I used to look forward to the nighttime. When I was a teenager and first experienced panic attacks they were utterly exhausting. I’d wake up each day with my heart racing, sweating profusely, and scared to get out of bed. I did a lot of self-talk to get myself out of bed, but it was brutal. Life was a hail storm for me and it wouldn’t relent for several years until I started taking Prozac at age 18. I was part of the “Prozac Nation” generation. The daytime was so difficult for me, and I yearned for it to be over. I think it was because I dreaded living my life. There wasn’t anything to be excited about, however, there were so many things to be terrified of.
I was scared to face the day because my utter existence frightened me. I didn’t want to deal with myself because myself felt overwhelming. I didn’t want to live in my head. It was so scary in there, and there were no blankets or sleeping bags or even a night light.
As soon as around 5 pm hit, I felt instantly calmer. My body and mind had exhausted themselves and I could finally relax. Relax is something I don’t fully understand how to do even to this day. I looked forward to the nighttime because I associated the evening with a sense of relief. I could go to sleep soon and my brain didn’t have to work so hard. I didn’t have to work so hard to keep myself alive. Anxiety is fucking exhausting, and it isn’t because I was “dramatic” or “making things up to get attention.” No, it was because I was a slave to my overactive brain.
Now that I’m older, I have a completely different problem – I hate the night time. I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II. I’ve been cycling from mania to depression. I don’t know which way is up and I feel like I’m in a Dr. Seuss story, because nothing makes sense. I’m in this mixed episode right now. Sometimes I feel euphoric and other times I feel down. Sometimes I’m in the fetal position crying on my bed, while other times I’m singing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs on the streets of Brooklyn and not giving a shit what over people think.
The day time is fantastic, but as soon as the afternoon hits, so does my sadness. I feel lonely, isolated and like no one cares about me. It’s truly an awful feeling that I do not wish upon my worst enemy. Bipolar disorder is no joke. There’s irritability, paranoia, hyper-sexuality, sadness, and random experiences of euphoria.
At 4pm it starts – I feel so alone. The tears well up in my eyes and I want to hide from the world. I feel like no one gives a shit about me and I just don’t want to exist anymore. I want to find a bed to hide under, a closet to hide in or a dark quiet place where no one can find me and I can cry in peace. I’ve been told that these feelings will get easier, that they will lift once my medication increases. I’m on 100 mg of Lamictal now and I’m moving to 200 mg next week. Hopefully, with that increased dosage I’ll start to feel better. I need that hope, that faith that it’s going to be all right. I don’t have anything right now, and people keep telling me how strong I am.
Fuck getting through this
I want to cry and scream and be vulnerable and that is okay. I’m allowed to feel my feelings, because they are mine to feel. I didn’t ask to be bipolar and I sure as fuck didn’t ask to hate the nighttime as much as I do. I don’t want to cry myself to sleep anymore. I just can’t do it, and I shouldn’t have to.
I shouldn’t have to. Period.
I don’t have an ending to this story. Maybe you can tell me how it ends or lie to me. Lie to me and tell me that you KNOW it’ll be okay.