Who I Am VS. Who My Illness Makes me

I can’t tell who I am.  I’m trying to work thought this Bipolar Workbook and I’m supposed to identify mania, depression and when I’m just me.  And I can’t.  Am I me now?  Or am I just panicking and it’s a symptom of my issues. 

This absolutely devastates me.  No wonder I can’t enjoy life, I have no idea who I am.  Maybe I don’t know what I enjoy, maybe I never actually enjoyed anything but I was just manic and had a great time. 

I’m trying to not drink anymore.  I do know for sure that if I drink when manic or depressed I make bad choices I wouldn’t normally make.  I cant tell by my drinking thought when I am me and when I am my symptoms, now that I think about it. 

It’s summer, everyone is getting together for cookouts, or out for drinks and I’ll need to avoid all of that.  It bums part of me out because I feel so free, happy and excited when I am out having some drinks and being silly.  But I do know how I feel afterwards if I’ve gone too far, which I can do more often than I’d like.  I also know that coming down off of alcohol usually takes me down the road of depression, I just know in my heart of hearts the negatives outweigh any positives. 

Back to this Workbook.  Do I just sit and stare at this page until I can really identify who I am?  I cried last time I tried.  It’s frustrating and I feel embarrassed, scared,  and completely lost. Knowing I can’t pass this page in the book makes me feel like I’m once again at a dead end and unable to overcome anything, I’m a failure again.

Part of me wants to accept that I’m a failure because I think when I set my expectation higher it makes things worse.  If I just looked at myself realistically and really accepted how incapable I am of doing most things maybe I’d be better off, or maybe I’d be giving up.  Which is it?  How can I decide what to accept and what to change when I’m not sure if any trait is mine or a passing emotion falsely created in my fucked up mind?

This battle is constant in my head.  It’s confusing.  It makes me dizzy.  It gives me a headache (it probably gives anyone I talk to a headache). 

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