Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, recovery, Uncategorized

Then vs. Now

bath duck close up cute duck
Photo by Ann H on

It’s been three weeks since I have been on a new hormone medication.

Ironically, I have had a pretty good three weeks looking back and completing an assessment.

I was talking with my mother on the phone the other day and one of the things that I was talking about was how I am beginning to get back to what I used to be like, from like, seven years ago.

Let’s stop for a second.  Seven years ago, was 2012, and I was diagnosed Bipolar in 2016, so this was pre-Bipolar diagnosis and during the time when I still had ovaries and uteruses.  It wasn’t the “good ole times” but it was a different time.  It was a time that a year or two ago I used to romanticize and compare my life to and think that I would never, ever get back to.

So, to have a conversation where I am stating that I am having glimpses and sharing examples of how parts of my life are like a flash from the past, is pretty impressive, in a good, sort of kind of, way.

Let me explain.

I am Irish.  Like, I took the DNA test and although I am not 100% Irish, I am nearly 50% and that is a lot of Irish for a person that does not have an ancestor that is off the boat.  With that, I embody the Irish temper.  And for those that have met me, have hung out with me, and have had the pleasure of seeing that temper, you all know what I am talking about… it isn’t a pretty picture.  Quite ugly, to be honest.  I refer to it more of having a very short fuse.  In the past I have been known to chase people in the airport and threaten to kick their canes from their arms so they would face plant.  Again, not proud, but when I snap, I snap.

Recently, the fuse is back.  Not as short as in years prior, but it’s there.

However, the enormous difference between 2012 and 2019, is that I know how to handle the fuse before we get to that whole running a muck in the airport and threatening bodily harm on strangers’ bit.

I am able to sit at my table and look at my plate, picture myself throwing it against the wall, watching the spaghetti, or was it chili, it was something red, splatter against the wall, the bowl shatter into pieces, and fall on the ground, and that be enough, all the while, never actually throwing the bowl.  In the past I would have never been able to restrain myself.  I may dissociate for a few moments, but no spaghetti or chili or bowls are even injured.  I’ve come so far.

The same with some of my stressors.  My stress levels have not gotten any lower.  If anything, they are continuing to rise.  But it’s the way that they are managed and handled.  So instead of exploding and screaming and yelling and being a monster, I hang out with a friend and we break shit.  To expand on that, we went to a rage room, which is a place of business that makes their money on people paying to go into a room and smashing and breaking things like bottles and keyboards while listening to Marilyn Manson while wearing protective gear behind closed doors.  It’s exhilarating and exhausting.  So much energy, so much force, so much emotions.  So healthy!  Again, not anything that I had done in the past, but such a great outlet for me now.


The bottom line is that I am starting to feel again.  I am able to cry.  I feel anger and sadness.  My heart hurts and has the feeling of sorrow.  While we worked on finding balance, we used medications that seemed to quiet my emotions and it was a really nice break I must say.  I don’t know if I was ready to get my feelings back.

I was sharing with a friend that being Bipolar is intense.  That we feel things intensely, that we love intensely, that we live intensely.  And to start to get those feelings back was not something I was prepared for, or was I?

I am learning that during the time that I was “frozen” or appeared to be still, I was more like a duck.  I was statuesque on the surface but kicking like hell and working so very hard under the surface.  I was preparing for this day, to be in shape for what was to come.  Now that it is here, I am more ready, still have more work to do, but way more prepared than I had been back in 2012.

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