Bipolar and Me

Happyness Mumsy Mzulwini
Publication date: 
16 July 2018

Recovery Story: Bipolar And Me

Around October 2010, while getting ready to go to work, I tuned on to SABC’s Morning Live where the hosts Lee-Ann Manners and the late Vuyo Mbuli showed an insert of a successful business lady who spoke openly about having a mental condition called Bipolar Mood Disorder. She explained the signs and symptoms she had and expressed how easily available treatment was, and that this was such a manageable condition!

She further illustrated how she and many other successful people managed to live healthy, productive lives with this condition. Needless to say, there were also specialists of the field on the show to explain further.

Watching that program really got me thinking, especially since I had regularly gone to the beach, sat on the peer and fantasized about throwing myself overboard! At those moments, I didn’t see any reason to live on – I felt so worthless… like such a failure! Often I would pray and beg God to take me, telling Him how much He wasted His time and energy creating me! Even when I was surrounded by many people, I would feel so alone. I knew that many people cared for me, but I just felt like I would be a burden on everyone else if I bothered them with my troubles! Not that I had so many troubles… I had a fantastic job, had received my Diploma in Business Administration and Computing, had a roof over my head and was with a man I loved… a man who adored me! Despite all that, I just felt so unworthy to live.

Then there were times when I would just be so happy! I wouldn’t care who does or says what to me. No one and nothing would spoil my mood. Yes, I’ve always loved people, but when I felt that particular way, I wanted to shower people with gifts, bring joy to everyone… go out of my way to ensure that I share what I felt inside! Sometimes that was the most uncomfortable feeling of them all because I’d have a problem sitting still, almost like a hyperactive kid! Maybe I’d have to be serious about something, but all I’d want to do would be to talk!

Those feelings would not necessarily be provoked. They’d just come along. When I’m down, I’d just think of many painful memories… the deaths of family members, painful experiences I’d had… and I’d just cry. Sometimes I’d just feel sad without knowing why. The only question that helped me resist temptation of committing suicide would be, “Who would look after my kids if I died? Who would raise them the way I want them raised, or will they also grow up feeling like a burden to others like I believed I was?”

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