1. Relationships are hard.
As a couple, you have your ups and downs, but for those of us with manic depression, we really test our partners. We push all their buttons. We start questioning if they really do love us, even when everything is alright. What’s worst is that it often takes weeks to recover; and that blow is enough to disrupt a relationship. Can you imagine breaking up with someone you’re in love with because of a depressive episode? Often the relationship has reached the point where it has become so fragile it almost never recovers. It’s not as easy as ‘I love you’ or ‘I don’t love you.’ It’s so much more complicated than that.
2. We feel everything all at once.
Feelings bombard us all at once. It’s like having different versions of yourself inside your head and each one of them is committed to their own emotions. One of me could be having a mental breakdown in the corner, another me could be on fire, while the other me could be high riding on a unicorn. It’s almost like all the emotions are on a rampage and you don’t know what to feel. It’s messy. Muddled. Chaotic. This is why we say things we don’t mean to say. Because our mania can be so nerve-wrecking we feel as though we have to jump out of our own body.
3. We are treated like a land mine.
We don’t blame anyone. We know we are hard to understand. Heck, how can we expect others to understand us when we can’t even understand ourselves? But what we would like people to know is that we are not unstable. We still have control of our life at times. It makes things rather awkward when everyone is walking on eggshells all the time in our presence. If we laugh when your joke is funny, it’s because it really is and not because of a glitch in our head. We are not crazy. We aren’t psychotic killers. Take it easy, we won’t explode just because you said something wrong.
4. Medication doesn’t always work.
The complexity of the mind is scary. One prescription may work for one person but for another it may not. It’s hard when people think medication works 100% because most of the time, it really is just an aid. There is a lot of self-love and inner strength involved. You have to learn how to be gentle yet firm with yourself. You have to try different therapies even when you don’t think you need to. This can become one of the hardest thing to do because depending on the day, we could just get up in the morning and not want to go and not want to do anything. We want to feel as normal as we can every day. We want to live the kind of life that the others have. Sometimes that’s just harder for us.
5. We wake up every day without knowing what to expect.
We don’t know if we are going to wake up feeling manic, stable, or depressed. It keeps us on our toes because the moment we open our eyes, a new challenge is upon us. We fight a completely different war every day. These constant battles are tiring but they have also taught us to be strong; that it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Having manic depression doesn’t mean we are doomed to live our life in fear of the unknown. It is the strength to fight through and wake up each morning knowing that we are alive. We made it yesterday and we can again, today. This is what truly counts.