I must confess. No one knows the extent and the depth of my depression and my mania. I have been very careful for years to keep my life compartmentalized, never letting different parts overlap. There are a few people close enough to me that recognize the depression, but they have no idea just how deep and deadly it really is. And everyone thinks the depression comes from life problems. No one suspects that I am clinically depressed. No one knows about the mania, either. Because I am careful, they only see that I’m in a great mood. No one knows about the spending, or the impulsive decisions.
I didn’t hide it on purpose. This has simply been a way to survive. In fact, I just now, in the past two months, recognize the signs of mania and depression. My father suffers from some depression, and I have been prone to it. I just never thought about it because that is how I am. Because the mania is not over the top, full-blown raging mania, I never really thought about that, either.
My oldest daughter is Bipolar. She cycles terribly, sometimes several times in a few minutes. I’m not like that, so I never thought I could be Bipolar. But the past few weeks I have looked closely at some patterns of behavior in my life. I have read about different types of Bipolar Disorder. I recognize myself.
I’ve always been different from everyone else. I think differently, I feel differently. I have come to accept myself as being different. I once thought it was because of the early sexual and emotional abuse I suffered. I now believe it is more than that. I am starting to understand why I am always seeking something, never quite satisfied, knowing something is missing or slightly off-kilter. This brings me some relief, just knowing why. And no, I haven’t yet been to a doctor. (I will go, but I have little to no faith in doctors). This is what I know, deep in my heart and soul. It is the reason I have kept every single person in my life slightly away from my heart; it is the reason I have felt undeserving of anyone’s love.
This brings me to my problem. I know I must seek help. I have managed to make it this far, but my house of cards is about to collapse. I cannot juggle everything in the air any longer. When suicide becomes a daily thought, when walking into the sea just sounds heavenly, I need help. I know this. But how do I come out of the closet? How do I explain to my family that I have a mental disorder that I have managed to hide from them? My husband does not handle my daughter and her problems very well. In fact, he walks away and leaves me to handle it all. He is Mr. Happy-go-lucky, and says he cannot understand anything she does. He has also dumped all the finances on me. He has no idea that bills have not been paid. I have reached the point of ignoring everything unpleasant. I just pretend it is not there; if I don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist, right? (Is that one of the signs of Bipolar, or just a coping mechanism? I don’t know.)
So, friends, what do I do? I am lost. I am alone. I am afraid.