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A Portrait Of Mental Illness
These past few months have been "Hell" to say the least, "distracting" to say the most. I have written about 25 hubs by hand in little spiral notebooks, that are now scattered around my house in various places, some that I don't even remember. I really meant to type them on hubpages but somewhere amist the chaos that has been my life they got lost, like I sometimes do... or at least my mind does. My mind will go 90 miles an hour, creating, seeking out, and my body will run right along beside it trying to meet its excessive demands for productivity. Usually after 3 or 4 days of not sleeping and finally worn out physically, I fall onto the bed exhausted. I need rest but my mind won't sleep..it keeps going over and over, trying to figure out what I've done, what I need to do and replaying the days, hours, and minutes like a bad movie in my head. Though the creativity is at its highest during these manic episodes, cleaning up the messes you have made is the hardest part..other than trying to remember what exactly the messes are. These episodes can come and go within hours of each other or they can last for days. they can just happen suddenly or be triggered by stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. These past two months mine have been due to an unusual amount of stress. I have constant demands on my time, the usual like being a wife, mommy, lover and housekeeper all at once. I know we all share these things, women and men... but for the person with bipolar disorder, they can be tremendously burdening.
I am angry, I snap at my partner and my friends and family, yet I don't know why I am angry. I cry uncontrollably..yet I don't know why I am unhappy. I stay in my room for weeks at a time, paralyzed by my own thoughts and fears..but I don't know what it is I am afraid of. I dyed my blonde hair brown, changed my blue eyes to brown with contacts...went on a crash diet to lose weight. Almost like I am trying to reach inside me and find myself only I don't know who I am. In this stage the only person who exists in our world is us and our needs. Many times in this stage we can be over-sociable...to the extreme, we are the life of the party and the center of attention. This often results in having to make amends or apologize for outrageous behavior. Embarrassment and shame are often our companions after the "up, up and away" part has passed".
For the past two months I haven't written much, except as I said, the articles I wrote out in the spiral notebooks that I am now trying to find. The funniest thing is I remember to check my hubscore every morning, if it is up..I am up, if it has dropped even a point I am down also. I t is almost like it is a crucial part of my identity. One I can identify with. To me my writing is a kind of therapy, one where I can be whoever i happen to be at the time. I can be alone and express pain, joy, or the emptiness that often fills my life at times. I can say what I want to say without judgement, or fear of someone being offended. i can cry out in pain with a poem, I can share happiness in a love story, or i can be the ardent political activist I am with the articles on the criminal justice system, politics, or any range of things that come into my mind and are put into words and feelings by my keyboard.
The feeling of thinking and creativity is amazing.. the response in the comments a major lift if in the throes of depression. The depression is like a heavy dark curtain, blacker than the sea in the mist of a storm... at times I am unable to tear through it. The comments, the best wishes and just knowing someone is there, even if i can't see you is a comfort. Sometimes it may take me awhile to answer and at times I may forget. Sometimes my mind wont cooperate and i write what I mean to say but I always read them everyone. I don't know what caused this last episode. No one really knows what sets it off. That is the scary and the mystery of this illness. It can take a person and either give them life through the "mania" or literally drain the life out of them through the depression.
My writing is very important to me. It is the only thing I feel I have left after the storm that tears through my mind. I have always been better at writing than at speaking in words and this is like a home for me. When I am down as now, my words stay alive, my tears flow freely and thought I am isolated, I never feel alone. I know someone is there listening, watching and perhaps praying.
If I had the choice, would i choose to have this illness that fuels my senses and creativity, yet wreaks so much havoc in my life? I'm not sure, but in my heart I like to think I would. I always dreamed of being a journalist, but in the end...I feel I got blessed with the best part of the cards that life has dealt me. Though I will never become rich this way, I have many friends and sometimes riches can't be calculated in dollars.