One of the hard parts

One of the hard parts for me in this whole bipolar thing is the “I know better than this” part. I am not a beauty, and I can’t sing worth a damn. I’m not hideous, but I am heavier than I want to be. My feminine accomplishments are pretty much limited to cooking and the occasional swiffering episode. And I am less smart than the rest of my family. But all that said, I know I am still smart. If nothing else, I can be proud of, I can rely upon, how smart I am.

But when I start feeling depressed or in a mixed state (whee, hyperactively enraged!), the emotions don’t yield to reason. I can’t talk myself out of it, say “now, you know better, this isn’t real.” Because it feels real, so it is real. And the knowing better doesn’t change it– it’s a failure of my smarts, my ability to reason things out, to solve problems by my wits. It’s what people expect of me, and when I fall short of those expectations, I feel useless, a waste of space.

When I am witless, depressed, or, I’m afraid, so anxious that my emotions start hiding memories on me, so that I don’t know that I’ve messed something up, because my subconscious was trying to keep me from I-don’t-know-what, then I’ve lost an essential sense of myself. I can’t rely on my reason to identify that I’m in a bad state. I can’t rely on my reason to suggest ways to get out of it. And I feel like I have nothing left, if I can’t rely on my reason. All that’s left is nuttiness, and I know I’m not willing to be that. So I don’t know what to do, and I can’t feel my way toward a solution. That’s a hard part.


11 thoughts on “One of the hard parts

  1. Keetha

    I’m sorry, which is lame, but I don’t know what else to say. This too shall pass? That’s even lamer, I guess. Hope you’re feeling better.

  2. Magpie

    I can only try to imagine. I’m sorry. I’m glad that you’re pretty self-aware and seem to be pretty well taken care of medically.And yes, you are smart. Good thing.

  3. d. chedwick bryant

    You are very very smart and just different than others– not lesser in any way. There are many things inside you that are waiting to blossom– the best is yet to come.

  4. krishanna

    You know what is great about you? You keep taking the meds, doing the work, talking about it AND you have hope. Awesome! Hugs!

  5. Irish Goddess

    I can partially relate – feeling something makes it true, even if you know in your head it is NOT true. The thing to hang on to, it seems to me, is the fact that your head DOES know. It is so frustrating how our minds and bodies work; that knowing it in your head can’t make you feel it. If it’s any consolation, my image of you is that you are incredibly accomplished and intelligent! Hang on, the dark times do pass eventually. When you finally wake up out of that cloud it is such a relief. I’m rooting for you.

  6. poet with a day job

    God, a similar thing happens to me with my depression: once I go into the hole, I am none of the things I KNOW I am – the intellect gives over, so easily, to the chem/emotion state. It makes me hate myself, which is the worst part of all. Because that feels like betrayal.

  7. Sara

    Good for you just for keeping going. I know that everyone who cares about you is grateful for the work you are doing to find and hold your own health. It is not an easy road to walk, only partly because it’s so damn shifty under the feet.Hang in there. You’re doing great.

  8. Deidre

    Sorry you are going through this. My brain does this too, I call it the negative chatter because that’s what it is, this endless repetition of the many ways I have screwed up and will continue to screw up that distills itself into one mantra, you are not okay. Sometimes I can reason with it. Other times it just has to wash over me and the only thing I can do is hunker down and wait it out because the only truth in this world I have ever known is that this too shall pass.

  9. nyjlm

    I’m sorry you have to sometimes just sit through these feelings till their over. Just hang on to knowing that you are smart and wonderful and so much more than nuttiness. (((hugs)))

  10. standing still

    I think the thing that is so blasted hard about these wacky brain things , that both we the ill and those who have no flipping idea what a panic attack is or how depression or mania feels, is that you cannot ever think yourself out of mental illness. Buying into that old arguement of “snap out of it” is precisely the same as telling a person who is having a massive heart attack to “just stop it now, tell your aorta to just stop blocking.” Mental illness, I am always relieved to remember, is illness first and mental second. We cannot control it with the mind that is ill, no more than we can control the diabetes with the pancreas that is ill. The medication and the therapy and diet and the exercise and the being really really really good to ourselves and finding fewer ways to beat ourselves up is the only way to successfuly have a leg up on the mind that is ill. Perhaps it is because I’ve been ill all my life and my father before me and his mother before him that I am at peace with this feeling of relief. It’s not my fault. I have an illness. I can no more control it than I can control my breathing in and out and my sleeping and waking at the setting and rising of the sun. Be well friend, you are smart enough to take the meds and ask for help when your mind feels ill.


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