Picture this. A brand new race car. It is the fasted race car ever built. This race car laps the other race cars with great ease. It wins race, after race, after race, with only a couple crashes. The driver signs up for the most prestigious motor race in the world. The driver knows with great certainty his car will win since it wins every race.
Race time arrives, the driver is set, and the race begins. The driver puts the petal to the metal, but nothing happens. His car does not budge. It seems as though this new car has an idiosyncrasy the driver was unaware of. After a dozen races, it has to stay parked in the garage for about three months. After three months it will be the fastest car in the world again. The driver will never know though when the car will be in working-condition.
So how in the world is the driver supposed to plan his racing schedule? How many races will he show up to only to be frustrated that his car won’t move again?
The above analogy is how I explain my depression (low energy) and mania (high energy). Many times I will sign myself up for throwing a party, committing to an activity, or completing a variety of tasks. This is because I’ve become accustomed to, and crave the manic energy that allows me to easily get these things done more quickly than most everyone else.
Then the time will come to throw that party, but all the manic energy is gone and I am left with the body and mind of the race car that won’t budge on the race track. It’s frustrating because I make grand plans, and then when the time comes, I lose all momentum and energy because my brain decided it needs to stop…. for however long it needs.
This is one of many reasons why life with bipolar can be a struggle. I’ve succumbed to the notion that planning my life cannot happen. Naturally a person who likes to plan things, I’ve had to learn to let life fall where it may, no matter where all the pieces may fall. Silver lining; this has helped me to live more in the present.
Whenever I make plans, in the back of my mind I think, ‘I wonder how my brain will be acting that day?’
How do you manage ‘planning’ anything in your life? Do you find it difficult to follow through on plans?
I’m so bipolar, and unashamed.
6 thoughts on “Bipolar Problem: Which Person Will Show Up?”
Amazing post! I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment… As a student who banks on (hypo-)mania to get things done. It’s upsetting when things don’t go as plan -especially when mania does the opposite effect.
Thank you so much! I remember feeling the same way during my college days. I look at my energy like a bank account. When I’m manic I need to deposit into the “get stuff done fund” that way when I’m depressed I have that account to kind of carry me through. Sometimes it works, sometimes not enough. Thanks for commenting!!
I’ve been literally and figuratively in the negative bank account for a while now. It’s been very difficult to get things done. Add, ADHD to the mix along with anxiety and a husband, who after 33 years of living with me and my bipolar is burnt out! I’m not depressed, just tired and afraid. I have had my life long routine of work disrupted and keeping house has never been my go to feel good thing. LOL. Praying that the recent job interview will be productive. Being a sucessful RN for 37 plus years, has been my greatest accomplishment. My husband’s ongoing grief at my last manic, then suicidal depressive episode almost 3 years ago, had left our marriage on very shaky ground. It is only by me continuing to be strong and his “counselor” have we stayed together. I’m not a runner, but it would have been so much easier than the pain this late in life at our almost 37th wedding anniversary has been. Partners need to keep taking & get support. They need to fight The Stigma too. Thank you so much @sobipoar.
Thank you so much for your comment. From everyone I’ve had the chance to write with here on my blog it has become incredibly apparent that bipolar makes marriages difficult. But I always remember our vows, through sickness and in health. There may be a time in our lives where roles are reversed (hopefully not!) but we may need to serve our husbands how they have served us. It’s all part of marriage, bipolar or not, marriages are difficult for many to sustain. I mean, our country’s divorce rate is so high! But the fact you and your husband have stayed together for so long speaks volumes!
This is the first time I have read anything that described, so vividly, Bipolar highs and crashing from an extreem high. Thank you for helping famlies and friends who probably wish they had answers for understanding their loved ones with Bipolar.
I am 72 and have lived with Bipolar since diagnosed at 49 yrs of age, but had it without correct diagnosis years before.
That is all I hope to do; add some understanding of bipolar to this world. Bipolar is often not talked about or is misunderstood. Thank you so much for your comment!