There are a lot of things that can cause a bipolar episode, but one of the more common ones is feeling overwhelmed. For me, that means feeling butterflies in my stomach, hard to breathe, like the walls are closing in on me, and my head is spinning, all at the same time.
However, it manifests itself for you, I’m sure you can relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s never a good feeling, and needs to be avoided at all costs when you’ve got bipolar disorder , if you want to remain at all stable.
I know my mom gets overwhelmed very easily. And next thing you know, there she is, cooking and baking and cleaning up a storm. That’s what she does when she goes manic. Now me, I shop. That’s what happens when I go manic.
Usually, though, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I just crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and try to hide from the world. Or if I do make it as far as the couch, I escape into old reruns of Law and Order (I know, depressing enough on their own).
So what can you do so that you don’t get overwhelmed and go into a bipolar episode?
There is a saying that goes, “Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I know it’s a bit corny, but it’s true. In this case, if you just take care of what’s in front of you, like taking it just one day at a time, you won’t get overwhelmed by worrying about tomorrow or the future – it’ll take care of itself.
Trying to do what’s in front of you to do can be hard enough to do sometimes, especially on those rough days. Sometimes it’s all you can do just to get through those days without being overwhelmed. So you do it the best you can, and hope that the next day will be a better one.
Gradually, by putting one foot in front of the other, you get stronger, and the days get better. You stop feeling so overwhelmed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, take heart. It won’t always be like this. Tie a knot and hang on, you’ll make it through this – you’ve made it through tougher times than this before, haven’t you (like bipolar episodes)? Be encouraged.