Just warning you this post is going to be real.
I haven’t written for a while because I haven’t really been me.
I took my meds and went to bed tonight imaging elephants around me. Trying to recreate the feelings and emotions I felt from my elephant dream… (there’s a post about it) But it didn’t work.
I have just woke up from a drugged induced sleep, and I have no idea why. I woke up startled, in fear, out of breath, and soaked in sweat. Sometimes I have dreams that wake me up that way. But there was no dream tonight, at least not one that I can remember… and I always remember those dreams. No, this feeling was similar but different. It is more like this anxiety, hopelessness, fear and pain that I have been carrying around in my chest for the past few days. But exaggerated ten fold. But that isn’t what this post is about. Not really… that is merely an outcome of what this post is about.
Living with Bipolar is hard. Who does not know that. Such a simplistic understatement seems imposed by using the word “hard” in that sentence. On a side note, I have found that there are not enough words in the English language. Not enough words that can invoke strong emotions… like the words “I’m sorry” seems so meaningless when it is needed in moments of great pain and hurt. Or the words “I love you”… words can not speak the measure of emotion that we can feel when it comes to love and pain. And I find it impossibly frustrating when there are no words to describe emotions. Which is probably why I have gravitated to expressing my emotions with art. But yet again.. this is not what this post is about. Merely a tangent.
There are times when living with Bipolar that you almost feel normal. You can almost forget, except for your daily meds, that you have a serious mental illness. You function as a “normal” person does. You can work, run errands, visit with friends, spend time with family, handle problems that may arise in life, take care of your children, and be in a relationship with someone you love. You feel in control of your mind, your thoughts, your actions, your life, and yet it can all become so deceiving. Because you feel stable, and you may even be stable… but living with bipolar life can change with in minutes, hours, days… and you don’t even see it coming. You feel good, you feel happy, you feel optimistic about life, you feel excited, you feel energetic… and its all good.
But what you don’t feel, and what you can’t see is the happy, good, energetic you, being forced into something completely different… something dangerous… something that is not you. There are times when you are happy, stable and in control….
And then there are those times when your crazy takes over. Your mind isn’t your own. It belongs to the illness… and no matter what you do or how hard you try, logic ceases to be reality. Somewhere in the back corner of my mind I think I am still there. Trying to take back control. Trying to reason with the unreasonable. Trying to distinguish between true reality and what my world quickly becomes.
This illness has constantly been an extremely hard thing for me to accept. I have been strong all my life, been through some pretty tough things. I do not cope well with feeling weak or dealing with something that I can not control. They say it’s because the chemicals in my brain are unbalanced, and the hereditary elements and environmental factors, are stronger than all the strength and willpower I have inside me. I am pushed into a dusty corner of my mind feeling helpless, and honestly, even scared at times because of the things my mind turns my reality into.
I was in denial. I disregard the words of my doc and someone who knows me better than anyone else in my life. Why?
Because I was stable. But that is such a delicate word when it comes to bipolar. It is like a fine piece of glass that at any point, for any reason can shatter. Sometimes the elements can beat on your stability for quite a while, but it weakens. Sometimes a small crack is made, and as time goes by you think your piece of glass is fine, but the crack is slowly growing until it becomes too large and the glass shatters. Mine shattered… it broke because I did not protect and take care of it like I should have and I did not listen to those in my life that saw my glass cracking. And now I am left standing… well actually not even standing. I am left on the floor with the pieces of my glass shattered all around me. Not even sure where to begin, how to repair it, or even if my broken glass can be fixed.
I need to fix the broken, and mend my mind to stop the downward spiral of the mixed episode that always follow my mania. Mania may be the most damaging for the people in my life, but a mixed episode is the most damaging to myself. In previous episodes it has been the times when I am most suicidal. The energy and rapid thoughts from the mania stay with me, while the thoughts and emotions turn negative and hopeless from depression. A perfect recipe for suicide. When I am depressed, I think about suicide but do not have the energy to put forth the effort to those thoughts. And when manic I have the energy but not the depressed feelings. But a mixed state for me is the combination of two very different and dangerous symptoms of bipolar. Energy and hopelessness.
Which brings me back to my drug induced sleep. What do you do when you have the dangerous combination of energy and hopelessness..? I’ll tell you what the doctors do. They drug you. They take away that energy as quick as they can, as best as they can, and force your mind to slow down and become more clear. Because they know that the hopeless feelings may take sometime to go away, but drug you up to where you sleep 90% of the 24 hour day, and you only have to worry about a couple hours in there where they hope you can fight your head on your own.
The constant fight and battle in the head is exhausting. In the past I have spent some mixed days sitting in the parking lot of a sportsman store, forcing myself not to move. because if I took one step out of my car and entered the store, I would have a gun in hand with in the hour. I know. I told you this was going to be real.
I don’t want to have to fight days like that anymore, so I obey my docs and I drug myself until I can better handle the feelings and thoughts in my head. My mind needs to rest from the damage that mania causes it. And maybe if the drugs work well the mixed will be shortened and less severe. Maybe with a few med adjustments the depression doesn’t even set in.
And maybe I can fix my shattered glass.
p.s. given the topic of this post it may sound really odd, but I am so happy I can write this tonight. it means i’m beating the shit out of this bipolar right now