I can’t come down…

I’m scared. I’m really scared. For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like my normal management strategy is working. I usually pop a Lorazepam and I drift back down. But it’s not working.

I’ve had Lorazepam every night for the last 12 nights and because it’s a controlled drug in England, I’m almost out. There’s no way my GP will write me another prescription this soon. I usually get through a pack a year; not a pack a fortnight.

Yesterday I hit my husband. That’s how I know how bad it’s become. I never lose my temper – I have hit him once before and that was when I originally sought help and ended up with a bipolar diagnosis. Once is too much. Twice is unforgivable.

For me to lose control is out of character; I don’t even shout when I’m mad. I don’t cry. I don’t yell. I have never once raised my child at my daughter. I do not appear stressed to most who meet me. I am calm and contained by nature.

But we were arguing in the car and I was scared of my mind and I had nowhere to escape to. When we argue, I remove myself from the situation. I was scared that I would crash the car with all the yelling he was doing. And then he called me “Psycho” and I flipped. I swung and punched him with all my might in the chest.

I feel disgusted with myself. It is never ok to display violence to someone you love. Never. And that is how I know that I’m not coming down anytime soon.

I’m scared. I’m lonely. No-one in my ‘real’ life understands. All of my girlfriends have run for the hills because they don’t/can’t understand the mania aspect of my illness. It hurts so much. It is times like this that I need them the most.

I just need time. Time to take a break from being me. Time to take a break from this life. I just need it to stop.

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Contain yourself…

I’m hating myself right now. Self-loathing is paramount.

I can see the eye rolls, the awkward glances between people.

I am high. Too high. But I can’t get down. I want to leave. Leave me behind. Shed myself of this loathsome individual that’s been rejected for the past 36 years.

I tell myself to “Just shut up!” inside my head.

Just make yourself invisible. Then they’ll forget what an embarrassment you are. Except I don’t shut up. I talk. I blurt. I blabber and the eye rolls escalate.

And in turn, so does the self-loathing…

Mania: The animal

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I am reading an incredible book at the moment titled, “When we were animals” by Joshua Gaylord.  Now although the book has nothing to do with bipolar disorder, there are elements of the plot that can be likened to mania.  The premise of the story is that in a small town in America, when children reach adolescence, they ‘breach’ and as a result run riot on the night of full-moons, engaging in sexual, animalistic urges as a sense of invincibilty and great power consumes them.  Any attempts to delay, stop or repress this process causes devastation, so the community learn to accept the fate of their young and ‘baton down the hatches’ until the youths come out of the other side.  Breaching is not considered anything to be proud of and it is generally swept under the carpet as those who witness turn to look the other way.

It made me think a lot about mania and how breaching was described in a way not dissimilar to mania.

“I am forever gazing downward at people who live in dream worlds.  The breachers, too. They run through the night but they run in sleep, they run undercurrents deep in memory.  In the morning there is no shame because they were not themselves – or their selves were buried so deep that their waking minds are blameless for their nighttime deeds.”

Is this not mania summed up in one perfect paragraph?  As I read this, it really hit a nerve. This could not be more true.  The actions of a person who is manic can be so destructive and so hurtful to those around them, yet the harm is not intentional.  It is as if the mind has been taken hostage and the body is merely going along for the ride.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that a manic person should be forgiven all havoc that is wreaked but there is certainly an element of diminished responsibility.

I think back to the hotel bed I lay in some 4 hours from home as the guy I have met online showers just metres away from me (coming from a girl who has never had a one night stand).  I have numerous missed calls and text messages on my phone from my other half.  I have been found out.  He has hacked into my Facebook account and found out exactly what I am up to.  But here’s the thing – I don’t give a fuck.  I cannot be bothered to answer the calls because it will interrupt my fun.  I will deal with the fallout tomorrow.  Sure, I could be dead as far as he knows but just let me have this night because I am BUZZING!  I’ll deal with it later.  For now, I wanna go out, get drunk and dance.

What. the. fuck?

I still find it hard to believe that I was the girl in the hotel room with the Nikki Sixx lookalike.  I think back on that chapter from my life as if I was recollecting a very vivid and surreal dream.  How did I reach the point that I found myself checking into a hotel with this guy and bickering at the book-in desk over  whether we got a smoking or non-smoking room.  The woman on the desk laughed and said, “When will they realise that we women always get our own way?”  She clearly assumed that we were a couple who had been together some time as opposed to black-clad rockers who had met in the flesh just an hour or so before.

Amazingly I was forgiven.  I can only assume because my other half knew just how sick I must have been to have been behaving that way.  Funny how a couple of nights of insomnia can make a faithful teetotaller, jump in her car one night, speed halfway across the country whilst taking up smoking en-route, meeting up with a beautiful internet predator in a hotel room and then going out for the remainder of the night and getting thoroughly trashed.  I’m amazed it ended as well as it did.

But here’s the thing.  I can’t quite bring myself to fully regret it even after all these years.  I always thought I knew myself and what I would and wouldn’t do.  Until I developed bipolar, that is.  As much as it scares me to admit, I don’t know who I really am anymore.  Has bipolar inherently changed who I am and my morals? Who knows.  But there’s that tiny bit of me that kind of savours the fact that I have a dark and unpredictable side.

It’s like I have a tiny little Pandora’s Box of bipolar memories hidden deep within my head that no-one should ever open.  I like that it’s there; it gives me a tiny thrill that I am still learning who I am…