screaming through a litany of f-word adjectives describing every personplaceorthing who had the audacity to be in existence at the same moment in time as me.
tucked into the corner of a locked room with the lights off and my hands covering my ears because “I just needed to get away for a while.”
muttering quietly, speaking to my own brain, who keeps playing tricks on me and won’t leave me the fuck alone.
out in the middle of some backwoods country road intersection in pitch-black darkness, leaned over and gasping for breath cause I tried to run hard enough to get away from myself and failed.
flinging verbal venom, my words striking the face of whatever poor soul chose to speak to me.
What hurts is that none of these versions of me reflect who I truly am. This is why bipolar disorder hurts so bad. Because there I am, trapped inside of that hideous monster, unable to control it, trying to escape it, and all the while, no one can hear my cries, my sincere apologies, my deep regrets.
This is why I can so strongly feel that those around me would be better off without me, despite my logical reasoning that this is not so. It’s because I can see myself acting this way. I can see myself snapping at those who love me, who are trying to help, who want to care for me. And yet all I can do is watch as those claws dig into their tender skin, as those monsterous fangs spew poison out of my own mouth. And all I can do is hope that they survive.
How is life lately? Relatively tolerable. That’s where I’m at.
That’s kind of the best I get. Unless I am full-on manic, in which case:
Until it’s not.
Mania was completely disruptive (in the worst sense of the word) to my life and it took me a good two years to recover.
I never stop feeling embarassed over the actions my body took while being controlled by my manic mind. And I went deep. Both times. I was a raving, mad lunatic.
The way I am now, no one would ever guess that I was hospitalized, that I was ever in that condition, that I didn’t sleep for days, that I ranted and raved and threw things and screamed at others. That I tried to take off all of my clothes multiple times in public. That I drove to a strangers house and walked right in the door and started playing with her kids in her living room.
That I have been picked up by the police twice in one night for being “disruptive” in a public place.
That I crawled into bed with another patient at the hospital because I thought they were my mom. That I danced through the hallways of the psych unit with a towel covering my head and a styrofoam cup in my mouth, quacking and pretending I was a duck. All. Night. Long.
When I run into people on the streets talking to themselves, I see myself in them. I know they are making sense in their own brain, and that it only appears to be “nonsense” or “crazy” to those around them. Sometimes when manic I thought that the whole world was crazy, and I was the only sane one. I felt that deep down, even as I was doing cartwheels in a cemetery and trying to run down the street naked.
The only thing that separates me from the man on the street shouting obscenities is medication. The fact that my mental illness is treated and his is not.
If you’re recovering from a manic episode and you’re in the throes of depression, just know that you’ll come out of it. It does get better. I can’t say the memories of all of it don’t stick with you, but just remind yourself that the time you laid on the floor in a public bathroom and smashed your glasses with your foot repeatedly because you “didn’t want to see anymore,” it wasn’t you. It was the mania. And you have to forgive yourself for that.
And, I guess, so do I.