So I know that it been a while since I have posted anything of any substance and there was a reason. It was because there was a minute where I felt “normal”. Let me tell you it was wonderful. I loved every moment of it. It isn’t often that I get to feel this way. So let’s back track a bit.
In July of 2014, I signed up to be a coach for Beachbody. I started with doing PiYo at home 6 times a week. Then I started eating better. I started feeling better. I joined roller derby in September 2014. With 2 hours of going all out twice a week, I was just wiped. It felt good. It felt good to set goals and just push myself to them. By December I was actually feel great. I was having less severe mood swings. Most nights I was actually fall asleep. It was beautiful.
It was nothing that I had actually experienced before and I didn’t want it to go away. So I avoided my blog for a little bit. I didn’t want to be the Bipolar Mama. For a moment in time I was just Lauren or if I was at practice I was Jersey. It something with mental illness really yearns for. I was afraid that if I started writing it would trigger something. It would set off a mood swing. I wasn’t ready. I was on a high and I wasn’t ready to let it go away. So I hid this part of my life away for a little while. I focused on derby. I focused on running my business. I focused on helping others live a healthier life.
I actually went out and go my PiYo certification in December which led me to teaching classes. I was starting online Basic Clean Eating groups and Fitness Accountability groups. I was helping others while helping myself. Taking the time to get people’s health on track was helping me stay on track. I felt accountable to them. It pushed me to keep going. Plus it helped me stay in shape for roller derby which has become an obsession. It is really my happy place.
It took some time but once I landed on a derby name, I felt like that it was official. I am now a derby girl. Derby is something I had not experienced in my life. It is a sport without its social cliques. I mean there are nerds, band geeks, cheerleaders and all kind of social representation. It doesn’t matter who you are, someone is going to knock your ass down and you will get up again. It is probably the best lesson I have learned thus far. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you get up and you hit back harder.
And I have been knocked down. You see the saddest part about the month of December is I forgot I had bipolar. It was glorious. However there is no cure for it. There is no getting over having Bipolar Disorder. There is only treatment and maintenance which is huge blow to the ego. I had forgotten about it so I had forgotten about triggers. I had forgotten about self-care. Yeah I was working out, eating right and playing a sport but I was also pushing myself. I was running a business and I wanted it to be the best. So I pushed and pushed. I didn’t give myself to decompress. I didn’t give myself downtime. And well eventually it all caught up. Honestly by this point is was most likely full throttled mania.
It was like riding in a convertible at 90mph. There is the thrill of the speed and the wind through your hair. You get a little adventurous and you put your hands up in the air. You are so busy enjoy the wind between your fingers, you don’t notice the truck pull out in front of you. And that is how my depression hit. I was pushing myself because I was on a manic high and it all caught up with me. Depression hit and it hit hard. Mainly because I was not prepared for it. I wasn’t listening for the warning signs. When I look back, it was obvious they were there. I just didn’t want to see it. I was too happy being what I though was “normal”.
My desire to be “normal” is why I think the depression hit so hard. I was angry. I was bitter for the first time in years with my disorder. I had goals to accomplish. I didn’t have time to deal with this. For the first time I saw potential in myself. I honestly believed I was going to be the top person in my company. I was going to a top player on my team. I was going to be something. But instead of doing any of that, I just wanted to cry. I wanted to disappear from the world. I wanted to scream at the universe. For those who have never experienced anything like this, I am sure you are confused. Why didn’t I just keep going? Why didn’t I let it stop me? Because depression doesn’t work that way. How can I explain it? For a lack of a better term, it is like being paralyzed. (No I don’t know what it is like to actually be paralyzed. I am basing my analogy off of others descriptions.) I am completely aware of what is going on. I know what I need to do but I can’t. I physically cannot get myself to do it. It is why it is so frustrating.
Depression isn’t laziness or an excuse. I have done quite a bit despite my disorder. It is more of chain holding you down. Imagine trying to swim in a race. Just when you think you are going to win, someone grabs your foot and yanks you down into the water. They just don’t pull you down, they hold you there. You can see all the other swimmers pass you by. Yet no matter how much you struggle you can’t get anywhere. You are just left with the fear of possibly drowning. That is depression. Mania is what had me pushing myself so hard that it let depression slip by so it could grab my foot. And I do this race over and over and over again. I will do it until the day I die. Because bipolar disorder is unending. There is only one true way to get rid of it completely. And well I have too much to accomplish despite my disorder to do that. Because no matter how tired I get from doing this dance, there is always a reason to keep going. In the words of Chumbawamba, I get knocked down but I get up again.
6 thoughts on “For a moment I was normal….”
You said it all there isn’t much for me to add. I have been doing this for to long and it never gets old,it’s ugly head rears and kicks me every time. But you said to fall down you get back up. Good luck my friend we are here if you need us,go knock them dead,don’t be a Joe Dirt, you keep going it’s just a set back, not to sit still
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You just described my life. Thank you for sharing your truth, it helps. We’re not alone. We’re not crazy. We live with BD. I don’t know what else to say except thank you.
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This was so beautifully written, Lauren! It was so bittersweet and I related to it deeply. I’m so glad you got up yet again and found a reason to do it!!!
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Perfect piece. Thanks so much for sharing.
Great post and so descriptive about what relapse is like and how it is like someone or something holding you down when all you want to do is be up and about – that normal person. I soooo get it. Great post, glad you stabilized and are back to writing/living. hugs
Oh… and I am completely jealous about the roller derby stuff, seriously jealous… !