I wanted to share with you how I sometimes feel and experience life.
Sometimes, it feels like there is a rage burning inside of me that I can’t get rid of. Negative emotions and reactions drown me and I’m constantly covered in tears and gasping for air. Talking to people exhausts me and I spend all of my free time procrastinating or trying to take a break from life by sleeping. I don’t feel like myself. The things and people I love don’t bring me joy the way I’m used to. I feel numb to everything unless overwhelming sadness or anger decide to make an appearance.
I feel out of body, like the world is happening all around me but I’m not apart of it. Moments of clarity are rare but every so often I see someone spill something on their white shirt, trip over a crack in the sidewalk, or make a mistake at work. These simple, sometimes embarrassing, moments remind me that everything is okay because we are all human, we all have moments of weakness, and eventually I will come back to myself and feel safe in my own body and mind again.
I usually first notice the vibrating. It feels like my bones are buzzing. My words tumble out of my mouth a million miles a minute. My sentences become shortened and quick. I can feel the weight of the words I can’t remember on the tip of my tongue. I feel electric as thoughts race through my mind.
The sun seems extra bright when I first open my eyes in the morning and I am often flooded with anxiety from nightmares. Once I am up, I am full of energy and excitement to start my day. I have productive days. I make lists, delete hundreds of emails I let let pile up, do all of my laundry, and read multiple books a day. I wash and deep condition my hair, shave and exfoliate. I try to feel clean from the inside out.
I feel amazing for days. I see everything through a different lens, one that is full of hope and gratitude. Sometimes, it can feel scary. I feel impulsive and like every choice I make is the right one. When I feel mania beginning to grab a hold of me, I know it’s time to buckle up. Being manic feels extraordinary, but one thought persists through the other thousand racing ones; eventually, this feeling will come to an end and I will begin a new cycle.
Once in a while, I am somewhere in the middle. I feel balanced, normal. These are my favorite times. Holding onto these days, or weeks can be nerve wracking sometimes because I know that at any moment, my mental state can dramatically change.
Having a mental illness means that I experience life in a very unique way. For now, all I can do is keep myself grounded and try to use this energy and perspective to live my life as happily and healthily as I can. It has its ups and downs, and not all depressive or manic episodes are easy to handle or to learn from. What’s important is that I practice gratitude, I take what I can from each experience, and I try to be present in each and every moment.