The Reality of Mental Illness

The Reality of Mental Illness

I know I usually only make one mental health post a month, but I felt the need to get real with you guys. I think it’s only fair that I always be open and honest with you all and share the good as well as the bad. Because this is the reality of mental illness. There are days where you’re motivated and days where you just want to crawl into bed and never leave. Currently, I’m going through the latter.

It started a few weeks ago. My energy levels plummeted, I was so tired all the time, I started eating badly again when I’ve been working hard to lose weight and ended up gaining back 5 of the pounds I had previously lost. And the worst one, is that I started relying on alcohol again as my crutch instead of using my healthy coping mechanisms. This is the reality of bipolar disorder – addiction. Did you know that bipolar disorder is the most common mental illness that causes people to have addictions? Did you know that 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder will commit suicide? These are the things we’re too scared to talk about. We’re too scared to discuss it. And honestly, it IS scary. It’s scary to go through my life every day and say “yes, I’m bipolar, yes I have an addiction to alcohol at times”.

I go through months of down times where I can barely look at myself in the mirror. Where I can barely keep myself going. And lately, I have had zero motivation to get my shit together. One of the things that I find myself struggling with is resentment and anger. Why me? Why does my life have to be so much harder than everyone else’s? Why can’t I drink casually? Why can’t I have a healthy relationship with food? Why did it have to be me that ended up with bipolar? This can cause my downward spiral to spin even further out of control. And I’m not going to lie to you guys, I’m having a hard time thinking of reasons to keep trying to get my mental health in order. I have to work every single day to keep myself on track. I have to take medications twice a day. I have to mood track using an app. I have to meditate twice a day, so my anxiety doesn’t get out of control. I have to pay $180 a session to see a psychologist that I see once every 2 weeks. I have to monitor my food and alcohol. I have to see my doctor every month to make sure my medications are still working for me. I have to deal with losing friendships due to coming out about my mental illness. And it’s so insanely hard sometimes.

But I refuse to give up. I absolutely, positively, refuse, to let bipolar become my identity and take over me. I will continue to take my medication and fight this never-ending battle. No matter how hard it seems sometimes, I will endure. For me, for my husband, for my friends and family. I will force myself to stay out of my comfort zone and do the things that make me happy and that I’m passionate about, like painting and drawing, like boxing, like writing for my blog and being open with you guys. And I sincerely wish I could be posting a happier blog for you today. I truly do. But that, is not the reality of mental illness. This is.

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