instrument @ mpmf :: cincinnati, ohio :: september 24, 2009
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.
This is not a place where I feel I should discuss my bipolar and the havoc it can wreak on my life in great detail because I know discussing it can make people uncomfortable. BUT. In a nutshell, bipolar disorder is basically something that runs my life and defines who I am despite my best efforts to be “normal”. It lingers in the background - thanks to modern medicine - but when it makes its presence known, watch out.
I’d been deeply entrenched on the manic side for a bit. When I get that bad, I withdraw. The feeling of invincibility makes me reckless and I didn’t need to screw up certain friendships. That said, there were some people who got treated in ways they deserved, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior. In other cases, I didn’t talk to anyone because I knew certain things would set off a chain reaction and quite simply, I didn’t want to clean up the mess I was about to create. Knowing I need to pull away makes me angry, which fuels the manic fire, so I withdraw even deeper. If you didn’t know better and couldn’t see the subtle signs, you would think I was depressed.
Meds aren’t the answer to everything. A lot of it comes from my high levels of self-awareness and ability to know when to pull back. I joke a lot that the meds quiet the voices in my head (another reason I tend not to parade the bipolar in front of people I don’t know well - they don’t get that it’s a joke). At the same time, when it’s really bad, I also waste time I could be using to do productive things by sitting on the internet and playing games on Facebook or MSN’s Zone. Those quiet the voices better than the meds. There’s a pretty heavy cost to that and I tend to let people down by not living up to my promises. I’m currently dealing with the fallout from one of those failures. It’s actually quite upsetting to me, because it was something I believed in and something I really wanted to do. I dropped the ball big time and I’m not interested in continuing with the project simply because I know it may happen again. They don’t deserve to be the victim of my screwed up brain chemistry.
That failure, and feeling like I was being forced to choose one path over another by someone else, sent me spinning in the other direction.
Then, I got some news that I was expecting but didn’t want to hear. It’s not directly “my” problem, but it’s affecting people close to me and it’s dredging up things I thought I had buried. It’s stuff that’s hard for me to process on a good day. When I’m depressed… let’s put it this way, it’s very easy to give in to The Ick and move into The Bad Place. I withdraw further, hide deeper in my world, blow every one and every thing off. (See? If you couldn’t tell, you’d just think I was just depressed all the time. One of my shrinks did and it only made the bipolar worse. Yup. One day I hope they figure this shit out and stop using us as guinea pigs, poisoning us with the different cocktails in the hopes that something works to dull the mood swings. Until then, I keep taking my current cocktail and hope I don’t get immune to it.)
It’s taken some time, and its taken spilling the Very Bad News to certain people, to make me feel that I can start crawling out of the hole I’ve dug. I owe a huge debt to my favorite platypus for simply letting it be known that he’s there for me. I also owe a huge debt to someone else for not hesitating to DM me on Twitter and check in. To the friends and strangers that sent me virtual hugs, I thank you as well. There were two certain boys who make me feel appreciated all the time, and gave me a super awesome present, and they were also instrumental in helping me crawl out, even though there was no way they could know what it meant to me. (And oddly enough, the certain boys were not in instrument… I just couldn’t think of a better word!)
I’m feeling hopeful for the first time since this nonsense began that I will get past this and get stable again. The Very Bad News isn’t going away from what I can tell so far… although a part of me does hope that it resolves itself sooner rather than later. (Those of you in the know, I think you understand why a quicker resolution is better than dragging it out. I’m not trying to be cold, just realistic.) It’s that hope which is so much more important than the drugs when it comes to my “recovery”.
And recovering I am.