Focusing on Not Making My Bipolar Disorder Worse

Focusing on Not Making My Bipolar Disorder Worse

My daily life is based around the single concept of not making my bipolar disorder worse. It seems I’ve gotten past the point where I can do anything to get better, so all I can do is not make my bipolar disorder worse. This is an incredibly depressing realization. This realization posits that I will be in pain every day and the only thing I can do is not make that pain worse. I will continue to be bludgeoned every day, all I can do is make the club smaller.

I don’t mean to be depressing, I don’t, but this is the truth for me. I truly can’t do anything to make myself better on a daily basis. I keep trying with depression treatment and it works, to a degree, but day-to-day, there is nothing I can do to make the bipolar better. I’m just beyond that point. Any coping skill, any technique, any therapy, any anything just doesn’t work.

What Can You Do to Help Bipolar Pain?

My friend is a smarty and if I tell him I feel really depressed and even suicidal, he’ll always say, “What can you do to help? What’s the plan?”

His point is I need an action plan when I feel that bad so I actually get through it and don’t cave to it. He tries to engage my logical self so that I can point out actions that will make me not die.

Sometimes you can't make bipolar disorder better, all you can do is focus on not making bipolar disorder pain worse. Here's how I deal with this realization.This is smart on his part. It acknowledges the suffering and tries to step beside it. It’s slightly manipulative (but for the right reasons), and I know what he’s doing when it does it, but he does it anyway.

But the thing that he doesn’t really firmly get in his soul is that there is nothing I can do to make this better. He, like everyone else, has experiences that can be changed via action or attitude. I am not in that space. The bipolar disorder has me. It’s strangling me. It does it every day. I can do nothing to pry its hands from my neck. All I can do is not make the pain worse.

Not Making My Bipolar Pain Worse

And that’s something, I suppose. I mean, that’s a thing I can do and that’s a thing I must do in order not to die. I have to not make bipolar pain worse because I can’t handle any more “worse.”

And somehow, in spite of this realization about my life revolving around not making a chronic, possibly-lethal illness worse, I have to keep going. I know the pain is going to be there, omnipresent in my life. Even realizing and acknowledging this is not a reason to die. I know this. I’m telling you this. Daily pain does not equal death, it just equals daily pain.

And, yes, I know it’s exhausting and, yes, I’m very tired. But I also know that the next medication change may lead to a new reality for me. Maybe the bipolar symptoms will lift enough such that something actually will make me feel better and it won’t just be a matter of not making my bipolar worse. Treatment has the power to do that sort of thing. That’s why it exists.

But until then I will live with the excruciating knowledge that nothing makes me feel better. Nothing. The only thing I am actually capable of is making the pain of bipolar disorder worse. So the only actions I can take is those that avoid that.

Banner image by Libertarian Girl.


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.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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