One of the things that can be most challenging during an episode is trying to convince friends, loved ones, and sometimes even therapists and Pdocs, just how bad it is for you.
It it is hard enough to struggle with the idea of going In patient without having to argue and convince people that you are THAT crazy right now. It is a weird thing to have to prove to people.
We talk all the time about how they just don’t understand us. They don’t. And another thing that really throws them off is how we can say we are feeling so horrible that we can’t go out, do the laundry, be alone and yet we may still be able to scrape ourselves raw to ask about a friend’s baby, read to our children, watch a movie with a friend, or even do our jobs.
If they see us smile or get dressed or tell them we are feeling better they think that we are “fine” now. Their expectations go back to what they would be when we are “normal/baseline” whatever. Or what they would be for another person. A normal person.
They also don’t understand that the episode fluctuates. It is isn’t one constant feeling. Sometimes we feel better for a bit. Sometimes we feel suicidal for a bit. It is confusing to us too.
“Feeling better” does not equal being all better. “Feeling fine today” does not equal everything is fine now. We need the expectations for us to stay at the level they are for a sick person even when we have a “better” blip during an episode.
Sometimes it feels like our only two choices are to REALLY act crazy. Like hide in the dark rocking crying crazy……..or be “normal”. Get yourself together and get back to business and don’t start that crazy shit again when someone tells you you’re not doing a good enough job at normal.
I get that it is confusing for them. Like I said, it is confusing for us. But we need and deserve a middle ground.
We need to be allowed to try to function and try to enjoy something (anything!) without losing the compassion we need during an episode. From the people we need to take care of us.
It is so hard to communicate this. It is so hard to communicate everything about Bipolar.
It is so difficult and embarrassing and it makes us feel so vulnerable and just weird when we tell people how scared we are of our own selves.
When we say we need the hospital we need people to believe it. Because if they tell us that we don’t we will want to believe them.
Nobody tries to tell someone with epilepsy or Parkinson’s that they don’t need the hospital when they do.
Once again. Our illness is all in our heads. And the symptoms and manifestations of our illness are palpable only to ourselves.
Just because they can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Unfortunately, all too often when it comes to getting help we need to follow the old adage
“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
And that sucks.