Honesty is my policy on this blog, and I honestly feel like there’s no end in sight. My meds have …
Honesty is my policy on this blog, and I honestly feel like there’s no end in sight. My meds have …
Those famous words are the preamble to the self – pitying plea by Richard the Third in Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Readers in the southern hemisphere please excuse the seasonal reference. Some of you may prefer to read this edition later in the year…..
Living where I do on a hill, when it snows, as it did in January, I stay off my bike and (sometimes) shovel snow and run errands for the neighbours. But none of that compares to the winter of 1963. That year saw the coldest temperatures for over 100 years. February 11 sees the 50th anniversary of the death by suicide of the American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath, who took her life during that bleak time.
Figures have just been released of the number of people who took their own lives in the U.K. over recent years. In 2010 5,608 people killed themselves. In 2011 the number rose to 6,045. I’m not going to speculate here about the reasons for this sharp rise (the figures for 2012 are not available). But one thing you can be sure of is that coroners may be reluctant in some cases to find a verdict of suicide. Why? Mostly to save the feelings of the living relatives. The feelings of the living, of people who do not kneel before what Alfred Alvarez called ‘the savage god’, trump those of the dead, and those of us who wish we were. Suicide is widely considered to be a selfish act, ignoring the feelings of others; loved ones left behind, the dog walker who finds the body hanging from a branch during a forest ramble. The train driver who is confronted as few of us are, with the reality of the deadly thud and bump.
For some of us suicide is an act of comfort, love and relief amidst a maelstrom of pain. But people think that the feelings of friends, relatives and strangers trump our feelings. If suicide is a selfish path, then aren’t the feelings of those ‘left behind’ selfish, too? ‘How could they have done this to me?’ ‘Didn’t he think of how his wife and kids would feel?’
Whose pain and suffering comes first?
In a recent article for a British newspaper the maverick Church of England clergyman Giles Fraser wrote: ‘…if suicide is on your mind, forget the existentialists and the poets. Phone the Samaritans. Go and see your G.P. Talk to your friends. Stop drinking. Misery is survivable. And hold fast to the belief that a brighter day will dawn.’
Let’s take these words of wisdom one at a time. ‘Forget the existentialists and the poets.’ Well, if we can’t come to terms with the most fundamental question of the all – why we are here in the first place – how we are to ascribe any value to our existence? Forget the poets? Now that I have finally stopped gasping with incredulity, which ones are you referring to, Giles Fraser? W.H. Auden? Andrew Marvell? Wendy Cope? Seamus Heaney? Carol Ann Duffy? William Wordsworth? Maya Angelou? Robert Browning? Christiana Rossetti? And surely not Dorothy Parker? Do their rhymes really offer no soothing balm at all? Phone the Samaritans? (for those of you reading this outside the U.K. it is the county’s leading mental health help line). I have found them very helpful, as have many. It’s not so simple to ring them as it is to call the plumber or the electrician, though. ‘Go and see your G.P. (General Practitioner – i.e. not a specialist Dr.) I have been lucky in this respect, but has he really no idea how hard it is to make an appointment, attend the surgery, and then actually talk about suicide? ‘Talk to your friends’. The obvious, and all too common answer to that piece of advice – and how many times have I heard this response over the years? – ‘All my friends disappeared once I had told them how I was feeling.’ Either that or they were giving advice like the pearls of wisdom I quoted above. ’Stop drinking’. Simple. You wonder why organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous exist if it is that easy. ‘Misery is survivable.’ Misery. That old canard that depression, bi polar disorder and schizophrenia are just varying forms of unhappiness. ’And hold fast to the belief that a brighter day will dawn.’ Does he really not realise that when we are contemplating suicide all that cosy belief in the future has long since slipped through our fingers?
The French thinker Montaigne (1533 – 1592) pinpointed the mental vice people like me are in when he wrote: ‘we are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe, we disbelieve and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn.’
The woman is perfected.
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty. She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.
Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963)
Everyone here at Chez Moi is still varying degrees of sick. The little one is starting to come around, but my husband is feeling beyond wretched; the illness finally caught up with the sheer exhaustion of the clingy sick child. I’m still in good spirits, but that hot dry headache is trying to surface again.
I think one reason why I’m holding up in the mood department is because January has seen a random increase of people dropping me notes and messages. Maybe I show up as online on Facebook now or something? I really don’t know the root, but it’s exactly the kind of minor in passing attention that my brain needs to be happy. Maybe some of it will re-expand to regular conversations with friends, or maybe it won’t. Butt the main point is that it is low enough pressure as to not cause me undue stress.
Anyhoos, I should try to hydrate and get some food in me to keep my strength up.
Following a day of absolute depression and anger and irritation…Hypomania has walked through the door.
It is 4:04 am, and the clock is ticking, my kid will be up in less than three hours. If I don’t sleep now, I won’t get to sleep.
But sleep is just an irritation right now, for the hypomania has jarred me into writing, and I am listening to 30 Seconds To Mars’ “This Is War” album and feeling high on the music, and I have so many ideas and thoughts and I want to do a dozen different things at the same time. I do NOT want to shut it all down. Sleep is an annoyance. Sleep is for when the depression is mopping the floor with my ass. No one aside from fellow bipolars what it is like when you have the creative vibe and energy going and how hard it is to get back if you have to put the kibosh on it prematurely.NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN! (Yeah, I had to work in a Beastie Boys reference, ‘cos like that was their only song that really didn’t entirely blow chunks.)
Yet I know once the manic episode crashes…I am going to want nothing more than to curl up into the fetal position in my bed.
Fuck fuck fuck. Bloody fucking HELL.
I’m on a MOOD STABILIZER. This is not fucking stable.
Which proves my point which I can never ever get through to the mental mundanes who aren’t at war with their own minds everyday. Yeah, they can medicate us, give us happy pills, et al, but it’s not a fucking cure.
And frankly, I have never wanted to be cured of the hypomanic episodes, they are too good, better than any fucking drug could ever be.
Just…why couldn’t I have been hypomanic this morning, when I had hours and hours ahead of me of having to be awake and being able to use all this energy and all the thoughts.
Why did it not even start to emerge until 2 fucking AM?
I hate my brain.
I had an okay week. Not because things went well or I was happy. But I was writing like a maniac and that is as close to happy as I get. Then yesterday and I had to clean house for R’s wife, then help him, then go pay bills and run errands and I had a “date” of sorts and…CRASH. Like a skull landing on pavement, my mood just crashed. R’s wife actually called and asked if I forgot to clean the living room because there were no vacuum tracks left. I DID TOO GOOD A JOB AND SHE CALLED TO COMPLAIN!!!!
Then he was texting me freaking out about not being able to find a customer’s number…
And I got really pissed off at both of them. Because ya know, I got enough shit of my own going on and they’re just on my last fucking nerve. Self centered picky prissy bitches, both of them.
(Yeah, I’m a pissy little bitch right now, but I’m still sans full meds and the brain zaps keep coming HOW FUCKING LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR CYMBALTA TO GET OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM ANYWAY????)
Today was just self loathing day. I know I cleaned her entire house, I remember being especially proud of myself this time because I put forth a little extra effort and thought I did better than usual. Then she calls and says that shit to me…I don’t think I need money that fucking bad, not when it results in a whole day of me being depressed and down on myself.
Of course, I’m not even sure right now if I am just spazzing or angry or not completely medicated…
All I know is that for four days, I was focused and writing and content…
And in one day, it’s all gone. I’ve written four pages today, that’s it and that was like extracting teeth from an alligator.
I’m so hostile and irate and the anxiety lately has been causing a lot of problems. Because R tells me to make all these calls and I am so panicked I can’t do it. I play it off like I am just apathetic or lazy because the man never could grasp the concept of anxiety unless it’s his own…
I am sick of the brain zaps. Sick of him. Sick of her. Sick of life.
Wednesday I get to go see el shrinko. I hope she has a brilliant new idea. Something that won’t try to kill me. Although it’s all so futile now. My self loathing is not going to be cured by any pill. And it seems as long as I have to put myself out there, doing my very best, and still getting criticized for not meeting the excessively prissy standards of others…
Hopefully I will feel different tomorrow.
Tonight…I hate everyone and everything, and I really hate myself, because apparently even doing my very best still makes me incompetent to some.