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Life's a Garden

by Katie F.
May 14, 2020

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by Alecia Zauha
April 23, 2020

Springing into Spring:
The Bipolar Perspective

Written by  Anonymous


© Photo by Unknown

The sun is finally out and we’ve packed our winter coats away.  Spring is here, and it brings a new fresh energy.  If you suffer from bipolar disorder, like me, you may find yourself literally “springing into spring”. 

My yard looks amazing because of my elaborate detail to everything around me. The mania spins into euphoric happiness; the world shines with its majestic beauty. The smell of spring shoots through every part of my body giving it more energy. Mania seducing me into the temptation of soaring too high in the clouds. I know the risk but I just don’t want to stop! Look around at all I have done! (I applaud myself because I used it for good this time!)  My self-esteem could not be higher; I’m capable of everything, and really let’s be honest everyone loves my energy….

What goes up must come down… 

What people don’t often notice is what happens when I start falling from the clouds and land in a pile of rocks near an ocean. Broken bones and waves that will not stop.

The stinging. The noise. The pain. 

I look at the bank account and realize how much money was spent to feed the mania and create all the beautiful art. Now I face shame and guilt because I  allowed it to happen again.


(Because of all the times I snapped at someone while I was working on my amazing project)

Now my usual routine:

“I’m sorry”. (you know the drill). 

“I will try harder next time.” (I don’t want to hurt people, but it will probably happen again). 

The worst part about bipolar is I know it will never end. It WILL happen again and again. 

Shame. Anger. Blame. Hopelessness. 

I’ve tried not to go down this path again. I’m so sad and everything hurts; I want to turn it into anger, but then I would push everyone away (which hurts everyone in the end). 

My heart feels like it’s shattering. My body is a corpse laying on the shore, and I’m floating above. What if this is finally the time I don’t come back? I lose reality. The absence of self never been so deep I can’t snap back into myself.  I feel lost looking at a face that is not mine. 

“Smile Ivy.” I tell myself. “Do kind things. Be loving. Work harder. Listen. Smile. Just keep smiling.” 

Because if others knew the truth of what’s behind my eyes, they would be afraid. They would not come near, they would not trust me with anything. 

The excruciating pain pushes me further away from my body. What if this is it? What if I’m finally lost and can’t find my way back? Despair is the only word that can touch this feeling. Broken bones being pushed around by the ocean waves; some remain, some float into the depths…

A note from one of our therapists:

Have you ever felt like this? What if you did have the power to take control? What if you could make the high not so high and low not so low?

Let me tell you: there is hope! You can create and accomplish your passions,while allowing yourself to love and be present. This does not have to be the way life feels forever.
I have recently been trained in Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), and I have a huge passion to help clients thrive with an illness that is all-consuming at times. By finding triggers in interpersonal life situations and adjusting your sleep schedule to your circadian rhythm you can improve your moods and understand your unique self better. Not everyone is the same, so this is a solution focused on your specific needs and may include: exercise 30-60 minutes a day, tracking your mood, adjusting your diet, and medication. This sounds overwhelming but we start with baby steps and make adjustments as we go.
I challenge you to not “spring into spring” this year. Slow down. Smell the fresh air from your hammock and read a book. Focus on keeping yourself balanced. If you feel an extreme high, focus on being relaxed and calm. If you feel low, go for a walk outside or create something. Accept that this is no different than any other chronic medical condition. There is only one you and you were created for something greater than yourself. Others need you. You are loved. You are special. You are enough.
Now fight back, and take control.