Category Archives: Bipolar- Self Bullying

Bipolar Disorder- Feeling Flawed

Song of the Day: We Are Broken by Paramore

(Photo Credit: Christian Revival Network available under a Creative Commons License.)

Do you ever feel completely and utterly flawed? I feel like that right now. That everything I ever attempt has failed and isn’t good enough. Yeah- I feel not good enough. Good enough for who? Well, me I guess. The unconscious, unrealistic demands I’m making of myself are beginning to float up into consciousness, but they feel stuck in cement- I can’t move them yet- I’m just aware of them.

I’m not achieving enough, I don’t contribute enough to the world, I’m not successful enough, I’m not living up to my potential, I’m failing myself and letting myself down. I should be more- braver, smarter, funnier, more popular, less trouble, less emotional, less sensitive, more attractive, be richer, be driving, have more stamina, be thinner, be fitter, be in control, have better relationships and not be so damned scared of everything. I need to CHILL OUT!! ARGHHHH!!!!

Where the hell do all these stupid thoughts and beliefs come from? Who the hell is telling me I’m not good enough? Well hello Mr Ego, is that you I see over there with your list of demands?! The ego wants us to fit into society, to be like others, to live up to societies expectations. Well guess what Mr Ego, I’m not like others and don’t fit in- what are you gonna do about it?! Push me this way, swing me that way, make me do things I don’t want to do, make me stop doing things I like to do, keep me quiet, shut me up, corner me against the wall? Ego’s motivation is fear- fear of rejection and abandonment.

This is my current location- fear of rejection and abandonment. I’ve been in total denial recently and can now look around me and see where I am and what it feels like to be here. I feel ashamed and embarrassed of recent hypomanic-driven behaviour, I feel like I’ve made a total idiot out of myself. Ego is berating me for it- “you idiot, why the hell did you do that? You’re so stupid. You’re a complete loser and failure. I’m ashamed of you. You deserve to be alone. Why would anyone love you?” Get the general idea?

This is all my own voice saying these things- nobody is bullying me except myself. I need to put a good bit of CBT to practice really, but right now I’d rather get the anger out.

Standing up for yourself when confronted with a bully is always scary, but what if the bully is yourself? You can’t see the woods for the trees- you kind of have to split yourself into two halves-the bully and the inner child. I hadn’t seen that before- that’s who is being bullied by my ego- my inner child and I’m not standing up for her, just letting the bullying continue. I have abandoned myself. Learned helplessness- I’ve given up trying because all my past attempts to please the bully have ended in pain. So there’s only one thing I can do- beat up the bully!

Related article: Bipolar Disorder- The Inner Bully.

Bipolar Disorder- The Inner Bully.

Song of the Day: Crazy in Love by Beyonce (just been dancing to this on Wii Just Dance 2- lots of fun)

I think one of the things I remember most from depression is the constant self-blame and hatred of myself. Coming from a place of relative stability I can now see from a different perspective what was going on in my head. At the time I could only see these thoughts as my normal way of living- it didn’t seem like anything was really different in my head to how it would usually be. Now I can see how severely depression can influence your thoughts and what is going on in the mind.

I think everyone who suffers from depression has different issues they criticize and bully themselves about. Mine were usually the same for every episode and consisted of the following:

– Beating myself up for quitting university and
not having an amazing career.

– Being so out of control with my eating habits- bingeing on sugar almost everyday.

– Being lazy and not doing anything productive.

– Being a burden on my partner who pretty much supports me financially and for relying on benefits/welfare.

– Being so grumpy and irritable.

This all leads to the same old despairing thoughts:

– I’m not good enough.
– I can’t live like this.
– I’m a waste of space.
– I’m such a burden.
– If I don’t look slim and beautiful I might as well not be here.
– I’m such a horrible person, I hate myself.
– Why would anyone want to be with me.
Etc, etc.

At the time I was depressed I honestly couldn’t see these thoughts as being a symptom of the illness. They seemed so real, I believed every word. Cognitive behavioural therapy was some help- trying to change thought patterns to more nurturing, supportive ones, such as remembering all your achievements when you can only see failure. Whilst attending the group this did seem to help, but as soon as the group finished it was difficult to motivate myself to keep up the work. I think attending the group also provides something even more important- a supportive environment from healthy people who can model a normal, healthy way of being, and from those who are also suffering and can completely see where you’re coming from. Sometimes I found myself using the group leader’s calming voices in my head to help when I was feeling low.

I really believe depression turns you into a bully- a bully to yourself. But it’s the kind of manipulative bully who is lovely to everyone else, but evil towards you- that way nobody can see that this person is really a bully. Instead they just think you’re making it up. This is how I felt a lot- that people would just think I was making everything up to claim benefits and an easy, laze-about lifestyle. I really, really believed this! I always tried as hard as possible to mask my depression to others; I didn’t want to burden others or for them to see my “weakness”, they wouldn’t understand. But in reality, so many people I know have suffered with depression at one time or another, that I think I could have gained a lot more understanding than I originally thought by being more open and not TRYING to be normal.

Looking back, I used to try so so hard to “cure” myself. I would try to read as much as possible from self-help sections to try and increase motivation and fitness and happiness. Some of the titles make me laugh now:
“Seven Days to Happiness”
“Confidence in ten days”
Like anyone can get happy in a week just by following a book- you’d have to be mega mega dedicated!

I think all this TRYING did me more harm than good. In essence I was telling myself that I was flawed and needed to be fixed- it made me focus more on any “flaw” therefore I became more and more self-critical about it. Now if I could go back to myself crying on the bedroom floor, despairing that I was absolutely no good, I would say this to myself:

“Yes the depression is real, you’re not making it up. It is an illness and it’s not your fault. Nothing is your fault. Let the depression in, give in to it, stop trying to change yourself. You are whole and a perfectly imperfect human just the way you are. The universe loves you and wants you here. Give in to the feelings of hopelessness and despair, don’t fight it, coz it will fight even harder back. Just cry it all out and get a hug from someone- anyone, I bet they’ll surprise you and be lovely to you. You are worth looking after. You are prescious. Rest, take care of yourself. Now go and crawl into that duvet on the sofa and watch Friends for the umpteenth time! And if you want a chocolate bar, eat a chocolate bar. If you want to ring that friend but are too worried that you’ll be a burden, ring them- people love to help other people. You are cared for and loved. The horrible feelings will not last forever, tomorrow you will feel a bit better. Soon the world will be bright again.”

Saying this may be easy now- but I don’t know if I’d have accepted it at the time, but I genuinely do now. I hope that maybe it can help someone else.