Guys, I feel myself sinking into the depths of the cold, dark waters of depression… I see it coming, and I’m scared. Despite the coping mechanisms I’ve developed, I’m scared of what the depression will do to me.
Tonight, I shed a few tears whilst roaming the dark, empty kitchen at midnight… just thinking, and wondering, why I must suffer from bipolar disorder. Why I was dealt such a hand at birth. That’s exactly it. I, Belicia Tang, have bipolar disorder. Man. I’m still getting used to that label. It’s strange– when I was younger, I never thought I’d be one to experience mental illness. I’ve always been an emotional person, experiencing moods to an atypical extreme. But never did I suspect that I had a disorder, until the mood swings began to affect my daily functioning. Until my I started to sink.
I bring up Sylvia Plath’s quote once more:
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”
Such is the essence of bipolar disorder. It’s hard to see the depressive lows coming… but I now have enough experience with them that I know, each time I’m on Cloud 9, I will very soon come crashing down into a deep depression.
Right now, the negative thoughts… they just consume my mind. I can’t stop them. They’re saying things like “You’re not enough”; “You won’t achieve success in life”; “You are socially inept”; “You’re lazy and worthless”. Scripts like that inundate my waking moments. This is what depression feels like. Just a big cloud of negativity floating above your head. It’s inescapable and all-consuming. It makes my heart hurt like hell.
I told my mother tonight that I feel the depression coming on, and that if I changed from my bubbly, happy character to a negative, impatient, lonely and withdrawn presence, I didn’t mean to, and I didn’t intend to hurt anyone around me. It is simply the illness talking.
As I write right now, my eyes are welling up in tears. Sometimes, this illness is just too much to bear. Even with the support of the mood stabilizers, it still hurts.
I want to be honest with you all. I want to share my story– not just the good parts, but the pitfalls as well. It’s all part of the journey… life is not always easy. I do not intend to elicit pity from you all. I just hope that my words can serve as a comforting hand to anyone struggling with mental illness. Please know that I stand by your side, and that no matter how dark your life is in this moment, things will get better. They will, trust me.