Between heaven and hell
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.
- NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | State Advocacy
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, ob