I wish I had an easy button for life. I’m not really quite sure what it would fix or do in a situation such as mine, but the thought of clearing away all problems and having one solution enlightens me. If only I could cleanse the myriad of racing thoughts I had each day and do the tai chi way of moderation and self discipline so eloquently 24/7, maybe just maybe I’d have a chance of ultimate stability. God help me. God help us all.
It’s little things that will set me off. I will be in my zen zone and someone will blatantly piss me off. It’s like some evil being purposely placed them in my path to completely fuck with me. And that unnecessary evil sits back and laughs as I lose my mind. But it’s not always that I will be set off the wrong way. You see, as a person with bipolar, I can go off in any direction. That’s right. Manic (up), Depressed (down), Mixed (a mixture of both), Hypomanic (a little up, but not too up), and Slightly Depressed. Let me explain a trigger.
You walk into your home, place your keys on the counter, and flick on the light switch. Yup. That’s what happens in my body when a trigger happens. Some little bastard lemming turns on the switch. He’s always there. Just waiting. Hoping that he gets a sign from the crazy gods to turn me on. And he does a great job of it. But my mind is learning to put him away. Since he’s always there, he beats me to it most of the time. Unfortunately.
For the average Joe, getting up each day to brush their teeth, take a shower, cook, do laundry, pay bills, etc., etc., those are normal “have-to-do’s-whether-you-like-them-or-not”. For someone who suffers from bipolar, schizophrenia, paranoia, clinical depression, SADD, or any other mental illness. These are tough. These are as difficult as a Harvard math problem given to a 2-year old is still teething. Then, if not done in moderation, for someone like myself, one of the mood swings is possible to occur.
Let’s take this for example. Here are two triggers for my mania. Traveling from east to west coast and exercise. Everyone knows that exercise is healthy. That exercise is wonderful. But is there a such thing as too much exercise? Well, of course. I learned that I cannot work out more than 3 times a week. And in those periods, I should not work out for mo than 1 hour. My personality is an addictive one, but I have to push myself to not do so. Rigorous exercise can allow someone to become fatigued or sweat or even just feel exhausted. But not me! Oh no, rigorous exercise causes me to have MORE energy. Same with traveling from the east coast to the west coast. The time difference sparks up a fire in my ass and I become as manic as I have ever been. Frivolous spending, barely sleeping three to four hours a night, and a sex drive that needs to be tamed.
Triggers for depression. A rainy day. Menstruation. Or even something as trivial as, “Tara, your hair isn’t looking too good today.” I never know exactly when these triggers will hit. But they do. And when they happen, they’re not the prettiest.
Immediately after the light switch is turned on I become either angry or fast talking. These are the mood swings that people probably think can happen in anyone and that those who have mood swings (anyone, with or without a mental illness) has bipolar. Not true. These mood swings last longer. Depression can last for a few weeks for me. And mania has lasted even up to one year for me. That’s a lot of out of control.
I have learned that I need to fight these urges to turn constantly. And this my friends is why bipolar can take a toll on relationships and destroy people’s lives. Many never learn how to take control of these mood swings. Sometimes it’s almost as if I’m being chauffeured around with no say. When you think about it, it’s really sad. Most bipolars are incredibly talented and creative, but when there is no real stability – many lives can end in death.
Just yesterday I was having a great day and then I met up with a very handsome guy. We were having a great time, sitting around, relaxing and he grabbed me to kiss me. It was a fantastic kiss and I held back. I said to myself, “Tara, don’t lose control. It’s okay. It’s good. He doesn’t need to know that you’re fighting every single hormone and feeling in your body. Your heart doesn’t need to start racing. Stop thinking. Just be okay. Don’t like it. Don’t like it. Oh, but his lips taste so good. Resist. Resist the urge. Oh, but his hair is so smooth. Nope, you don’t like it.” And then his teeth bit playfully into my bottom lip and his tongue caressed my ear and I was done. Next thing you know I was almost fully undressed and I realized…
NO! I HAVE TO STOP DAMNIT. I cannot keep going. I politely said to him, “I refuse to be a tease. I just have rules. And we already broke them. I don’t kiss the first time.” He wanted to continue going, but he also understood. The chemistry was so amazing that the bad angel on my shoulder kept pestering me to continue. What should I care? But I realized if I did go any further, I would have a high that was uncontrollable and then I would just regret and pity myself the next morning.
It’s hard enough to control yourself with everyday emotions as a stable human being. But doing so with bipolar emotions is fucking hard. On top of everything else in my life. I counted 6 side jobs that I do yesterday during the Super Bowl. That means I am a single mother with a full-time job, a music career I am pursuing, and six side jobs. My life is complicated enough that I don’t need to complicate it any further. Life is simple; my mind complicates it.
Screw these triggers. The weather is shitty enough today and my depression is beginning to lurk. I am going to take a deep breath and hope I’ll be okay.