The Definition:

bi·po·lar
bīˈpōlər/
adjective
  1. (of psychiatric illness) characterized by both manic and depressive episodes, or manic ones only.

Let’s Jump Right In!

I had an amazing weekend, surrounded by a two of my closest friends and husband. We almost took our first road trip together, but ended up deciding to reschedule when we could plan more accordingly. I mean, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Or at least I thought so. This weekend high ended abruptly for me, because a wave of lows and a few trigger points decided to come in and crash the party.

What Happened?

I don’t remember exactly when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder; I believe the diagnosis came when I was 13 or so (if not a little younger). I do remember as a child feeling on top of the world one moment, then feeling like I was meeting my demise the next. Highs and lows were a huge part of my childhood, as they are my adult life. I don’t claim to know everything about this mental illness, but what I do know is not enough people throughout my life have truly cared to understand that aspect of Tamiya. For that reason alone, it’s quite easy for me to feel misunderstood by friends and family alike.

I try to be normal, everyday that I wake up. I know, you’re probably like wtf is normal anyways?. At least that’s what my loving parents say as their attempt to remind me that there is no such thing as normal. While I appreciate the gesture, I beg to differ. Let’s go into more detail, shall we?

WTF Is Normal, Anyways?

Ah, normal. I believe normal is a word that my generation has really set themselves apart from. After all, the definition literally means “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.”. Who wants to be typical? Who wants to conform to what’s expected? Nah, what I am noticing from my generation is that they like to break out of the norm box, do their own thing…be their own person despite what society thinks of them. I absolutely love it! I have a slightly different view of the word normal though, and I have had it for quite some time.

My parents will ask me from time to time, “what is normal to you?”…and I always struggle with giving an answer. Because of that, I think they believe it’s because I don’t have one…because “normal doesn’t exist”. In all actuality, I am just ashamed of my answer. I am ashamed that my mental state can get so nerve-wrecking at times that I don’t even consider myself the standard human being.  I was ashamed. Now, I am ready to give my answer.

Normal to me is several different things. Being able to wake up and appreciate life (especially if you’re beyond blessed). Being able to be in a social setting with the ones closest to you for more than a few hours without something (anything) hurting your feelings and sending you in a downward spiral. Normal to me is not being depressed for days (for reasons unknown) for weeks. Every. Month. of. The. Year. Normal for me is not trying to be happy but failing, it’s actually being happy. I’m not saying that others don’t struggle with some of the things I mentioned above; what I’m saying is that I deal with that and so much more with this mental illness. My reasons for several of my reactions are unseen, misunderstood, and even criticized or mistook for being crazy, petty, insane, or extra just to name a few.

Let’s Throw Motherhood in the Loop!

A day ending with no lows, featuring my son.

Motherhood by itself is pretty intense. Imagine coupling bipolar disorder (refer to the definition above or click here if you still unsure what it means to be diagnosed with it.) Lawd it’s not easy by a long shot, it’s a very hard balancing act to be completely honest. I think people automatically remind themselves that I might have problems being a new mom ( postpartum depression, worries, etc), but nobody ever really remembers the bipolar part.

The Truth About (my) Mental Health

Let me just be honest here, like I always aim for being when I write a post: I am in no way justifying every single one of my actions with my disorder. All I am simply saying is that my state of mind is in a constant up and down…and more often time than not, that effects my actions/reactions to situations, people, etcetera. This post is not to be used as an excuse, it’s an attempt to get people to understand meWhile bipolar doesn’t define me wholeheartedly; it does contribute to who I am. To how I act. And sometimes, to what I do. So with that being said, to know me is not to love me. To know me and to love me, is to truly understand me and my mental health (or at least try to.)

The truth about mental health is this: It’s nobodies obligation to understand your mental state of mind, except the doctors/psychiatrists/therapists that get paid for doing so. I wrote this post to make it clear that while I value those individuals that stand by me and my disorder; there’s still so many out there that jump to conclusions about who I am without understanding my mental state of mind.

I realize that this happens more often than it should to both myself and those around me…those who might be suffering from some kind of diagnosis. I wanted to address the issue, from a bipolar perspective. – @Miyatheceo

Do you struggle with anxiety? Depression (any form of it)? Do you find yourself feeling like you are misunderstood for whatever reason? Let’s talk about it in the comments! If you would like to share your story, please visit the contact me page. 

8 thoughts on “The Truth about Mental Health – From A Bipolar Perspective”

  1. I love your honesty about this, and remember this honesty will in turn instill caution (for lack of better word) in those family members and friends when choosing their words or actions. It’ll become second nature to consider your mental health and a really intense situation can be diffused for your health and your friendship. I love you boo!

    1. Kita,

      I couldn’t have said it better myself! I don’t fault those that don’t automatically think of ones mental health; my hopes is that this post will provide some insight as to why they should make more of am effort. Thank you for you support!

  2. I’m sure there are several people that need to see this post whether because they need help understanding how this disorder affects you and others like you, or because they need to know that they are not alone in what they are facing. Kudos to you for putting yourself out there and being so transparent with your readers! It gives me a little more insight on what you face on a regular basis. When we were younger I just saw someone who was different than me and although I loved you all the same I didn’t try to dig any deeper into what was going. As we’ve grown older I’ve tried to make it a point to attempt to see things through your eyes and to try to understand your actions and thought processes. I’d like to think you do the same for me. I feel like we keep each other grounded and a little closer to “normal”.

    1. Tiara,

      Thank you for taking the time out to read this post! It’s an unexplainable feeling to read about your take on our childhood up until our adult life. I love and appreciate you and your efforts to look a little deeper into situations now knowing the bipolar aspect of it all. I would definitely do the same for you!

  3. When people chose what ever path in life then that’s their chose,but when you travel on other people’s road we must make adjustments for all involved. Whether someone has a mental disorder or not all should RESPECT boundaries and if this is not followed then this could be a major disconnect with any relationship, friendship, and other important person.

    1. Sweats,

      You are absolutely correct…boundaries should be respected regardless. I think though, in some instances…or at least in some situations that I’ve been in, boundaries aren’t always crossed intentionally. Due to lack of willingness to understand each other, disconnects start to happen. Either way it goes, one piece that you said is very important to me: we must make adjustments for all involved. I think as humans we get so wrapped up in what we have going on personally, we forget this. Thank you for reminded me, as I forget this from time to time.

  4. Hello it’s quite ironic that we met in the T-mobile store today. As I grow older and do this crazy thing callled life I find that I struggle with my mental illness, I am diagnosed with bipolar depression and ptsd and others among it like generalized anxiety disorder and adhd but it falls under the bipolar umbrella. I needed to hear that there was another African American woman who was dealing with this and who has a happy ending. this post helped me sooooooo much! THANK YOU!

    1. Shaqulla,

      It’s amazing how you meet people from all walks of life that just happen to be on the same journey as you. From our conversation in the store, I could tell that you had so much to offer to the world. I had no idea of your diagnosis, however even if I did…that wouldn’t have changed a thing! You’re amazing, and I am so glad to have met you.

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