There are odd times when I forget I've got bipolar and I just carry on with day to day things without even thinking about it. It's not very often that happens. It's hard to forget when you're shoving a whole load of pills down your throat every day. It's hard to forget when your life has been turned upside down. It's hard to forget when most of the time you just don't feel right. It's hard to forget when you have to be mindful of nearly everything you do in order to try and keep yourself well. Maybe it's because it's been so long since I could say I felt really "stable". Maybe it's because there hasn't been a time for months and months where I could say I've been totally symptom free. Bipolar really is shit sometimes.
I don't know why but I'm often so conscious of it. I don't mean I'm ashamed of being bipolar, I mean I'm just so conscious of how I look, how I act and how I feel. I feel like I've got an arrow pointing at me saying "look at her she's got bipolar". Ridiculous really. When I'm with people that know I've got it I can't help thinking that they are looking at what I do or say and relating it back to bipolar. I feel like they're judging me, deciding if I'm up or down, if I'm in a good mood or bad mood, if I'm normal or crazy. When I'm with people who don't know I think that they must be thinking there's something not quite right about her. She must have something wrong with her. She's obviously got some sort of mental illness. She's not normal. I worry that people are laughing at me behind my back or discussing how mad I am. Of course it's mostly me being paranoid. Of course it's just me not thinking straight....
I'm sure most people who know me, or when people first meet me they think I'm outgoing and confident. When I'm up that's true. Social situations excite me and make me even more hyped up. I thrive on interacting with other people. I need to be around people. I need to be doing things. The rest of the time it's just an act that I've perfected over the years. Sometimes the thought of being near other people makes me feel so uncomfortable.
There are very few times that I feel really at ease with myself. When I'm with my best friend, just the two of us, that's when I feel most comfortable. I still worry that she thinks I'm stupid and I'm getting on her nerves. When I'm with my other best friend, that's when I feel most safe. I still worry that he thinks I'm a pain in the backside and that he feels sorry for me. I worry that he's embarrassed about me. When I'm with the guy I have sex with (so it did happen again) that's when I feel the most alive and confident about myself. I still worry that he doesn't really like me and thinks I'm just some old slapper. When I'm with my family I think they are judging me. It's not their fault. I know there's no real reasoning behind it but I can't help thinking it. Having said that I do think people really do sometimes base their opinions on the fact I have bipolar. I guess I do act differently sometimes. I guess it is obvious if I'm high or if I'm depressed. I guess if they pick up on those things and act on them then it's not all bad if it means I get help before things get out of control.
I spend so much time worrying about what people think, yet in reality I doubt most people even give a shit. Some of the time I really don't give a shit either. If people don't like how I am tough. I'm such a contradiction. I think living alone makes you a bit more selfish, nothing to do with bipolar. I spend too much time thinking about things and analysing every little word or action. I over think things and end up coming to the most ridiculous conclusions. I can't help it.
For a huge part of my time it's a constant battle, juggling with my thoughts. Since I lost my job I have far too much time on my hands. Too much time to think about everything. Too much time to worry. Someone told me I was lucky not to have any responsibilities and be able to do whatever I like. Maybe but I don't always feel that way. It's hard enough getting through each day, even harder when there's no structure. I feel like I'm mostly floundering about wondering what to do next.
I've decided to go back to volunteering in the charity shop. I really loved it before so I'm hoping it will give me some purpose. They don't know about me being bipolar, though I'm sure they know that something's not quite right about me.