was even put here if it was only to suffer. Or, okay, make ME suffer, FINE. But why all these years of causing everybody I love and care for pain and confusion and suffering? Who or what do I forgive? Every day I wince and feel embarrassment over every single one of those hundreds of those “compressed speech” and “cascade of thoughts” moments from 19 … 14 … 23 … 8 years ago. The Manic Me just pummels me with those memories. It might be easier if the people in my life had a better understanding of why I am the way I am … but it just won’t happen … we’re all on in life and their image of me is set: selfish weirdo … and it hurts.

    • That’s sad, Jeff. Doesn’t sound like your friends are able see all of who you are anymore. Don’t feel so bad. It could be much worse. I hadn’t had a manic episode in years, then one day a series of stressful events occurred, then I was prescribed antidepressants, then it was just a big mess after that. Do you think anyone can remember me before my manic episode? Nope. Don’t talk to those people anymore. In the end, you’ll see how hollow and shallow they really are. Such is the state of those who need to judge.

  7. Crap I’m so glad I found this today. I really hate myself right now. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    • Hi Shann,

      I’m 56 years old and never hated myself, but always felt “different” from the others.
      I was diagnosed at 32 yrs of age, and at 50yrs, I finally found the right medication and the right doctor. Keep searching Shann, they are out there.

      You should never hate yourself, you’re one of Gods creations :)……and he loves you!!!

  8. Thanks for youy thoughtful piece. One thing these illnesses have made clear to me: bad things most definitely happen to good people, and the world in many ways makes not the least bit of sense. We want to think all is well and in control as that idea is comforting, but the cost in terms of blaming people for their suffering is far too high in my estimation. Perhaps of all the infinite possibilities for such a complex reality, there is no way to avoid all suffering, in which case even faith in God would be completely consistent with my world view. In any case, with any event, we give it much of its meaning by the way we choose to respond to it, and in this way we can create positives from pure crap, or at least mitigate the crappiness some.

    • You should read Natasha’s blog post in regards to what you just said. Sometimes, there is no way to spin this (bipolar) in a positive way. It just plain sucks. I hate waking up in the morning knowing it. I hate having to adjust my lifestyle. I hate the medication, and I especially hate taking them. More than anything, I hate the stigma. I hate thinking that one day my employer might find out and begin the gruelling proceedings of “making you quit” without firing you. I hate to think I might not have a job. I hate the fact that my friends treat me differently, even though they think they don’t. Same goes for my family. You know what I think? If you are fortunate enough to have good people around you to mitigate the onslaugh of crap that goes your way, you might be okay. If you have a shred of faith leftover, maybe that can be spun into some mute acceptance. If you have some sort of talent, you can write blogs or other other constructive things – but something positive? Come on. Even Natasha uses a nom de plum, and you know what? I would too! There’s so much self-protecting you have to do that it is suffocating.

      • I just want to add… There are alot of good folks on this site who are dealing with this and doing their best to get by and maybe thrive. I want to apologize if my negative rant bummed you out.

  9. Oh… horrible. How much i am overwhelmed i cannot speak. i don’t have fluent talk. always have buzzing sound in my ears. I fear that i will isolated with this sound. i cannot explain how much i am suffering.

    but i will beat this.
    i will be successful one day

  10. Thank you for your post. My situation is a bit different, but the message of forgiveness is a timely one for me right now. I am not, like several of the other respondents, a practicing Christian, although I respect the faith. But I certainly understand the value of forgiving.

    In my case it is not an issue of forgiving myself for being bipolar, but for unknowingly passing the illness to my son. Others tell me it is ridiculous to blame myself, that of course it isn’t my fault, to stop feeling guilty. But, of course, it is my fault, however unintentional. He would not have been hospitalized for being suicidal at 14 if not for my genetic “gift.” My drugs are his drugs, my symptoms his symptoms.

    The picture of my bright, laughing son curled into himself on the floor screaming and weeping that he just wanted to end it all will never, ever, be erased from my mind and heart. And I am responsible, in a way maybe only another bipolar can understand.

    Fortunately my son sees me as his mentor, his guide. We have an amazing relationship, and he turns to me when he is sliding out of control. I am beyond grateful.

    But forgiveness. I have never forgiven myself. No, I didn’t do it on purpose. I had no idea I was bipolar when I chose to have children. But I feel no less guilty. You’re right, though. I must choose forgiveness, as you are doing. Day by day, minute by minute.

    Thanks again, and don’t lose heart in the fight,
    It’s always worth it.
    Angela

    • Hi Angela,

      You are right, you need to forgive yourself. You can not truly help your child if you’re constantly blaming yourself.

      And, in case you were wondering, my father has bipolar and I don’t blame him for mine. I’m sure your son feels (or will feel) the same way.

      It’s not your fault. Bad things happen. Even to kids. It’s not fair. But it’s not your fault.

      – Natasha Tracy

  11. Oh gosh, can I relate! I’ve not been diagnosed bipolar, but relate to the feelings since I have a TBI, and all too often feel like I’m some alien life form having to live out my punishment in nearly solitary confinement. How I feel deficient, omg, that’s all my world is, it seems.

    But you’re right, things just happen. There is no punishment for us being bad and those nasty, noisy negative things that swirl around in our heads can drown the strongest person. I can so relate to wanting to end my life so it will be over…sometimes I only barely hang on with the knowledge it resolves nothing.

    Hugs. I feel you.

  12. I am 46 and have suffered and struggled – yes, suffered and struggled – with mental illness for nearly as long as I can remember. I did not seek help, until I was 8. It’s been a long long life.

    Some days I wonder if I will suffer and struggle for the rest of my life. On those days; I see no light at the end of the tunnel. I want to close the tunnel.

    I work full time and I must struggle with my symptoms, in silence. Even when the moods shift and stuff “falls out”… I tend to then try extremely hard to shove it all back in.

    It really is extremely hard to fight yourself everyday, to monitor every thought – decision – feeling, every day… cause you have to… you have to monitor everyday – which then leads to fighting.. yourself… everyday.

    get so tired… fighting

  13. I’m bipolar, too. I’m also Christian [Mormon]. This is my take on this affliction: this struggle/sickness God allows [“suffers”, as said in the scriptures] to happen to us that we might more readily be justified by having to suffer in this life. In this way, we might be more humble and look to Him for strength. That’s just my take. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of being bipolar…nothing to forgive…anymore than a person with cancer.

    • Hi Charles,

      Just wanted to add that you are right as far as to stay with the Lord, however, we have chemical imbalances that we were born with, which means, we all need the RIGHT medication along with prayer. I suffered for 50 years. Finally, found the right doctor and the right meds , but the Lord was ALWAYS with me, I know. :)

  14. Surely forgiveness is an imperative and positive approach in coping with episodes that one experiences with bipolar disorder.. I would like to share an excerpt from my book : “Power of Positivity” :

    Perhaps the biggest tragedy of being afflicted by bipolar disorder is the frequent inability to create healthy situations and prevent destructive ones. In struggling against the disorder, those afflicted often bring about horrific pain, tumult and heartache. One must exert control over the small thoughts that initially lead to irrational and poisonous emotions. Therefore, it is necessary to master the thoughts that precede this eventual commitment. When struggling to maintain a healthy mood and rational thinking, you can simply declare within that you have firmly committed to not letting an episode flare up. You must then become unambiguously dedicated to a beneficial, non-explosive, neutral or even positive outcome.

    The underlying thinking here is that you are converting what potentially began as something destructive and toxic, into what has the possibility of being a normal, safe, and advantageous result. By working with a positive self-help attitude in conjunction with you medications, this will act as a powerful affirmation that you can continue to build a strong sense of stability. You are in control of your thinking, your moods, and your life. Believing you have control over yourself is absolutely imperative to positively affecting your reality, and supported by your medications, you have a positive chance of effectively thwarting potential episodes.

  15. This is a normal cycle of emotions that occur with such disorders as bipolar. I say normal simply because I haven’t met anyone who has bipolar disorder who hasn’t struggled with some form of self-hatred.
    I think the biggest part of the confusion with bipolar disorder and such brain disorders is that people try to equate it to regular human emotional responses when in fact bipolar depression isn’t caused by an emotion and neither is mania though both can trigger many different emotions/moods. That is why I don’t agree with calling bipolar disorder a mood disorder because it is not the mood that I am in that is triggering the bipolar it is quiet the opposite .. thus to me that explains why I may feel angry yet I have no real reason why i feel angry when I am experiencing an episode and on the other hand I can be having a pretty good day but then something shifts and i can find myself going through bipolar depression however that doesn’t mean I don’t have normal human emotions and normal human responses to circumstances .. and just like stress can trigger a seizure in a person with epilepsy I do believe that stressful events can bring on a bipolar episode … I mean people don’t blame the tremors etc. of a grand mal seizure as being the cause for the seizure instead the seizing of the area of the brain causes the tremors and that is what the emotional responses or moods that may be present during a bipolar episode is about it is the fact that part of the chemistry in our brain is not functioning as it should which causes a deficient in the way we respond or perceive our environment around us …
    However as individuals we think we should be able to control our moods and emotions etc. but a person with epilepsy who has a grand mal seizure can’t very well control the tremors or even at times their bodily functions. so with bipolar being a disorder within the brain it is fair to realize that we may not have control over the emotions and moods that are spun out of the bipolar tornado in our brains. I think we all who suffer with it need to let ourselves off the hook and understand that at times we may not have control over our moods or emotions …
    that doesn’t mean I make an excuse for bad behavior etc instead I try my best to be a person of integrity regardless of what my brain is doing I am not always able too but when I can I am.

    I struggle with both moments of self-hatred and suicidal thoughts … and really I am starting to see both of these as symptoms of the disorder because it is not that I truly hate myself nor do I really want to die it’s just that well I have a human mind that tries to process an overwhelming and often times confusing disorder! and the way I sometimes deal with this is to vent just vent and get it out even though it may not make sense or even be based on the truth of my circumstances it is better to get it out rather than letting it build up inside ..

  16. I use to feel that way when it came to my struggle with infetility. What had i done wrong? Why could the little teeny boopers at the high school where i worked get pregnant, but i could not? But as depression set in and i was diagnosed with worsening fibromyalgia, i became thankful that i did not have children. I know i could not take care of children much less myself. Right now the depression is the worst. I can take a pill to contol pain or exercise to help stiff muscles. So far i have not found the right thing to control the depression. I am fine for 6 months at the most, then i have a really bad episode. Thx so much for your blog. I feel like for the first time someone is expressing what i have felt for years, but have not been able to explain to others.

  17. I have had bipolar for fourty years and have suffered over 25 hospitalizations and countlesses losses. I have been wondering if there is a spiritual demintion to my illness or not .I am a Christian and have been since I accepted the Lord into my heart at 12 years old, but there is such a thing as oppression from the enemy ,even as a believer. I know God doesn’t punish His children, so why has He allowed this Bipolar Illness to ravish my life? I know that in the Bible He says ” All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” and I believe that! Thats me! So why the unspeakable horror? I waiting for the good He promises and know He is faithful. Can anyone relate?

  18. Forgiveness is key to bipolar in particular, of all the mental illnesses. The awful things we have said and done to others during our “bad” episodes (both manic and depressed) often leave us with all of our bridges burnt, and all of our friends and relatives departed from our lives. Forgiveness is a word that follows us around until we are stable enough to consider whether we are forgiveable; it is important to be able to forgive ourselves, whether or not we can find forgiveness from others.

    I have been working on that one issue, forgiving myself, for several years now. It’s not easy, not easy at all. I hope some day to be able to report to the world that I have succeeded, but that day has not yet arrived.

  19. I’ve accepted my mental illness, and I use to be so paranoid and always felt so alone, but now, having the right doc and God in my life, I know that I’m NOT alone……..so many people are mentally ill, and I wish them and you all, the best that life has to offer us.

    Since my life was so overwhelmingly horrid, now that I’m 56 and happy, I bought The Dragon software, so hopefully I can write a book about this horrid illness we have.

    Love and Peace,

    June

    • Hi June,
      I hope you do write a book. I like your use of the word ‘horrid’ in your post. I haven’t read it since primary school when I was reading Enid Blyton books. And yet it’s so absolutely perfect. Bipolar is horrid, like a big pile of poo or something. Made me smile.

  20. Hi Natasha
    Thinking of you and your post.
    I hate being bipolar too
    I am still in the forgiveness and acceptance stages
    As my doctor said “bipolar sucks”
    Some people have other crosses to carry, this is ours
    Someday i will make peace with it
    Penny

  21. This is a wonderful article. So many people don’t understand what a person being bipolar goes through in a any given day. At times I have clarity, and know I am going to be just fine. Then something will happen, who knows what, but, my attitude changes. I don’t know why, but it does, and I will discover I am self loathing, I don’t want anyone to even look at me. It may be that I am pushing my cart down the grocery isle and another person may have to go to the side just a bit with their cart to let me by, and I feel like I am going to get sick. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. Sometimes I know I am going to get better, then moments later I know as soon as I am alone I will end my life. Being bipolar, having lupus, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, etc., is a non-ending balancing act. I would love to know I will grow old and die a peaceful death.

  22. Hi honey,

    No, you are NOT cursed in any way………..there are so many, many mentally ill, bipolars out there, that you wouldn’t believe it.
    I am one of them…..docs say I am one, if not THE worst they have ever seen. I’ve been miserable all of my life, so I decided to shoot myself under the chin. I survived , I’m a living miracle.

    I am very happy now. I finally found the right doctor with the right meds. That’s what you need. Keep searching for docs that will actually help you. Abilify helped me tremendously, as did adderal.

    So please , put faith in God, w hich I have done, and keep searching for the right doctor. :)

    E-mail me if you wish.

    Love,
    a fellow bipolar

    June