I once thought that I was bipolar.
Since finally establishing myself in a more favourable situation these past few months with a home in the city of my dreams by the ocean, a living space free of loud/boisterous/needy/messy people, freedom to do my own thing with no one breathing down my back, I have been feeling quite well.
Maybe I have what could be called situational bipolar disorder. I’m not even sure if that’s even a thing, but I am going to read up on it and find out more. I do notice that when I am in an environment that is closer to my ideal living situation, I magically become optimistic, light-hearted, and peaceful again.
My newest employer has mentioned how strong-minded and stable I am. Now, if you had of told anyone I worked with in Banff that I am a stable-minded person, they would either laugh or scratch their heads in disbelief.
You see, the main reason why I became so depressed in my home city London and in Alberta was that I was in a situation in which I had little control over my surroundings and life. Sure, once I journeyed out to a coffee shop or went for a walk, I was free and those times did a lot of good for me. But even when I was off doing my own fun things or having a good time with friends, I knew that at the back of my mind, once I returned home, chaos could be waiting around the door.
When I lived with my parents, they examined and critiqued many things about me. They commented on what I wore to how I spoke to what they believed I did. Being an adult, I had every right to do as I pleased, but under their roof being scrutinized, I lost most of my will to thrive. I snapped a couple of times before leaving to Alberta. The lodge in Alberta was a completely different setting with totally different people, of course, but the underlying situation was the same. I shared rooms with people, I was constantly pressured to go out, and while I enjoy going out, it needs to be in balance with my creative time. Knowing that I am failing people socially while being forced to live very closely to them drives me to the brink of insanity. I was made to feel disappointed in myself for being myself.
In Banff, it had been almost two years since my anxiety and depression episodes in London and I had finally hit rock bottom when I became stuck in a job I disliked and in a living situation where I had been involved with a couple of guys in our staff house. It was inevitable, really, and I did try to apply for other jobs to get out of it. I did fight to get out, but at the worst of my depression, it was during the off season where few people were hiring.
I am like a lone wolf or a rogue mare. I can’t stand being involved in the daily lives of other people, no matter how much I love them or how awesome I think that they are. It is me, not them.
You could be my favorite friend, singer, actor, or writer, but I would never want to fucking live with you. Sorry.
My life must be my own. I need to have freedom and space in order to function well. My sanity is directly related to my power over my own life. If I can feel free to wake up, go to work, do activities after work, and then come home without a single person challenging or stepping on my peace, then I am quite content.
Disagreements at work, crabby customers, rude people on the streets, and even bad relationships don’t phase me all that much when I am in a calm, solitary environment. Sure, it’s tough to fall for someone who is leaving you, or who can’t love you back, but in my case, that won’t lead me to hoping for suicide as long as I am in my own good place. Being stuck in a house full of chatty partiers or over-watchful family members, on the other hand, will give me nothing to fall back on energy-wise, leaving me susceptible to energy draining depression and suicidal thoughts. Even without some guy messing with me, the situation of living with a group of people will generally already bring me to depression and severe anxiety.
Now, melancholia is something completely different. I can be sad, and become in a state of melancholy, after falling for someone or becoming obsessed with a story or fictional character. If someone dies, of course I am going to grieve, and my form of grief is the bone-shattering, incapacitated type of grief. Melancholy is one major aspect of being an INFP, especially one who is very in tune with their own inner self and their creative process.
I am now fully aware of what type of situation will lead me to the worst form of depression – becoming suicidal. And I will fight and work as hard as I can to have my own place, to have space away from people – especially the negative or energy-consuming ones. I know what makes me happy, and if anyone begs to differ, then their opinion is irrelevant to me.