All about Baaaaalance.

I think I’ve finally gotten to a point where I feel stable and normal. My doctor and I are very pleased to see how far I’ve struggled and still come through. However, the funny thing about bipolar is that when you’re happy, you tend to mistake it as mania/ hypomania because 1) you’re just too familiar with depression and who you’re with depression, and 2) you believe that the only justified reason you’d ever feel happy and normal is hypomania. I don’t mean that I’m sad (hell no) about the way I feel and behave now, but this whole thing on getting better vs being hypomanic is constantly shadowing my satisfied inner self. I can’t seem to overcome such fear of getting worse and having to crawl back to the cold and lonely darkness. You thought it’d take time to make peace with mental illness, live with non-stop episodes of depression and hypomania, but you never thought you actually needed time to get used to feeling good again. How weird is our brain?

As much as I want to withdraw all those mood stabilizer, antidepressant, and antipsychotic and get back to a slimmer body, doctor and I have to be extremely careful with the dosage. We wouldn’t risk messing with this fine cocktail and giving me another miserable episode. So I’ll be patient and decrease the dosage very very slowly, especially when so many aspects of my life have changed.

Speaking of what’s changed, I have A JOB!!! I teach kindergarten and primary school students at a learning center part-time. I cannot think of a single thing that makes me happier then finally getting back to work. Failing to work and falling behind everyone had been one of the major factors I felt insufficient and unworthy. I guess some hole in my heart is filled now. I love the kids so so much, although there’s one thing I need to work on, which is filtering the rude but harmless things they say. On my first day of work, a K-2 boy threw a tantrum and refused to come inside and take class with me, this new stranger teacher. Then I asked myself, “Was I not good and friendly enough? Was that why he’s so scared at first?” Another day a K-1 girl grabbed my pen away while I was correcting her classwork, so I gave her a long stare and kinda told her it’s wrong in a firm tone. Then she said “You’re fat! You’re so fat!” I literally froze and tried so hard to hold the tears. I didn’t know how to face her. Damn. When I got home and vented to my friend that night, I couldn’t stop the fears. Since I’ve just somewhat recovered, I’m still in a fragile and slightly “paranoid” state. I have the tendency to be self-conscious and prove I’m not as ready as I think I’m when I get the chance. One thing I must learn is to never take a kid’s emotion personal. Otherwise I’ll be stressed out and break down easily.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I now go to church weekly with my friends. I can go on and on about how Christianity gives me doubts and pressure since my anxiety in college. I began to struggle and fail to understand how and why God allows pain and suffering in the world. And when I experienced depression, it was the worst nightmare I could ever imagine; and if I were to believe Him and admit to be a Christian, it meant I had absolutely no right to kill myself. So when you put every doubt and bad feeling in the equation, abandoning the religion really was the best option. I was completely in control of my death inside out. And I could blame anyone, anything for all the unfairness in the world. I could care less. I don’t know how I’m gonna react to God eventually, but so far all the testimonies and preaches I’ve heard has made me feel something again. I guess it’s a good sign, huh. I really don’t know.

Put faith and belief aside. I’m surprised and so glad to hang out with my friends and even meet some new faces, without the anchor I held onto every single time in the past. I never knew I could actually talk and have fun to join friends on my own without pressure. Although I’ve known them for many years, it’s a whole new experience. I don’t think they’d seen me to be this outgoing and talkative before. I like how it is now.

There’re so many fears one heart can take. I can either constantly be worried that I’ll be depressed and suicidal, or I can live in the present and think about how I’ll react only when that happens. The truth is, anything can happen tomorrow. Perhaps something horrible does occur in my life and I’m immediately dragged back to another long journey of depression. Not meaning to be pessimistic, perhaps I’ll die tomorrow. There’re too many uncertainties that I cannot account for. Bipolar disorder is a life-long battle, depression and hypomania come and go. Perhaps as a human being, the only sanity that matters is when you feel sane, despite your true psychological state; the only beauty that counts is when you feel pretty and confident, despite your physical appearance and the society’s standard. Living with bipolar or not, life is all about finding the balance that makes you peaceful.

Norelle
After midnight 7.3.2018

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