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Daily Life of Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Updated on March 13, 2019
Lee Davey profile image

Lee is a young woman who has lived with bipolar mood disorder for 5+ years and wants to share what her daily life is like to raise awareness

It's a nightmare most days, but there are moments when it gets better. Mental illness does not define who you are.

Being bipolar is a nightmare. Having any mental illness is a nightmare. It sort of starts to define who you are after a while, and you are not your mental health. Just like suffering from diabetes doesn’t define who you are, mental illness shouldn’t define who you are either. But it is hard, because you feel like your mind is under threat and you don’t know how to fight it.

And bipolar medication is always something you're scared of taking, because you've heard stories about how it can make a bipolar episode worse.

Every day is a challenge. You hate yourself, you hate who you are when you put on your mask, and you hate who you are when you mask slips. You can’t always control it.

Me? I wear a mask everyday. If I don’t, it shows. Mental illness is never understood, even by those cursed with it. And I want to be better. I want to be a better person, I don’t want to hate myself from morning until noon, I don’t want to look in the mirror and not recognise myself.

You hide behind a mask, and when it slips, it shows the reality.
You hide behind a mask, and when it slips, it shows the reality. | Source

Living with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as Manic Depressive Disorder, makes daily life hard.

What is Bipolar Mood Disorder?

Let me explain. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness, previously known as Manic Depressive Disorder, and it honestly is a nightmare to live with.

From WebMD: "Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness that brings severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. People who have bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and sluggish. In between those periods, they usually feel normal. You can think of the highs and the lows as two "poles" of mood, which is why it's called "bipolar" disorder."

You go up and down all the time – one day, you want to conquer the world, but you settle for cleaning your dishes instead (it has been piling up for weeks now). The very next day you still want to conquer the world, but you can’t even motivate yourself to get dressed properly. You just… just feel awful. Your bipolar brain is messing with you. It’s as if a black hole is engulfing you, surrounding you from all sides, and it makes your heart heavy and your mind – don’t even get me talking about what it does to your mind.


It's okay to not be okay.

It's okay to not always be okay

and to be okay for only moments at a time

and to want help

and to feel alone

and to feel sad

and to want to be better...

Because sometimes it does get better. Not always for a long time, and it does get better.

What your brain focuses on

You focus on everything that’s negative. You see someone looking at you – and you immediately assume that they are glaring at you and that you have somehow made them mad. That’s how I am. That is how my bipolar brain contorts everything out of shape.

Your bipolar brains contorts everything out of shape, making everything seem worse than it really is.
Your bipolar brains contorts everything out of shape, making everything seem worse than it really is. | Source

Relationships are hard

Relationships in general are hard work, but when one (or both) of you this mood disorder, it is harder work.

Romantic relationships are harder with bipolar disorder

I am in a very good relationship – we’re incredibly open and honest with each other. I, the bipolar girlfriend, and he, a man with depression. Sometimes we’re just sitting in our cluttered little living room, watching a TV series, playing the same game on our phones. It’s quiet and peaceful. I look at him, he sees me looking at him and winks at me or pouts his lips in a kiss. Everything is fine.

Then my mind starts reeling.

Why is he so quiet? Is he mad at me? Did I do something wrong? My chest starts to feel heavy, my heart beats loudly… and I ask him: “Is everything okay?” Usually he frowns, looks at me and nods. “Yes, love, everything’s fine.”

And me? I don’t believe him. We haven’t had an argument, we hadn’t even texted a lot that day, and everything was just quiet. We were fine. But my mind convinces that he’s lying to me, that he’s just supressing some anger. So I ask again. “Are we okay?”

He hears it a lot. And I know it gets to him. He told me that it makes him think that I want there to be something wrong. But I don’t.

Relationships are hard to maintain when you are mentally ill.
Relationships are hard to maintain when you are mentally ill. | Source

© 2019 Lee Davey

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