My body, my muscles ache and my mind is partly numb, still a bit unclear. I went straight to bed after work and slept for a bit before bathing and eating dinner. I’m exhausted as I regain my stability after a particularly nasty four-day spree with hypomania and insomnia. A fixation on lounge curtains lead to my undoing. My thought process and behaviour out of control and irrational, lead to a heated misunderstanding with The Good Guy. Poor fellow was only trying to help and understand. But despite his best efforts, my brain was sick. Unwell. Perceptions warped. Wrong. Extremely wrong. Just like my neurological wiring.
How many times must I say this! It is out of my fucking control. Now drop it. And fuck you
Then I broke up with him. This innocent bystander cut down in the wake of my mania storm.
Its over. I don’t want to see you again. Don’t ever come around. Stay away from me
This said to a gentle human being who was only trying to support me. Trying to learn, to understand as best he can. I’m ashamed. Deeply ashamed. No one deserves to be spoken to like that. No one. And especially not this good guy. I apologised, but that’s never enough. By the time you say you’re sorry its already too late. There is no taking back those nasty words – I’m too embarrassed to print. But he was patient. He didn’t react. He slowly, kindly, waited out the storm. As the hypomania began to lift, he managed to coax me back to a point of reason, of clear thinking. He accepted my apology. He accepted me. What an exceptional person. It guess it also doesn’t hurt that he almost became a psychologist!
Last night, out of the blue, thoughts broke free like a horse nearing home. Couldn’t relax. Couldn’t sit back. I began to decorate. Re-organize. Moving this and then that. Then putting it back. This there and that here but it didn’t fit so I tipped the house upside down to find peace in my cracked and mismatched home. Unpacking cupboards and swapping and switching. Stuff. Old curtains out and new curtains in. Swop them around all over again. Change the walls a new colour. Mind ticking over. Big plans. There were ladders and fabric, old clothes for charity, broken pots now layered in dust, old pillows abused covered and back on the bed to be used. My place looks like its been hit by a storm. A hypomania storm? I’m confused, lost my step and my sleep, can’t figure these things out anymore, can’t keep score. What’s real and what’s illness is a difficult business. No trigger. Just suddenly couldn’t keep still. My mind and my body are definitely ill.
My racing thoughts have tripped over into hypomania. But without the euphoria. I can’t think straight, concentrate or keep still. Just thinking thinking thinking and talking to myself in my own mind and then answering myself but there’re whispers of other ‘selves’ also talking and wanting attention. I’m beside myself. Sweating. Agitated. Anxious. I’m not doing my work too busy again posting, writing, reading, walking a path through the parking lot, thinking, thinking, thinking, music, art, friends I’ve lost, rhyming words. I keep holding my head in my hands but that doesn’t help. It doesn’t calm me ground me. Normally I take an Alzam but they’re at home. I try telling myself ‘centre, centre, centre’ but then my mind goes ‘centre, centre, centre, shopping centre, oh my god I need new shoes I’m going out tonight what if they break that’s so embarrassing what am I going to do…….’ Then I bring myself round again and tell myself ‘centre, centre, centre’ but that turns into ‘service centre’ because I need a new spare tyre and a jack because the other day my car broke down and I realised I had no spare tyre and no jack but lucky that wasn’t the problem…
centre…. centre…. centre….
Its still not working.
Racing thoughts are not just “thinking fast.” They are thoughts that just won’t be quiet. They can be in the background of other thoughts or take over a person’s consciousness, and they can gallop out-of-control around and around in the sufferer’s head [source]
This is what my racing thoughts look like on paper…..
…..a jumble of half-written ideas; the beginnings of poems with no constructed endings which lie long forgotten from an hour earlier; a well considered response to a post, half done; a to-do list that’s already been replaced by another urgent task my mind JUST . WILL . NOT . LET . GO . But first I need to just jot this down because something else will soon snatch my brain into another direction. Again. Each potential interest from hairstyles to blog, from cooking to politics is thoroughly researched and cross-checked on google. But before I’m even able to get started on chasing this new idea, I’m snagged from another side…. captivated by exercise and dog grooming, on-line shopping, facts about snakes and Japan’s Suicide Forest and the thread of a poem that is itching to be released.
And work? Oh, I lost track of that a long, long time ago. Probably before I first walked into the office today. I’ve been so busy inside my own head I haven’t had time to either work or execute any of my incoherent plans or good intentions. Haven’t been able to concentrate long enough to accomplish anything yet. And its nearly home time. This adictively unproductive day has certainly raced by. Yesterday I was depressed. My emotions were a gaping wound of fear and tears and sorrow. Today I’m exhausted, not hypomanic, but my thoughts are running wild.
I’ve admitted myself into hospital after two weeks of insomnia and chasing my tail in mixed episodes. Loud and laughing then switching to tears. I swear to god if I have to cry one more time…. if I have to have one more sleepless night….. if I have to become fixated on Mr Google’s access to information one more time….. I’m gonna go nuts!
So here I am, back where I was last year. This time without visits from Lover… bittersweet…. but a good thing because he’s a big part of the reason why I’m back. I’ve seen my doc and he’s added to and increased my meds. Our goal is to knock me out. He’s also treating my sciatica pain. Having no sleep means my body hasn’t been resting and recuperating from the day and my pain is beyond screaming at this point. I can barely put weight on my right foot.
A big part of me doesn’t want to go to sleep even though I’m tired. My brain is moving so fast, so many things I want to do. My energy feels endless. I feel electrified. Alive. But I switch, so quickly, and I’m heartbroken and desolate. So I know I need to press the reset button to stop this cycle; to get any quality of life moving forward into the new year. At least here I know, I will have no choice but to be sleeping peacefully.
It another one of those days. I can’t focus on anything. I only had 3 hours sleep last night. My mind tells me I’m too busy for bed. Agitated and accelerated it now hops from one thing to another. Here I am at work, trying my hardest to concentrate all my efforts on my workload, but……. THERE’S GOOGLE! And I have so many questions and ideas. One site leads me to another and before I know it, I’ve missed my deadline, taken too many smokes breaks, and I’ve got a gazillion tabs open In google that I JUST HAVE TO READ before the end of the day. So many interesting things, but……. WORK! I’m being paid to do a job not to rub shoulders with Mr Google.
*sigh* Today it’s greatly disappointing having to earn a living, when I could be conquering the world with projects and concepts, research and knowledge.
I had an intense session with my doc yesterday. Turns out I couldn’t have ECT because I have sciatica and the doc said even though a muscle relaxant is administered , there is “quite a lot of thrashing about”!! WTF? Had no idea it was that intense. I turned down hospitalization because the session was so productive with no massive change in my meds, so I didn’t see the necessity.
He sat with me for almost 2 hours, well into much of what I presume to have been his lunchtime. And he didn’t even charge me. I’ve said it before, he is one-of-a kind, a true healer. In a nutshell, right now, I’m not nuts! I’ve just been through an awful amount of shit for a very long time and my emotions have taken a beating. And since bipolar symptoms are rooted in one’s emotions, you could say there’s been an emotional overload and I’m short-circuiting…… and he said….
There is a difference between being in a reactionary state because of life experiences, and being sick with bipolar. What I am experiencing right now is the result of being fucked up for a very long time, and the resulting upheaval of making changes. The fact that its knocked me to the degree that it has is normal because that’s how someone with bipolar will naturally react. Natural is normal and normal is relative. I can have bipolar yet be normal at the same time.
What a life changing revelation! My life is not doomed. This will pass. I will be free. There is possibility, not pointlessness. My circumstances will change. My solution need not be death….. just time. I’m sad because Life is an asshole, not because there’s something wrong with me. Which all means that I am going to be okay.
A lot went down in this session. I plan to process it all by blogging it out. Its going to be an emotional process, but no one said healing is painless. I never fail to be amazed by the power of words – kind/cruel; heal/break. No voltage, no medication. Someone with specialised knowledge took extra time to talk, advise, encourage, validate, explain, reassure. Words and kindness were my medicine.
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
On Monday my fascination with stop motion video was all consuming. I barely managed to get my work finished for all the you tube videos, websites and scrawled notes I was collecting for my storyboard. The fact I didn’t actually have a storyboard or a subject in mind was a minor detail.
My mind screamed as it took flight in all angles of progression with new ideas bursting to the surface. I WAS a stop motion video. I had BECOME a stop motion video. My projects were going to be born from brilliance. I could barely contain myself for the workday to be over so my new venture could begin.
Let’s add some perspective and step back one day.
On Sunday I wanted to kill myself. I planned. I wrote something brief. Life was, and still is, unmanageable. I would have taken the step had I not been so afraid. Afraid that the follow-through would not be completely successful, or that it would be unthinkably painful. The fears we all have while chasing the desire for death. So I packed the thought away for another rainy day. I cried like a Justin Timberlake song…. cry me a river and then went in search of my Big Girl Panties. But they were in the wash. Typical. Story of my life!
So there you have it. The splendor that is Rapid Cycling. It’s exhausting trying to keep up.
Thank you everyone for reading my last 2 posts and giving me your feedback. Your comments and perspectives are much appreciated. I have no means of replying in good time because I still have no internet at home and there’s only so much blogging I can sneak through at work, especially stuff I want to be thoughtful with – like responding to your comments.
The pain from sciatica has rendered me almost immobile – its been 4 weeks now. My movements are limited to – how far do I have to drive? How far do I have to walk from the car to the shop, how long do I have to stand in the queue and, will I make it back to the car to make the drive and another short walk home? I would say its a real pain in the ass, but its more of a pain in the bum cheek…. and leg….. and calf…. and….. actually its not really funny.
Having no internet has left me loads of time to write. But its kinda rude to keep posting about myself with no reciprocation to yourselves. So, this was a very long way of saying thank you for taking the time to offer your views and personal experiences relative to my previous posts. My friends, you have been extremely helpful, encouraging and have given me pause for thought…..
For those who feel like reading more, my hypomania lasted all of about 6 hours *shrug* that’s rapid-cycling for you, I guess. And as with Bipolar II, I’m back in depression with suicidal ideation. Obviously telling you means I won’t do it. I haven’t let my doc know. Don’t see the point because I’ve run out of money and time off work. Ahhhh, the life of a bipolar. I am fucking exhausted.
Thanks for reading and I hope to be up and running as soon as sciatica allows me to.