Friday, February 22, 2008

I am the Captain of my Crazy Ship

I attempted to explain my bipolar today to a new friend of mine but I couldn't. I'm going to try here where I am not under so much pressure.

First off, I HATE the term "mood swings". That term has always been associated with nutty women or PMS or menopause. What else could you use though? That is what we have...mood swings.

The main two components of my illness are depression and I suppose the second would have to be a tie between rage and just feeling like the most super, smart and funny woman in the world.

The depression: that one is easy to describe.

  • For me it is waking every morning and wishing you hadn't. Crying while you're getting ready for work regardless of whether or not you have already put your mascara on - that is IF you're even bothering with your make-up. About half the time I don't even touch the stuff.
  • Crying as I am driving to and from work. Wishing someone would run a red light and kill me so that it could all be over with but without the shame of suicide.
  • I cry during work. I DETEST with RAGE the damn phone ringing right when I am in the middle of what I know will be a period of crying that I cannot stop even by biting my tongue. I know the guys in my office think I have the worst case of allergies in the entire world. They see the red eyes and the tissues...I just say allergies. Who understand crying without a specific reason or excuse?
  • I go to church with my husband the deacon who everyone admires and looks up to and I sit there on my fourth row seat and cry, sometimes sobbing quietly. I am so embarrassed, but my choice is to stay home. I hide as much as possible. I don't want to see people because they all shake your hand and say, "Hi. How are you?" How do you say, "Oh I'm fine and how are you?" when there are tears streaming down your face pushing your eyeliner alone with them. I try to be invisible. I love preaching but I won't go to Sunday School because the classroom is little and they sit in a circle where everyone looks at everyone and I look down at the floor and feel stupid. I know they're looking at me and wondering why I'm not friendly and oh if they only knew just how badly I wanted to be friendly. If they only know how badly I needed friends and how much compassion and love I have for people, but I can't show it because it is just too hard to wear the mask.
  • I cannot concentrate at work. I look at the computer where I do my work and find myself staring at it as if I am clueless as to what to do next. I've only done this job for 7 years. I never go out to lunch with everyone else. Again, I hate having to put on the mask and pretend everything in my world is hunkey dorey.
  • I have a plan in place at all times. I have letters written to loved ones begging their forgiveness for my whimping out and taking the low road.
  • I never see the depression coming. It just slaps the shit out of me right from the blue! Bam...I'm down. Reminding myself several times a day why I shouldn't stop this pain. Literally naming on my fingers all the people. Wondering how much longer I can hang on for other people when the pain inside my chest is about to overcome my caring that they not be hurt.
  • I wrap myself inside my head and don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to look at anyone. I don't want to leave my house. I don't want to get out of my pajamas. If there was no spouse here I would sleep. Period. Just sleep.

  • Depression is black and ugly and hideous and I get so damn frustrated that no one seems to be able to find the answers and fix this. I know that every time the veil lifts and I feel like I will survive, that it will be back. It always comes back. It has come back for me since 1992.
The Bipolar...the manic side...second part: the rage and the super smart woman:

  • The rage is something that has only in the past year or so been added to my plate. I don't do anger well. If I am just totally mad at you, I turn it inwards. I will think bad thoughts, I will consider beating the shit out of someone, and the rage from holding back will make me shake and sweat and grit my teeth. I won't, however, hit anyone.
  • The rage can be something as simple as the phone ringing at work for the 6th time in 3 minutes. There are four other people in that effing office. Is it because they all have penises that they cannot lift their effing hands to answer the damn phone!?!?!
  • The rage can also be the idiot person behind the counter at the fast food place who when you walk up to her window she acts as if you are there just for the sole purpose of ruining her day. Well screw you bitch.
  • The rage can be against my spouse. Oh my how ugly that one can get. enough said.
The other part, where there is the funny and incredibly smart and artistic woman:

  • I can write such poetic and easy to understand articles.
  • Short stories that people can really get into and feel what I am saying.
  • I can draw the reader into the scene I have created with my words.
  • I can sit and make jewelry, popping out complete outfits in a couple of hours.
  • I can paint a picture that is good enough to enter competitions.
  • I can walk with my head high with great self confidence.
  • I can be incredibly sexy and flirty and just KNOW that I look D.A.M.N. good.
  • I can drive fast and flashy and be safe all at the same time.
  • I can spend money like it grows on trees.
That is my life with Bipolar. Bipolar's life with me.


Disillusioned said...

What a great explanation - sad, but (from my experience of depression) so very accurate.

I think what concerns me most is that you have plans for suicide so clearly worked out. Can you put in place some plans for saving yourself from yourself when you come close to that place? I have just set up a list of my own warning signs and am trying to be proactive, trying to stop myself going down that slippery slpe while I am still at the top. It's hard and i don't know how successful I will be, but I've put it in place.
Thank you for such a clear account. You are very brave.

Lizzie said...

Thank you so much for your honesty. It was like you got inside my head and wrote from my brain. I have decided to make plans for living. Do I feel like living? No, not always. But I have spent so much time thinking about the dying that I have decided to put my energies into thinking about living.

Artemis said...

I appreciate the opportunity to look inside you...thanks for being so open with your experiences.

Anonymous said...

yeah, those are the words that occupy my head sometimes too. like yesterday. I sat in the dr's office crying for no apparent reason.

I'll be back to read more...because I don't have the balls to put those words on my own blog.

Catherine said...

The depression . . . so familiar.

The rage - me too. A recent thing though. From cold to hot in 2 secs flat.

NocturnalRN said...

I hope you felt like you accomplished something by typing this blog. I too am bothered that you have plans....for dying. I hope you have the help you need and truly good, empathetic people in your life and if you don't I hope you find some somehow. I think you are brave too. And I appreciate your account-it gives me a little insight. Take care,

Dragonfly said...

So very accurate. I can't understand the mania as much as the depression, but I still feel you.
Thanks for sharing that with us.