A Day in the Life of Emily With Bipolar Type 2

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I wake up, kind of groggy from a restless night, full of nightmares from my medications. I shake it off and plan my day. So far. So good. My little internal cheerleader saying, “I can do this.” I feel pretty good today.

Organizing my day is a little frustrating, should have done it last night! Mind is racing and overwhelmed, but again I hear my little voice “I can do this!”. Suddenly, my mind becomes cluttered and congested with racing thoughts and I try to override the increasing anxiety with deep breaths and calming thoughts. It is not working! Okay, finally I am ready to go. In the car, I check and double check to make sure I have everything I need for the day. Self-doubting and “intropunitive” thoughts start creeping in and I am trying desperately to make them stop. I learned that big word from my Therapist. It is handy because it sounds like the way it feels.

Beating myself up is a daily routine and what started out as a good morning, seems to be sliding quickly into just another day of trying not to have “just another day”. I have a 3-ring circus up there and cannot focus on any one single thing. “Shut up, somebody help me stop this madness!” As I race down the road, my mind finds a way to race even faster, always. I have no time. How do other people get all of this done? My cheerleader thoughts have now morphed into, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I do this?”

Anxiety is now 8 out of 10, feels hard to swallow and my palms are sweaty, almost crying. While sitting in class, I am so distracted that I can hardly focus but I must, I must! I begin to decompress slowly, sort of feeling sad and very sleepy. I move in slow motion, feeling actually melancholy now. I just want to lie down and sleep. I want the outside world to leave me alone for a while. “Shut up everyone, shut up everything!”

Now thoughts are in slow motion, like thinking through oil. Overwhelmed by what should be the simplicity of making it through a normal day, I want to hide from the world and start over tomorrow. Not feeling normal is exhausting. Depression comes without notice and is uninvited. Missing out of normalcy makes me sad. Tomorrow will be better. And then I hear it again, “You can do this!”.

And you know what, I can, I can.