Your Stories

Living with Randomness

by Maia

For me, the second hardest part about Bipolar type II is learning to live with the randomness (living with suicidal depression on a downturn is the hardest part).

But never knowing when the depression will strike or when it will get better is so discombobulating, it’s like I can’t even do mood cycles right.

I’m the scheduler; the planner; the list-maker. On Personality tests I score very high in logical-sequential. Every doctor I have seen has been impressed by my compliance. I take my meds religiously. I make sure that I eat. I go to bed on schedule, avoid alcohol and recreational drugs like the plague, and try to exercise and get fresh air daily. I collected data and tracked my daily moods fanatically for a year, looking for patterns. I am “doing all the right things” to manage my Bipolar type II.

But the thing that cuts me off at the knees is I NEVER KNOW what my day will be like until I wake up and experience it. I may have a dozen things I would like to do, a schedule of errands and family time and yard work, or a day of relaxation and play…and sometimes I wake up in the morning and I can’t do any of them.

I CAN’T. Not a single one. I can eat and take my meds, feed the cats and get dressed eventually, but that’s it.

No amount of self-talk or re-framing or just-five-minutes of it can get me going. It doesn’t matter if my list has only one item on it. The chemical shenanigans in my head overwhelm me. I might, after a day of anguished attempts, false starts and a lot of self-soothing, maybe get one thing half-done. And then I am expected to celebrate that I managed to do even that, because, hey, it’s a success of sorts.

My meds can control the severe highs and the severe lows (mostly), but not the medium lows- or the (less frequent) medium highs. I never know when I am going to have a day when I wake up, raring to go, and get 5 things done before breakfast. I love those days. But I can’t count on having them.

It’s taken a long time to realize that I can’t control my general moods. That my life is going to continue this randomness. On a positive note, at least I have (mostly) quit blaming myself when the mood goes sideways. And have stopped turning myself inside-out to try and get the mood to change.

But now I have to learn to make peace with randomness.