Managing Manic

This academic year has been one of the hardest. In prior years, I have been hospitalized for numerous eating disorders, paralyzing migraines, cut open and stitched back together. But this year, I have had the hardest time keeping my life afloat amidst my bipolar disorder.

There are weeks when my mania swings so high, I forget the classes I am paying for all together. The classes that are bankrupting my family. The classes that cost an arm and a leg. I am pulled so high, I work three jobs on no sleep and I love my boyfriend. Oh, how I love my boyfriend. I write a film. Consider recording an album despite not being a musician in any sense of the word. I run into traffic. I do not sleep. I run into traffic. I do not eat. I throw my thoughts to the walls and see what sticks at 3 am. It’s dizzying. I am god. Gods do not have time for Intro to Statistics or Biology 100.

And then I am so, so low. I am locked in my own head. I am begging myself to get out of bed, it takes me two hours just to roll over. My room matches my mental state. Both of us have fallen apart overnight. There is suddenly a month’s worth of clothing I don’t remember abandoning scattered across my floor. I step on it. I kick it out of the way. I can barely open my door. I sit in the shower until the hot water runs out. I forget to wash the shampoo out of my hair. I  cannot bring myself to leave the apartment. I am hysterical. I am chapped lips. I am dark. How do I explain to my teachers that I’ve missed so many deadlines because I’ve been doing absolutely nothing? There is a serious likelihood I could fail one or more of my courses.

If you struggle with mental health or any sort of disability, check and see if your campuses offer disability services. Sometimes they offer help, extended deadlines, tutors and more. At the very least, approach your teachers with transparency before finals season, and they are more likely to be forgiving and helpful. If your professors do icebreaker cards that ask about you then write your heads up on that, go see them during office hours, or shoot them an email.  Good luck.

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Featured Artwork: Seated Male Nude Back View by Egon Schiele