Monday, February 8, 2016

Cycling: This Is What It Feels Like


Yesterday, I crashed.

I could feel it coming on; that familiar feeling of doubt and shame. All day Blue grew with speed and I was depressingly aware of what was happing to me. The mysterious mix of chemicals in my brain were shifting, like a rollercoaster reaching the top of a drop. 

Except instead of feeling like a fast rush of fun, the rollercoaster goes slow down the steep drop, ensuring that I feel every agonizing minute of the fall.

I didn't know at the time that I would eventually wake up to this moment and feel Red again. It's always hard to know, whether Blue or Red will last one day or one month or, God forbid, one year.

The pattern I'm following, sleeping four hours then waking to the middle of the night, is pulling me on a consistent journey that is almost out of my control.

  • Wake up, try to go back to sleep
  • Try for a half hour or so, give up
  • Get up, uncomfortably pulsing with red hot energy, requiring some sort of activity that will quell it
  • Listen to music really loud in my headphones with the attempt to drown out my brain's incessant need to plan, ideate, plan, ideate (e.g. You could play this song! Maybe you should get a tattoo with Dad's writing on it! Maybe when you are better you should dye your hair green! Where's the candy! Let's go smoke a cigarette!)
  • Do something risky like this, write a blog that reveals these very private symptoms of my Mental Illness
  • Wait until morning when I can go to the gym (even though the feeling is like, ehhh, Dragon you're killing me here, girl)

A few people have been a bit...hesitant...by need to confess my struggle with Bipolar on the Internet. All I have to say is that hey, I get it. I know this is hard. How do you think I feel, being pulled by this consistent need to confess, confess, confess.

I think sometimes people need to write about their pain. It's like, what else the fuck can one do but create. 

Create something as a vessel to hold your Agony with the hopes that you'll find a small shred of relief.

I went to this Superbowl party tonight and, because I was Blue, it was so, so, so, hard to get up and go. When I arrived it was already in the third quarter. It had taken me that long to coax myself into a shower, coo myself into getting dressed, and lure myself to get into my car. 

When locked in Blue, the thoughts are so bad. I feel safe because I know I would never, ever act on them, but you really get beaten up by them. You really do. You get beaten up and then you go on med forums trying to research the different medications and trying (and often failing) to find a post that speaks to you. You try to find another Manic Depressive person who is up and struggling and worrying that this is all there is and ever will be in life.

I tell myself, Stay strong, Susan. This too shall pass. I say it over and over again. This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass. This too shall pass...

And, it does pass, eventually. The difference for me is that, when I am cycling, there is no end. You pass to the other extreme and you tell yourself, You idiot, why were you waiting, hoping for a crash, look at how much more this sucks? But, that's how it is. 

When you are Red you think it might bring relief to slide back to Blue and when you are Blue you would give anything to fall back into Red.

This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass...Just hang on.

Thanks for reading, 
Susan




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