The wheels on the bus go round and round

The wheels on the bus go round and round

When did I know I was fucked up? Well you don’t really do you. I mean who defines fucked up. I didn’t know I was bipolar until a year ago. I always knew I was different, and most often than not this was a feeling of being an outsider, being a fraud, being a token weirdo, being a horrible human being who was inferior to everyone else. I was somehow a human being who deserved less of a place on this planet than other people. I was a speck of dirt on someone’s shirt, who could be brushed off and forgotten about and the world would carry on spinning as if nothing had happened. I was the weirdo dressed in plain sight as Mr Ordinary – that was my disguise. I could never be close to anyone. Besides, who would want to be close to me?

I don’t understand myself right now. I am lost between a place of wanting to be normal again, and starting to live life with an acceptance of what is wrong with me. That’s the fraud part of me coming into play. I can return to normal again as if nothing was ever wrong. But it is. Well part of me thinks it is, and part of me does not. Like the devil on the shoulder in Animal House, I have a voice in my head. It is not a random voice. It is my voice, and it is not nice. It tells me that all these thoughts about being bipolar are imaginary and to sort my shit out.

There’s a voice in there

This voice is the conduit for horrible thoughts. I am being careful here to distinguish between it being the “conduit for horrible thoughts” and the “conduit for my horrible thoughts”. They are not my own thoughts. They are thoughts that beat me up and they come from being ill. They are thoughts that make me think horrible things about myself. They are uncontrollable thoughts that no normal person would likely ever have. I beat myself up about them. They make me want to wring my brain out like a dishcloth and bounce my head off the walls.

To try and prove myself a fraud I have been searching for traits of bipolar on other blogs and books that I don’t tick the box with. Armed with this, I can go back to my psychiatrist (who obviously doesn’t know what she is doing) and say – look I can’t be bipolar – I’ve never done xyz. There’s more than one problem here though. Firstly, there are not that many references that I can find. Secondly, when I do find them, I find myself identifying with many of the issues that are being discussed, so I keep on looking to find something else.

When I’m unstable and my head isn’t thinking bad things about myself, it is either thinking at a million miles an hour, or I enter into a state of nothingness when I just tend to stare into space and ignore everything and everyone around me. One of these states is great (at the time) and the other is totally shit. Or I am just fine. And just fine is ninety percent of the time, and then I think I’m normal again. Apart from taking my meds to keep me normal. Hmm.

I can’t really think about anything else right now. Am I a twat who has imagined an illness that exhibits all of the traits of bipolar without having previously known what these are? Was I just temporarily like this – perhaps it was some sort of passing state of mind? Am I actually like this, and that voice in my head telling me otherwise is normal for other people as well who are not ill. I am having trouble dealing with shit right now and I want to come off my medication as it is playing havoc with me. I know I can’t as that really is not safe, but I want to. I want to be normal. I don’t like this shit. I am thinking like this because a few months ago, one person said “you’re not bipolar”. That’s all I can think about now when I’m thinking about bipolar and that is a lot and it is getting in the way of me doing other things. What they said must be true. I must be imagining all this shit. Erratic behaviour has never happened. Five weeks in a mental hospital never happened. My depression never happened. I have never spent money I didn’t have. I have never gambled way beyond my means. I am never overly sexual. I’ve not done all the other shit I have done. I must not be bipolar. 

Then again, I do obsess about stuff, which apparently is a sign of bipolar. But I’m not, so it can’t be related. Well not in my head right now. I did panic constantly about whether or not I had tightened up a bolt to the correct tension when I replaced the clutch in my car once. For about a month I thought the clutch would come flying out of the engine and hit me whilst I was driving the car. Then I took the car apart again, only to confirm that everything was exactly right the first time around. I am a perfectionist when it comes to that sort of thing, but I always worry. 

I do this over-worrying thing a lot. If the dryer is left on whilst we are out, the house is going to burn down. When I couldn’t breathe properly and had tested negative for Covid I thought I must have lung cancer. When people look at me for just a second it means they hate me. Even though I know I’ve locked the house up and have gone back and double checked already, sometimes more than once, I often have to go home to check that no one has broken in and wrecked the house. Apparently this might be something called catastrophising, which in my case is in no way related to being bipolar.

So what do I do? I’ve just bought Lost Marbles by Natasha Tracy and Owning Bipolar by Michael G. Pipich (no relation to this blog) to get some external input on things.

I have read a little of Lost Marbles, well quite a lot actually, I just read it very quickly so it felt like a little. Lots of stuff is resonating, but the first thing that stood out was her description of depression. When I feel depressed, I don’t necessarily feel anything. It is like you are dead inside, and that is exactly how she describes it. I’ve now qualified the fact that I had indeed suffered from depression. That realisation, again, along with the five weeks treatment in a mental hospital (albeit a nice one) along with months of day patient care and therapy mean that I can now tick off one of the boxes of bipolar. That won’t be enough though. I think I’ll always be looking for ways to prove that I’m perfectly fine. Is that obsessive behaviour? I don’t know. Probably is.

I think this might be a vicious cycle I’ll be in for the rest of my life. Better get used to it. Bugger.

Scully

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2 Comments

  1. A lot of the experiences you are mentioning here, people experience without being bipolar as well Xx I overthink all the time, this adds to my chronic fatigue. The hack I have found is t to think I should be this or I should be that but to accept the now and think what do I want. In my case I want to quiet the noise. I accept this won’t happen all the time but I don’t beat myself up about it, I meditate or do yoga. I am still focused but on positive action. I guess for you running does the same thing? Through therapy I have learnt to befriend these voices and name them. I can’t tell you how much it has helped and if you want, I can’t go through it with you? As a good friend who is bipolar said to me, “being bipolar is a diagnosis but it doesn’t define me, it is a way to understand actions but it is up to me to learn how I want to work with it in my life”…. “I am me and learning to be me is the most important thing”. My journey has lead me towards Buddhism, it helps with the noise and helps to make sense of the world. We all have to cherry pick and find what works for us but the most important thing is to go forward, learn from the past and accept what can’t be changed. Breathe, nice deep breathes everytime you get stuck in the loop Xx stop and breath Xx here if you need me xx

  2. Just to be clear I am not saying you are not bipolar!! I am saying lots of us have quiet battles we are waging. If you view it with love and kindness it stops being a battle and it becomes another way to develop compassion for ourselves and others Xx

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