Tag Archives: relationships

Learning to Say “No”

For a long time I had trouble saying no. I think it had to do with the notion that people would like me more if I gave them what they wanted combined with an intense terror and anxiety about what would happen if I were to say “no”.

Realistically, there were many years where I just did what everyone around me wanted me to do. I relied on everyone else to make up my own mind for me.

Go on a special diet? Ok.

Hang out with an emotionally abusive friend? Ok.

Watch my boyfriend spend our anniversary hanging out with his friends? Sure.

I don’t think it is that I didn’t have any of my own opinions, I was just afraid of what would happen if I expressed them.

After all, if I told my boyfriend he was being a dick, wouldn’t he break up with me?

And if I told that emotionally abusive friend I didn’t want to hang out, wouldn’t she verbally attack me until I gave in anyway?

And if I went against a doctor’s orders, would I be blacklisted from their office or… well… die?

That might sound a little extreme, but fear can take you to many odd, irrational places.

The breakthrough came when I met with an art therapist named Sandy who told me I could say no. There was something about someone I respected giving me permission to say no and stand up for myself that gave me a nudge in the right direction.

I slowly switched tactics, saying “no” when I could muster the strength to do so by adding an explanation in my response. My intense anxiety dictated that the explanation always be true. That way I wouldn’t feel “caught in a lie” if the other person tried to call me out, and I would feel better defending my original response.

The explanations I gave felt necessary. Part of me didn’t believe that if I just said no, people would take it at face value. There were so many people in my past who would poke a prod if there were any air of mystery around what I was doing, so I let them know immediately.

To be honest, this system was a great stepping stone for me, but something about constantly explaining myself to others made me feel vulnerable and like I was looking for their approval. It wasn’t until my latest therapist that I heard a thought that would change everything.

“You don’t have to give any explanation, you can always just say no.”

I laughed at that, it boggled my mind at the time. I couldn’t really believe anyone could say no without being completely trampled by the person they were saying it to. I’m sure part of that comes from a life with so many people who have trampled me, and the unyielding urge to remain as un-trampled as possible.

Still, about a month ago I found myself sitting on the floor with my phone. A friend had asked if I wanted to hang out and I was racking my brain, searching for a reason for not doing so that would sound good. I wanted to have a reason for saying no that wouldn’t offend them, something that would still make them feel important… but without lying. I was having trouble coming up with the words.

After thirty minutes of rolling around on the carpet contemplating the situation a lightbulb went off in my head. I could just say, “no”.

So I did.

A few minutes later I got the response, “ok, no problem.” And that was it.

I leapt up and danced around the apartment as Corey rolled his eyes at me. “I just said ‘no’ with no explanation!” I shouted as I wiggled around the living room, throwing my hands in the air.

He didn’t see the significance, but it was the first time I’d ever just said no.

Maybe this change is fueled partially by my age, as I feel more and more comfortable asking for the things I want and being ok with my own preferences. At the same time, it has taken me years to cut the people out of my life who make me feel small and insignificant and replace them with people who respect me and the things I have to say. Doing so has given me an environment where saying what is on my mind has little chance of emotional backlash, and though it still feels terrifying (at times) expressing my needs I am coming to realize that there is no point being afraid of the ghosts of a precarious past that has long passed.

Cosmic Weight

My anxiety has been through the roof the last few days, to the point where it feels like giant fingers are wrapped around me in a constant, slow squeeze. I keep breathing in as deeply as I can to fight the feeling of constriction, but I am left still, minutes later, out of breath.

Last week there was a death in my family. Not a fun prospect, considering my family is quite small to begin with. The shock I felt was compounded by the fact that my grandpa was someone who I remember always smiling and laughing, always a welcome sight in a rather emotionally tumultuous family.

I can’t help but wonder if the last two days of depression and intense anxiety I’ve had are a slow response to losing someone. Sometimes it can be so hard to tell what feelings go with what situation (or if they are correlated with any at all) but it seems to be pretty common for me to have delayed reactions, emotionally.

All I know is that the realm of bad news has been pretty intense for me this year and (as I stated the last two months) really cosmos, you can stop any time now.

At any rate, I am hoping spending some time outside in the sunshine today will help lift the spirits a bit and will give me a little relief from otherwise crushing anxiety!

The Hypomanic Ascent

My episodes are not always straightforward. Instead of looking like a game of tetris (lovely solid interlocking chunks), my mood charting the last two weeks looks more like the work of a seismograph.

One day of depression. One day of mixed symptoms. One day with a depressed swing and a hypomanic swing. Two days of hypomania. One day with a depressed swing. One day with two depressed swings. One day with a hypomanic swing and a depressed swing.

And so on.

Around the first day of spring, I knew things were beginning to change for my mood because I was experiencing increased insomnia. That, and Corey (my boyfriend) was heading out of town, and I wasn’t pulling my usual hysterical, “I’m going to die without you,” bag of tricks.

Actually, for the first time in the six years we’ve been dating (and countless projects he’s gone across the country to work on) I felt fine about his absence. Confident. Relaxed. Awake. Giggly. Awake.

It wasn’t until I was dancing around the grocery store with a cart full of tater tots, laughing wildly and scaring the other customers that I realized it had come.

Hypomania!

I was elated (well, literally) about finding myself feeling so good. Despite almost wanting to talk in whispers (as not to scare it off) I shouted loud, animated, boisterous jokes.

Despite being as careful as I could about my sleep schedule (and taking Ambien without it doing anything except causing me to black out and wake up with paragraphs of nonsensical, albeit passionate writing on my phone) the hypomania stuck around for a few days.

Going, in a matter of days, from a deep place of loathing toward everything to suddenly loving everything can be a very interesting experience. After all, depression has this obnoxious ability to make it seem as if it will last forever. It seems like every couple years I reach a point where I begin to believe it, and this has been one of those years.

Having said that, it might be doubly frustrating to experience things in the opposite direction, as I did Monday. Going from feeling great, to crashing miserably in hysterics and despair, another instance of those mood tremors I was talking about.

At this point I am grateful for a change, even if it is an erratic one. Feeling great (even for a small fraction of the time) is preferable to feeling great none of the time. If my ascent out of deep depression into hypomania involves a lot of peaks and valleys I don’t feel like I can complain, because at least I feel like I’m moving forward again.

Bridges; To Burn or Not To Burn

If there is one ultimate truth regarding those of us with bipolar disorder, it is this: we are emotional. Granted, humans generally are, but we are more so.

Because of this it isn’t uncommon for us to find ourselves in situations where we need to, want to, or are being forced to sever ties with not only the people around us, but the communities we find ourselves in or the jobs we hold.

I’ve burned a lot of bridges at jobs I’ve held, and even some in communities, but the bridges I’d like to focus on today are ones of friendship.

In the past, friendships were very difficult for me. As I mentioned, I’m a tad emotional, and there has been more than one occasion where I have exploded in a fiery cataclysm, denouncing all ties of friendship and loyalty.

The trouble with bipolar disorder is that I can have feelings for hate for something or someone one day, and feel reasonably loving toward them the next. Before I realized this, there were a lot of friendship bridges burnt, so I started a new methodology. That, and, I realized that my actions were hurting people… which isn’t really fun for them (and, you know, were apparently even a bit emotionally scarring). That’s not the sort of person I want to be, so I implemented the new plan.

Don’t burn the bridge.

I’m sure you’re thinking that this might sound easy but we both know that acting it out can be quite difficult. That’s why I developed a strategy to help.

Ignore the friggen’ bridge.

There have been several friends in my life that I found myself growing apart from. Sometimes that is just the way life works, people head off in different directions. After finding myself in situations where we’d both sit and awkwardly stare at our drinks without really talking for our usual social time, I could tell it was time to part ways.

And that’s when I’d start to get the itch. The bridge burning itch. The aggressive, intrusive, I’m going to call them and tell them never to talk to me again itch.

For a while the friendships in my life were neatly book-ended. There was a clear beginning and a clear end of each one (thanks, in part, to my bridge-burning). What I discovered in my adult life was that friends would sort of just start to fade away. I’d see less and less of them (and inevitably want to friend-dump them).

Let’s not forget, I didn’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be that person. Instead of burning the bridge, I work very hard to ignore it. I let it fade away until it seems to be gone, and in one situation I was even rewarded for this. A few years later my friend came back into my life and our friendship was suddenly better than it had been before.

This hasn’t happened with the others, but that one successful re-friendship has taught me that people learn and grow at different speeds. Sometimes when we aren’t synced up, we lose touch and part ways, but that isn’t a good reason to cut off all ties with that person forever. They could always have a life event that brings them closer to you than ever somewhere down the line!

On top of that, I’ve learned that what I say (and don’t say) to other people is really important to me. It’s true that some people have pushed my buttons on purpose, or given me the ol’ friendship backstab move, but that probably isn’t a good reason to unleash the raging, fiery cataclysmic beast that dwells inside of me. As it turns out, when people hurt me, I am often capable of hurting them ten fold. After all, I never do anything half-assed.

Straight From the Horses Mouth

Most of my blog posts are concocted days, if not weeks in advance. I write about four times more than I actually post, to weed out… well, you know. Crap. Yesterday, for example, I wrote four posts in preparation for today. All I had to do was wake up, pick one, and post it.

There are moments every once in a while though where I need to be able to write about my current situation (not complain, mind you) without feeling guilty about it or feel like I’m some kind of raving lunatic. The truth is that I’ve got a lot going on, and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together has left me more confused than informed.

I spent the better half of yesterday and this morning delusional. This isn’t new, as Corey just walked out the door about half an hour ago (the delusions just usually take a bit longer to catch on). I’m about to be alone for the next five days (I say “alone” but I mean primarily “with friends” so not actually alone alone) and there was a moment last week in therapy where my therapist predicted this broken record of a situation.

“Your lizard brain is going to be screaming ‘he’s leaving me, he’s leaving me!’ …but he isn’t.”

I’ve been rather forthcoming on this blog about how backwards my brain seems to work when my boyfriend is away. I do seem to suddenly believe he has left me, that I am all alone and will be forever, and that he doesn’t give a shit about little old me.

In the last 48 hours, this has caused me to cry uncontrollably, send him angry text messages, yell at him, cry some more, and try (probably unsuccessfully) to explain that my brain is giving me both fact and fiction at once, and it is anybody’s guess as to which will win out at any given time.

It isn’t that I’m jealous, or even suspicious of him. It is more like once he is out of my sight, I believe whole heartedly that he is dead and I will never see him again.

Of course, were this some kind of zombie apocalypse movie, I’m sure he might be… but Texas on a Friday probably isn’t a big deal.

At this moment I feel surprisingly optimistic. I mean, maybe it is over? Maybe I’ve cried all the tears I have, and I wont cry any more.

On top of that, it could also be that Tegretol could be to blame for this cry-fest, not Corey’s departure. All I can do is keep taking it and see if the crying continues or if it (hopefully) stops.

The delusions themselves seem very… quick-ish. Coming on rapidly in waves of 30 minutes to an hour apiece, and then apparently evaporating as quickly as they arrived (nice, I’d say). My head does feel like a magic eight ball somebody has been shaking all morning though, so I think I will need a little time before I can step back and see the big picture again.

In any case, I am prepared to watch chick flicks, eat pizza, go shopping for cheeses, eat donuts, belch loudly, and dance around in my pajamas for the next five days. If you need me, that’s where I’ll be.

SSDI Prep – Finding a Witness

Continuing with the ongoing story of what is going on week to week leading up to my Social Security Disability hearing in a month or so, I received a letter in the mail from my attorney that says I have a telephone meeting scheduled with the attorney the day before my hearing to go over everything, and oh, yes… by the way… we need you to find a witness who can come to your trial. Thanks!

First, I find myself flabbergasted that this hasn’t come up before now. I mean, the hearing is in a month! And, you know, generally everyone I know works, which means having to take time off to come to my hearing.

Then there is the obvious question, who should be my SSDI hearing witness?

While I’ve already done a little research on this topic (when my friend was applying for SSDI and asked me to be his witness) I know that someone who has seen my disability in action is the best candidate. That said, I have also read several articles that suggest that this witness have something more to say than what I have to say about myself.

I know I am not the first (or last) person to find myself in this conundrum.

If we were going solely off of someone who could tell you something new about me, I expect being able to show the judge my disability through the eyes of my boyfriend might suffice. At the same time, wouldn’t it be more fitting or be more helpful to have my witness be someone I’ve worked with, who has seen my bipolar symptoms in the workplace?

I thought about that for a while, but I think in all reality the answer is no. While in the workplace I worked hard to veil my bipolar symptoms and anxiety wherever I could, generally limiting my panic attacks and outbursts to a stall in the women’s bathroom.

At my last job, I couldn’t even recognize myself that I was exceptionally paranoid and delusional until much later, and when I spoke to representatives in HR and had meetings with them and my department head, they all took me very seriously and believed everything I told them (for the most part).

For these reasons, I don’t think my ex co-workers or boss could even pick out the elements I was presenting that were off, (short of shouting absurd comments that didn’t make sense at meetings). Most of them don’t know that I have a mental health diagnosis, and thought I left the company because of physical illness.

Though Corey (my boyfriend) hasn’t worked with me in a while (we’ve done a few small projects together) he has been privy to everything that has gone down in the last year (and more). I have not hidden my symptoms from him, and he is someone I consider to be a particularly intelligent person, someone able to draw their own conclusions rather easily.

Having considered these things, I am about 95% certain I am going to rely on Corey to be my witness, after all, he is (as requested in my letter)

“a friend or family member who is familiar with your medical condition and daily activities available to speak on your behalf.”

My only fear in this situation is that he might hold back on the truth, but he really isn’t the sort of person who fears many things… I expect it will be fine.

And, just as a final note, my psychiatrist has agreed to speak to my attorney and give him his files. I had to pay about $85 for this service, but I have been seeing this psychiatrist for a few years now and he has a ton of information on me that will really be helpful at the hearing. I’m excited that these things that have caused me so much anxiety are slowly falling into place!

The Bipolar Friendship

Whether you’re two friends and one happens to have bipolar disorder and the other doesn’t, or if you’re in the ever-intense double bipolar friendship (which tend to be some of my favorites), maintaining a friendship that includes bipolar disorder can be a confusing but rewarding adventure.

I must admit, the most common thing the bipolar-less person asks me is what their bipolar friend’s actions ultimately mean. Apparently there are things the (cycling, I’m not entirely sure about the stable ones) bipolar friend does that the average human friend doesn’t do, and I’ve seen some trends (and, well, lived them). What it boils down to is that problems with bipolar friendships seem to come most often from something like misinterpretation of our actions.

I thought I would put together a list of ways to help the friendships of anyone who is friends with someone with bipolar disorder. This could be for non-bipolar folk, or bipolar diagnoses alike, as long as the second person in the friendship has bipolar disorder.

1. Making Plans 

The most common situation I know of is that two people have just met and they have really hit it off. Maybe they’ve hung out a few times and really enjoyed themselves. The trouble comes when bipolar disorder switches gears from a good or stable mood to a depressive mood.

So maybe one friend calls the BP friend, but they don’t want to hang out. Maybe they text them some other time, and they can’t, for whatever reason, hang out. This is about the time where a lot of people would shrug them off and maybe not call again, or continue making plans with other friends and stop inviting the BP friend.

Instead, I would recommend sticking with calling the BP friend to hang out and inviting them to social situations, and here’s why: there may be many times we don’t feel physically or mentally able to be around others, and these times can last from a matter of hours to a matter of months. It is something we have no control over, and you better believe we want to be able to be out with our friends.

The refusal to hang out is nothing personal, and it is important to a friend to see it that way.

2. The Disappearing Act

It is also common for a symptomatic bipolar person to fall off the face of the earth sometimes. One minute they’ll be in your life, and the next you wont be able to reach them by phone or email or whatever. This is another area where friends take it personally, but it is almost always because of bipolar symptoms flaring up. Your BP friend may be feeling very overwhelmed, or depression might make them feel like isolating themselves. BP friend might even be having a situation as serious as delusions or mania (and locked themselves indoors to clean the apartment for a week straight).

For a person with bipolar disorder who is still having symptoms, we can be extremely inconsistent. Many people love this wild and spontaneous aspect, but others take it personally when we are very open and friendly one minute and have disappeared the next. Many of us will come back around when we’re feeling better, and sometimes others need a little reminder that you’re still there wanting to be friends.

3. In Times of Trouble

I think many people make friends with bipolar folk because of their strong empathy and vivid personalities. It isn’t as widely realized that our upbeat attitudes can often come at the price of very low, depressed moments that follow.

It is 2 am. Your phone rings. It is your BP friend. They’ve clearly been crying and want to talk.

The risk of suicide for someone with bipolar disorder is unfortunately a very real danger. If we’ve gone out of our way to call someone, it is (in my experience) usually an emergency situation.

Staying calm and simply talking to your friend can do a lot to make them feel better.

One step further, if you’re pretty close with this person, having an emergency plan set up ahead of time with them in case this situation arises is a great idea (and is something I’ve done for a couple of my friends).

Really, being available to talk when your friend needs to talk is a huge part of the bipolar friendship.

4. Not Your Job

I would really hope that our good ol’ BP friend would be taking care of themselves. A lot of tension in relationships come from when they are not, and the friend feels the need to try to take care of them.

I realize that helping out a friend who is in trouble is one thing, but having a friend rely on you solely for their needs is no longer a healthy friendship. It is important to notice when your own needs aren’t being met because, like everyone else, your priority should be to take care of yourself first (after all, there isn’t anyone else who is going to).

5. Try to Be Forgiving

Though there are those in the bipolar community that will remove themselves from society when they feel volatile, there are others that find themselves in a situation where they can’t hold back. That’s right, our favorite word vomit. 

Wow, yes, it is truly terrifying to think of how many horrible, insulting things I’ve said to people over the years. Sometimes it just comes out, and even though I only mean it for the slightest of moments, it is already out there.

Let me just say, our minds play tricks on us. One minute we could feel things like love and adoration and respect, the next we feel like Tina Turner in Beyond Thunder Dome. I’ve even had situations (more often than you’d think) where I become delusional and accuse people of the wildest, weirdest things they’ve never done. (Now you know why I opt to just stay home from the party…)

Being able to see, say, the humor in these situations helps me a lot. Being understanding, knowing what my friends truly think about me helps me remember that the things they say (or I say) don’t always count. If you’re going to hold a grudge, maybe a bipolar friendship isn’t for you.

 

To finish things off, I thought I’d conclude with a list of reasons why people with bipolar disorder make kick-ass friends:

10. We are a resilient bunch, you can’t keep us down
9. We are often forgiving of others
8. On occasion we’re the life of the party
7. We know how to be risk-takers
6. Many of us are creative
5. We love to make up for periods of depression when we’re feeling better
4. We’ve all led very interesting lives
3. We are a very humorous folk
2. We can empathize with whatever you’re going through
1. You wont find a more passionate group of people out there!

Replacing Guilt With Gratitude

It seems like most often in the throes of turmoil I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for putting the people around me through whatever abject misery I’m subjecting them to. You know, things like making them uncomfortable as I cry constantly, or irritating them as I whine about how much my muscles hurt from depression and anxiety. Maybe even such fun as accusing them of doing or thinking things they didn’t do… or, everyone’s favorite, breaking their things in a fit of rage.

The guilt that comes with being “unmanageable” is overwhelming at times. Sometimes my ego swells into that place of, “you really deserve to be around somebody sane,” -in other words, you deserve better than me. This is apparently just me wallowing in my own depression and whatnot, and when I recognize these moments I find myself uttering a long, sloppy, “I’m sorrys”.

Now it is one thing to be sorry about messing someone’s shit up, and it is another to find yourself saying nothing but “I’m sorry” for hours at a time.

What I wonder is if my string of “sorrys” really makes any difference to the receiver. I mean, one sorry is nice to hear. Maybe even two, but then it is time to move on to other conversation. I’ve sensed that my broken record of “sorrys” is inevitably doing more harm than good, after all, is my obsessive behavior undoing the very peace I’ve meant to convey?

Lately I’ve changed tactics. One moment a week or two ago I realized that as much as I was saying I was sorry, what I really meant to say was thank you. 

Thank you for being supportive of me.

Thank you for putting up with my endless emotional black hole.

Thank you for listening to the things I have to say that may not actually make any sense to you.

The result was instantaneous. With my first sobbing, “thank you” to my boyfriend (replacing the long string of “I’m sorrys”) something happened that I didn’t expect.

I didn’t have anything to say next.

Somehow the “thank you” acted as a period on the end of my emotional run-on-sentence, leaving Corey feeling good about helping me and me ultimately feeling less sorry about how I was acting.

I realized that after all this time there was only so much apologizing I could do about being who I am and at this point I’ve used it up. My boyfriend knows who I am. My friends know who I am. My family knows I am struggling and that it isn’t my fault. There is no apology they haven’t heard, or that will change the way I feel. I’ve tried apologizing to feel better and it doesn’t work. 

I’m not saying being grateful is a cure-all, I still cry a lot. I still have fits of anger and excitement. The difference is that I’m not letting my guilt about feeling this way control my actions and my relationships. I want the people around me to know how much I appreciate their love and support, so why not focus on that instead? I bet you’ll find it does a lot to change a situation for the better.

Five Ways to Support Someone With Mental Illness During the Holidays

The holiday season can be stressful for the best of us, and for those (like myself) living with mental illness it can be extremely challenging. I feel like one of the questions I hear most is, “how can I be supportive of my friend or family member with mental illness during the holidays?” Here are five great places to start!

5. Invite them over

Many of the people I know who are struggling this time of year don’t get along well with their families, and therefore have no place to go during the holidays. If you can invite them over for Christmas dinner with your family that would be swell, but even just inviting them over to spend time together one on one or in a small group around that time can be incredibly uplifting when it can be hard to get out of the house. That said,

4. Don’t take it personally if they don’t make it over

Many times, just the invitation of having someplace to go is nice, but sometimes this prospect can be overwhelming or our current mental state isn’t exactly polished enough to feel comfortable in a large social setting. Our discomfort often arises from our moods, anxiety, or medications, not the person kind enough to invite us over. If you’ve invited someone over to your party, gathering, or other social event, please remember that if we say no, it isn’t a reflection on you.

3. Encourage them to arrive late, leave early, or take a breather from the party

I know I’ve often felt pressure from folks at parties when I expressed that I needed to leave early (often because of mood swings or side effects from medications) and being encouraging of your friend or family member during a social gathering to arrive or leave when they need to, or even to take a breather outside to get out of the crowd can be extremely helpful. When I know people are grateful that I came to an event, even if just for a little while, I’m much more likely to feel comfortable enough to go again.

2. Try to avoid the pressure of gift-giving

While many people with mental illness do perfectly fine for themselves monetarily, there are also many of us who can’t work because of our situation. Though it is always nice to receive a gift, it can feel very stressful knowing you don’t have anything to give in return. My family has done something this year that has really, really helped me with this; they’ve expressed they’re more interested in spending time with me than receiving gifts. Putting focus on being able to spend time with someone that you love or care about instead of the gift-giving aspect of the holidays can be a big stress relief.

1. Let them know how much they mean to you

Maybe the person you want to feel supported is someone you see regularly, and it is easy to tell them how much they mean to you. If not, a phone call is a great option, or even sending a card with a note inside in the mail. Personally, I shy away from messages through electronic means (email, text, and facebook) as I find they feel more impersonal and actually make me feel more isolated and depressed. If you’re sending a message of love, why not make it feel as personal as possible!

Coping With Imaginary Rejection

This most recent bout of depression has been manifesting itself though several bouts of imaginary rejection. That isn’t to say this is something new, unfortunately this is something that comes and goes for me, especially when I am in a relationship.

Imaginary rejection (as I call it) is one part delusion, one part paranoia, one part anxiety, and maybe two parts depression. The situation occurs when one begins having some kind of expectation that friends, family, or anyone else doesn’t know about. By not meeting these potentially new, unspoken expectations, the one doing the expecting feels a sense of rejection, possibly to the point where one begins to feel everyone around them is somehow out to hurt them.

Complicated? A little. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say my boyfriend is going to the grocery store to pick up some things for our lunch. He gets ready to go, and as he turns to say goodbye I am suddenly extremely alarmed that he didn’t ask me to go with him. 

Realistically, I know he never even thought about that. His goal was to get the groceries as fast as possible to please me. 

Now, I know this is something people without bipolar disorder have to deal with too. It is all about communication and whatnot, letting the people around you know what you need.

The problem for me is that this only comes on when I am symptomatic and feeling at least slightly paranoid and when depression has leveled my social skills to virtually nada. The depression is whispering in my ear that nobody likes me, and I find myself suddenly (delusional) seeing evidence of this “rejection” in every aspect of my life.

This is one of depression’s dirty little tricks that I have been chasing around for years but not really pinned down until this week. I found myself in a battle of wits with myself, my mind telling me,

“see, your boyfriend really doesn’t love you.”

to which I replied,

“are you sure, because he did say three times I could come with him after all. Would he have said that if he didn’t mean it?”

Like so many other facets of bipolar disorder, I’m trapped in a situation where I am receiving information from several sources (my brain, what is happening around me, the people around me) that doesn’t match up. The problem truly comes in not knowing which source to believe.

When faced with the sensation of imaginary rejection it seems the best defense is remembering the fact that we are in a situation of uncertainty. Simply taking a moment to remind oneself that I don’t know what source to trust right now can take the wind out of depression’s sails. Just one moment of hesitation before believing when our minds tell us we’re unloved, or unwanted, or unworthy can be enough to step back before getting swept up in it all.