Every day my life is full of a conundrum of mysterious activity inside my brain.
I have Bipolar Disorder 1 and the word bipolar itself refers to the two poles of energetic extremes. Therefore, contained inside my brain are two poles of energetic extremes that will ignite at unexpected and unplanned moments throughout my day and during my lifetime. It does cause my life to be very interesting with never a dull moment, which I guess is a good thing.
Unexpected and unplanned surprises can sometimes be awesome experiences. For example, a surprise Birthday party or 50th Anniversary celebration planned and attended by many friends and loved ones is an awesome example of a great, positive and unexpected surprise. Also, the day your child is born is always an awesome and miraculous unexpected life event and blessing at the time of the birth of your baby.
However, there are no balloons or gifts to celebrate the unexpected surprise for me when I have happy and positive mood poles to experience throughout my day or upcoming weeks. On the other hand, when my extreme mood poles switch to severe negative symptoms of severe depression causing hospitalization or the inability for me to work or leave my house there are no get well cards or hot dishes or even visitors to give me get well wishes.
Waking up each morning not fully knowing or understanding the complexity of what is going on inside my brain at that particular moment and not knowing what to truly expect throughout my day or upcoming weeks or months can be kind of scary if I would let myself think about it too much. Also, it can become difficult sometimes to plan things ahead of time because I never know for sure how I will feel in the near future.
I have Bipolar Disorder 1 with mixed episodes and rapid cycling. Bipolar Disorder 1 is the most severe type of Bipolar Disorder and mine is even more severe as I have mixed episodes and rapid cycling as well.
Bipolar Disorder 1 is defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed episodes (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible. With rapid cycling, mood poles can swing quickly from low to high and back again and can occur over periods of a few days and sometimes even hours.
During my life now, I try not to think about the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder or Bipolar Disease, as I choose to call it. I try to just live my life the best way I can and always remember to look for and find the many positive aspects and small and large blessings in my life.
Sometimes, however things will be said or happen that remind me unfortunately that I do have Bipolar Disorder. Unexpectedly the negative symptoms of my Bipolar Disorder can crash loudly back into my life and then I am forced to live and survive the severe symptoms and ugliness of this disease.
Since my diagnosis over 22 years ago I have become a stronger person and have learned to live with the ever changing spectrum of my Bipolar symptoms and accept my illness, which was extremely important as acceptance of Bipolar Disorder is the very first step in recovery.
It was also essential for me to give myself a new identity of sorts and to learn to love myself. I am still working on learning to love myself more.
I live my life moment to moment, day by day and sometimes even minute by minute surviving the conundrum of unexpected activity inside my Bipolar brain.
Most importantly I am alive and I am a Bipolar Disorder survivor.