It is what happens when I've imprisoned my triggers and negative thoughts in a box, only to escape when I thought I've finally succeeded. It is what happens when I've already pushed these triggers away, only to come back with a vengeance and haunt me again.
I've been religiously taking my medicines, not skipping even a single dose. I've been going to my psychiatrist regularly, even if it means it's another P3,000 slashed from my bank account (it was P2,000 before, but it was with another psychiatrist who doesn't do CBT). Whenever I think about the cost, I realize that had I not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I would've had a substantial five-digit amount in my bank account--enough for me to have money to put in a sound investment. But how useless it would be if I am not healthy both in body and mind. It has been a year since I started seeing a psychiatrist and so far, I've managed to get by. Every month, I'm in the red financially, but I get by.
Dealing with bipolar disorder has cost me a lot of money, that's why when I relapse, I become so frustrated. It's like all my efforts have been wasted. Then, I would try again to put my triggers in a box, only for them to haunt me again after a couple of weeks of respite. And the cycle continues.
Twitter has been helpful in helping me deal with bipolar disorder. People from all over the world who are also battling different forms of mental illness follow me, and I follow them, too. Once in a while, we all tweet using a specific hashtag, like #EndTheStigma and #WhatYouDontSee. It's like we are all part of a community, even if we are oceans and continents apart.
A girl I follow on Twitter tweeted a quote from Alex Elle this morning. It is this: "I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength." This puts our struggles in another perspective, to remind us that we are stronger than we think we are. That we have the power over our illness even if we often feel that our illness overpowers us. That we are the captains of our respective ships, and we can stay afloat even if huge waves continue to knock us over.