Tag Archives: mania

Bipolar Me

There are two parts of me.  The happy me is talkative, loves to be around people, loves to encourage and motivate others, loves to be the life of the party.  The happy me loves the color of the sky and the smell of flowers and loves to touch and hold and feel.  The happy me loves to be me.

The other me is dark.  The other me likes to be underground, living unseen, hiding in corners and down dark alleys.  The other me doesn’t speak, doesn’t move, doesn’t blink.  The other me likes cemeteries and darkness and death.  The other me hates me.

There has to be a balance to survive.  Neither can go on for very long without some of the other.

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Manic Blues

Did you ever want to punch something because you were so mad?  I’m not even particularly mad at any one thing.  I just have Anger.  Deep, irrational Anger.

Nobody understands mania.  It pisses me off.  My one friend says, “You CAN control it. You just THINK you can’t.”

Really?  I want to punch something.

My other friend (who only prefers to be around when I’m the “fun” me) says, “Can’t you just have a good day?  Why does it have be a “thing”?”

I want to punch something.

My mania isn’t a “fun” thing and no, I’m pretty sure I can’t control it – why would I throw my car keys into a field, strip down naked, and run from the police trying to help me?

I’m fairly certain that IS a THING.

Oy.  I hate bipolar.

 

My Support System

I am one of those people with bipolar disorder who happens to have a very strong support system.  These people include my family and friends, doctor and therapist (well, I’m in a transition with that, but my previous one was Rockin’ Awesome Therapist Lady) and also, my cat.  I can call up any one of my sisters and they will lend a solid listening ear no matter what time of the day or night it is.

I also have a simple, low-stress job currently.  It doesn’t provide much pay and doesn’t provide benefits and barely supports my family, but I can surely say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.  I have no worries whatsoever, the owners adore me, and the customers are sweethearts.  (Did you hear that?  I just said the word “customers” and “sweethearts” in the same sentence.  And I totally mean it.  I know you don’t believe me.  You should.)

So in saying all that, I’m pretty lucky.  I once was a manic mess battling myself in a mental hospital.  It gave me a deep, sincere empathy for certain populations of the mentally ill in this country – those who you might see outside a department store, homeless, muttering to themselves.  I truly and honestly believe that that would be my life if it weren’t for all the blessings I have been given to maintain a certain level of sanity in the maintenance of my bipolar disorder.

I did lose my job at one point when I had a manic episode and had to be hospitalized.  I almost didn’t finish college when I had my first psychotic episode and took time to recover.  But I did it.  Thanks to the support.

So if you are someone who loves someone with a mental illness and is supportive, please give yourself a hug.  Because it is HARD WORK and for some of you, you may be the reason that the person you care about is still alive right now.  I know that is true for the ones who helped me when I so desperately needed them.

 

Relatively Tolerable

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.

 

Crazy Like A Fox

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. Donald Duck

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.

Here's Johnny

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.

 

Psychiatric Mess

Anyone been in the psychiatric hospital and had a great, fun-loving, good ol’ time?

I apologize to those who have experienced trauma in the hospital, who have been in there involuntarily and/or due to an attempted suicide or depression or instability or any of the difficulties related to those.  I was probably the person you most hated in there.

My experience in the hospital was a manic one.  But I felt safe and I felt like I could be who I was.  I felt the rush of mania – that extreme, euphoric feeling where you can be and do anything, and why are all these other people in here not having as great a time as I am?  I had forgotten any and all negative experiences I have ever had and was floating near the moon for the first half of my trip.

I felt slightly more and more defused when I realized I didn’t care whether I got out or not.  When I started to realize that my kids were out there without me, and that I didn’t really care all that much cause I was just having too much fun.

Trust me, I came crashing down, so those of you who are rolling their eyes at my insanity, know that I got what was coming to me.

But I just wonder if there’s anyone else who actually enjoyed their stay?  I got food made for me (best part), I had a shower (almost) every day, and that alone was incredible.  I had spent so much of myself taking care of others, that being manic and so exorbitantly happy made me a fool, but a happy hap-happy one.

I FELT so much of everything.  Ah, mania.  You tricky trickster, you.  If only I had realized it was all destined to come crashing down.  I could have selfishly stayed that way forever, not knowing or caring the difficulties my family was having on the outside.

But I did stay manic for quite a long time.  When I got in there, they had taken me off of all of my meds (do they do that for everyone?) and I was med-free for almost a week, and boy did I have fun.  I felt like I was truly ME.

I’m not trying to glorify this experience (although I totally am.)  It’s just that mania is really something special.  I know it’s dangerous.  I know it spins out of control.  I know eventually I want to rip off all my clothes and be naked and the irritability and anger comes eventually.  But music sounded better, dance parties were spontaneous and rock-hard awesome, and food was the greatest thing ever.  I just felt alive and felt like I was finally ME.

Please, oh please, please don’t hate on me for this post.  Cause – just to justify this post – last night I was wishing I could reach back to the back of my skull and rip my hair and skin off of the top of my head, pull forward, and reveal my skull and hopefully let all of the agony seep out.  Cause I hated myself so much that I just wished and wished that I was dead.

Oh man, that was totally unnecessary to add.  I’m a douche sometimes.  I guess it is pretty obvious by now that I feel immense guilt for having such a great time.  I had no responsibilities, and to those who were carrying them all for me, I’m so so very very sorry.  I just can’t deny that I felt free.  Maybe you would have, too.

Can I Go Home Now?

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For some reason, I always used to say this to myself when I would cry.  Through college, through the awful transition into real life, through everything.  I’d lay on my mattress, hold myself tight, and repeat the same phrase, “I want to go home.”

Only eventually, home wasn’t any longer a place where I wanted to be.

I held onto the phrase, and now I feel it come back to me again, only I don’t know what or where is home.  Sometimes I think the psych ward is home.  Sometimes I think under the covers on my own bed is home.  Sometimes I think home doesn’t exist at all.

If there was a home, it would be a place where this bipolar madness wouldn’t get at me.  Where I’d be safe from its ups and downs, its tug and pull, its POS grip on me.

Sometimes I’m manic.  Sometimes I’m depressed.  But never am I home.

Hey, You…You’re Not Perfect

Me:  I know, but it’s really hard sometimes because I really expect perfection from myself, and I am in reality so far off of base that I can’t even describe it.

Me:  Come on, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.

Me:  I know, I know.

Me:  If you were talking to a friend, would you place demands on them the way you do to yourself?  Talk to yourself like a friend would.

Me:  I know, but all that positive self-talk b.s. is just that.  B.S.

Me:  No, it’s not.  Have you ever tried it?  Have you ever honestly tried it?

Me:  …uh, no.

Me:  Okay, then.

Me:  I make mistakes.  I make mistakes, and that’s okay.

Me:  You’re right; it IS okay.