I wanted to share with you how I sometimes feel and experience life.
Sometimes, it feels like there is a rage burning inside of me that I can’t get rid of. Negative emotions and reactions drown me and I’m constantly covered in tears and gasping for air. Talking to people exhausts me and I spend all of my free time procrastinating or trying to take a break from life by sleeping. I don’t feel like myself. The things and people I love don’t bring me joy the way I’m used to. I feel numb to everything unless overwhelming sadness or anger decide to make an appearance.
I feel out of body, like the world is happening all around me but I’m not apart of it. Moments of clarity are rare but every so often I see someone spill something on their white shirt, trip over a crack in the sidewalk, or make a mistake at work. These simple, sometimes embarrassing, moments remind me that everything is okay because we are all human, we all have moments of weakness, and eventually I will come back to myself and feel safe in my own body and mind again.
I usually first notice the vibrating. It feels like my bones are buzzing. My words tumble out of my mouth a million miles a minute. My sentences become shortened and quick. I can feel the weight of the words I can’t remember on the tip of my tongue. I feel electric as thoughts race through my mind.
The sun seems extra bright when I first open my eyes in the morning and I am often flooded with anxiety from nightmares. Once I am up, I am full of energy and excitement to start my day. I have productive days. I make lists, delete hundreds of emails I let let pile up, do all of my laundry, and read multiple books a day. I wash and deep condition my hair, shave and exfoliate. I try to feel clean from the inside out.
I feel amazing for days. I see everything through a different lens, one that is full of hope and gratitude. Sometimes, it can feel scary. I feel impulsive and like every choice I make is the right one. When I feel mania beginning to grab a hold of me, I know it’s time to buckle up. Being manic feels extraordinary, but one thought persists through the other thousand racing ones; eventually, this feeling will come to an end and I will begin a new cycle.
Once in a while, I am somewhere in the middle. I feel balanced, normal. These are my favorite times. Holding onto these days, or weeks can be nerve wracking sometimes because I know that at any moment, my mental state can dramatically change.
Having a mental illness means that I experience life in a very unique way. For now, all I can do is keep myself grounded and try to use this energy and perspective to live my life as happily and healthily as I can. It has its ups and downs, and not all depressive or manic episodes are easy to handle or to learn from. What’s important is that I practice gratitude, I take what I can from each experience, and I try to be present in each and every moment.
Laura is passionate about the power of words and she hopes to share her advice and experiences in an artistic and interesting way.