Thursday, February 26, 2009

had a bad day again

The nature of bipolar disorder is that the good is followed by the equally bad, or worse. But the biggest struggle is not the ups and downs, it's knowing, while I'm feeling on top of the world, that I am being set up for a debilitating crash. The cycle is predictable and completely out of my control. Medication can soften the fall to some extent, but pharmaceuticals cannot change my brain chemistry. I am, and always will be, manic-depressive.

Last night, a friend said to me, "There will always be bad days. But, that's today. Tomorrow could be a good day again." One of the most difficult aspects of depression is the lack of perspective. When I am in a low, I often feel that I will never be happy again. The ability to recognize that the storms will end as abruptly as they set in is what allows me to weather them. No one can survive utter hopelessness forever; but, knowing that it's not forever is what allows me to survive.


  1. Well said, Lil. And the fact that you are expressing how depression feels and what it does and how deceptive it can be says to me that you do have at least a teeny bit of perspective - and that is a (hard-earned) gain. You go girl! Love, Mom

  2. I agree. This January, I was in the worst depression of my life. I literally could not see ahead even one hour. I thought everything was hopeless. The only reason I am alive today is because I had to take care of Chloe by myself, and I knew that she was relying on me. So, I am glad that you have Mars to care for, because he will always need you. :o) When it's thundering in your head, just remember that Mars is probably at your feet, smiling up at you and seeing the rainbow ahead.

  3. You are so wise, Bee, to see that. And the word 'storm' is so perfect because moods have always seemed to me exactly like the weather - beyond our control and bound to change before too long. (On the other hand, beyond our control doesn't mean beyond our ability to do something about them -- we can't stop it raining but our experience of a rainstorm will be incredibly different whether we walk out with or without an umbrella.)

    Anyway, I once heard that the sum total of all wisdom can be contained in four words -- "This too shall pass." That's true for every human being. You just notice it more if you're bipolar. So just as I (try to) think of leukemia as a gift that helps me savor the beautiful, precious, fleeing nature of each moment more than many people, maybe being bipolar is, in an odd sort of way, the universe's gift to you. because while many people get caught up in the illusion that things are permanent (and they spend their lives struggling in vain again the fact that they're not), you try to remember the truth that this too shall pass -- or, turned around, that each moment is new.

    Okay, enough silly philosophizing. Let's go play with Mars and Coconut!