Yes I am in the mist of an episode right this minute. I have been manic most of the last few days. This blog will probably not be my best writing, because I am having problems focusing and organizing my thoughts, because they are coming too fast to process, but here goes.
I think I know what triggered it. A little over a month ago when Robin Williams committed suicide I wrote my feeling on my Face Book page. It read,” I think you must have had to suffer depression to really understand how hopeless and powerless it makes you feel. Often depressed souls are great actors when around other people. Many hide it by withdrawing. There seems to be a big stigma to mental illness. Answers are hard to come by for victims and loved ones. Pray for all who suffer”.
I had two very interesting responses to that post. One was from a long time friend from my home state TX. I don’t know why but I sent her a private message telling her that I was Bipolar. She responded with the news that her grandson had attempted suicide a few weeks earlier and that he had been diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder. We continued to exchange information and encouragements.
The second reply came form a stranger I will call CR. He said it sounded like I had some personal insight with mental disease, and asked if I would I be interested in being a part of a discussion group about it. I said yes. The group never took off. People just don’t know what to say or what questions to ask. I can’t remember when I shared with him that I was Bi. He started talking to me about starting a blog. He seemed to think I had a gift with words and thought my thoughts and personal experiences should be shared. After some soul-searching I agreed.
I am a senior and am not very tech savvy. I had never learned to copy and paste because the need had never presented itself. That is how backward I was with navigating on my computer. CR agreed to guide me step by step to properly get my blog site going and give me advice on how to blog successfully. This was done by e-mail which scared me half to death. I began getting manic at this point but it was manageable. There were days I wouldn’t turn on my computer, because I was afraid there would be a task that would be too difficult to perform. That never happened. I remember him stating in RED LETTERS, “Stop if you get to a point and don’t understand something and e-mail me your questions”. I think we got to step 7 or 8 when he had me do a test post. After that I figured I was on my own. He was very busy, and I had not heard there would be another step, so I did my first blog. Then I did a second. Of course he had not deserted me, because he knew I had more to learn. I think he was happy that I felt brave enough to jump in at that point. I am still learning as questions pop up. I love his response “Give me a holler if you need me”. I still smile broadly when I see those words.
After this second blog I went sky-high in manic mode. I could not and still can’t turn my brain/thoughts off. Ideas for my blog fill my brain to the point where I wish they would stop. When I have to run errands I am constantly reaching for scraps of paper to jot things down. I wish I could go into a room and regurgitate all of my thoughts, then slam the door shut, and let my mind rest knowing the ideas are not lost, but are waiting for me when I need them.
I am experiencing both manic and depressed thoughts at the same time. I think the depression is coming from not being able to sleep. Last night I was crying because I was so tired and could not stop my thoughts. I see a Nutritionist once a month and take natural supplements. I am muscle tested as my system and chemistry changes. I took some natural sleep aids, extra tablets that support my brain and adrenal functions and some drops that help calm my brain. I slept about 4 hours, woke up at 5 then took supplements that were appropriate and slept another 2 or 3 hours. I have been seeing my nutritionist for about seven years with great results. My Family Practice Doctor, who I began seeing three or four years ago knows that I am not seeing a Psychiatrist and that I am using natural supplements that he has noted on my medical chart. He is very supportive of my choices and independence. If he wasn’t I would change doctors.
I may not be making any sense but I am just writing what is going on in the whirlwind of my mind.
Right this minutes I am feeling calmer and the thoughts are slowing down. I have used writing to calm myself in the past. This is the first really high mood I have had in a very long time. Beginning something so new and powerful was the trigger, I am sure. It will happen again, because I am going to share lots of stuff in my past and acute feeling may rare their heads, warts and all.
When I am in a manic state I feel very strong and full of energy. When I am depressed I feel weak, tired, angry, and want to hide from the world. That isolation can become harmful. At those times I try to pull myself together, go to a movie, a walk, out to lunch, even if it is by myself, read, watch a movie or anything I can think of to distract my sad feelings. Lots of time those actions help. I get regular messages, because I think the power of touch is powerful and helps me relax. I have developed a close friendship with Stacy who has magical fingers. I have seen her for over a year. She reached out to me with praise when I made my condition public on Face Book.
It became routine to go from manic to depressed when I finished a major quilting project, like a wedding or auction quilt. I would tell myself that completing is was exciting (manic), then when I had to give it away, and lost a friend (the quilt), I experienced depression. I would say, I guess God is giving me a rest, so I can recover. I would never be down long.
The silence was deafening when I posted on my Face Book page my first two blogs. I am not going to post this one there for the simple reason that I don’t want to freak out my grandchildren any more than I have already. I am sure they are thinking what the heck is she talking about. The door is open for any conservation they want to have with me in the future. The door has been opened. When I blog about something generic I will post those on my Face Book page. I heard from 8 people, the closest relative being a cousin. All but one already knew. If anyone inquires I will direct them to my blog as I feel I will be more honest and forth coming if my audience is really interested in what mental illness is really like from one who suffers. I live in a mother-in-laws apartment at a sons home. He has known for years. We had a wonderful talk this week about my blogging. He is so proud of me. This morning he sent me a note. It said WHAT AWAITS US ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR IS FREEDOM.
I am feeling better right now than I have felt in a week. Writing has helped me over this hump. I thank God he has given me this tool to help me manage my disorder. I am convinced that God doesn’t make junk. And if we end up damaged for what ever reason he is there to help me through what ever I face.