This is the fifth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
Get Over It!
“Speaking for myself, I do not get tingling sensations of delight, when the term bipolar is [hurled] at me. I get images of erratic behavior, of surges between the possible behavioral poles, and of disjointed logic. I think of angry individuals, launching invective at others, the way kids fling snowballs around in a melee. I do not see me, in any of this, and maybe there are others who have a hard time seeing this in me.
Get over it!"
This is an excerpt from the previous piece of writing, "What About Annie?" that bears further examination. If I were doing all of these things, generally attributable to a bipolar personality, wouldn’t I have been able to detect this? The behavior described, does not resemble, that which I think of as my behavior. Then again, as I mentioned earlier, I am not the best person to be assessing my own mental health; I am not even in the running.
However, I have not been unconscious the past eighteen months. I can, with reasonable clarity, review this past time, for evidence of a raving bipolar “enemy,” attempting to take over me, and not necessarily find the culprit I am seeking. I think that’s because I keep this invisible scale in my head. On it I place all of those actions which contribute to either forward progress, or the reverse.
When I examine my role as far as maintaining the household, I can find no fault. I still keep the floors clean, the bathrooms in good shape, and keep the dishes and the kitchen fully operational and not on Annie’s agenda. I maintain the wood boxes, and am perfectly happy to shop and cook as I am to let Annie do the same. No, I am satisfied, that I have not been a layabout, a burden on the household.
The thing that Annie specifically mentioned, is that I have been amping, which is a word I use to describe my actions, when I am trying to convey thoughts, feelings, or emotions, and do not think that I am being listened to. Now I realize that I was being listened to very carefully, because there was too much consistency, in my inconsistency.
When I talked about my frustration with the editor of the local paper, I could not do so without having to make it seem as though there was some sort of personal agenda involved, as opposed to just the same unconcern, which has always been a trademark of this current regime. I took the situation with the court appearances in Ukiah, personally, and when the two pieces of writing were omitted in consecutive weeks, I was incensed.
One thing I never thought to do, is to either pick up the phone, or drop by and make conversation, with the editor herself. I could have, easily enough, but just never thought to do so. Now I see that some early dialogue, over some basic logistical details, could have saved volumes of drama and focus. I do not look back with regret, as far as the specific course of action that I took, only that I expended vast, unlimited quantities of energy to what amounted to business as usual at the local amateur newspaper office. None of this helped my mounting difficulties, of keeping my emotions in check.
What are the bonds that bind people together, comprised of? How were Annie and I able to survive this most challenging turn of events? What components had to be present, for us to have been able to see beyond the immediacy of our pain?
For me it was the recognition that my need for Annie’s affection, drove me to act in a very unaffectionate manner. Why did she tolerate my behavior? Because she loves me. What I saw as alienation and rejection, a lack of affection, was merely Annie attempting to juggle the reality of my worsening mental outlook, with the reality of my worsening emotional instability. It is hard to feel/display affection for someone, who is openly questioning the presence of that very quality. Big sigh.
When I was struggling at my height, I said to her, “I want to see you look at me, the way you did when we first met.” She said to me, “Right now, I can’t do that.” I thought to myself, “Of course you can’t, because you no longer feel the same way about me.” My logic seemed so certain to me.
That would be to sum up a huge chunk of the mental morass, at one time. A person who is experiencing technical difficulties of a mental nature, is a poor judge of what is logical or not. My desire to see affection registering in Annie’s eyes, was combatted by the emotionally strident persona that I presented each morning to her.
What a vicious cycle, and one that finally had to be halted, even if it meant delaying the counseling. As I said, when I was railing against being left by myself, ten days ago, we were so close. And then I was so upset, that I determined that counseling was pointless, until I mellowed out, or found my senses, or some combination of the two.
It’s hard to find common ground, when you are upset at someone.