Moody people are not automatically bipolar, but bipolar people are moody, because bipolar people are people and people are moody.
Many people toss the term “bipolar” around like a swinging hatchet. Comparing moodiness to bipolar disorder is like calling a flame a fire.
I, Suzy, am moody AF. I’ve also got acne (on my face and my bum, like wtevenf), social anxiety, a bit of OCD (I’m still in denial—be gentle), an aversion to pink and ex wives. But my moods swing from I love you to I hate you to hold me to stay away from me within a matter of minutes. Seconds. I’ve seen enough doctors and therapists to know I’m not bipolar; much to my ex husband’s family’s shock and dismay, I’ve merely been diagnosed with “asshole.”
Andrew? Textbook bipolar disorder. His psychiatrist encouraged me to keep a journal so that we could close in on intimate self-awareness which can only help and empower people in our position. Here is summary of the cycle. But first, know these two things:
- This is an example of a cycle where Andrew takes medication that keeps the extremes to a minimum; both his mania and depression are no longer life-threatening.
- I ask that you read this with a soft and caring heart with respect to the vulnerability and strength it takes to put this out there.
We’ll start from neutral. Neutral looks calm and peaceful. Happy, soft around the edges. Andrew’s mouth will curl up on one side when he smiles. Gentle touches, thoughtful consideration. Safe. This is when I rest and conserve energy.
Then he will get a bit more hyper, a bit more busy. His eyes sparkle, his laugh is more often and a bit louder. More phone calls, more texts. More food. More money (making and spending). He is still happy, and in fact he’s feeling really fucking good about life in this phase. He gets spiritual, sexual. He pulls it out and does the helicopter in the pantry. He’s fun to be around, although I know from experience that the safe part is retreating back a bit. This is when I throw my arms in the air and join in the fun, because a) I love him and b) Why not?! He’s doing the helicopter in the pantry!!! Woohooo!!!
Big ideas. The sparkle in his eyes turn a bit frantic, searching. Louder, faster, he can’t keep up with his ideas. Lots of money (making, and the same amount of spending as the previous phase). He talks about traveling (in the past and what he wants to do in the future). I listen. I listen a lot in this phase. I brace myself.
Agitated as fuck. He hears my ring hit the table. When the kids leave a light on, he boils on the inside. He bites back cutting remarks. I self-regulate and hold onto the words of his psychiatrist when he says, “Suzy, this has nothing to do with you.” I recoil, cocoon, protect.
He doesn’t bite back cutting remarks. I reaffirm my healthy boundaries, take the necessary actions to protect me and our kids spirits, and I hold strong.
Remorse. Dark. Depression. I don’t hear from him. He shuts down, takes off, struggles alone. I take this time to recover, nourish, regulate.
Comes home. I’m here.
Starts over. He helps me.
Flame, fire. Us.