Inside the Mind of a 27-Year-Old With Bipolar 2

Do you ever wonder what it feels like to wake up every morning, and fear that today will be the day that you will lose your balance?  I do.  It is a challenge, but one that I am grateful for.  If you are looking for me to say how much I hate this disorder, you won’t find it on this blog.  I am never going to live without it, and I want to give others a taste of my reality.  I do not place pressure on myself to be perfect. I am honest.  As long as I can find some type of stability on the balance beam of life, I am satisfied.  This is the mind I have been given, and I am learning to love it, while I have to live with it.  Life is beautiful, and I know that now.  Here is a little bit of an idea about what it is like to live in the mind of a 26-year-old diagnosed with Bipolar 2.

A constant marathon of the mind.

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You are coasting along a straight path, then you struggle to get up that hill.  The pain is almost a high.  In a moment you have no energy, another too much.  You feel like you are about to break, but don’t stop, you  have to keep running…

Some nights turn into dawn in what seems like an instant.  From reorganizing my closet to writing in my journal for hours, there are moments your mind is running so fast it is almost painful.  You close your eyes, but your eyelids jolt, begging you to open.  So what do I do…Learning to harness my thoughts hours before sleep and avoiding stimulation.  It works.  It fails.  A few solid nights of sleep is better than none.

Never content.

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If God had Bipolar, He would not have created the Earth in 7 days.  He would still be in the creative process.  The day I graduated from the College, all I could think about was “You can do better!  You have to do more Hannah!  Nothing is ever good enough, and relaxing while patting yourself on the back is nearly impossible.  Being content in my mind is one step from slipping off the balance beam.  So what do I do…I breathe more often, and I breathe deeper. I have added exercise of mind and body like yoga.

Emotions run deep.

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I hear a song and feel the pain inside the singer’s voice.  I smell a flower and can feel its growth. I am sensitive to other people’s pain and hurt, to the point it keeps me up at night.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night crying so hard I cannot breathe.  I laugh as hard as I cry, I hurt as hard as I love.  So what do I do…I turn my pain into art by writing, drawing and creating to express these emotions.  Exercise gives me a healthy release.

Treading Water.

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Everyday my eyes open, and I have to tell myself to do everything I can to keep my head above water.  I am one slip from falling to the bottom on a daily basis.  Some days are harder than others, but I refuse to drown.  So what do I do…I keep moving forward.  I keep active.  I do not talk about my “struggle” often.  I volunteer to help others outside of myself.

The lows are beyond explanation.

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You are screaming at the top of your lungs, but no one can hear you.  It is not a headache, it is a cloud in your head that makes it almost impossible to see.  You have no energy to speak.  You are empty.  You are numb.  The light at the end of the tunnel seems so far.  So what do I do…Again, I turn these moments into some form of art.  I set a goal for myself every day, and hold myself to it. I remind myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.

The picture above is a picture from my journal days before I was hospitalized in 2010.  I have never shared it with anyone until now. Sending love to all my mental health warriors. You are bold. You are brave. You are brilliant. 

 

 

 

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Luke Atkins says:

    About to make a post about my bipolar life. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  2. Luke Atkins says:

    Just finished reading, I love this.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you so much for the love Luke!

      Like

  3. Kayla says:

    This is amazing, I can relate to it so well. Thanks for posting this

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you so much!

      Like

  4. Thanks for sharing informative information. I really like your post.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you so much!

      Like

      1. Jess says:

        Thank tou for writing this. I was recently diagnosed and I have had a really hard time. Accepting it. This is exactly what I go through everyday. You couldn’t have written it better ! I hope to one day be as strong as you

        Like

      2. Hannah B. says:

        Take it day by day Jess! Never give up! Thank you for the kind words!

        Like

  5. Nina Hardy says:

    Hi! I’m also a bipolar II, I also try to make it work with the brain I have, Glad to have found you.

    Like

  6. Donita Cline says:

    Hannah you are amazing. Thanks for your honesty, your understanding and your grace.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you Donita for your kind words. You have been such an inspiration. Sending love friend-

      Like

  7. Alyssa says:

    This is the most accurate article I have ever read about Bipolar disorder.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you so much!!! I cannot tell you how much that means to me!

      Like

  8. Rob says:

    Fantastic post, love it

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate it!

      Like

  9. Jess says:

    I also want to write about my struggle but I don’t even know where to start. You are truly amazing.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      It is so difficult to explain. Keep trying! Thank you so much for the kind words!

      Like

  10. Doug Marka says:

    This is beautiful. I’ve tried many times to give others an idea of what a rapid cycle bipolar /bipolar 2 mind is like. This is the best explanation that I’ve found. Thank you.

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      It is not easy to explain that’s for sure! Thank you for the kind words!

      Like

  11. Candace Middleton says:

    Thank you, Hannah. I am a bipolar 2 and I know the exact struggles you face, because I face them too. It is hard sometimes to make sense of the things. The racing thoughts sometimes that come to me drive me up a wall. Sometimes I just have to ride the wave of endless thoughts. What you are doing to work through the mental illness is some of the exact same things I am doing. Of course, medication always does help.I’m reminded that the battle is not to the swift, but it is how I learn to endure it. Thank you again for your insight.

    Like

  12. Belinda says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us…I do not have bipolar but my husband was recently diagnosed with it and it looks like our 8 year old son has early onset bipolar…my husband doesn’t like taking his meds because it makes him really tired, but also because it stops that high feeling that he loves so much…he’s been living about taking his meds, but I know him so well and he can’t hide his moods…I’ve ended up ill myself doing everything to keep him on track…I will never give up, I love him too much, but sometimes it’s such a struggle…the kids have learnt when to let his nasty words go over their heads and not to get upset when he’s on a manic episode…I’m reading everything I can to help me better understand him…thanks again for helping me without even realizing it…😊

    Like

    1. Hannah B. says:

      Belinda, thank you for sharing this with me. It is definitely a struggle, and being overly sedated is terrible. You are not alone, and you are supported. Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Sending love-

      Like

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