It starts like an itch & then my face is wet. It is not raining. The sky is clear, especially for this time of night.
I am crying.
Barely five minutes ago I was laughing.
The depression drowns out the mania & sometimes they mix like a cocktail, having the same effect of making me sick. These mixed states are one of the very worst parts of my illness. I’m quite literally at two different poles of the disease. Right now, it’s nearly 3:00am as I am writing this and my mascara is blurring because I am raw, vulnerable and simply do not know what to do but write.
I write because I am scared. I am scared of my own mind. Am I truly feeling my emotions or is it my bipolar disorder? Am I happy or it is hypomania? Am I angry & irritable because the situation warrants it or is this a full manic episode? Am I crying because I am sad or is it a depressive episode? Bipolar disorder lies. I feel like I cannot control my own mind at times. I feel like I cannot trust my own intuition. Is it intuition or paranoia? The questions stack like the foundation of a terrible building.
I am strong. I am a fighter. There will be a sunrise and tomorrow this might be a vague memory of a nightmare I would rather soon forget. For now, I fight my way through the dark because I stopped crying. Putting my thoughts to print purges it from the crevices of my mind. Sharing lightens the burden I feel.
I get asked often, “What are tips for getting through mixed episodes?” and I want to offer a platitude or an encouraging word, but mostly I am honest and tell them how I do it.
One night at a time.
This post originally appeared on The Mighty.