Thursday, September 29, 2022

Feeling Blue

  Lately, I have been feeling pretty blue. This year has definitely thrown me some curb balls. And I feel like I can’t be open and honest with anyone about how I am feeling because I am supposed to be there for everyone else. So how can I ask for help when everyone around me needs me?

For me, stress is a major trigger for a depressive or manic episode. And to say this year hasn’t been stressful would be a lie. So how do I not let all this stress take me down? Well, it all starts with my support system. My boyfriend, mom, dad, step mom, brothers, and sisters. 

The problem I’m having right now is that I don’t know how to tell any of them I am struggling. Everyone I know is busy or having their own troubles. And my family is going through so much right now. How awful would I be for adding more worry and stress on them? 

And that causes more stress. Painted on smiles. Pretending I am fine. It’s the start of a spiral. A downward spiral. Back into the throes of my depression. If I can count on one thing, it is that my depression will always come back, and each time seems to be darker than the last.

I have come a long way in my journey of having bipolar disorder. I can, mostly, tell when I am starting to spiral, either up or down. But what I am not good at is: asking for help. I hate admitting I’m struggling and need some help. It makes me feel weak, pathetic. Even though I know that I am not for admitting it.

The feeling of hopelessness and despair are starting to slowly sink in. And I can’t help but feel stupid. How can I let myself sink this low and not say anything? Am I hurting myself by not saying anything? Am I hurting my loved ones by not saying I’m struggling?

But the fear of telling them I’m struggling, the stress of adding more stress to them. I don’t want to hurt my family by telling them I’m hurting. So I continue to say, “I’m fine.” Hiding behind the painted smile. Trying my best to cope. 

I mean, I’m not doing nothing. I do have therapy coming up. And I will open up then. I just don’t want to worry or stress out my family. But I know what you're thinking, isn’t that what a support system is for? My answer would be yes, but not when you know what your support system is going through.  

Not wanting to stress out my family anymore than they are, I put on my “big girl” panties and told my therapist that I was struggling. My anxiety was spinning out of control and I finally admitted I needed to talk to someone. 

And now, I work on myself. Talking with therapy, taking my medicine. Just trying to be the best version of me.  

Thursday, September 1, 2022

When Life Gives You Lemons

  We have all heard the whole phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but what most people don’t remember is you still need sugar. I received some news that I am still processing. Still not sure how to feel about the news. As if the year hasn’t thrown me enough curve balls this year, now I need hearing aids.

The emotions running through me are honestly shocking. A big feeling is just embarrassment. At times, I already feel like a freak. Being bipolar has taught me one thing, that most people are judgemental. And now I will have something that people can visually see to judge me for.

For me, it’s more the paranoia of being judged. I try to live my life perfectly, but the truth is, my life is far from perfect. I fear being judged. Of people assuming the worst of me because of my mental illness. I’m not just Brittany, but I am also not just my bipolar. I am also a mother, girlfriend, nurse, friend, and so much more.

I want people to see me for all of who I am. But with the stigma surrounding mental illness, that will never happen. I will always be known as the “crazy girl.” I want this to change. By writing my story, by being open and honest about my struggles and battles. I want people to see me, all of me, and realize I am just like everyone else. Sometimes I just struggle a little more.

I see the world differently. Some days I see the world with crisp eyes. The colors are brighter, clearer. I feel on top of the world, like anything is possible. I could conquer the world, write a book. The thoughts are fast, I can’t keep up. 

Other days, I see the world as drab. Shapes moving about, doing mundane tasks. Colors are dull. I feel alone in a crowd. I don’t want to get out of bed. My thoughts are slow and jumbled together. Low energy to no energy. 

And then sometimes, just normal days. Normal energy, normal colors, normal thoughts. No hyperfocus. No depression. Just a regular day.

Mental illness is not one size fits all. And some days, people don’t even realize the battle others are going through. It could be your neighbor, coworker, best friend, maybe even you. But we shouldn’t be afraid to speak out. Nobody should feel alone in a crowd. The stigma of mental illness needs to be brought down, to escape from feeling trapped in our bodies.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or in crisis in the US, please reach out to the 988 Lifeline. Call or text 988 or visit to chat with a caring counselor. 

Bipolar and Religion

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