This is the nineteenth 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.
For those of you keeping track, you might note that the eighteenth episode (poor choice of word) is missing in action, because it did not feel to Annie, that it needed to be posted. There were issues I wrote about, that made her uncomfortable to see posted. I am trying very hard to work within the parameters of what works for everyone, not just me. I got the value of writing the piece, and that is what is uppermost in my somewhat addled mind.
Where’s My Script?
I’m struggling, and that is probably the hallmark of a bipolar individual: he struggles. I am having difficulty with the concept of irony. Things are ironic, when the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The example I used to present to students was, “You are watching a skit on a stage. A person is sitting in a chair, facing the audience, reading a book. From behind this reader, is a person sneaking up, with a big club in his hand. The audience can clearly see the thug, but the reader remains clueless. That is dramatic irony, where some have knowledge while one or more does not.
Research indicates that mental issues are dealt out disproportionately, with some getting more than average, while others escape completely. In my case, I began experiencing panic attacks at age ten, thus escaping the bipolar express, until such time as I rid myself of panic attack syndrome. Here’s where the irony comes in. Had I known that taking the one step, would produce the second, would I have been better off not getting rid of the panic attacks?
Here’s some more irony: Panic attack syndrome is completely curable; there is no cure for bipolar disorder, only “management.” Guess what the favored method of management is? Yep, meds. Here’s where part of the struggle comes in. I say “part” because there is plenty to go around. I am only a week or so into the process, and I can already clearly see this.
Right now, I feel as though this is a beatable thing. I can do this. Unfortunately for me, I am in what is termed a Eurythmic period, which means I am all mellowed out, with no meds required. But that will change, if I am typical, because I will experience episodes, which will leave me sleepless, agitated and capable of going off in lots of intriguing directions, making the panic attack shuffle, seem like line-dancing.
In the past I have experienced episodes, where I simply became fixated on my writing, with a particular “cause” draining me of strength, both mental and physical. It’s a vicious circle, because one begets the other. No sleep makes for sketchy appetite, which makes for low blood/sugar action, which means that everything is out of kilter. Then things that might have been insignificant, take on a new form, and that forms changes and rearranges itself, in the most deceiving of ways, leaving sufferer and caregivers reeling.
It’s like watching, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” only I am the star of this video, and there is no script. I am trying to circumvent the ending, by working out as many of the details as possible, so that I have my mental issues neatly in a row, when I go back to Dr. Garratt, on Friday. That’s a tall order, and one that I already know is unattainable. All I can do is aim for a goal, and settle for what I get.
I have worked out some of the smaller details like this. The hardest part, that of letting me in on what those around me already knew, has been accomplished. I have gone from incredulity to pensiveness, to acceptance that there are issues. That is the hardest step cerebrally, but not the hardest step, by far, as far as the illness goes. We all know that.
Now, however, there is degree of illness, and recovery process. I have been visiting the website on bipolar disorder, since it was made available to me. I shared the results of the test, long enough ago, that I was still struggling with acceptance, a whole week ago. But acceptance still does not mean capitulation. I see a big difference.
Originally, last week, I maintained that being forewarned, is the same as being forearmed. Unfortunately, in this war, forearmed generally means meds, because, more irony here, being bipolar, means no longer being able to rely on “mind over matter,” a strategy I employed so efficiently, to rid myself of panic attack syndrome. Different wars require different doors, though which I must pass, in order to make forward progress. I worry about being close to Annie, while on meds, or even writing.
Maybe I should be worrying about what I will do, without those meds. Do you see, now, why I am struggling?