REFLECTION FROM FEBRUARY 24TH, 2008**
Re: The Spectrum of Emotion, and Oscillation from Pole to Pole
Written 2/24/2008 @ Age 26
You should see the amount of pills I am taking. I took pictures of my pillbox after I filled it this morning because I am amazed at how many pills I take just to feel lousy and only suicidal sometimes. It’s unbelievable.
I’m starting to see patterns in my thoughts and behaviors as I go through and type up my old journals. I’m at the part when I was dating Christian and I kind of feel really bad about the whole ordeal because I was obviously acting in a state of mania, it’s so telling how I completely change views on him just about overnight. I’m absolutely head over heals in love with him, and then next day I’m just done with him. I loathe him and I feel completely and utterly opposite of how I felt just days prior. Something that obviously could happen I think, to a regular person over time, but it’s different when it happens overnight. I think that indicates the presence of a bipolar illness. See that’s another thing that’s so difficult to explain.
The difference between bipolar and mentally intact persons, I believe, lies not in the kind of feelings each has, but in the quality, the intensity of feelings that one has, and in the incredible shifting of feelings that take over a bipolar’s mind, when such a person can feel absolutely one way on one particular day, and the very next day feel absolutely and completely opposite from the day before. It’s like the thing I was describing above about Christian – I mean one day I was just head over heels in love with him, and then the next day I couldn’t stand the sight of him. Hell I couldn’t stand the sound of him, I couldn’t stand to think about him even, and, it’s also telling how he noted to me that it was almost as if I had multiple personalities or something.
Now, when I think of multiple personalities, I think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I think of the scenario that when one person takes over, the idea and the recollection of the other identity is completely lost in the transition. My situation has almost been even more consciously confusing in that I completely and totally can recall that just the day prior I felt entirely opposite of the way I feel today. I know and can identify that overnight, my views and my positions and my ideas can completely shift from one end of the spectrum to the entirely opposite end of the spectrum. It’s incredibly frustrating and confusing and devastating to have to live this way.
I do not choose to live this way. My body makes that choice for me. I do not choose to change my beliefs overnight, they just do. This is not a condition that is chosen. Believe me, if I had a choice I would surely and undoubtedly choose mental health over constant and never-ending mental instability and confusion. Why wouldn’t I?
That’s what people fundamentally fail to understand, that this illness is not a matter of will, we cannot wish away our bipolar tendencies. They just are, as we are, they just exist as we exist. There is no choice in the matter, you can try everything in the book – self medication, prescribed medication, therapy, exercise, education, self-awareness, writing, AA, sobriety, nothing makes this condition go away.
We are bound to it just as each of us are bound to any of our other god given characteristics. We can temporarily hide the condition, we can ignore the condition, we can fuck with the condition, but we cannot escape it. Bipolar illness is a lifelong sentence. There is no choice in this type of matter. We are simply and completely bound to the illness for life.
It just seems like all my time now is shitty, so even if I smoked pot and things got shittier, at least some of my time could be enjoyable. At least I would not have to live in constant and never-ending misery. At least I would be able to escape once in awhile. I keep looking for help, but there is none to be found. What are you supposed to do when the best professionals you can afford cannot afford you any relief? What are you supposed to do when even the professionals in this specific fucking area cannot help you feel better? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do at this point.
Ahh one other thing I spoke about yesterday was that I started crying at work last week. I’ve done that before, but usually only once every six months or a year, never multiple times, multiple days in one week. I’m usually very good at hiding all this bullshit from the “real world” where we’re expected to be perfect and professional and completely wound just right, but not this past week. This past week, I started to bubble over. I don’t know how much longer I can stop the flow.
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