This was my submission for Bipolar Parenting Project today.
It is an everyday struggle to not the feed into the beast. What is the beast you ask? It is my bipolar disorder. And if I don’t watch it closely it will swallow me whole and never ever spit me back out. For those of you who do not have some kind of mental health issue, you cannot really fathom the everyday struggle I go through.
I am not medicated. I could go through a list of twenty bullshit reasons why I am not currently medicated. Honestly, it is because I am horrible about taking medication. So in my head it is a waste of time and money. Why go through the process if I am not going to stay with program? Why waste the therapist and psychiatrist’s time? I am a boomerang patient. I have been going and not going to the same office for 10 years. I have seen three different therapists there. Just when we are really getting somewhere I stop going. Usually it is because of cost. At $20 a session, three times a week, it gets pretty expensive.
So I have been self-treating is some respect of the concept. My treatment is refusing to feed “the beast”. Sometimes it is simple things like putting in my contacts, brushing my teeth and putting a bra on. Sounds kinda of silly but forcing myself to have a routine keeps the depression at bay. You see depression is a sly beast. She comes slinking out of nowhere, slowly taking over. She is the craftier of the two “beasts”. It always starts out small. You feel tired, maybe a little down. Much like most feel on a rainy day or the end of a long winter. She presses this weight down upon you. You could get up and clean up the dishes but instead you will watch just one more show. The doubt creeps into your mind like gently whispers in the wind. “ No one is reading what you right so why are you bothering?” “No one cares about your problems so stop being such a burden” “Why are even around? You are just a waste of space” She infest your mind like a parasite. She wheedles her way into your head until there is nothing of you left. You find yourself on the couch in the same outfit from Tuesday unable to will yourself to move. You haven’t showered in days and your house is a disaster. You look around and all you can think is how much of a failure you are. In that moment, she has won.
Now mania, he is comes at you like a hurricane. He is of the two “beasts” to feed. He knows how to make you feel good. He can make you feel absolutely invincible. He leaves you with sparks of creative genius left and right. He makes you feel like a beautiful sex goddess. However, he is much like an abusive boyfriend. He starts out sweet and innocent but then after a while his true colors come out of the darkness. My blog was actually a child of my brush with mania. Conceived out of the notion that I was going to make a huge impact in the world and blogging community. It started off well. I was slowly gaining followers and even made few friends. However with Mania, it wasn’t enough. I am an instant gratification manic. If something doesn’t take off instantly, I start to panic. And Mania, he just feeds right into that doubt. He starts calling me a failure and that I am not as great as I thought. I am not going to make a difference. But due to his double edged nature, he offers alternative and new ideas. He will just keep shoving ideas at you until you can’t keep them straight. I go days without writing because I can’t get anything to make sense.
Unless it is 2am, then and only then does the sweet inspiration you began with come back. It comes with a price: Insomnia. Insomnia is a crony of Mania. Insomnia’s greatest pleasure is for you to go without sleep for days. Once you give into Insomnia and Mania, it is hard to break its grasp. They will leave you broke and sleepless without even a care. When they are finished with you they will just pass you off to Depression.
Back and forth, over and over again until you are broken down. The cycle will just keep going on and on unless you end it. You have to be willing to stop feeding the “beasts”. You have to make yourself get off the couch. You have to be willing to let that inspiration at 2am go. It is a very hard long road. Much like an alcoholic, it is just as easy to relapse into the cycle. I myself have relapsed many times. Yet somehow, I find the strength to fight “the beasts” again.
12 thoughts on “Feeding the Beast”
Such a powerful post. Thank you for sharing. My son has a Dx of BP2 among others. He chooses not to medicate or seek outside support.
Thank you and Your welcome. I was diagnosed as a teen and from various therapists I have learned different coping skills. It has taken me years to get to this place. My support system is the key for me. Without them I would be lost. I believe treatment and support has its place esp with children and teens. I also believe what may work for one may not work for another. You just have to keep trying until you find what works best for you.
Very powerful post! It’s so easy to give in to the beast, no matter what form they take. Congrats to you on staying strong and sharing your story.
Thank you so much!
Oh, I think I’m your newest blog fan. I don’t have bi-polar but my brother does. Instead, I just suffer from chronic depression and so does my mother and my sister. Wow. What a family. I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you. I can’t believe you’re not on medication. I can’t go more than 2 days and I fall into a downward spiral that lasts for too long. I agree, it’s a daily struggle. Take care, and I’ll see you next post. Peace
Aw. Thanks. I think I am blushing. It has been a long hard road to get where I am at. I think growing up with mental illness has better help me understand it. Everyday is a struggle. I just keep telling myself, “Always have Hope”
It took me a while to write a comment because I can’t stop thinking about your post. Your words are awesome and I am happy to have read the, I suffer depression.I do not mean to compare the two but I know the struggle of trying to get “it” together and being physically and emotionally unable. Good luck and thank you for sharing.
Thank you. There is no need to compare. Depression is a very real struggle. It deserves no less attention. This is really for anyone who can relate. I am glad it was something you could relate to.
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I don’t have bipolar, but I do have ADHD — not officially diagnosed. I only learned about it 9 years ago, from an alternative health care practitioner who recognized the signs of hyperfocusing. No one ever guessed while I was growing up, not even me. I am an introvert, so all hyperactivity is inside.
My take-away from you is, Don’t self-medicate!! I don’t mean I take any pills, but I have my ways of numbing the pain and silencing the chaos — but in so doing, I am only feeding the Beast.
Your husband and sons are blessed that you have come to understand yourself to the point where you can be a good wife and mama. I look forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂
Great post and thanks for sharing. We have had our parent challenges with two adopted teens from Russia. In our case we had a deal with PTSD , attachment disorder and other issues, so can relate to this, just from a different angle.
This is so true! Well done for managing without meds. I had to get on meds recently as I let the Mania beast take complete control. Yesterday I wanted to just stay up all night writing a novel and not take my meds but I decided to fight the beast.