I have a mood spectrum disorder, what old schoolers would call being bipolar. For me it is 98% mania and 2 % depression, with normalcy not even on the radar. I have tried two different prescriptions from Corporate ’Merica’s ever-ready, bottomless pit of handy-dandy chemicals, suited for one purpose and one purpose only: to reenforce the lining of deep pockets. The prescription(s) created a whole new plethora of anxiety-riddled issues, for which I was unprepared.
Can you say chemical shit-storm?
Cannabis offers me physical relief, in that it helps reel me in when I am super-glued to the ceiling, and it drags me out of the quick-sand, which makes the pillows-over-my-head so appealing. I say physically because both mania and lethargy are the outward manifestations of my disorder; modern technology does not have a vehicle for conveying a picture of my mental state.
|Like the butterfly, I stay close to my cannabis.|
Fortunately, I have the next best thing. I have mastered the art of being able to evaluate my mental and emotional states of mind, to the extent that I can place a number beside a particular area of concern.
Irritation level? Hmmmmmmmmm. That would be a 4 on the scale of 10, with 1 being minimal and 10 being brutal.
Mania? Hmmmmmmmmm. That would be a 9 on the same scale. It’s different every day.
There are vast quantities of similar symptoms, all with dotted lines for numerical evaluations.
I acquired this ability to quantify my issues when I immersed myself in cognitive behavioral therapy. This process provided me with a set of tools designed to allow me to understand what was going on, and more importantly, how to be able to live my existence, without inflicting my disorder on others.
That’s what it’s all about. I can’t change what is happening inside my head, but I can prevent others from being exposed to whatever shenanigans I had in mind. I simply had to recognize that others did not see life with the same parameters, as the way I see life.
It’s not good; it’s not bad. It is what it is. We are all different and I am no exception. It’s just that instead of there being a gap between me and others, there is a chasm. Again, once I figured that out, I recognized that I needed to bridge that chasm so as to be able to be a part of the shared human experience.
My inability to sleep is the greatest impediment to being a part of the shared human experience. I sleep-at most-four hours at a time, and rarely more than that in any given night. I lie awake until I can’t any longer, and then I get up, usually around 12:30-1:00.
I put the coffee on, don my headphones and open Suzy Puente, my new computer. I write, I post pics from both the farm and outlying areas of Bell Springs Road, and I check in periodically with social media. I read. I spend the first six hours or so of every day in like manner.
If the Giants are doing well, I will make sure I spend a minute or two in the world of sports, before either writing a piece and posting it on China Basin Chatter, or moving on in another direction.
The possibilities are endless, especially if I want to dabble in politics. The only problem with politics, by definition, is that only half the populace will even consider reading it. The other half has no interest. I usually avoid the political arena because it’s a stupid venue in which to lose friends.
By the time the rest of the world gets up, I have already been on the go for six hours. I then spend the day outside, regardless of the level of heat, and come back in late in the afternoon. Needless to say, I am pretty beat. I do often nap during the day, generally for an hour or so, and that helps, but by the time seven o’clock rolls around I am in bed.
I would label it a vicious circle but that sounds so negative. I would like to be able to get a normal amount of sleep but my doctor at the VA Clinic refuses to treat the symptoms of mania, without treating the disorder itself.
We’ve been at an impasse for almost four years now.
I recognize the irony of desiring chemicals for sleep, while refusing to take chemicals for a mood spectrum disorder. It’s all about those side effects.
|Nice and blurry, just like its contents...|
So if you are coming home from a late-night shindig, or happen to be up in the wee hours for any reason whatsoever, and you see that I am online, know that I travel lightly and that I like to keep things upbeat.
I don’t rant and I don’t spew on social media. I’ve learned how powerful it is to compose a letter filled with fury and significance to someone in an adversarial position-and then delete it.
That’s my secret to success-that delete key. It keeps me out of a lot of trouble, and when it doesn’t, someone is quick to let me know.
But that's another post entirely.