The Revolving Carousel Of Bipolar Depression (FREE READ)
Talking about my mental health - exciting I know
Mental health is an interesting creature. One moment you feel euphoric, on top of the world — and then your brain just decides to punish you for seemingly no reason. Like a psychic sucker punch out of the blue.
I’ve unfortunately been going through a mental health lull these past few weeks that has compounded into a really shitty recent couple of days. These low moments (or as I call them, “lowments”) fucking suck - let’s not sugarcoat it.
It’s usually a revolving carousel of different stress-points that induce these depression/anxiety episodes. This carousel, like many do, changes its passengers over time. Whether it comes from a mentally draining life event or some new positive self-discovery, my brain is constantly in its own internal molding process. There’s always some new mentally-draining impetus enters the cranial carnival ride while others decide to finally leave. Right now, the ride is stopped on existential dread with the fear of failure in the sidecar seat.
Am I being the best Max that I can be? Am I ever going to make a tangible impact in the political work I do? Does this work even make me feel fulfilled? Will I ever get to a point where I can relax and not constantly worry about my finances? Will I ever get back to a consistent gym schedule? Will I ever fully gain the body confidence I so desperately crave for myself? Will I ever finish any of the long-term creative writing projects I start and then abandon? How will I be remembered (if at all)?
All of these questions and more swirl endlessly within my brain once I step onto this carousel of despair.
I’ve been pretty open that Everything Everywhere All At Once is, by leaps and bounds, my favorite film of all time. I don’t think that will change anytime soon, either. I think it’s because it helps keep me grounded and acts as my own personal lifeline when the existential dread gets too intense to handle. I’ve been in Evelyn’s shoes too many times, wondering where I’d be right now if I made a few different small, yet potentially significant life choices. It’s an intense thought experiment and frankly has led me to some dark head spaces in the past. In the end, I try and brush that away and live in the moment.
Nothing matters is a quote from the film tattooed on my wrist. At the end of the day, the universe is so chaotic with an incomprehensible amount of moving parts that my life is a blip in this world. So since nothing matters, I should just enjoy the life I have instead of dwelling on what could have been. That’s what I tell myself. I’m living in a city of opportunity with a good foundation built right now for myself. I have a beautiful, supportive boyfriend I love to death. I have some incredible friends and family, too who are there for me when I need them. If I simply keep on keeping on while enjoying the current occasional pleasures of life, I should do just fine.
Unfortunately, this mindset is easy enough to say out loud but can be quite difficult to internalize.
I’ve been previously diagnosed with bipolar depression which definitely explains these mood swings I often experience. It also explains why sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just feel as though I’m in an unshakeable rut when these episodes begin. Like that an inescapable, morose haze has corrupted my mind. I genuinely think the average person doesn’t fully understand mood swings. Yes, they can be sudden emotional shifts that quickly subside - like the common media trope of a pregnant lady randomly angry before calming down. But oftentimes, they’re much more sinister. I’ll feel filled with energy and productive for weeks and then one random day my mood will come crashing down like a SpaceX rocket.
But I don’t rebound.
At least, not immediately. It will stay that way for days, if not weeks. It’s awful. Awful awful awful. Your brain and even your body get paralyzed by your thoughts as productivity takes a complete backseat. And yep, you just screwed yourself over even worse now because productivity hits a near-standstill at that point. What do you even do at that point other than ride it out and hope for the best?
What it comes down at this point is prevention and support.
I’m a big advocate for seeking mental health treatment. I hope you are, too. Whether it’s through a combination of medication, therapy, hobbies, a good support group, or whatever other else helps you in healthy way, it’s important to surround yourself with these positive reinforcements. This includes for even the smallest of mental health woes. I, myself, have fallen off on one of my own personal treatments (my medication) which I think has been a contributing factor to a rough couple of months. Thankfully, I’m finally working again on getting back on it (Seroquel and Effexor, my beloveds, please help me), but unfortunately dealt with a *wonderful* error from CVS that prevented me in getting my proper medication when I originally moved to DC and I just ultimately fell off the bandwagon. Big advice from me to you: don’t let being busy sidetrack you from your mental health! It’s the most important thing you can invest in.
However, even on medicine, these challenges still persist. They probably always will as this godforsaken cognitive carousel continues operation. My mental health has been a personal struggle since I was a young teen and I know will never fully go away. But, I want to take back control where I can. And damn it, I will. Through my medication. Through all the supportive people in my life. Through my creative passions. Through spitting the struggles in the face and enjoying life. I’m going to fight this asshole inside of me tooth and nail. I’ve even started looking into mental health organizations in DC with events I can get attend - I want to become more involved and passionate in the issue. It really is a team effort to combat mental health problems and I just want to help others where I can.
Ultimately, this has really been more of a cathartic rant than anything else - I hope that some of you all can relate it, though. I’m so incredibly lucky to have the people I do in my life and even to just be in an age where this kind of stuff can be openly talked about. A little over 50 years ago, a vice-presidential candidate had to drop out when it was revealed that he’d been hospitalized for depression a few times in the past. He was just relentlessly bullied and ridiculed for this revelation. Really messed up stuff.
If you’re struggling right now with mental health, I want you to know that I’m here for you. And even beyond me, there’s plenty of others here for you too. Let me tell you, we’re stronger than this damn thing and life will be enjoyed! Why? Because we said so!!
Thanks for giving this a read. This article, frankly, really has helped me through this tough mental time. Hopefully, you’ll get some use out of it too.
Stay healthy, y’all.
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