What A Day!

Hello, Sprites!

Oh my, what a day. It’s been a bit of roller coaster today: I’ve been up and down and all the way around and back again. And the really sad part about it is that not that much has happened today; it’s all been in my head.

I know it seems like such an amazing thing to feel so much in a such a short time (hell, I know bipolar individuals who chase the cycles), but for me, really, it’s just distracting and sometimes painful. Today was the latter. The mania was bad enough that it felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and when the cycle went south, I felt like a rock was tied around my neck and I was tossed into freezing water, able to breathe but surrounded by the black coldness of an impenetrable shroud of sadness. And then it would start all over.

I’m glad the day is over and I’m just a couple hours from bed but it’s settled in my head and now I’m just angry (usually the emotion after the depression, the emotion right before I sleep and try to reset my brain for the next day): I’m angry at the world, at Donald Trump, at my company’s HR department, at social security, at my retirement account, at everything. I’m just angry and there’s nothing I can put my finger on that would fix it. It’s just there, sitting in my head like a giant, black-eyed, eight-legged, hairy monster just waiting to go off.

It’s usually times like these that I just shelter in place to save the people around me from getting dragged through my mud. Unfortunately, for my husband, sheltering in place is also his place so I have to be particularly careful where he’s concerned so that I don’t inadvertently snap at him out of anger that he can’t possibly control or understand. In other words, it’s not his fault I feel like this and I absolutely cannot direct the way I feel at him. So I’ll be asleep when he gets home (thank you, Prince Klonopin).

So here I am, counting the minutes until I can fall into sleep’s perfumed embrace and sitting at my computer trying to hammer this out so I have a reminder of what I went through today. It’s a reminder that I use on the good days to remind me that there are bad days and on bad days to remind me that it could be a whole lot worse. I guess I’m doing it, too, although re-reading it, it sounds like the ramblings of a mad man and I guess in a way it is. OK, OK, all right, I’m not mad and all things considered I’m pretty well-adjusted… I just have bad days. I guess we all do.

If I say anything of substance tonight, though, it’s this: if you’re going through this or any other mental illness and you’re reading this, know that you’re not alone, you’re not weird, you’re not broken, you’re not even bent. You’re human. Take heart in knowing that someone out there cares and understands because I do.

Take care, Sprites, and be good to one another.

Until next time,

D

:(:

It’s A Magenta Kind Of Day…

“Magenta…that’s what I call it when I get that way. All kinds of feelings tumbling all over themselves. Well you know, you’re not quite blue, because you’re not really sad. And although you’re a little bit jealous you wouldn’t say you’re green with envy. And every now and then you realize you’re kind of scared but you’d hardly call yourself yellow… I hate that feeling. Just hate it. And I hate the color magenta. That’s why I named it that. Magenta. No way to really explain it but, fortunately between friends you don’t have to.” ~ Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls

Hello, Sprites!

It’s been a rough day for me so this will be short because I’m forcing myself to write in an effort to maintain what little sanity I have left. OK, that’s an exaggeration but it doesn’t feel like much of one at this point.

As many of you who know me know, I suffer from bipolar disorder which makes my brain go all wonky occasionally (well a bit more often than that but occasionally is a good descriptor just the same). If you don’t know what bipolar disorder is, I’ve posted a link below that gives some good information on what the illness is and what the symptoms are. The condensed version, though, is that I go through periods of extreme highs and extreme lows. In other words, I ‘cycle’ from one to the other. A full cycle for me usually begins with a manic episode and ends with severe depression, neither of which are very much fun. To ice the cake, I suffer from what’s referred to as bipolar I which means that I’m a rapid cycler: the cycles that I go through, instead of lasting weeks or months, last for days and sometimes hours and on a bad day like today, not even hours.

All that being said, I am medicated so I’m not going to run around The City naked trying to shake hands with my feet. The meds keep me stabilized to a point but I still have what I call ‘mini-cycles‘ which means that I go through the highs and lows but they’re not nearly as severe as they would be if I weren’t on the medication. If I were to try to eliminate the cycles completely, the medication would turn me into a zombie (and I know that because I’ve walked that road before). So I live with the mini-cycles in order to keep at least some of my creativity and humour. It’s a trade-off but one that keeps me centered and grounded while at the same time still allowing me to have my head in the clouds.

Unfortunately, it means that I have to deal with days like today when everything just feels like it’s going to shit. It’s not, of course, but when you’re moving from mania and feeling like you could conquer the world to collapsed on the bed in the fetal position, depressed, and wondering what the point of life is… well, ‘feels like it’s going to shit’ is a good descriptor.

Now, don’t worry: I’m not suicidal or going to do anything stupid, it’s just a state of mind and over the years, I’ve learned to see the signs that the cycle is coming and just ride the wave when it hits and that’s what I’ve been doing today. Tomorrow will probably be better after a good night’s sleep. I can’t say that for sure, but here’s hoping (and it usually is).

So thanks for being here, Sprites. And thanks for listening to my ramblings. You’re good kids.

Until tomorrow,

D

You can read more about bipolar disorder at the National Institute Of Mental Health or at the Mayo Clinic.