Pause. Skip. Fast-Forward.

Pause.  Suspended in reality.  There is only today.  No yesterday.  And no tomorrow.  Just today.  Time thought of as a linear concept becomes only that. A concept.

Life on pause.


In the pause, I see pieces strewn about.  Some torn from other realities, others borrowed, and some with no known origin.  The tapestry weaves itself using these bits, with all of it’s snags and imperfections.  The universe, in itself, is imperfect.

Shifted, a nanosecond’s beat off of the pounding drum.  Syncopated, life in the eighths, sixteenths, thirty-seconds – meshing two different time signatures.  A skip, skip, skip, the record bounces the needle about, as it tries to navigate through the scar, marring the sleek grooves. Re-re-re-repeating passages, repeating the same phrases.

Gaining momentum. G-gai-gaining, racing, and a burst, blasting forward. Time breaks up into less than moments to reside in. Reality has no fluidity, it’s cohesion being pulled at the seams. Each second is independent of another. In between are blurred strands, a plethora of life within life. Scarce are discernible planes of time that can sustain this particular consciousness.

Planes, islands unto their own, in the continuum. Each contained within their own space, intersecting reality when a ripple passes through the line. Magnetic, they pull the scraps from the currents of light and energy coursing through the invisible stream. Thoughts are whole, yet fragmented when fished from that stream.

It slows, screeching to a near halt. Reality takes on a certain buoyancy, a fermata punctuating the melodies and rhythms. This is the closest any entity may approach the void without being consumed. A near stop, the world around keeps pace all around, though it appears in slow motion. Each minute is an accented passage. It is one moment for several eternities.

Living a disjointed reality, time being nonsequential, so contorted that it becomes ethereal. Double exposed film, putting images over images. One within another, shifting, overlapping, separating.

It’s almost as if I am a time traveler, but I am the vessel. This is ultradian cycling. Passing between these realities in incohesive skips and discontinuatations causes heavy destabilization of every molecule, every tip of each nerve, each overloaded synapse. Worse for the wear, much more intense than individuals episodes with any width, length, or depth.

Fourteen days today. At least since I had my first suspicions.

It’s all been swimming around my head for at least a week now. I’m moving at a breakneck pace and it doesn’t feel like I’m even going anywhere. I thought I walked the tighrope, but I was wrong. I’m grasping the pendulum with all of my might, trying not to fly, trying not to fall.

A swing upward puts me in zero gravity. It’s that split second suspended in time for an hour, a day. And I’m flying – it’s thrilling! Everyone is my best friend. I want to share all of my joy and stability with the world. I want everyone to have this incredible feeling for a moment, even just for once I their lives.

The highs are beyond high, so high that it is starting to go beyond distorting my memory to erasing it. I live a whole lifetime in a day that ceases to exist in the others that follow. Yet, there are physical remnants. If there were no evidence, those thin, wispy snapshots could be too transparent to stand as memories. And only a gaping hole in time would remain.

The downward swing inevitably comes. There are too many words to attribute to that experience. There is the terror of the fall. The air rushes out of my lungs and completely deflates me. I’m less than flat, I’m sunken. And all I want is to disappear. To implode into myself, leaving no remnants of my existence at all. But, that’s impossible. My prints exist everywhere now, far and wide.

Sometimes, when a building has been wounded, there is a question of whether it will implode, explode, or topple. That is my question. There is clearly a raging fire going, roaring into my own ears, dizzying my senses. Plumes of smoke. Are they signals? What does it mean?

What do I f@*!#ing want with myself? How do I get off this ride!?!?

Ultradian cycling they call it. Why? After so long, after almost three months of stability, or maybe just hibernation or stagnation, why this all of a sudden?

I’m in love. I’m in hate. There is black, inky, onxy and there is white, pure, fresh pearls, and the biggest smear of grey in between. Striped in monochrome, paint streaks of different textures. It all feels different and still the same.

All the shades of grey.

29 thoughts on “Pause. Skip. Fast-Forward.

    • Many thanks. I’m really okay when I have somewhere and something to channel all of this into. It’s like I’m extremely high voltage, and if I don’t keep the current going, I’m going to fry.

      I’ll post pics and stuff later of all of the gains I’ve made in the last few weeks. A whole new set of photos to make art with. Then there is the art. I made some actual stuff too. I wrote half of this in a burst from an idle moment. The other half was drips and dribbles over the last few days that had to be coherently pieced together.

    • Thanks! I’ve been having a difficult time getting my brain together enough to put something together. Sure, I have 15 drafts sitting in my queue for revisions and additions, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to get done anytime soon.

  1. I can so relate to this and I very much appreciate how you have managed to capture these things and translate them or express them through your words.

    Please know that you are respected and that others care about you – included this crazy guy from Ireland.


    • You know I am all about the peoples of the UK. Most of my family is from Scotland, you know? Granted, they all came over on the boat in the 1800’s, but you know how Scots love to find Scots. Actually, I gave up my Scottish maiden name for an Irish married surname. I later discovered that was his father’s adopted father’s name. His real name is actually a Scottish surname anyway. HA!

  2. my ups and down are more moderate but the similar ‘process’ continues. i’m always afraid, always judging myself,…have i gone too THIS time? How much damage control will i have to do THIS time?

    Everything IS actually a dream. But we have to live in it. I really wish i could have a “do over” button.

    Like right now! I’m getting loopy. i’m tired. i don’t want to embarrass myself again. but if i don’t respond at all how do you know i care? The LIKE button!! The LIKE button.!!! But its so impersonal!

    Gotta stop. sorry.


    • I tried very hard to capture the exact essence of ultradian cycling. How it completely distorts time and space. I didn’t even get to the part about anxiety and how that does it too. I guess that will be my next installment. Sometimes it’s wonderful to live in. And other times, like when I’m completely tapped out halfway through my day, it’s hell. And I just beg and beg for that second wind. Sometimes it comes, and sometimes it doesn’t. And worse, sometimes it comes in huge gusts at just the wrong moment and I’m up until 7am obsessively piecing together artwork. It would be incredible if I didn’t have daylight things that needed attended to.

    • I don’t think I want a do-over button. So far, I’ve been able to maintain the bad and release the good. I’m productive, which makes me happy. It’s slowing down, I think (watch me eat those words).

      I like everything you have to say, TD. Even when it’s in asphasic.

    • For me, the whole world, all of my perceptions and senses are completely distorted during episodes. The greater the intensity, the greater the distortion. This one attempted to capture how time ebbs and flows in those instances, but in the light of ultradian cycling where it is the most prominent.

      It’s kind of hard to witness, because I feel like I almost have to be a third party bystander within myself. Hindsight doesn’t work too well, and I pieced this together from moments I was in.

  3. Nice analogy!

    From this kind of description and others I’ve seen elsewhere, I’m just grateful I don’t get ultradian cycling – at least not the shifts in one day. The definitions of cycling speed and how it plays into diagnoses is completely screwy, though. I’ve definitely had the sort of rapid cycling where a few days are great high-energy hypomania, followed by the gradual descent into misery for a few days, and then over again and again. Not fun at all. You never know where you’re going to be when you get up in terms of head space.

    Hope it slows down a bit soon…

    • I don’t know how they categorize the cycling. I’m a rapid cycler to being with. But this, this is just something new altogether. But, I like to think of it as a phase. I’ll get through it. And, I likely won’t see it again for awhile.

  4. This is a beautiful description of a highly complex state. I had some periods in late 2010 that were classified as mixed episodes but may have been more accurately diagnosed as ultradian cycling. I had not officially been diagnosed at that point, and was on a standard anti-depressant which I believe was the cause. I’ve not had any of these episodes since I went off that medication….although I cycled strangely a couple of weeks ago before the full force crash…here’s to hoping you don’t fly off the pendulum and into a giant empty well. Thinking of you. xo.

    • I have had ultradian cycling before. I had one in September, about a month or so after they increased my antidepressant, and it ultimately landed on a really long hypomanic episode. I’m due for a depressive episode, but I’m crossing my fingers that I will even out. But, even before that. I can recall having them from time to time since I became symptomatic in the first place. Except, in those times, I would land on depressive more than anything. Up and down in a day or two. The crash was the hardest thing. Crashing always is, going from hypomanic to depressive in one pitfall.

      I am reactive right now, and pretty irritable, but mostly reactive. I read a few posts this morning that triggered some nasty stuff. I feel like crying for these people that are in such a bad place, because I know what it’s like to be there. And I also know what it’s like to have a stable place (for once) and then getting booted from it. Spiraling, spiraling.

      I have never been diagnosed because these things come as fast as they go. This is an exceptionally long one. I am not totally concerned because my behavior is, so far, not out of control. Although, I did, in kind of good spirits, chase my husband around the house beating him up last night. He was poking at me. He was asking for it. Believe me. And he laughed as my punches bounced off him. And we laughed.

      But, that could have gotten ugly really fast. Hopefully, I can put a lid on it.

    • My profound thanks. I tried to make it beautiful. There’s something beautiful about the whole thing, kind of like a natural disaster. The force is terrifying, but there is a certain magesty about it.

  5. I had rapid cycling the whole summer of 2010…found out my med wasn’t working anymore. That was TOUGH…can not imagine what ultradian cycling is like…
    I love your writing…really explains your experience.
    I hope that the pendulum slows down and becomes stable once again…it can…it will.
    What does your doc say? What have you done in the past (besides ride it out)?
    Praying for you.
    God bless.

    • I really think it’s the medication’s fault in the first place. Meaning that I forgot a medication one day and it sparked this. Sometime over my birthday weekend, I know I forgot to take something. That’s why the 16th marks the date.

      It’s settling down. The cycles aren’t piggybacking anymore, so I have some periods of stability in between. The intensity is not as bad, so I’m doing better. I haven’t talked to the Pdoc. Usually these episodes are so brief that it is a non-issue with me. This one has been unusually long. Since it seems to be slowing down,

      I just have to wait and cross my fingers that I’ll land in the middle, instead of a depressive or hypomanic episode. Last time, it was hypomanic. But, it’s been awhile since I had a depressive episode, so I have a feeling that might be where I’m headed.

      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I know I’ll be fine. I trust that I will.

  6. I hear you. I don’t think I have the same intensity and what not and of staying up all night. My brain at times would love to, but my body due to some physical stuff, just poops out. So I lie there for hours on end watching movies of heaven only knows what in my head.

    I wrote out something of a different nature. I tweaked my mood diary late last fall. In it I drafted up my own version in MS Excel to better track my life. My pdoc was quite impressed. I finally managed to get through to her that I actually have a keen ability to accomplish some wonderfully intricate projects. I believe after the various things she has seen in me through hospitalizations, (yes forced commitments and treatment) that I was beyond rational functioning.

    She asked me to enlarge on what some of my descriptive words meant to me. Big mistake! She is getting my needle in a haystack version so there is no room for incorrect assumptions. Something I have been the victim of in the past.

    The bottom part of my mood chart I added mixed states, on the heels of what my cycling (not finished yet) looked like. I will add a few notes of seriousness to it, but not much more. She has seen me in these at times very unpleasant states so I don’t really need to expand. When I say I have a mixed state, she KNOWS what I mean.

    I had to snicker about how my explanation of the mix mash tumbled out as my mood this morning was very unpleasant. Speaking of cycling! I wrote this out a few hours ago. Just thought I would include it for your enjoyment.

    “Mixed State:
    Apparently one of my specialties. Take any of the above quantity and quality of states in no particular order, toss it all into a blender; lid optional but recommended, and crank to the on position. And then to make it a little more interesting, play around with the settings from 1 – 10. Just please don’t hit the ice crushing feature.”


    • I am diagnosed with BP II, so it is not possible this is mixed. Unless there was a mistake, but I doubt it. I feel the ups and the downs. It’s quick and seems like a blend. But, I can feel the passage, moment to moment. Kind of rollercoaster style, but without a predictable design. This is new. I’ve had it before, but my mind and body get so bad that I’m not usually able to sustain it for very long. A week, max.

      Now, I see the machine slowing down now. The episodes are much more shallow, and it’s not steep ups and downs. I can only hope I end this rollercoaster on level ground.

      I love what you wrote! It’s witty, symbolic, and funny! They say humor is an antedote to madness. *smiles*

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