Being in a Bad Mood – Bipolar Edition

Being in a Bad Mood – Bipolar Edition

Everyone has their bad days from time to time. You might snip at your partner, or seclude yourself in a room for a day. You might swear at a co-worker, or flip a driver off. Whatever it may be, there’s plenty of times where people might have bad day.

For people diagnosed as Bipolar, it’s like that… but on steroids.

When I am angry, I am like a dynamite ready to explode on everyone and everything, and I don’t care if shrapnel hits everyone in their path. I’m just so angry and infuriated,  I can unlease a world of hurt using my words and my passion.

When I am sad, I don’t just hide in a hole for a day; I set up camp and can literally take weeks or months to finally get out of my shell and express my true feelings. But the ironic thing is, when I finally do express my feelings, no one remembers what happened that would have caused this mood and so I seem crazy and unreasonable.

And my mood swings can range from blissfully happy to downright deadly serious. PMS doesn’t help much either.

Part of me says I should shut up and and get over it. But the other part of me is like hey, wait a minute, hold the phone. I’ve had a ton of bad shit happen to me, 7 out of 10 criteria indicative of childhood trauma… I think I am allowed to be unreasonably upset  sometimes when I’ve had an unreasonable amount of bad circumstances happen in my life. My Bipolar didn’t happen by chance. It happened because life sucks sometimes, and sometimes more for some people than others.

But the important question to ask is, how do you maintain some resemblance of equilibrium when you are jumping off the high dive? Here are my tips.

Be depressed, but with a time limit.

It’s okay to feel down and out. Everyone does. It’s human. But being down and out for 6 months or a year? That’s a lot of life to be missing due to mood issues. In this case, I would recommend a time limit. If it’s a small amount of sadness, give yourself 5 minutes to grieve, and then move on. If it is more serious, maybe give yourself a weekend of crying and grieving. But then, when Monday rolls around, you get in your nice clothes and have a normal day.

Don’t repress, but address

When dealing with the question, should you confront someone for a perceived injustice, my good rule of thumb is, if you have a choice, you should address it instead of repress it. Even if it means other people are hurt by it, at least you get it off your chest and out into the open. Truth, your truth, is never wrong. But if can appear hurtful, critical, harassments, etc. But for you, you are stating the facts, bluntly and boldly. Let the aftermath deal with the consequences. If other people are willing to change their behaviour, then good. If the people around you won’t change and continue in their bad behaviour, that’s okay too. But you spoke your truth like a prophet would, and you are no longer responsible for their actions or inactions.

Be angry for a good reason

If we were to get angry for every little injustice, we’d never stop being angry (sometimes this is where I land, especially if I’ve been exhausted). But as the cliche goes, you must pick your battles. Pick the battles that will cover a multitude of mini-battles. Pick the battles that affects you the most. Pick battles that have a reasonable chance of winning. But don’t sweat the small stuff. God gives grace for the small stuff, because we were never expected to do everything perfectly.

Don’t underestimate breathing to calm yourself down

Often, when I stop to realize it, I am not breathing properly, especially if my emotions are up. Just focusing on box breathing helps me to re-centre and re-calibrate. Breathing starts the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the functions in your body when it is at rest. So when you start breathing slowly, it kicks that system into gear, which does a world of good if your tense and agitated about something. Even if you are 25 or 85 years old, this tip is timeless.

Isolate until you know you can appreciate those around you

If you are finding yourself lashing out at people, especially those you love the most, that’s when you need to take a break. The mental health ward is good for that. You automatically isolate from your friends and family and have your own place to re-centre. Stay in your bedroom, don’t engage socially, even if it is the respectful thing to do. Because the last thing you want is  a blow up in front of all your friends and family because you were forced to put on a smiling face when all you wanted to do is hit someone’s face. Isolation does the soul good.

So those are my tips from my recent blow outs. Do you have any tips for calming down? Leave a comment below!