There is no balance in bipolar

Monday. Tearful. What great sorrow as I stagnated once again in suicidal ideation. Then insomnia came and washed away the tears by triggering hypomania.

Today. Zero sleep last night. Hypomanic all day. I was a starburst of everything sparking – racing, repetitive thoughts consuming every ounce of time and head space. It inhibits work because I’m focused on this and then bouncing to that. Playing tag within my own mind. Having endless conversations in my head. I can’t focus on work. Can’t concentrate. Its exhausting.

Pure exuberance at the slightest thing. Everything out of proportion in an expansive way. Talking incessantly, laughing loudly. Sharing every tiny detail of something newly discovered with my co-workers – ohmygod you guys you never gonna believe this…. and I rattle off something about the splendor of a bumble bee, with the excitement of winning the lottery. People start giving me confused looks. Or pasting on polite smiles. But they love when I divulge secrets that should never make the light of day because of a lack of filters. Social boundaries be gone! I will tell you anything, you only need ask the question. Wait, don’t even bother asking. If it pops into my head, guaranteed it will pop outta my mouth. Talking unprompted and impromptu. My thoughts galloping so fast I can’t push the words out quickly enough. Pressured speech, talking faster and faster until I leave words and whole sentences out altogether.

Oh joy. And as the high’s spark begins to die, an agitation builds. Impatience born of exhaustion and a frustrated inability to keep up with my mind, my emotions. Constantly, always feel as if I’m falling behind, wasting time. Let me just do this, let me just do that, I’m never settled or at peace. I want to live. I want to die. Self-doubt, failed expectation, unreliability. I cringe at the thought of what secrets I’ve let loose at work today. What impression I’ve made. Because yesterday I was so, so very different than I am today. And I will most likely be so very different tomorrow, than I was today. Its humiliating. In hypomania I lay bare my confused, unstable mind for all to view with curiosity and ultimately judge.

Agony. I have no control. I cannot live within the confines of this illness much longer. I cannot chase life and force living.  Thoughts polluting, brain sentencing. I want to be free. I want some peace.  Tomorrow, I just have to wait until tomorrow to see my doc

survival-mode

 

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49 comments

  1. Sweetheart I lived that same tale myself and understand you so much. You are like many of us and to hell with peoples judgement. You are the most honest of the bunch, I hope seeing your doc will help the racing thoughts. That is exhausting, hugs and support for you!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You write my life. The way you describe this is so very accurately the way I live…could it be that there is actually some standard way of feeling across BP sufferers? I mean, I’d it possible that you and I experience cycling in similar ways? That’s a completely new idea to me. I had thought that each person had a distinct way of perceiving the awful changes…but your writing, so clear and articulate–you are a GREAT writer– shows me that perhaps there is much more commonality to this scourge called Bipolar Disorder than I had previously imagined.

    Thank you for this…and please god you should feel better very soon xx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh Laura thank you so much for this validation! I came so close to not posting this piece. I thought it just sounded like confounded nonsense. Garbled. But to know you understand so precisely is a marvel. Yes, I also thought we were all individual little snowflakes, but this shows how there is some truth to cycles being similar. Maybe a glimmer of hope. Thank you so much. This is so encouraging. After I posted it I thought – that’s it I’m never posting again, its just too embarrassing, I make a fool of myself. Now I will continue. What a gift you’ve given me ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hypomania almost sounds like a long panic attack. In the Netflix series, Jessica Jones (a Marvel superhero), when she was having a panic attack, she would recite the names of the streets she grew up on. I can’t even remember all the different street names of my neighborhood, but maybe something similar would help. Re-directing the mind to information you can recite by rote. Like maybe your favorite foods or the cutest actors.

    Look, when advice is free, you gotta take what you can get. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In hypomania mode, you almost feel like you have Jessica Jones’ abilities. You don’t feel suffocated as much as you later realize you may have overwhelmed others with your whirlwind. In hypomania, there are ten things I can or want to suddenly do and I NEED to do them RIGHT NOW. I have too many good ideas to stop for one second and recite anything, as these fresh ideas are continually blooming and interupting. Later, I am looking at a big mess. Evidence of failure (how I feel at the time, the comedown.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. How can you re-direct all that energy? I don’t know, because I’ve never had that kind of energy. But I was thinking that there are probably artists who can sometimes throw a lasso around the hypomania and send all that energy into being creative. Not being a very artistic person either, I don’t know how that would work. But the creative part of our brain might help to counteract the parts of our brain that are out of control. What do you think?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am an art project junkie, if that tells you anything. I paint on my walls, furniture, etc. it’s a difficult energy to control to where you can redirect. It compels you to an action or idea, and tunnel vision. But the tunnels splice. A lot of people with mental health issues tend to be creative types and there has long been a correlation there. Artists, writers, musicians, carpenters… You are often at your prime for creating with grand ideas with mania, and sadly, that is a common reason people stop taking meds. It’s always the reason when I stop. Medicine helps me to not have such wildly huge swings of mania and downfalls- the depression after is shit still but I am more angry and less suicidal. It helps a lot, man, but it’s impossible to breathe it out, meditate it out. When I am manic and I get an idea, I fixate. I cannot tuck it away for later. I carry a journal type book around at all times for ferocious writing furies and drawing because if I cannot do what I want to do, which is 8/10 art-related, I lash out at those around me. Music helps a lot, too. When I a super down, life is shit, the world is too cruel, I listen to really sad songs and cry. Crying actually takes up so much of my energy that it can work as a chill pill for me.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Thank you so much Bipolarstoner. You have hit the nail on the head. Explained it perfectly, especially “the tunnels splice” as far as focus. I also turn to music a lot. I try to stay away when I’m hypomanic because it increases my intensity. But mostly its my companion who understands every element in my life. It talks to me, consoles me, inspires me. And “tuck it away for later”… perfectly said ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’ve been wracking my brain on how to explain the conflicting energy of hypomania/mania. But Bipolarstoner has explained it perfectly. The compulsion to follow ideas, creative ones, dropping one for the other because your thoughts aren’t settled enough to focus. I’m restless, easily distracted by everything creative. Its like an itch you HAVE to scratch. So there is no follow through with any project. Its extremely frustrating. “I get an idea, I fixate. I cannot tuck it away for later” – that compulsion. My mind will not leave it alone. While I’m at work I neglect my work because I’m chasing after ‘pretty things’. And I work in the creative field – with deadlines and I can’t afford to be distracted. But despite the risk or repercussion I’m writing, creating, googing. That’s where the lack of control comes in. It lies in the compulsion and fixation. And then I can be halfway through what I think is a BRILLIANT proect. And then I come down and have a different perspective and think its a load of shit. And I throw it away. I love your phrase ” sometimes throw a lasso around the hypomania and send all that energy into being creative”. And you may be left-brained and logical, but you my friend, are also an artist. Just look at your photography 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      5. That’s so interesting, thanks for explaining. Since most of my pain is in my face and head, I do everything I can to avoid things like crying. Being empathetic is not good for my pain, but I can’t seem to turn it off. Do you find things like sympathy and empathy are amplified during hypomania? Or do they even register when you’re in that state?

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Everything is amplified – I feel it all and then some. I’m in a heightened state, as if I’m vibrating inside my blood. Emotion swells, sound is louder, speed is more rapid, decisions are quick and absolute. Decisive. Don’t like your job? Despite obligations you’ll just quit with a grand exit. Touch, sensation is irrsistable – I become tactile, like to touch surfaces and objects, from soft to prickly to shiny, I can’t help myself I HAVE to touch it. It heightens any sexual experience because everything is amplified, burns with an intensity. I think the term is ‘grandiosity’. And like Bipolarstoner said – that’s sometimes why we come off our meds because it can feel fantastic. But you also get hypomania presenting with no euphoria. So all aggression, frustration, aggitation is now amplified. I have Bipolar II rapid cycling. My symptoms present as more depressive episodes than hypomanic and I have several episodes during a year, which is why coming off my meds never crosses my mind.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. “And then I can be halfway through what I think is a BRILLIANT project. And then I come down and have a different perspective and think its a load of shit.”

        Funny, the same kind of thing happens to me. I have a great idea, make some notes, then the next day I’m like, WTF? That’s not even an interesting idea. Maybe it has something to do with my mood and the pain, but I just wanted to let you know that it’s not uncommon. I guess the difference is in the levels of inspiration and dejection that we both experience.

        I’m not sure that pointing a camera and clicking can be described as artistic. I’m not really creating anything — the camera is doing most of the work. But I guess that’s how people feel who cannot draw, paint, or create music. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      8. lol … Bradley also does this. Makes notes etc. You must see my draft folder and then I have draft foldersssss and then more over several external drives. I go back and I don’t even know what my point was. It must have been important because I saved it?? Having sciatica now has broadened my experience. Definitely pain effects moods. We chatted about it once before – can drive us to the brink of insanity. But you’re right. The difference lies in the level, the balance. Bipolar is an illness of extremes.

        You see beauty. You appreciate the intricasy of it. And you take the time to capture it. That is what makes you an artist. PS – when hypomanic, my comments and responses are loooooong!! And I want to say thank you to you for taking an interest in understanding us. Not many people make the effort. So I love you for being interested and caring enough to ask questions and read my looooooong winded responses =D

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Isn’t it odd how my pain and your bipolar can make us feel exactly the same things? The pain makes me sensitive to light, sounds, smells, and emotions. It’s just too much. Too fucking much. I remember when I was working, the sound of someone else typing on a keyboard — click, click, click — was intensely irritating. (Odd how the sound of me typing on a keyboard doesn’t bother me.) But I just wanted to yell, stop typing! Stop making that freaking sound! A small thing, amplified.

        To help manage my pain, I try to control these things, but of course that’s not always possible. Can’t live your life by hiding from light, sound, smell, and emotion, but I try. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      10. It’s the pain that forced me to slow down and see the beauty around me. And because I have to move so slowly, I have the time to capture it. Art therapy for me is more about escaping the boredom of being trapped inside a body that mostly feels only pain. To be honest, I’d prefer to be without the pain, even if it meant being unable to notice the beauty. Beauty is a wonderful thing, but it’s rarely stronger than pain.

        Trying to understand other people is interesting. And when you try to understand others, you understand more about yourself. Yes, all of this is about me. Me, me, me. 🙂

        There’s no such thing as a long-winded response. It just looks that way because we’re typing, not talking. Sending love right back atchya. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I like that re-directing idea. Its also a lot more discreet than huffing and puffing in and out a paper bag. But I can combine this skill to help me recall things I don’t remember. I’m going to test it out and I’ll let you know how it works

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow… I’ve never seen the stuff that zips through my head at the speed of light poured out on a page like this… thank you. Please don’t ever give up, too many people would be devastated. period.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been there. I still get there, though it is dulled by 8 different medications. I mean really? 8?? It’s the only way I can appear to be the normal that society expects me to be. I like that I no longer have the extreme levels of being way up and then way down, but the interesting thing is that I miss having the intense emotions I once had. At times they were beautiful. Imagine it! We feel 10 times the emotion that the “normal” people feel! It was exhilarating at times, and now I wonder if I really want all that emotion gone? I have a complicated type of bipolar, and apparently 8 medications is what I need, but it feels as if my true emotions are being forced down where they don’t want to be. I would never quite my medication… I don’t want to go through mania or a depressive episode ever again… but the emotion is gone! Is this what normal is supposed to feel like? If so, it is boring! I got a little off topic and went on a rant…. I apologize for that. I really enjoyed your post. We have all been there. I still lack a filter, but I am better. There is hope. Hang in there until they finally figure out the medical cocktail that is good for you.

    Liked by 2 people

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