An Open Letter of Apology

First, I want to apologize if I let anyone think I was angry at them yesterday. I wasn’t. But, today, after a better evening and a good night’s rest, I realize that I may have been conveying some emotions that really weren’t present.

In summation, I know I need to be seen. Maybe not hospitalized, because I don’t think I’m dangerous. I have known there is something wrong and my mood chart is all over the place. I have no excuses. I will not represent myself as someone who refuses to take advice after I’ve solicited it. I heed all of the advice from all of the fantastic people who care for me and continue to write to me. Even in spite of my behavior, careless words, sudden disappearences, thoughtless action or rather inaction.

So, before I continue, I’m sorry to everyone who counted on me. Especially those who counted on me to be a good friend. I have been a terrible friend and a bad blogger. I dropped the ball when things got bad on my end. And that’s not what good friends are supposed to do.

I wish I could tell everyone that it won’t happen again. But, I’ve once again regressed into a feral, unpredictable creature. I wish I could say differently.

And since that is the truth, I wanted to put out a warning I should have all along. I am self-destructive, but not so selfish or careless to have anyone go down with me. I can’t break this cycle, despite any mood state. Every now and again, I go down in flames. I don’t want anyone to go down with me.

So, I would completely understand anyone who drops off. Only the captain should go down with the ship. I don’t want anyone to worry or find themselves distressed. Everyone who comes here has their own. No one should carry mine, too. Especially when I am headed for a crash that I seemingly don’t want to stop.

I deeply care for everyone I correspond with. You are my soundimg board, my sympathetic ear, my shoulder to cry on, and best of all, my friends to share my life with. I don’t want to take anyone down. I had considered shutting Pendulum down several times, all so I didn’t have to report and be accountable for my actions. All so I could continue down this path without scaring, disappointing, or hurting anyone.

I won’t, because the uncertainty of a person’s well-being and the pain of severance are too great. I will continue to write. But, I caution involvement with me. I can’t stop this train. I don’t know why. I’m clearly not in my right mind, and I know I have to want to deviate from my course.

I’ll cover some rambling ideas as to what is driving this and why I can’t get out in a later post. I just wanted to get this out there, especially for my nearest and dearest blogging buddies.

Friends of Mania

All of my bipolar blogging buddies. I really, really need your help.

I wish I could write this more smoothly, and with a lot less pressure and distress. I hope this doesn’t come out a jumbled mess. I’m writing texts and emails to people and leaving out whole paragraphs, because somewhere between my head and my fingers, it slipped away. And I don’t mean it dissolved. It disappeared, though I do remember the thought process. It’s pretty confusing for a lot of people right now.

I’m a virtual stranger to mania. I mean, mania itself, not the watered down hypomania version. Hypomania and I have seen some good, bad, and ugly. There were giddy periods of time filled bubbly optimism and boundless energy. It was as if gravity had released some of it’s grip on me, and I could float free and light like a feather. The good.

The bad. The dysphoric hypomanias. Some see them as mixed episodes. I always thought of it as an angry, energetically, bad mood. They didn’t qualify as mixed, because there was no mania. Those were dark times, often short lived.

The ugly. Screaming fits, aggression, hostility, anger, resentment, the whole nine yards. But, they were just so brief. I never went through with most of my destructive, impulsive urges. Mostly, I’d internalize my anger and let it run a rampage in my mind. Turning the glass cannon toward myself.

Hypomania. Mild manic symptoms. Instead of not sleeping for days, I’d sleep between 4-6 hours each day in a week and go on better for it. Impulsive urges weren’t centered around spending hundreds of dollars on something I don’t need. They were simpler, like stashing $20 so I could buy a new blouse. Or grabbing a handful of dollar journals. It was never a make or break situation.

The rest was always there in some varying degrees of severity. Sometimes, the flight of ideas was so overwhelming that my conscious thought would turn into a detuned radio. It would fracture, and I’d have to spend some time piecing it back together. It’s always been like that. I have dozens of notebooks with scribbles all through them. Dozens of drafts sit in my queue here on WordPress.

The flight makes me ambitious. Overly ambitious. But, never so much that I ever chased an unattainable goal. I could still have a realistic view of my strengths and weaknesses. And I know where my talents lie.

I’ve hardly ever been distractable. Although, I have to laugh while writing this. I’m so far off course, I’d be surprised if anyone is still following. I may go off on a tangent, but at least I think I’m still developing my point.

So, back to the point. I’m treading deeper into these waters of mania. I didn’t realize it at first. But, I see it now. Sleep is always the first symptom. When I see my sleep dropping off, or getting to sleep is impossible, even while medicated, then I know. It’s coming.

This time was worse than ever. It would’ve taken elephant tranquilizers to take me out Thursday. I had a 30 hour day. I could have gone on, but I promised C.S. that I’d sleep. That day clocked about 3 hours. I was drinking Saturday night and still only slept 4 and a half hours. Everything seemingly went back to normal, until last night.

It was one of those nights where I glanced at the clock. 2:30AM. I’ll get 5 hours. Whatever. 3:45AM. I should probably get to bed. 5AM. Maybe I shouldn’t sleep at all. 6:30AM. I have to sleep a little.

2 hours and 15minutes. 8:44AM I woke to a text. And there was no problem.

I’m mental health counseling a friend in crisis. I’m watching my son. I’m folding and cutting inserts for my journal, and having email conversations with my husband. I’m writing this, and there is no end in sight.

What about my mood? I’m not euphoric, but I’m not my now typically temperamental self. I’m not gloomy, and I’m not expecting storm clouds. There’s no happiness, giddiness, bounciness. There is an air of superiority, a nice solid stance, and a good, sturdy grip on things. I can take on the world. I can take on my life.

And no one is going to stop me or change my mind about anything.

Mood? I don’t feel anything. I am thinking brain. I am analyzing brain. Robot mind. Not unaware of emotions, but just not feeling anything. No flatness. Just plain nothing. Because maybe I don’t have to feel anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, I am pulling through all of this after gathering my reserves. Maybe, I’ve broken free of all of my chains. Maybe, I’m free.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that I’ve completely lost it.

That’s not the half of it. Not even close. Doesn’t scratch the surface. Maybe I’ll write a rambling post later. I just wanted to get some opinions on whether I should concern myself just yet or not.

Yours always,

Loony, Lovelyñ Lulu

Shifting Gears

For the last two days, I have had the pleasure of describing to you bipolar depression through my very own eyes.  However, there has been a sudden shift.  And I’m actually terrified, for the first time, by a mood swing associated with my illness.

I know the signs.  I’ve been tracking them carefully for the last two years, meticulously recording them in journals.  I generally know the rhythm too.  A depressive episode will surely follow a manic episode.  That doesn’t not mean that I cannot have two depressive episodes in a row, but there is often a moratorium, varying in length that punctuates these episodes.  I have never experienced what I am experiencing now.

Yesterday, I described that the mood was lifting, little by little.  By midnight, I wasn’t tired.  It’s not too uncommon.  I’ve been known to pull longer evenings up until about 2 am.  But 2 am came and went and I was wide awake.  3 am passed without another thought.  I was caught in a flurry of ideas and determined to get them into some semblance of existence before they scurried away.  I wanted to share these ideas.  Yes, in the middle of the night.  4am came and I had to try to sleep.  I laid there, and laid there.  Finally, sleep came.

I jumped out of bed at 9am.  And for the first time in a very long time, I was ready to take on the world.  Although I was a little groggy at first, I was not at all missing the lost hours.  I was up for any challenge.  I felt like I was on top of the world!  I could finally finish everything I started and do everything that I never thought that I would find the time for.  I would spend time with my family and clean the house and cook dinner and… on and on.  I went to work with great enthusiasm for my students today and a firm hand at disciplining them.  I was in control.  I could do anything!

It hit me at about noon, when I wasn’t getting the least bit tired.  This may be the start of a manic episode.  The pieces were all there.  It was just up to me to put the picture together.

I often dread manic episodes when I see them coming.  I know that a debilitating depressive episode is on it’s way if the manic episode is particularly intense.  But once I’m in it, I don’t think of any of that.  I don’t think about tomorrow.  Nothing bad can happen to me.  Because I can handle it.  I can handle anything that comes my way.  And I’ll do it all while being charming and looking fabulous.  Besides, things, no matter how bleak, always seem to find a way to work out.  I can work it out without a doubt.

Reality ceases to exist in a manic episode.  Everyone is my best friend.  All new experiences are good experiences.  I require constant stimulation, and usually in the form of some creative outlet or though exchanging of ideas or information.  I become impulsive.  I’ll go somewhere for no reason.  I’ll call someone I haven’t talked to in ages for no reason. I’m so creative and alive!  I’M FINALLY ALIVE!

There’s rarely a downside to my manic episodes because they are usually hypomanic in nature.  I don’t gamble because I think it’s a waste of money.  I have the impulse to shop, but there’s never any money in my bank account anyway.  Sometimes, I’m hypersexual, but I won’t jeopardize my marriage if my husband isn’t willing to cooperate.  Sometimes I fantasize about it.  But that doesn’t hurt.  Usually, I just take care of business by myself.  It’s enough to tide me over until I can get the hubby to give in.

That’s not to say that there aren’t downsides at all.  If I am manic and in an extremely elevated mood, I have the tendency to become very irritable.  Especially when things start going wrong or someone tries to make me feel bad or antagonize me.   Believe me, it doesn’t take much.  And that’s when the impulsiveness becomes a problem.  I find myself compelled to do unreasonable things.  I’m pretty pissed at my husband right now.  We had a fight.  I’ll leave it at that.  He unfairly blames me and criticizes me.  I have a list a mile long for you, buddy.  I want to wake him up and pick a fight.  I want to start a riot.  I want to take a stand and pull out the couch downstairs so he can see that I’d rather sleep on a fold out couch than be remotely near him because I’m so disgusted.  I want to force these issues that he desperately wants to avoid.  Especially, my illness and our son’s special needs.  I want to get back at him for all of the times he made me feel bad and made my depression deepen.  I want to cut him out so that I don’t have to deal with his shit anymore.

I won’t.  I might if it keeps up.  Or if this manic episode gets any worse.  I don’t suppose that it will.  If it’s mixed, and I suspect that it might be, then I’ll be back in the throws of depression tomorrow.  But in the meantime, I’m not going to let him take me down.  I’m sick of it.  He’s a selfish. self-absorbed, arrogant, bastard-coasted bastard with bastard filling.  And one way or another, he will pay.

See?  Just two days ago I wouldn’t have been saying that.  I would’ve been moping and crying about how he yelled at me.  And how I love him and if he’s supposedly loves me, then why doesn’t he recognize my illness and why does he do things to make it worse?  I would’ve been trying to work it out instead of starting a war campaign.

We’ll see where this goes.  I love mania.  It helps me do all of the things I want, be a super person, and do the things I can’t when I’m just me.  And that’s what makes it dangerous.