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.