This August was a happening month for me. I got everything that I had my hands on, was at the peak of happiness and wellness. Probably I have never been so productive in years as I have been this August – slept well, ate well, started gym, wrote poetry and blogs, attended workshops, sang songs and strummed my guitar and what not! But as I always believe: everything is temporary, so was my phase of happiness. Soon things turned chaotic, I began to lose composure and also, lost the ‘happy’ phase.
Phases of depression are cruel, you know. It jolts you, breaks you, kills you within but doesn’t let you die (even if you want to). It makes you suffer to the core but doesn’t let you escape from it; much like eternal damnation in hell. You know it will always be there till the last breath and you sort of learn to live with it but, don’t want to live with it at the same time. It gives you a ride to your worst self and makes you believe that that’s all you are. It leaves you with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, discontent, and all that is negative.
Living with bipolar disorder isn’t easy, my friend. It throws the best and worst at you, and takes back both leaving you only with a feeble hope, hope that things will get better. As the ‘happy’ phase kicks in, it gives you all the positivity you could ever think of (or maybe, can’t even think of), fills you with so much vigour, vibrancy and enthusiasm, makes you feel like there’s nothing better but, soon depression ‘the sad phase’ slowly peeps in and takes away all at a gush. It replaces all the positivity with brutal negativity; all that was filled is now just a void, an endless void. You toss and turn, try to forget it like a bad dream but it throttles you by the neck and pushes you to the depth.
During the ‘happy’ phase you live with the fear of encountering a sad phase soon, and during a ‘sad’ phase you live with the hope of soon encountering a happy phase. Strange, isn’t it? But the best part about this swinging mood is, it gives you a taste of both happiness and sadness to the extreme. Just a consolation, I know.
Now that I’m down into the dumps, everything is a mess. My daily life is a big, big mess. My diet, sleep, daily activities, productivity, every single thing is messed up. Past haunts, present is clueless, future scares. But nevertheless, I’m living with the hope that ‘happy’ phase might soon kick in and my pain will then subside.
Maybe just the stars aren’t aligned….
In This Mental Illness Life, Things Change Fast
For the last two days, I had a rare feat even for someone that is dealing with Bipolar One–a rapid cycling mixed episode.
I think it has only happened to me about ten times in my mental illness life, but it is the worst feeling in the world. For those that don’t know too much about a mixed episode in Bipolar One, it is where you experience both mania and depression at once. What makes it rare for me is that I don’t tend to know that it is happening to me in the moment. It is usually one of two ways–depression with manic symptoms or mania with depressive symptoms. For me over the last two days have been mania with depressive symptoms.
I could tell I was manic. The need for sleep the past two nights have been zero. My mind and thoughts were all over the place. I could not concentrate and I had an unlimited amount of energy. I was so irritable, and I wanted so bad two drink whiskey and smoke cigarettes (both of which I have not done in years.
When I am just manic, which often happens when I am coming off a depression cycle like the one I had, I deal just fine. I could feel right away that this was different. At the same, I was feeling extremely hopeless. I didn’t want to keep going. Phrases like “why should I even try,” began to take shape in my mind. At times I was a ball of mess. I was anxious, and I let my irritations cloud my judgment
I wanted to scrap my entire memoir and quit thinking that writing is something that is the best thing in my life. I was the worst parts of myself. I was far from the guy who’s philosphy is “Always Keep Fighting.”
I was self-destructive. I slipped, and I felt so bad about it. For the first time in so many years, I wanted to give up. I sat in the dark for hours lost in the darkest places in my mind. A place I have not lived for a long time. I wanted to not be a part of this life. I have not written a sentence like that one in the present, it was always talking about the past.
I could not believe I could go so low. I felt alone. Lost. As if I was back in the worst years of my life. I kept cycling between mania and depression. At times it was mixed. I felt all of it at once. I wanted it to just end. How could someone so strong fall so quickly?
I finally slept. I took a mental health day, and it helped. By the end of the day, I was so worn out that slept more. I reflected on what the hell was going on in my life. Could I have done something different?
That is where I am today. Picking up the pieces and wondering what is next and what are the causes. It is isolation. The lack of connecting with others? I was so excited that we at The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog had finally reached the business level. I was so happy to start this week. I can only hopefully move on.
I was able to start something I hope will be amazing for my writing career–a Patreon account. If you have a moment, please check it out. I will write a blog post later today with the details.
Always Keep Fighting