I may be bi-polar, but I'm medicated

A little window into the bi-polar world

Archive for the tag “depression”

Lost in the Corn

Every bi-polar experiences symptoms from time to time. When this happens, your judgment is unstable. In fact, you may not notice the symptoms until it’s so severe, it is a bit like being lost in a cornfield. You know the way out is simple…choose a direction that crosses the rows and keep walking. The corn will end eventually, right? The problem is that you lose sight of what is straight, and you often find yourself straying with hasty reactions that seem logical at the moment. After every decision you make, you are forced to recalculate and choose a new “straight” direction. Unfortunately, this furthers your symptoms and elongates your recovery period.

It is very lonely, this trip through the emotional corn, and confusing. Meds and counseling, the only compass, are sometimes difficult or impossible to access. People who you count on to be stable support for you seem to waver in the distance, and you are suddenly unsure as to their ability to lead you out of the field. Isolation becomes your comfort and directional mistake at once.

So here I sit, alone in the corn. I have been here for months now and have no idea whether or not I am making progress. Things are not going so well in my life, though I never expect it to be smooth with symptoms. I just continue on day after day with the slow drudgery of choosing what appears to be the most promising direction.


This taking care of business


For a bi-polar person, taking care of another person is akin to a misguided attempt at suicide. This effect is heightened if the person being cared for is emotionally close to the bi-polar. This happens even if the job lasts only a few short days. Trusty Boyfriend/Knight In Shining Armor recently had his appendix taken out. Not a big deal, right? For me it was a huge deal. I wanted so terribly to show my appreciation for him. He has taken a lot of baloney from me in my altered moods. Why then shouldn’t I be able to get him jello and fluff his pillows for a couple of days?


I’ll tell you why…it becomes so overwhelming just to see your loved one uncomfortable that you can hardly bear it. You are so depressed from the change in routine, watching someone suffer, and the extra chore burden. Even if it’s routine, the disease makes the Himalayas out of a molehill.


Okay, now you’re depressed and noticing the signs in yourself. That person you normally turn to when moods abound is sick or hurt, in fact they are so busy getting better you have no support. What do you do? Try and compensate of course. You try to stay on your meds and try to do something good for you each day. The problem is that the guilt piled on you for taking your attention away from your loved one is unbearable. This guilt is somehow self-imposed and non-negotiable. Even though your loved one would revel in you taking care of your own moods before a crisis, you are already set down that road, with no way to turn back.


With the depression and compensation going on, you begin to bounce like a rubber ball. Off the walls, floors and ceilings you careen with your emotions already out of control. Next thing you know, you are unstable, in denial, and unable to seek help. That’s what you get from this taking care of business.

The Show Cut

Living in chronic, low-grade depression is like show clipping a horse.  Sometimes it feels like you are making no progress, because the task seems to be getting larger.  Still, you continue, piece by piece, sprucing up your life for the showing off that comes the following day.  Sometimes the best you can do is “just the ears” and you go about turning that portion inside out, cleaning it up for the inspection to follow.  Other times you can take something larger, say the feet and legs all in one foul swoop with a burst of productive-and-problem-solving energy.


Sometimes the places you trim are sensitive, like the insides of the nose.  The parallel often results in crying fits and spurts of temper or rage.  Other times you are charged with softening the anatomy of a large portion (the entire neck and chest being an example) where you feel drowned in the futility of even beginning.


As in clipping, in life it is important to cool your blades and oil your hinges when doing any extensive work.  Diet, exercise and medication help ensure nothing seizes up in the middle of the job.


Sometimes you will be required to change blades for a crisper or softer affect.  Likewise in life, you need to remain nimble and be ready to change tactics for the fluxulation of the job at hand.  The tools that saw you through one day of depression may be ineffective or to harsh for another.  Smart horsemen even keep more than one of each blade in order to give one a chance to cool without interrupting the job.


Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, you know that the concentrated effort will take all day, so you’d better not plan to do anything else.  During a depression is not the time to be taking on any extra projects.  Working, if you can even do it, should be limited to part-time.  Outings should be minimized and avoided if possible.  This is NOT the time to join the PTA or that fun little book club you’ve so been looking forward to.  You need to keep your mind on showing the one horse you’ve got, not adding to your barn.


In the end, if you’ve done it right, you have a sight to behold.  The depression will pass, as will the haircutting session, and if you’ve done it right, no one will be the wiser.  The anatomical flaws of being bi-polar are visually (if not actually) corrected, and the horse of your life looks perfect – or at least well enough to compete.



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