I’ve written about why you should keep fighting the pain of depression and bipolar disorder before. This is one of my most referred to articles, actually, as I think it makes a solid anti-suicide argument and is something to remember when you’re overwhelmed with the pain of depression and mental illness.
But a commenter said something I think many people would say about fighting bipolar disorder:
. . . but I’m too tired to fight bipolar disorder. . .
Yeah. I understand. I’ve felt too tired for years.
Bipolar Disorder Grinds You Down
Lifelong diseases like depression, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses naturally grind people down because they never go away. (This isn’t to say that some people don’t recover, they do; I’m just not talking about them at the moment.)
Bipolar disorder and depression suck the life out of you because they’re there every moment of your life. For people who don’t manage to get into remission, fighting these mental illnesses becomes a moment-to-moment battle. Every second of the day the depression or bipolar disorder is whispering lies into their ears and every second of the day the mentally ill person has to stand up to those voices and recognize them as illness. In the morning. In the evening. At night. Your brain cannot be trusted.
It’s freaking exhausting.
And you never get a break. You never get a moment’s rest. There isn’t a time when the illness takes a vacation and so you never get one either. Every day, every day, every day, the same. Fight, fight, fight. There might be the best reasons in the world to fight a mental illness but that doesn’t mean it isn’t gruelling as all hell.
Fighting Bipolar Disorder
And so, when someone says they’re too tired to keep fighting bipolar disorder I completely get it. I think it’s reasonable and I think it’s rational. No one knows how hard you’re working to keep going every day. You have every right to want a break. You have every right to want to throw up your hands in the shattering strain of it.
But you still have to fight.
I know, I said it was reasonable to not want to, but you still don’t get to stop. I’m sorry, I wish I had better news for you, but the numbers are in, and I insist you go on living.
But the good news is that sometimes fighting just means taking the next breath. Bipolar disorder, depression, what have you, wants you to die. The disease wants to rob you of everything you will experience tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. But you’re not going to let it. You’re going to breath. In and out. One at a time. One moment at a time. Knowing that if that’s the best fight you can put up at the moment, it’s enough.
Being tired is OK. Screaming that you’re tired is OK. But just take that next breath. That’s all you have to do right now.