It’s extremely difficult for people to manage their bipolar disorder. In fact, for me, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to handle. I’ve dealt with the death of my father as a teenager, a drug and alcohol addiction, maintaining sobriety, a previous relationship that was physically and emotionally abusive, and the loss of several friends due to suicide or drug addiction; these things are only a few of the circumstances I’ve dealt with, and for me, none of them compare to dealing with my bipolar disorder on a daily basis.
To me, it feels as if I often don’t have control over my own brain, mouth, and even my body. I frequently find myself saying things that should not be said or doing things that I should not do. My brain is always running, always thinking, it doesn’t take a break. I’m generally thinking about all of the things I did wrong, but I also think about different options I have, I’m on overload. My mind has no balance. It feels as if I have no control over my own mind. It jumps from subject to subject, never thinking any thought completely through. I often act on my emotions instead of logical thinking. I do the best I can to make the right choices, but when it’s left up to my brain, I never know what the results will be like.
I know this sounds weird, but I love rules; any set of instructions or guidelines that I can follow make my life easier. I don’t have to listen to my brain or attempt figure out what the right thing to do is. I don’t worry about my lack of control over myself, I simply do what I’m told is the right thing to do. I have a hard time being dishonest about anything. I know that honesty is the best policy, but sometimes there is such a thing as too much honesty. If I’m not completely honest with others, my mind keeps telling me how horrible I am, and then I can’t function or sleep. I’ve lived the majority of my life without control, following rules gives me control; it gives me power.
I no longer have to struggle to organize my mind to figure out what I should and should not do, I no longer have to worry if every single thing I did was right or wrong, and I no longer have to worry if I can live with the choices I made. As long as I am honest to the best of my ability, I feel free from the bipolar restraints and the lack of control that comes along with it; I can find balance in my life. Following rules and being honest is so much easier than doing anything else; there are already a set of instructions laid out for me, giving my mind some peace and quiet, which is something that almost never occurs. Of course my mind doesn’t stop, and there are still so many thoughts going on in there, but at least I don’t have to figure everything out on my own. I encourage others to try being honest and follow rules if they’re comfortable doing so, even if it’s as simple as following the instructions on a recipe or game. Maybe it will work for you, maybe it won’t, but I hope that it does, because I would really love to share the peace that it brings me.