Between heaven and hell

Even during my most creative and productive times I suffered through severe depressive episodes.
Even during my most creative and productive times I suffered through severe depressive episodes.

Between Heaven and Hell

 " When you are insane, you are busy being insane-all the time... When I was crazy, That's all I was."  Poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963 )

The title of this hub was taken from a book by the same name. It is by the outstanding author " Kay Reid Jameison". It and the above quote best exemplify the life of a person living with Bipolar disorder or aka Manic-Depressive illness. In the manic episodes you feel as if you have wings and can soar with the angels. In the depressive episodes you feel as if cement is running through your veins and the despair and blackness are so deep you can not move enough to pull your head above the mire and save yourself. You lie around as if dead, maybe death has at least a release.

Living with manic-depressive illness is like living between heaven and hell, with nothing to separate them. When I am manic, I have endless energy, feel I can do the impossible, things I am sure no one but me can do. This is what is referred to as feelings of grandiosity. You have a hypersexuality, pressured and rapid speech, thus the ability to talk yourself in or out of anything.  The ability to produce some of the best articles at a high rate of speed and in high quality. In this phase I will over-spend without thought of the consequences, meaning it can be my rent money, bill money or etc. It is the urge to have that instant gratification, no matter what the cost later. There were times my utilities were shut off because I bought what I needed for my business. I'm going to be a great writer, these thoughts are called delusional. I have over three hundred pairs of shoes with handbags to match, so many suits my bar in the closet collapsed. The clothes have been  on the closet floor for over two months now. I don't think of picking them up. I just go buy more. I have enough makeup that I could makeup every female in Dallas and still have leftover. I have purchased wigs in a variety of colors and styles, everything from black, blonde, brunette and yes, even pink or purple. In the manic phase I have also purchased things in clothing, from the business suits I wore before becoming disabled, Islamic abayas, eveing gowns that I now have nowhere to wear, all the extremes you can imagine, some that would make a prostitute blush. I also love the phone in this stage. I call my mom, sisters and brothers in Mississippi at 3am. They usually hang up. I am very extroverted in this phase and love the limelight. I devour so many books that I had to take furniture out of two rooms to make the walls into bookshelves, but still every 3rd saturday I still take my huge moving box and fill it with over 100 books, after all its only $6.50. In this phase i am creative and productive... or at least I think so. Depending on how high I go in the manic phase I can at times that I can lose touch with reality. This stage can last for days, weeks, or months. It is a dangerous stage for a person with my disorder. The ups on the rollercoaster are great...but they have to end at some point. The crash is horrendous. My thoughts racing. I over commit, like applying to 5 ezines at once because I feel I can do a 6 month deadline in 3 weeks. I set goals so high I am bound to fail. The overdraft statements come in the mail come and I toss them away thinking that if I don't see them, they don't exist. Relationships are hell since I always have to have the last word and irritability is inevitable after being awake for three days, not eating, and going into isolation right before the crash.

The depressive phase is where I have found myself for the past two months. My thoughts are muddied and confused. I haven't written anything except a few poems for the past two months. I thank God for the followers i have that still read the hubs i am able to force myself to write, mostly poetry, filled with the pain of a life gone, no light at the end of the tunnel. Unable to concentrate, research or produce an intelligent piece. The medications have done their job and taken away the flying feelings, I am numb, empty. Stupid, glazed eyes, tired from lack of sleep. In this phase I sleep from 12 to 20 hours a day. I am drained, want to be isolated form everyone, leave me alone. Tears fill my eyes looking at the slideshow of the pictures of the person I used to be. I go back to sleep. My doctor comes to check on me. I have dropped from a size 18 to an 8. " You have to eat Christal"  I'm not hungry. besides I'm thrilled with the weight loss. Weight gain is the main reason people like me go off their meds. During this phase my feelings are blunted, nothing there. Many people think it is during this phase that a person with manic-depressive illness commit suicide, it is rare. In this stage the person affected does not have the energy to accomplish even this feat. I call this my hibernation stage. All I want is the world to go away and let me sleep. In sleep there is no pain. I find my waking hours filled with tears shed for no reason, or for a woman, vibrant , once full of life and dreams now reduced to having a aide to help her bathe and fix her hair and food. I find it humiliating, although I am grateful and love my nurses, doctors and home aide very much. This a stage of darkness, emptiness, loneliness, and "I have nothing else left".

I write this article to help my readers and society understand what persons with this disorder go through. If it seems that i haven't answered your comments or written for awhile. Please know that I am here, just incubating until that beautiful, creative butterfly emerges once again.

Comments 11 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am so sorry for your pain. It must be hell. Iv,e had some depression, but nothing like u describe. Get better real soon.

Ruby


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Boo,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I also have mixed states with rapid cycling and during the winter I suffer massive depression that keeps me from my art of writing which is about all I have left now. In an hour or two I will send you an email with some very good info and my number. I am a support group facilitator and psychiatric rehab counselor. Always here if you need me.

Warmest regards,

chris


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

Hi Chris, yes that would be great. I am having a hard time with mixed episodes to depression right now. I don't believe I'll be able to keep taking it. I hope your doing better. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Boo


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Ethel,

Your virtual hug means a million times more than you will ever know. Since i have no family here just seeing a message from you means so much. By the way I loved your article on tattos.

Warmest regards,

Chris


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

I can say nothing except take care of yourself. I am sending a worthless virtual hug but I know you will realise that it is meant well.


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Boo,

Thanks for reading. I was on lithium for about a month, I couldn't function at all. I am now on wellbutrin and abilify. It seems to work okay. i still have depressive episodes but I manage. If its okay i will email you with the things that help me. Take care Boo. In my prayers always,

Chris


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

Hey Chris,

You have poured your heart out with this brilliant hub. You express exactly how it is for someone with bipolar. How it is all or nothing. Not much of a gray area unless you are over medicated.

I am sorry to hear you are not doing well. But you are doing one hell of a job trying to maintain. Just keep doing that and hopefully the depression will be a short one. I have been unable to write much of anything for months b/c of the lithium that "stabilizes" me. Ha! But I have to convince myself it beats the highs and lows you describe.

I too am trying to find a routine that I can live by. Right now I am neglecting pretty much everything. One little thing at a time every day is a start. Keep your head up, keep writing, I'll be thinking about you.

Boo


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Thanks Poet,

I also enjoy your hubs very much.Right now i am working on desigining a schedule I can keep up with. Like spending the day answering the comments left for me and reading hubs from each of my followers. It makes it easier for me to function in the depressive times if i know what i have to do at a certain time. Please don't be sad for me i am very lucky to be able to function at the level I do. There are many who can't function at all. God has blessed me with being able to express myself and hopefully to be able to help others.

God bless,

Chris


poetlorraine 6 years ago

waiting for the butterfly, but lovely to hear from you all the time...... thanks for the hub it was brave of you


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas Author

Thank you for your kind comment and taking the time to read my article. I hope my articles on mental illness will educate the public and help to take away the stigma of mental illness. Please check out the links when you have time, they have some very interesting articles that helps to better understand.

Warmest regards,

chris


LaVieja profile image

LaVieja 6 years ago from London

I wanted to leave a comment because your hub touched me, but I don't really know what to say. So please take my best wishes and know that I will be thinking of you. I will check back to make sure the butterfly does emerge again.

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