Constantly starting over

Every time I have an episode of my mental illness, bipolar type 1, I have to start over. I normally present with mania, which is quite different from depression. Rather than reliving the symptoms and explaining what my episodes look like, I’d like to focus on the aftermath. I wonder if anyone can relate to what I mean by starting over.

I usually end up in the hospital or sometimes even jail for at least three to four weeks until the medicine brings me back down to reality and a baseline. By this time, I’ve missed a month of work and usually am “let go” or fired before I am even cleared to return to a work environment. Bills have been piling up and by this time rent is due, and I no longer have a source of income.

Mentally, I am self-conscious about my entire being. I’m having flashbacks every few minutes of foul or inappropriate things I have said during my episode. I’m remembering people I have cursed out. Friends and colleagues I might have lashed out at. Furthermore, I am remembering past traumas and incorrectly correlating them to things that are happening presently. I just really feel awful, scared and embarrassed for weeks after an episode, I barely want to show my face around town for fear of remembering how I was during a crisis. It’s a disgusting detrimental cycle that I really hope to break. I lose jobs, friends, relationships and my sense of self every time. And every time I start over.

I hate it, but I do it. I start over. I pick up the remnants of what my life was, I grasp at the strings, and keep pulling until one of them gives me some slack. I look for new work, I find a place to live, and I figure out how to get my phone turned back on. I reach out to those I have offended and ask for forgiveness, and I try to also forgive myself. I set some goals, schedule my week according to those goals and “reinvent” myself.

Issues |Health, Mental|Incarceration|Jobs|Re-entry

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