My biggest failure in life right now is my continued expectation of a clear-cut black and white scientific explanation of my unusual thought processes to be handed to me on a silver platter by a well-spoken Englishman. This is to be immediately followed by delivery of a ‘quick fix’ pill or piece of advice that will counter all of my mental health shortcomings with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. Yes, I continue to expect such revelations even though I know deep down that such a thing simply does not and cannot exist. We can’t learn and grow without those unpleasant experiences being there to teach us, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming, right?
The last few weeks have been weird. Off. I don’t know quite how to describe it, I’m not myself, not that I am really even able to define ‘myself’ as one self these days, we are not ‘ourselves’? Bah. That doesn’t feel right either. It’s too complicated, so off and on, in and out not to mention the ups and downs of the manic depression that intertwines throughout my crisis of identities and frankly I am too tired to think about any of it without my mind exploding, the trouble is, it all exists within my head and so the fear circles like a great white shark, slowly waiting for the right time to drag my body with it into the depths below and rip apart my very soul.
If you were to look at the technical DSM definition of depression right now then I suppose I would qualify as heading into another depressive episode, Bipolar Disorder is so painfully repetitive and volatile. I was manic only a month or so ago although it feels like a millennia now. I knew and understood the secrets of the universe and the meaning of life, it was all I cared about, I wanted to write books about it, start affordable mental health retreats for people to get away from their responsibilities for a while and find themselves through therapy, good nutrition, like minded peers and ongoing plans for the future, all without the stigma of hospitals. Blah, blah, blah… All the good intentions, started letters to ministers and psychiatrists, lists of potential investors, grant application information… All forgotten once more, simply written off as another manic delusion of grandeur, delusion of thinking that maybe I would be able to actually do some good in the world.
And now? I still hold that “awareness” of those universal secrets but for reasons I cannot explain the passion has vanished, I don’t care about them, they feel like hum drum old news. It is knowledge that doesn’t seem to matter anymore, been there done that. Perhaps that is because once you have knowledge of the meaning of life you know that it is ultimately irrelevant, we are asking for answers to questions we already have been given answers to simply by our existence. The basic goal is living, and living a good life here on earth regardless of circumstance, ‘good’ defined not by a God or a religion or even another human, ‘good’ as defined by yourself. Don’t know what I mean? Listen to yourself, feel around for a bit, some people call it your conscience, you’ll find it.
I know all this and yet I don’t care anymore, maybe the fact that it’s all up to me leaves me with an overly simple choice, I can try and make good with what I have or I can give up. We all know what I should do but there are so many times when I just don’t know if I can be bothered anymore, I’m tired, so very tired, and there are many times when laying down to die seems like a perfectly acceptable and far more practical option.
You can give me the science of Bipolar Disorder’s effect on brain chemicals until the cows come home, I know, I get it! “What goes up must come down”, yeah, I know, “tablets help”, yes, yes, I know! I am intellectually aware that even though at this very moment I just want to give up, I will feel good again in the future and realistically despite how it feels, I haven’t actually been feeling bad for very long at all. I will probably feel not only good in the future but AMAZING and there is a reasonable chance that I will believe I am receiving messages from God about the secrets of the universe again because Bipolar Disorder just is what it is.
There is also that little haunting, niggling truth that my Bipolar Disorder is going to be with me forever no matter how much I exercise or what concoction of tablets I take, it’s here for life with its good, its bad, its happy and its sad; oh how I love it and how I hate it. I wouldn’t be without it for all the passion, enlightenment, creativity and open-mindedness it gifts me with it must be so mind numbingly boring being ‘normal’ and yet the all-consuming darkness that inevitably follows the high always leaves me burning in a hell of my own making wondering why I continue to do this to myself. At least nowadays I know why it’s happening and what to expect from it, it’s a bit like Groundhog Day in that you can improve yourself with each cycle repetition, only you can’t erase the stuff ups, and there will be stuff ups.
I hate that I have dragged my family into this world with me, without their consent. I sometimes think of leaving them because I feel if I lived alone then at least I would only be hurting myself but then I wouldn’t have my husband or my children, my pets, I wouldn’t have all those reasons to keep going each day… There is no easy solution, I just have to accept it and play the hand I have been dealt the best I can for as long as possible, and I suppose, so do they. For better or worse, a blessing and a curse.