This is one those hard things of life posts. Fair warning.
Yesterday I had a mild bipolar episode. I say mild because I did not go to either extreme, and having been there I know how they feel all too well. I realized it when writing a journal entry and I noticed that my thoughts were turning towards the self-depreciating ones. The thoughts of "Why do my friends want to be with someone like me? It's only a matter of time until they leave too." Yea, my thoughts get MEAN. I knew it was a mild episode because my rational brain kicked in and said "What are you thinking?? Stop that!". A battle of wills begun and the bipolar episode began. My heart was racing, my thoughts were racing, I had a hard time sitting still, and my emotions ranged from panic to anxiety to fear. Within a couple of hours, it was over (rational brain won).
I wondered what triggered the episode and my eyes fell on the container of jellybeans. I haven't had many; maybe a couple day. But built up over time it had caused a chemical response and triggered the episode (chocolate is ok for the most part. It is the pure sugar candies like jellybeans that I have to avoid). People underestimate just how much of a role diet can play in mental health. Sugar is something I need to be aware of. I found out that my great-grandmother also had an averse reaction to sugar. If she had it, it would be like she had full blown Alzheimers. When sugar free, she was clear headed.
After the episode, I was drained emotionally, mentally, and physically. I could not concentrate. I simply wanted to go home and sleep. But I had work, and a son to care for. I reached out to two friends of mine who know what it is like to go through something like this. And we talked. They were having a hard time too, so I listened to them as well. It was great to feel like they were there for me, and that I could be there for them. Never underestimate the power of "It's ok. I'm here for you." Just being able to feel not-alone can be the best thing. No need to try and fix an issue. Many can't be fixed with anything aside from time and support. Just listen. Just be there.