Bipolar Disorder: My Monster just wants to have fun!
This morning I woke up at 4 am and since I didn't go to sleep until 2am, I knew I was in trouble. I got up and checked my hubscore and articles. I made breakfast and covered it so it would stay warm until my husband and son got up. I tried to write a new hub but I was restless and couldn't sit still long enough. I got up from my desk and wandered around the apartment to see what I could do. I couldn't find anything that held my interest for more than a few minutes, not even the new book my friend had sent me. I wanted to talk to somebody but everyone was still sleeping. Everyone that is except me and my monster(Bipolar Disorder.
I finally figured out that this was going to be an "Up" day. I knew I wouldn't get much done. I finally called my mom at 5:30, she wasn't awake but got up to talk to me anyway. She knew by the time that I was going to have a very long day. "Take your meds sweetie" she said. Hoping they would calm down my monster and maybe I would let her go to sleep again. I talked to her for about 2 hours, until I heard the newspaper hit the door. Okay time to go, it would hold my attention for about 20 minutes, good thing I am a fast reader.
I try to start a new hub but I can't focus on the subject. "Come on " my monster says. He doesn't want to work today he just wants to have fun. Fun?? Every time I have fun with him I wind up in trouble later. I am statrting to get irritable and frustrated. I can't find anything to do. HMMM lets look online theres always something there. We decide to do some online shopping. Shampoo and conditioning set that makes your hair more full and shiny $ 285.00, its okay I can put it on the credit card. After all it is a special that has some more stuff free with it, and I really do need it. A wrinkle creme set that promises to take 10 years off your face instantly, I need that too $125.00 for a free 30 day trial. Tuesday is my birthday and since I will be 49 I will probally get wrinkles though I have none now. A few bookclubs and some more bath and body stuff and we're tired of shopping. Not too bad, a grand total of $565.00, but its on the credit card so It will be okay.
Finally my son gets up. He is eight and has his own monster that was supposedly inherited from me. See the Bipolar monster likes to stay in families. I guess it gives him more people to play with. I also have to daughters who are in the same fix. I can tell from my sons mood and hyper-activity that he is definitely up today also. I get aggravated when he starts to run around and is continously chattering away. "Don't you ever stop?" I ask. "I can't mommy I'm like you." he replies. I am starting to become agitated. He scampers off to his room to avoid my temper tanturms. He proceeds to take the room apart, I just had him clean it yesterday.
I keep hoping the meds will kick in and my monster will get tired. I know better. This will last for days. Luckily I am what is called a rapid cycler. My mood can change many times during the day and within minutes. My doctor says it is the hardest type of bipolar disorder to treat. That added to mixed states where you have a mixture of hypo-mania and depression makes for a very unstable condition. Between periods of irritability, anger, saddness and unabounded energy, I still hope to come down at least a little. I walk through the house, last nights dishes are still in the sink, the bed is unmade and the carpet is unvacumed. All of this energy but it is all uncontained. I can't seem to accomplish anything, I start things but don't finish them, I call people on the phone, and just keep going and going. Even the sedatives I take for anxiety don't slow things down. My monster wants to play.
I call my husband at work and want him to leave his job and come home so I won't be alone with my monster. He quietly explains for the ten thousandth time he can't leave every time I am having a hard day. I not so quietly tell him if he really loved me he would. He has come to know and accept my ups and downs as part of our life. He already knows when a person is hypo-manic they are not the friendliest person in the world to associate with. He calls back later to check on me and tell me he is coming to take me to the library to buy books for my upcoming birthday. My monster is very happy with this idea, he loves to socialize. I realize I haven't made lunch or breakfast for my son. During periods of hypo-mania or mania a person often forgets to eat, needs very little sleep and can continue this way until exhausted. Even when you are able to lie still for a while you don't rest, you're mind is still going 100 miles an hour.
I finally remember my training and the advice I give to those who attend my support groups. I try some relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and meditation, quieting the mind and imagery. It seem to be helping some even if the meditation is not going well because my thoughts are still racing. "Settle down, Settle down" I keep repeating to myself. My monster only laughs in response. He knows the things I do will slow him down but not much. He wont stop until he is tired and then the black clouds move in again.
Well it's the next day. I never did get anything done yesterday. The house is stll a mess, the dishes are still in the sink, and I never did cook. My husband gave up and bought tacos coming from the library. Oh yeah, the trip to the library was great. My friend who usually works there wasn.t there. I spent 30 minutes complaining to the poor guy working about how small the boxes were an how I couldn't find any books I liked. Then in about 20 minutes I had managed to stuff my "too small" box with about 45 book of all types. You only pay $ 6.50 for all the books you can fit in the box, so its really a good deal. You can can even take your own box if you want a bigger one. I tried to read but couldn't concentrate so I put my books in neat little stacks on the floor according to category, politics, sociology and all the other possible combinations.
Today I am more calm and settled and so I am trying to finish what I statrted. My monster is still there but not bothering me right now, maybe he's tired too. I know he's still in the back ground but lucky for me it looks like today may be a little slower. This is the time when I can write forever or read, or clean. For a person with bipolar disorder the periods of hypo-mania are when we are very active but able to fuction at a highly productive speed. The full blown mania in which the person can do things that are destructive in the end. Mania often results in spending sprees like the one me and my monster took yesterday. I don't think he cares that the credit card bill has to be paid, that my husband will be furious when we get the bill, and that I really don't have the money to buy $ 200.00 dollar shampoo sets or 10 shirts that are different in color. After periods such as these I often have to make ammends for the way I have treated people or try to repair relationships with friends with whom I have offended. Funny I notice that my monster is not around to help me in these things.
I had better get moving, I am starting to feel anxious and a little restless and I know what that means. It doesn' t matter matter that I have a million things to get done. My monster doesn't care, my monster just wants to have fun.
To my readers: This article is meant to be humorous but also informative. It is meant to show the difficulty a person with Bipolar illiness faces day to day. I refer to it as my monster because at times it has cost me friendships, relationships, and job opportunities. It has caused me financial problems from excessive shopping sprees, it has caused me many days of pain. At the same time it is my friend and I am able to keep him under control most of the time. He makes me creative, reading, painting, sculpting and hopefully in my writing. But on days like yesterday he just wants to play.
Irritability in Bipolar Disorder
I saw my doctor yesterday. I was enthusiastic, very up and exicted to tell him about my latest endevours into the writing world. I happily showed him printed articles I had completed. I was happy floating in my own little world.
Everything was perfect to me. I was finally achieving my dream. I was glad to know the cloud of darkness I had been feeling the past three days was gone. replaced by, oh yes, that wonderful euphoria of hypomania. I had a good time all day. I was in a good mood, cleaned the house, did laundry, got in a few articles though I don't know how good they were. I filled my perscriptions, walked home and the day past fairly rapidly. By 2 am I was exhausted physically but my mind didn't let me sleep. I stayed up researching more articles.
My doctor attributes the change to the weather, SAD he calls it, seasonal affective disorder. Many people with bipolar disorder often have this condition. The days when it is cloudy, dark or cold as in the winter months, so is our moods. Only to be replaced by this magical energy and enthusiasim for life when the sun returns.
I don't care what its called. I just wish it would stay forever. The feeling is almost like falling in love , drunken, lost in the happiness of the moment. I enjoy what I call my free days, the days with no depression, no saddness, just unaboundable joy. For no reason other than living.... a feeling of complete and utter excasty.
But in the back of my mind i can hear the dark clouds calling... see you soon they say, and I know true to their word they'll be back. I can already feel the signs of irritability of too much energy, too many projects....I don't want to go.
Tonight I can't sleep
Everyone else is asleep, sound in their beds. I look in on them, they don't even notice. They are snuggled uner the blankets, safe from the cold.
I am the only one still awake. Tonight I can't sleep. My mind is racing too fast, I write and write. The TV plays in the background but it doesn't hold my attention long either. I keep writing, correcting typos as I go. I am still trying to complete the article i started three days ago. It is supposed to snow tomorrow. It is already cold and my fingers are cold. I wish I could close my eyes and sleep, but rest doesn't come. Even the medications they give me to sleep can't over power the feelings of restlessness and energy that envelop me.
I will lie down in awhile and try to read to see if it makes me sleep. I doubt it. When I am in this mood it is impossible for my mind to rest. I feel wound up, stressed, and most of all alone. It is a lonely part of my life , up most of the night by myself trying to accomplish I don't know what. A million things go my mind about everyone. Who is really for me, who is really against me? This one of the bad days.... cold, dreary and dark. No one to talk to, no one to listen.
I give up, my body is tired but my mind just keeps going.
Who says winter is beautiful?
As the days get colder and darker and night falls faster, I can feel the saddness and dreariness creeping in. As a person with manic-depressive illness, I also suffer from (SAD) that's short for seasonal affective disorder. In the winter my moods come and go like the forecast. If it is cold and dark, so am I. As the actual nights get longer so does my periods of irritibility and saddness. The darkness brings its own blanket of depression and desperation.
My son who is 8 loves the snow. Excited at the first sprinkling of snow this year, he awakes me to have me look out the window. "Mom it's beautiful, I love the snow." I manage some phrase that will make him happy. He is also manic depressive but does not appear to be affected by (SAD). Maybe he just didn't inherit it or maybe children and snow just go together naturally.
Almost a week passed without me writing anything more than sad poetry while tears ran down my face. This morning is a little brighter outside and me and I have been up since 2:30 am writing. Trying my best to make up for lost time. Reading was impossible, I couldn't concentrate enough to remember what I read. Checking to see how my articles were doing I was surprised to find them doing well despite the fact it had been days since I had published anything.
It was still snowing mixed with rain as I left to pick up my son from school. Still excited by the sprinkle of snow, he runs along ahead, chiming away"Look Mommy it's beautiful" his face and nose rosy from the cold. Beautiful!!!
Beautiful.... I mumble. Who ever said winter is beautiful??
But watching his childlike innocence , I hope he can retain his feeling of enthusiasim at seeing snow fall even little sprinkles, watching an icicle melt and decorating our tree.
I hope he never feels the saddness , loss of hope and sense of loneliness I feel at this moment. For now my only enjoyment is watching my son enjoy the things that I used to before the monster came to live with me.
Today I am fed up
Today everything bothers me. I am not in a good mood. Everyone and everything gets on my nerves. It is 1 am and I am in a creative mood so I am writing. My day was hell, even though I didn't get a lot done, I could not control the energy that was spinning around me. I had so many ideas but nothing worked out. Tomorrow the articles I wrote need to be edited because when I am like this I am very productive but I have typos from going so fast. I probally wont sleep all night. This can last for days until I am exhausted and have to lay down. But my mind doesn't sleep. When I am in this stage I am not the best person to be around. Everything and everyone bothers me. I feel desolate and alone, yet I don't want to be around anyone. Thoughts fill my head so fast I can't process them. The little blue arrows on my articles annoy me, truthfully, anything bothers me. My writers score has dropped 3 points and that bothers me. this what is referred to as hypomanic irtiability, when nothing or anyone can make you happy but you can't slow down. My monster is happy, he's not tired like me. My body is exhausted but my mind is still going 90 miles an hour. Please excuse any typos until I have the chance to edit them. For now I just need to write.
Moods Ane Maddness
I guess you can tell by now this is a day by few days jousnal. Sometimes I am able to write, sometimes not. The days I can't I try to squeeze in a few poems.
Today I woke up feeling angry and tired and slept most of the day. My doctor came by and told me my oxygen saturation was too low and my heart rate too fast. I might need open herat surgery. To top it off the opthlamlogsit sent me a letter saying I am losing my vision. I took a pain pill and even thought I wasn't in pain, it stopped the pain in my heart, and I went back to sleep. That was about 1pm and I just woke up at around 6:40 pm. Still angry. The person I live with doesn't see it as a big deal. "Don't worry I'll take care of you. HAHA! How much do you want to bet that when my disability check stops, he's gone. To worried about his ex. She has to get her legs cut off, so he says. I've heard that for about 5 years. She's always dying and in the hospital. That's her excuse for not praying the court ordered child support. Her check is three times what mine is. I get a puny $536.00 a month and support all three of us on it. Begging at the churches when I have too. I am sorry about this rant but I am manic and scared and have no family or anyone to turn too. maybe tomorrow will be better.
Please pray for me. I don't like feeling this anger or resentment.
Photos of life before and after Bipolar Disorder
Another one of those days
I woke up at 5:30 this morning, the heart and oxygen saturation machine still attached to my finger. Unable to sleep I got up and tried to be nice though that is not exactly what I feel. it went unappreciated as usual. My monster is getting the best of me, I am unable to keep control of my feelings and the emotions. The moods are rapid and violent. The few times I have been tearful was in anger. Tears of rage. Tears of a loss of self-control. When I feel this way it is better that I am alone. My son is at school until three and my partner will hopefully be gone all night. I don't want anyone around me. I have a doctors appointment at 11:00. Maybe I will feel better then. For now I will try to focus on writing.
It's almost Christmas
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Wonderful. Today I woke up late, 7am is late for me. My head and body felt heavy. I didn't want to move. It's raining outside and getting cold. I don't have any energy and just want to bundle under the blanket and hibernate. This makes two days I am paralyzed by what is called the "Depressive State." This includes not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, no appetite, dead brain...no creativity, and my next best friend irritiability. The only good thing is your to tired to argue or bite off anyones head. I couldn't write so I just read everyone elses articles and tried to leave comments and holiday greetings. I put the turkey in the sink and laid back down. It was a long day. my son of 8 and his monster are going 90 miles an hour. Oh well let him tear down the house, at least that way I won't have to clean it. It's 7 pm and I'm tired and sleepy. Goodnight monster, see ya tomorrow.
The Depressive Drought
It has been about 3 weeks since I have published a hub. I am in what the doctors call the depressive phase of bipolar disorder. It is a period of very little activity, crying spells, inability to function and even personal hygeine requires the assistance of my home health aid. I try to read or write articles, I see the words but Its like they are out of focus, I look at them but am unable to put them together into anything that makes any sense. I see my writers score go up and down but can't find energy to move , my body feels heavy, tired, I want to sleep, forever. I have a stack of books on the coffe table i mean to read but one or two pages into the story I fall asleep again. it is not uncommon for a person in this phase to sleep 20-24 hours for days at a time. About a week before this hit I enrolled in the university to finish my last 18 credit hours for my masters degree as a crime scene investigator, now I am three weeks behind in my school work but, can't even lift my head. I was one year away from being an attorney when i was diagnosed with manic-depressive illness and had to change my major from a Juris Doctorate in Law to a masters degree. You can not practice law if you have bipolar disorder since on the days you are up you may be so far up you don't even know who you are. But I am determined to stay in the field i love and most of the forensic work is done on the computer. I guess I should be grateful for the disabilities Act which allows the university to allow me time to work at my own pace so i can catch up. I am grateful for the fans i have and that they have kept my score up by reading what i have already written and leaving me comments and asking about how i am doing. Okay so now i am going to try to publish a hub on the death penalty that i managed to get onto paper and hopefully can put all my facts together and it will come out well.
Please excuse the grammer and spelling if it is off. It is almost impossible to focus during this phase which can last from weeks to months.
Two months later
Today I spent all day trying to answer all my comments ( sorry if I missed any) nad read hubs from my followers that have kept me going during thid difficult period. I have found if i take one day a week to do this it helps me keep up with my fans and still leaves me time to write. It is difficult as my mind bounces from one thing to another. But I made myself sit here and finish. I hope I didn't leave anyone out, if I did I didn't mean too. In the winter the depressive episodes last longer, even though I am a rapid cycler the environment hits me like a ton of bricks. Even if I am up, I am irritable and short on temper and patience. I can only imagine what its like to live with me. I appreciate hearing from everyone, please realize it's a process I must go through and in this satge it is slow.
God Bless and keep us all!!
Please Monster I don't want to play today
Hi monster, thanks for your company
Me and my monster woke up very early today...5am to be exact. today is Jen's funeral, I can't be there. I don't deal with death and dying too well. I am a little on the upside today, I managed to get three articles in last night. Boy am I glad to see you after a few weeks of the black depression that envelopes me when you are sleeping and I am paralyzed by inability. The feel of you lifting me up higher and higher feels wonderful. I even drank 8 cheladas today...yeah..yeah.. I know I'm not supossed to drink but you will take care of me right. The crisis team had to come out for a vist because I was a little suicidal, but I escaped the hospital. Talked my way out of it smooth...I've gotten good at telling them exactly what they want to hear. hell i'm not letting them tranquilze me and ruin my high, especially after the low I just came up from. Smoked two packs of cigarrettes and listened to music all day. Even danced to a video and sang for awhile. I knew you would come and get me...I knew it. Well it's almost 8 pm and I am still flying. I wish people would leave comments on my hubs so I know if they make sense to anybody but me. I love writing but sometimes like now I'm not sure anybody knows what I'm talking about. I watch my score go up and down...funny like me. My roommate says i'm a real bitch today but I think i just don't take any shit from anybody. well gotta go for now will probally be back to visit later.
Another Day on The Rollercoaster
Damn Monster, why do you do this to me? I was irritable from the time I went to bed last night till the time I woke up this morning. Everything aggravates me . I don't have the strength to get out of bed but I have a million things to do. I have to clean my closet which collapsed from the weight of the clothes added by my last spending spree, they have laying on the floor of the closet for wo months now. The dishes have been soaking for 4 days and I need to vacum the floors after the past two weeks.
I don't mind the highs, they are a relief from the dark depression I have been sunk in for the past two months.
My Monster Likes to Smoke
Hi monster... me and you are in big trouble my friend. I am sick and I have to stop smoking. I know you like to smoke...especially when we are up and having a good time. You see where our good times has gotten me. You and me have to slow down. When I am too excited I smoke and its always your fault. I notice you haven't been around since i've been sick or maybe your just being nice and keeping quite, or maybe letting me suffer in silence alone. Whatever the case I have a week without smoking ...going on the second week. Please don't give me a hard time.
Today wasn't so great. I was depressed and slept most of the day. the rest of the days I didn't have the enrgy to do anything...not even bathe or wash my hair. My monster wasn't around today maybe not in the mood to pick me up and play since I can't smoke anymore. I played sick so no one would come and visit me. I don't feel like talking or listening. I just want to be left alone. I wonder how long this episode will last before I soar up above the clouds again and can smile again. Nestled in the sweet soft cocoon of my comforter I just want the world to go away. The days I need the monster around he's never there ...when I need him to stay away, there he is wreaking havoc. I wish i could be NORMAL...whatever that is.
Today was hard
Today was not an easy day. I was irritable and aggravated at everything and everybody. I am trying to edit my hubs and make them more readable . I guess a lot of people don't understand them. I really don't know. I have been in a deep depression since the COPD diagnosis. I'm a little scared...no a lot scared. My monster woke up today but I guess he was as depressed as me...we were both down. I slept until 3pm... got up and wandered around the house. I haven't eaten for two weeks. The oxygen helps but I know it can't fix the damage I have done. My thoughts are so fast...so scrambled.. My doctoe thinks I am okay and dealing with it well. The truth is I don't know if I want to live like this...
Aggravated, irritated, leave me the hell alone
This past week I have been irritable, grouchy and plain out bitchy. I don't know why. Just a swing I'm going through, everything bothers me. Everything grates on my nerves. No one or nothing can please me. I am tired, I am fed up. I want to jump off the the top of the building, or smoke and blow myself up with oxygen.
This Past Month
This past month has been a sheer hell. I am tired, worn-out, and just plain out of it. I have been heavily sedated and so many doctors and nurses in and out of my house that it feels like a hospital. I don't remember what happened. it's all a blur. This hasn't happened for a long time. I am sad, cry all the time and just don't see too far into the future right now. My body is finally awake but my mind is still asleep. You dear monster don't seem to hang around during these down and out times, I could really use some of your energy and a little ( no actually a lot of the fun and energy you bring with you) even if I have to pay the consequences later. i bought a house this past week...yeah, a house. I remember that I liked the rose bush. I don't even remember what color the damn house is. I do know that i pawned my computer so i couldn't write yet i now have a 800.00 dollar house payment to pay on a 533.00 disability check. I wonder if insanity would be a better word than "bipolar disorder"? This is probally the longest I have lasted in the depressive state. i usually cycle really fast. I am sorry about the spelling... I just need to get something out there. I don't feel like seeing anyone or talking to anyone, yet at the same time i don't want to be isolated. I try praying but can't find the words or the faith. I borrowed this laptop to be able to write but now I have no idea what to write about. My wonderful monster friend is inhibernation or hiding ...who knows. Well i have to go now and try to fix the mess i have made this past month.
A Few Months Later
The past few months have been hard for me, major depression so dark I couldn't function, an emptiness I can't seem to fill. I haven't written anything for about 3-4 months. Nothing was there...just darkness. My doctor says its normal in persons with bipolar disoder in the winter months, but I have had some very good winters. I'm tired, I'm weary...i just want to sleep all day. I can't think of anything to write even if it slapped me in the face. Thank God for my readers who keep reading and therefore keep me with a nice score...I don't know what I would feel if I bottomed out. I have slacked off on my job at the CURE ORGANIZATION and just don't have the energy to do anything. relationships suck and I just want to sleep it all away...kinda like the bears that hibernate in the winter.
A year and a half later
Well Mr, Monster you really got me good this past year and a half. I have been home bound, mostly bed-ridden and extremely depressed. I haven't wrote a hub or even edited the ones me and you wrote when we were having so much fun together. This is the longest you have ever stayed away and left me stranded and alone. it is during these times I miss your company.
I was so glad to feel your presence coming back today I am not even mad at you for all the trouble you have gotten me in before. I know you're there, I can sense it. Come on monster i missed you. I want to play.
About Last Night
Well my dear monster friend you really did it last night. When I said I wanted to play i did not mean
staying up until 5:30 am then having to get up at 7 am. Yes I got a lot done. I edited a lot of my older hubs but I couldn't sleep and I still can't sleep. Do you realize how much I have to get done today nah you don't cause you're still up and ready to go and i am drooping but not sleepy. See what i mean about you? Every time I play with you I get in trouble.
But it's so nice to see you again after such a very long down time. come on let's go play.