Daily Archives: December 30, 2012

After the mania…

It last about the three hours, the manic episode. Which is why it took so long for me to get a proper diagnosis. There’s this misconception that a manic episode and depressive episode have to last for days or weeks to be diagnosed as bipolar.

In the case of Cyclothymic bipolar, this is not true. Rapid cycling is the name of the game.

Now I am not happy.

Now I am jumpy and panicky and anxious and irate and irritably and I feel like the walls are closing in on me because the cats and my kid keep crawling all over me and




I just want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!

I don’t.

But I cringe when they touch me. I don’t know why. My entire state right now is like I am listening to a chorus of nails on chalkboards.

This hyperagitated state often follows a manic episode.

I just have to ride it out.

I must admit, it is much worse with the Cymbalta. Oh, the morony (it’s not ironic, it’s moronic) of prescribing a med for my panic disorder and it causes me to freak out but helps me not be depressed.


Whiskey would help.

I  have no money.

Just gotta ride it out and remember not to scream and yell and thrash around.

But every nerve ending is screaming and every time kid or cat touches me, my skeleton wants to leap out of my skin. This is not a pleasant sensation.

This is just typical of the cycles in my disorder.

Happy energetic mania.

Overly agitated state following.

Hopefully this phase passes quickly.

Not that I want to sink into a depressive mind frame.

But it would be better than feeling like I am gonna to claw my own eyeballs out of their sockets to escape all the noise and contact and my own stupid central nervous system.

Forever and ever, amen.

So, I see we all made it past the 21. I knew we would. :) I’ve been doing pretty darn good. I mean, aside from the sleep issue. I am so fucking tired of “napping” at night, instead of getting a straight night sleep.

I’ve been going to church a lot lately. And, I’m kind of keeping an eye on myself just to see if I’m getting ready to flip, just in case. But I really love going. I have even been going early! I like the quiet time. I like the time to myself for reflection. And, I don’t even feel anxious anymore. I have no more tears. I just feel so…. good and at peace. Which brought me to think, could all of those meds I was on caused me to feel that way before? So anxious and nervous and isolated? I don’t know the answer to that. And, I don’t think I ever will. So, best to just live in the moment I suppose.

I have changed a lot. I’d like to think for the better. But I have been reconsidering my Bipolar diagnosis. Could it have just been my thyroid all along? Could it have been just this fibromyalgia? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just level right now. But I’m not even looking over my shoulder right now for the edge, like I once did. I’m just living.

I know I have suffered from depression, and my initial diagnosis 20 some odd years ago was correct. And I know I have been out of my mind, and hypomanic, and depressed, and mixed, and erratic. But right now I’m good. And I’m not going to question it.

And another thing….

Following on from my last but one post – ‘The Sorrows of…’ – I want to expand a bit on the context surrounding what I was writing about.

When I wrote that piece in mid – December I had been at a pretty low ebb.  I am glad to say that I’m feeling a whole lot better now.  I still stand by what I wrote, but I want to explore the themes I touched on last time.

Rational versus emotional.  Psychosis versus what’s really happening.

These tensions are with me every time I ride my bike.  My rational side means that I am opening the garage and taking out my bike, putting my stuff in my panniers, and setting off down the hill in time to catch my train.  On the way my rational side makes me stop at the traffic lights, acknowledge motorists, and remain assertive as I make my way along the road during the morning rush hour.

But it’s my emotional side that makes my heart beat with passion and joy – the joy at being alive – the reason I ride.  Sure, the excercise is good for me.  Sure, it’s ecologically friendly.  It’s cheaper – yeah, yeah, yeah.  But that’s not why I pedal up the hill in all weathers.  I ride because cycling connects me to who I am, to who I was, and to whom I will one day become.

Goethe was writing was part of a wider literary movement called ‘Sturm und Drang’. Translated variously as ‘Storm and Drive’, ‘Storm and Urge’ or usually as ‘Storm and Stress’.  This movement – most active between the 1760s and 1780s –  was a reaction to the Rationalist Age that characterised The Enlightenment.  It emphasised subjectivity, and extremes of emotion – as seen so clearly in ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’.

The Scottish Philosopher David Hume (1711 – 1776) bridged the gap between the  rationalist school of thought and the school known as sentimentalism when he wrote that ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.’

What I’m getting at is that emotionalism, as a response to our experiences, is crucially important to our  understanding of our lives.

Cognitive behavioural Therapy – which aims to help people review how they think about things - and by so doing understand and relate differently to challenging experiences is very widely used these days in the treatment of emotional disorders. An appeal to the rational self.  I am wary of the widespread use of this approach – not because I think that it is wrong – but because it unhooks us from our emotional selves.  I am concerned that it teaches us – however inadvertently – to mistrust our emotions, and in so doing detach from our true selves.

Love Listen

Let’s love, listen, take time

when time is all we have.

Let’s be unafraid to be kind,

Learn to disregard the bad

If the good outweighs it daily.

Let’s make a gift of silence,

The day’s hushing into dark, and when we hold eachother

Let’s always be astonished

we are we want to be.

Let’s hope to age together,

but if we can’t, let’s promise now

to remember how we shone

when we were at our best,

when we were most ourselves.

Ann Gray (Contemperary – dates unknown)


I’m feeling scraggly and weak, and it makes me wonder if there might be a cold atop depression’s physical effects upon my body. I know that my husband is feeling queasy and unwell, so there’s a chance of that within me as well. Not that it matters much in the scheme of things, other than being able to class x and y into its ‘correct’ boxes; being able to do that doesn’t change the fact that I feel weak and tired and gross and leaden. It’s all over and through the body too — I’d hoped to work on my crochet, but my hands aren’t doing the right things. Lame? Totally.

I also, emphatically, do not want next week to come. It’s going to be a busy one, and while it will probably delight and distract my mind once I’m in the midst of it, I’m feeling exhausted and gibbery at this juncture. The urge to isolate and cry is a strong one, though I continue to thank whatever deity might be listening that I continue to mainly win over that impulse. I’m not sure how outside of rote and stubbornness, but if that’s still sort of working… well, thanks for sort of working.

Anyways, back to being a slug.


Maniac Spider Trash-a post about manic episodes

(FYI, my musical idol, Wednesday 13 was in a band called Maniac Spider Trash, and Becca called me a maniac this morning, so I’m just going with the title.)

I am manic today. A brief euphoric hypomanic period usually follows taking Cymbalta. Don’t know that I will mention that to the doctor, I like not being depressed. I like being semi manic on occasion.

People who aren’t familiar with bipolar disorder have asked me what a manic episode is like.

It’s a little like being drunk. You’re inhibitions are lowered, your scalp can tingle, you find yourself doing things out of character for your normal self. Like, I am cheerleader bubbly right now and I can’t type fast enough because all these creative thoughts are zooming through my head. This is NOT my norm. My norm is scatterbrained ADHD bunny land with a pessimistic attitude and growly face. I do not do the cheerleader thing.

When manic, you do a lot of things that you don’t do.

My oldest net friend found out the other day that I was once arrested for shoplifting…and she was absolutely stunned. I think it maybe her the image she had of me.

All I can say is, when manic, you are in an altered mental status, and while you must take responsibility for your actions even while manic,  you also have to be able to realize that good people do stupid things all the time, and bipolar people have made a life out of doing impulsive stupid things because their brain gets overly happy at times and…judgement is impaired.

Yes, I was arrested for shoplifting. It was 8 years ago, at a horrible time in my life, before mood stabilizers and a proper diagnosis entered. I fucked up, and I have spent the last 8 years trying to rise above it and become a better person and never do anything like it again. I am happy to say with the mood stabilizers, my manic episodes are fewer and less severe. Mostly now I get hypomanic, which can prove to be a productive thing with happy fun time.

A lot of my past relationship problems have been because I have made friends during manic episodes, and that was the person they thought they were getting. Until a mood shift, then morose boring agoraphobic me came out and they didn’t find me  a suitable playmate anymore. It’s the nature of the beast that is bipolar. I figure if someone is  a true friend, they will get this. If not, they can go to hell. I didn’t ask for this but it’s the hand I was dealt. I am playing the cards best I can.

Bottom line is…take your best drunk, throw in some lucidity, and you have mania.

A manic episode is better than any drug or booze.

Which is why so many of us don’t want to be medicated. Which is why when the mania ends and we come smashing down…we turn to booze or drugs seeking that high again because it felt so good. We never find it because a chemical high can’t compare to the natural high of a manic episode…

It is what it is.

I am crawling out of my skin right now. All these seemingly brilliant ideas bouncing off the walls of my brain like kids in one of those bouncy tents. They probably aren’t brilliant ideas at all but when mania sets in, your perception is askew. Later I will probably forget everything that is so prevalent in my mind right now. Or realize how delusional my thinking was.

This is mania.

This is a facet of my existence.

It is bittersweet,though.

For after the mania usually comes a severe crash down into the rabbit hole.

For now…I am enjoying the ride.

I am…


The pessimist has something positive to say

Every once in a blue moon…All the stars align…

And I have a decent day.

After this morning’s email induced panicapaloozqa…I shut it all out. I am rarely ever able to do that but I let my housework pile up so I had lots to keep me busy.

Now 98% of my housework is caught up. I even faced down the seven baskets of laundry that had to be folded.

No serious mood swings, fairly low on panic, although the Cymbalta induced jumpiness is annoying…I have enjoyed my day with my kid, finding myself patient and laughing with her, playing with her.

We did the grocery shopping thing.

Now tomorrow…I get to vegetate. I earned it.

Because the chances of me having two good days in a row is about nil. That’s bipolar for you.

It’s a moody go round that keeps spinning even if it occasionally stops for a maintenance job.

All in all…I finally had a day that hasn’t felt like I am being tortured or punished.

Yay. :)