Updated: Jun 21
What would you do if your brain was telling you one thing, but everyone you loved was telling you the opposite? Who would you believe?
Perhaps the most frustrating part of bipolar is the times when I get delusions. There are two main types of delusions that go along with Bipolar…delusions of grandeur, where you think you are super important and amazing, which you get when you are manic, and paranoid delusions, when you think the whole world is out to get you and you just aren’t safe, which can happen when you are in a deep depression.
In the last month as we have been completely changing over my medicine to protect my kidneys, my moods have been swinging all over the place. At some point I must have been in a bit of a hypo-mania, because I wrote a letter to the president about a homeless shelter in Monroe, MI that was having to close because they didn’t have enough mental health support, and I truly believed that he was going to call me back and we would fix the problem and chat and life would be good. When my phone rang three minutes after I sent the email, I was literally shocked that it was my mom calling and not President Biden.
I was so sure that I had enough contacts and that everyone cared about people with mental illness as much as I did, that we would be able to create some kind of task force that would work together, solve the problem, and make it safe for all the homeless people in Monroe County. No one would be out on the street in the middle of winter. All my supports kept telling me this wasn’t realistic, but I was so sure. I was sure that this was what God put me on Earth to do, and that I was going to do it. It's devastating when it’s over to realize this was just a symptom, it wasn’t real, and you don’t have that kind of power.
This week I’ve been having the opposite kind of a problem. I saw on a TV show that a mom said we are at war and need to prepare our children to fight back. Then I found out that they shot down the Chinese weather balloon and I became so sure that the Chinese were going to unite with the Communist countries and that they were going to start a war here. I was ready to drag my bed and my mini fridge and my microwave downstairs because I thought I would be safer from the bombs, but I was sure that they were going to catch me and make me a prisoner of war. That I would be much better off to just die than to be tortured.
My best friend just kept telling me, there is no war, we are safe. I didn’t feel safe, but I decided I would rather die in my room and slept in my bed there. I laid there for hours thinking I was hearing bombs. Today it’s a little better. On a scale of 1 to 10 my anxiety is like a 7 instead of 57, and I can see how these thoughts aren’t entirely realistic. But in the moment, they just feel so real, and the truth is that tonight or tomorrow or the next day, they may feel very real again. I don’t know. I don’t have control of them and I don’t really know what to do differently. Maybe there are some skills that I just don’t know yet.
There are times that I dream about working full time again. Being a special education teacher or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, or even something completely different. But then I have these periods where I don’t have control of my brain, and I know that is not an option. Maybe I’ll make it as an author and I’ll be able to have some income from that, because at least that I can do on my good days. It’s hard. It’s hard not to know when what you are thinking is real or not.
Most days I end my posts with something encouraging, to remind you that there is always hope. But right now everything is really hard. My meds are a mess, I’m having sinus surgery on Friday, I’ve been struggling with continuous sinus infections for months, and I am just incredibly overwhelmed. I’ll promise to keep fighting if you will. And if you can keep me in your thoughts and prayers this week, I, and my whole support team, would really appreciate it. Thanks