Spontaneous Combustion

If you are like me – and by like me, I mean BIPOLAR – then you have had moments where you have lost all control. Unfortunately, when you are bipolar you learn that can also mean you have an anger issue. Bipolar manifests itself in different ways in different people, that much is true. I do not have the manic episodes filled with sex, over-spending, and bad long-lasting life decisions like others that I know. They do not have the self-harm riddled, suicide-attempt filled, blackest of days lows that I have. It’s all different. Which really sucks sometimes.

The big thing I am dealing with right now is my outbursts. When life gets stressful (well, more stressful. it’s never not stressful) I can slowly feel the build up over time and I just know it’s coming. It’s like a ticking bomb, but the countdown doesn’t make any sense at all! It could explode at 10, 3, o, or -20. I have no idea, I just know it’s coming. I never know what that one thing will be that sets it off.

I hate it. I hate being scared of myself. When these moments happen that I am just overcome by rage and stress – I am not myself. I am not attached. It’s like a leave my own body and watch myself completely lose it while desperately trying to make it all stop. But I can’t. It just keeps going.

I have found the best way to cope with these moments is to go for a drive. I drive around our neighborhood a lot. To the point that I wonder if the people around us know what’s going on. “Oh there goes Steph…she must have snapped again.” “Poor hubby, he deserves so much better than this.” “Man, I hope her girls are coping okay. Their mom is nuts.”

Who knows. But what I *do* know is that driving helps. I cut on a worship album, buckle in, and just go. I have 3 different routes of varying length depending on how bad the episode feels. And I’ve also had extremely bad episodes that have landed me in a different state. That being said, I only live about an hour from the border, but it’s still a sobering experience to realize I’ve left my home state just trying to get away from myself.

These drives are not the end-all, fix-all, as much as I wish they were. They help in the moment, so I don’t hurt someone else or myself. So I don’t say or do something I might regret. It’s a very small comfort in the long scheme of things to know that when I am about to lose all control, i have just enough to get out. To get away. To protect those that I love and protect myself from whatever is about to come.

These outbursts take a lot out of me though. I will either sleep for as long as the world will let me, completely shut down for a few days, or just cry for a few hours. It always leads to exhaustion.

I don’t know how to deal with these. I had a combustion tonight. I drove. I feel better, but not really. It was a small explosion, so I am waiting, terrified, for the big one. I hate having no control of myself. I hate it so much.

I’ll see you soon.

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