A special friend posted a very interesting video on my facebook wall- which I watched almost instantly. It was one of the more in-depth documentaries I have seen on Manic Depression (Bipolar) in a while.
I find it very hard to explain to people what exactly it’s like to live with this condition. The fact that there is still such a biased community walking around in their wonderful state of ignorance is shocking, and they are sure as fire quick to make a remark on something they have no knowledge about.
I have spent most of my life caught up in a torrential storm of emotion. I have always tried to understand how other people could be so flippant and shallow about everything. I recall the remarks “oh, don’t be so serious!” and “you are way to emotional” very well. I think my friends would probably say that I am quite melodramatic, intense. Artistic, for a better word. They would also say I think too much. All of these statements are true.
What sometimes gets neglected, is the fact that I walk alone in these vicious throws of emotion. I have to constantly be aware of my mood when I am in company. By the end of an evening or encounter with people, I feel generally exhausted. Drained to the core. A lot of people also tend to judge every move you make, and nothing you do can be equated to your being – your personality. You are either ‘manic’ or ‘depressed’. If you smile and laugh – you are edging towards mania, if you don’t respond with joy, you are edging towards depression.
You don’t live your life normally without thinking about consequences most of the time. Unless you have Mania or Depression. Being on either side of the scale lets you react in the most profound ways, that will either end viciously or in a calm and orderly fashion. You will have the most incredible ideas, feel like you want and can do everything if you are manic. If you are like me, you’ll start twenty paintings, start writing three songs, start writing poetry and books and then after a few days you crash, and left with half-finished work that you’ll probably never finish. Unless you’re commissioned. Then it becomes a nightmare. Especially when you end up in depression. Even breathing becomes an act of labour, just too much to bear. Like most, one does toy with the idea of suicide and eventually try to escape the torment you have to endure. Some of us are lucky enough to survive the attempts. Others I know, have not. Having to endure hospitalizations are also not a grand occasion, moving in and out of a clinic and waiting for a change to come. Everything you do is a fight to survive, your boat is rocked to the core and you try to keep afloat in the ocean’s heavy waters
The different options of medications that I have been offered by various Psychiatrists have probably equated to a list longer than what a pharmacy can stock. Sertraline, Sertzol, Aropax, Prozac, Topamax, Lithium, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Lamictal, Seroquel, Triptaline, Efexor, Epilim, Geodon, Rivotril, and Luvox are all on the list that I have had to experiment with to try to find some form of normality. This has been over a period of 7 years and I STILL am to find my equilibrium.
I loathe this condition, it has ruined my ability to achieve what I want to achieve. Why? You become your own worst enemy. People will not understand how cumbersome it becomes to try to make it through every day when you do not have stability. All I can do is thank my stars that I have a few amazing people in my life, a handful of understanding friends and my close family that support me as they do.
So, for now, we carry on with the hopes that every day will be a new day, and that somehow, your brain will start functioning normally again. This is, after all, a condition of the brain, not a spiritual issue, or dramas that we make up for ourselves. This is a chemical imbalance. Your brain not excreting enough at times of over excreting. Like your liver or pancreas that doesn’t work properly.
Signing off, with hopes that maybe it’ll get better