“I am on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend” – Fault in Our Stars. While I love this quote, it is not always a good thing.
How Does J.E. Skye Deal With the Roller Coaster of Emotions Part One: Depression & Mania?
I was recently asked about how I deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that come with my diagnosis of Bipolar One and even with my social anxiety. This blog post came out of my fellow blogger wanting to know more about how I deal. It is never easy to write about because you evolve within your mental illness.
The very idea of Bipolar One to me is the range of extreme manic and extreme depression episodes that rule my life. This topic is a good one to discuss as I am dealing with mania and depression making their appearances in my life over the past two weeks. It seems fitting as I still deal with my social anxiety every day to talk about “how I deal” with the roller coaster of emotions that come with my mental illnesses.
Coping with Depression
Over the years I have developed ways to that work for me when I get down into the darkness that is depression. Not everything has worked well, but a few things that I do daily have helped keep my emotions in check when the roller coaster goes down into depression. These things help keep from staying down into the darkness too long.
When I am depressed my greatest emotion is not wanting to stay within my daily routine. It is a sign that my feelings are leading me down the road to the darkness of depression. I tackle that by creating habits that are stable but flexible. It is the simple things in life. Waking up, taking a shower, fixing my bed, and getting dressed even if you are not leaving the house. Routines help keep the intense emotion of helplessness associated with depression in check so that even if all you do it get going in the morning, it is something positive. Positivity rules!
Playing Video Games
The idea behind playing video games falls under “do things that make you happy” part of the roller coaster of emotions when it comes to depression. Playing video games has been one way I have found peace in the chaos. Find what makes the roller coaster of depressive emotions feel less chaotic for you is paramount. It is the hardest piece of advice to give because it is different for every person. I like to read, take pictures, and of course write– but playing video games specifically helps when depression is taking over my life.
Writing is the greatest equalizer in my fight against depression, mania, social anxiety, and insomnia. I feel more in touch with who I am when I am creating. Writing is also the most therapeutic part of my day. I can get lost in my writing projects for hours on end. It has always worked that way in my life. When I am not creating it is because I allowed depression to take me over, I combat that with writing.
Dealing With Mania
My advice when the roller coaster goes the other way to mania is harder to deal with and to define because I feel good in these situations– overly “good” in a wrong way. It is harder to target what works for when the roller coaster goes too high because those emotions are not all bad at the moment, it is only after that you feel sorry about your manic episodes. There are some things that I do when I am manic that help me deal.
Dealing with “Quick to Anger” Emotion
When my mania is ruling my life I know, there is a chance that I will lash out when things bother or irritate me– and my anger is usually quick and swift. I have found working out and meditation very helpful to curb these emotions. When I fail to control these feelings, walking away and haing “alone time” helps me find my center again.
“Hide the Credit Cards” Curbing Reckless Behavior
In my worst manic episodes, I go through money like it is no tomorrow. I spend because IN the moment because it feels good to spend money. It is part of the “reckless behaviors” that come with mania. I am better with money managing during manic episodes these days, but in my early twenties when my mania spiraled, and I got too high in the roller coaster. I racked up way too much debt. Now I am more of an adult and money conscious, but when I know mania is hitting me, I am reluctant to spend money. It only takes a moment of weakness before I run up a credit card or spend the entire contents of my bank account.
Mania and depression are just two parts of the equation that helps me deal with the emotional roller coaster of my mental illness. I am writing a separate blog post about how I deal with social anxiety. What I want people to take away from this post is that things can quickly spiral out of control when there is nothing to combat your emotions in this mental illness life.
Find the things that help steady the roller coaster of emotions. Every person and their mental illness is different. I hope that this post helps anyone who needs it at this moment. MayYou can fight this! Find your peace in this life, and you will feel better. Look for part two later this week.
Always Keep Fighting
Please Help me Publish my Memoir
I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!