Living with an invisible disability like bipolar disorder makes you feel like you’ve been categorized in the discount section of a forgotten bin of stuff during a highly anticipated Black Friday sale. As a result, it’s easy to not want to talk about it, and just forget you live with it entirely… that is until it resurfaces and you cannot live without being bipolar. What I mean by all of this is that you feel like you’re living in the “lesser than” shadow of life, where you’re never good enough but not terrible either… simply mediocre.
Perhaps it’s my depression talking rather than the ever so great mania, but I do feel just mediocre and not-quite-enough lately.
Not-quite-enough sick. Not-quite-enough well. Not-quite-enough good enough, and just treading above water. This is all unearthing itself whilst I am sick at home and unable to attend work at the moment. I’ve taken the week off to try and regroup because I’ve had a mini relapse of psychosis, and it is what truly defines an invisible disability.
I’m taking a daily walk or two out with my dog as my emotional sidekick, and no one would probably bat an eye at me thinking I live in a colourful bipolar world of hallucinations and psychosis.
That is what it is to live with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and really any mental health challenge in general. You look “normal” but forever feel “less than” the average person because your experiences reach a world that is beyond you (no this is not “cool” kids, it’s fucking scary). These experiences are ones where people pay good money to take psychedelics with the hopes of “seeing” and “feeling” different.
It started with soft piano keys that progressed to Nelly Furtado, “I’m like a Bird”, remixed in with deep male voices that were telling me the shadows I saw on the wall were going to eat me alive… Dawn of the Dead style.
Great start to a Saturday night, am I right? Here I am now feeling like crap, loaded up on more drugs that are waiting to kick in. Until it works it’s magic, it’s just sedating me and making me sleepy and sloth-like. Being a Type-A person though, I still feel more constructive in my day considering I feel like shit, but not definitely not up to par and at my usual lightening speed of efficiency. That’s not what taking this sick time is about though.
Taking sick time away from work-life is about self-care and love, in whatever form that is for you!
Sleeping? Sure a nap can help, especially because your mind is working extra hard to stay calm and not anxious and depressed. Going for a walk? Why not, there are so many mental wins for fresh air. Just being a vegetable on the couch and watching Netflix? Do. Not. Feel. Guilty. For. This. This time away from work isn’t about being particularly productive with the focus on how many work-outs you can fit into a day, or how many hours of meditating you can plug in. Feed your soul with what feels good in the moment in order to stay sane and well.
With that said, this is where I bid my adieu this week. Stay sane and well everyone – the Universe knows we’ll need it during this pandemic.