Here comes Mania, here comes Mania,
Right down Bipolar lane
Static and Chaos and all their brethren
Pullin’ on my brain
First I’m laughin’, suddenly cryin’
All is way too bright
Hang your head and say your prayers
‘Cause Mania comes tonight!
I wrote this just now as I was steam cleaning the carpet steps. I don’t know of a better way to spend a late Thursday evening. Now I think I’ll clean some closets. God what I wouldn’t give to be normal.
The other day, a friend asked me what they could do to help whenever I am depressed. And it’s a funny question because, WHEN I am actually depressed, I don’t think I am worthy of helping. It’s also a timely question because I’m nose diving into a low after weeks of blissful stability.
My lows are not only sleeping for days, though that is definitely involved. They mostly consist of such a dearth of love for myself that if I saw it in my own family I would be terrified. The things I say to myself go behind playground bullying and hinge more on horror movie. They paralyze me.
So, to answer the question, when I am depressed, when I am in a low; I need to know that I am loved. I need to know that I am worth fighting for. I desperately need to know that people care about me. I also admit that this is a tall order and not for everyone. But if you’re able, even if I push you away while I’m down here, reach down to me until I start to reach up.
Usually, I don’t read the articles on Yahoo because, quite frankly, I’m a snob and I find them to be poorly written or alarmist. But this one was excellent, probably because it is less of an article and really just quotes from my brothers and sisters on the mental health battlefield.
27 Ways to Be an Ally for Someone Who Has a Mental Illness
This one in particular was striking. It amazes me how many people do this.
No, the weather is no bipolar. I AM. The weather is weather. It is controlled by gulf streams, and pressure, and magic and pixie dust. I am controlled by the chemicals in my brain that will not allow me to enjoy my daughter’s birthday party and the demons in my head who are constantly -just- on the verge of breaking free. So the weather, or your non bipolar friend who decided to NOT go to the movies with you today because she’s having a bad day, or your cat who was in your lap and then flipped out and bit you? Again. Not bipolar. But me, in bed for the fourth day in a row, wondering how it is that people can even stand the SIGHT of me, even though six weeks ago, I was the life of the party and handing out my phone number like candy? Yeah. Bipolar. My diagnosis is not slang. Don’t use it as such.
What’s interesting about mood disorders, or at least, what’s interesting in my experience, is having the ability to tell when my next high or low is coming. I’ve been feeling this manic episode building for the past couple of days and I know it’s right around the bend. Even as I type this, I’m frequently having to correct mistakes I’ve made because my hands are shaking too much to type with my normal accuracy. I have my next sentence planned before I’ve finished typing this one. Which, reader, has made for some interesting fixes in the proofreading stage. I’m sure I’ll find more edits after I hit publish. I always do.
Anyway. i have no profound update today. No great story to tell. Just my racing heart and thoughts and the knowledge that in the coming days and then for a week or so, it will only get worse. However, until I crash again, I’ll be damned if my kitchen won’t be spotless and maybe I’ll paint another bedroom.
I know it’s been forever, and I’m not even going to attempt to give any explanation other than: Life.
In an attempt to get myself out of my house and into the world, I accepted a job at a florist. I was only supposed to be a driver, but the boss almost immediately promoted me to… I don’t know… florist office do-everything person. I’ll admit she can be a difficult person to work with, but I love her and I love my job. It’s been a little over three months and I’m incredibly happy there. However! There has been a bump in the road because I had to have unexpected back surgery. Anyone who knows me knows I have back issues. Pain, arthritis, sciatica, blah blah blah, whatever. It’s not abnormal to see me walking around with a limp and a grimace. I finally went and received an MRI and saw my exceedingly attractive neurosurgeon. As soon as he walked in the room, I knew. He wanted me to have surgery immediately, but I needed time to prepare and I was able to convince him to give me three weeks. So, here I am now, strapped into a plastic breast plate, unable to move most of upper body, with four screws and two rods in my back. It’s been three weeks since the surgery, which consisted of a one-level spinal fusion, which is when the surgeon fuses two vertebrae together. Fun!
I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s difficult because I feel as though I had made so much progress. Staying at home all day is definitely counter productive to my mental state. It’s not that I’m bored exactly, (I am, don’t get me wrong) or even lonely, (I am that too), but I feel the old urge to sleep. That quiet call from my bed and my brain to return to sleep so I don’t have to think about the pain I’m in or what I might be missing. The days pass by faster in a haze of waking and returning to bed, with a couple of hours in between to groggily watch Doctor Who on Netflix. The brace I’m wearing is, quite literally a prison. There is so little I can do to help my family, I feel so much like a waste of space to them. I know it’s only temporary, but when you have a mental illness and you’re suddenly paired with a physical problem; everything feels inescapable. Normally, the depression and fear that I live with is a horrible swamp that I am under. I can see a light above me, and all I have to do is fight the current and the detritus until I break the surface. But now, I have a stone tied to my ankle. It’s not so heavy that I can’t get my head above the water, but it’s exhausting. I’ll make it, it’s just taking time.
The very first line of this song is “I’ve got bipolar disorder.”
And it’s amazing.
This is an excellent explanation.
The holidays can be a stressful time for most, if not all people. If you don’t get stressed by holidays, then you are clearly a mutant and I might hate you. As a person with bipolar disorder, They aren’t just stressful. They become gut wrenching moments in time in which I have to pretend to be normal in front of a much larger crowd than I am used to. You know, those relatives to whom it would be considered impolite to force your true feelings on; even if only for a day. Easter can be particularly tricky for the two sided mom. I want my daughter to see all of her family, but I know that isn’t possible. So instead I create situations in my head that are 99.9% likely to never happen. For example:
Me: “Hey mom! Happy Monday! How was your Easter?”
My mother: “YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU HAD BEEN THERE! YOU ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY THE WORST DAUGHTER AND MOTHER EVER.”
My mom would never talk to me that way; but I can’t stop myself for envisioning the hurt feelings of those I have irreparably wounded by not sharing ham and deviled eggs with.
On another note, we successful took our kid to the circus. Hurrahs all around! On the drive home, Nate and I talked about how impossible this outing would have been a year ago. It started at 7 and ended well past her bed time. There were far less tears than we had planned for; and really, everyone had an awesome time! Score one for me! FINALLY.