Sometimes, when I get stressed, anxious or frustrated, I break down. The hard part is, it’s not just from things most people would find stressful. In fact, I deal pretty well with the big things: loss breakups.
I know these things are bad and I feel what I would consider “normal” emotions when they happen. Maybe that’s because I know everyone feels them and society accepts those emotions as valid.
My body and my brain can’t tell the difference between a life-or-death situation and a normal, everyday worry. I have the same panicked reaction to misplacing my phone as I might to misplacing my purse.
My brain and body can go from zero to 100 in two seconds flat. I’m never truly calm: I might look like it on the outside but beneath the surface, there’s a trigger just waiting to flip and throw me into a full-on panic attack. What makes this even more fun is that I have learned to become anxious about the possibility of becoming anxious.
I’ve been this way my whole life but I never knew there was a name for it. When I “overreacted” as a kid, people thought I was just being dramatic. Maybe they thought I just wanted attention and thought crying was the best way to get it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I want nothing more than to be happy. Because, you see, my “happy” is a million times more happy than anyone else’s.
I’ve gotten better at this over the past few years. I’ve become better at voicing what I need, even if I’m far from perfect. At least now, I can say it’s starting to get bad before I’m “there.” At least now, I can recognize when I can’t handle a single minute more before I’m lying on the floor, pounding my fists into my own body out of frustration and rage.
If I get there, there’s not much I can do but go to a quiet place where I don’t have to see or talk or touch anyone and try to use any number of tools — from medication to breathing exercises — to bring myself back to normal.
If you’re going to be in my life, then you should know about this. But if respecting my different needs or believing me when I say I have a need makes you feel hurt, then it’s better we not be friends.
Love Ms Bipolar x