Posts tagged manic
I was watching the 11th episode of “Homeland,” one of my favorite shows earlier, and it was confirmed that the main character is bipolar. She was shown in the depths of a manic episode. Her mentor witnessed her episode and blamed himself for her illness. He had apologized to her for failing her and blamed himself. When she started coming down she told him, “I’ve had this since college. You didn’t do anything, I just came this way.” That just hit so close to home. Partly because I’m bipolar and partly because I’ve cared for other people who are bipolar. Unassigning blame lightens the burden of this illness and makes it more bearable.
The twists and turns life can throw still astonish me. For awhile there I was certain that I’d been through as much hell as possible without dying and it was finally my time to enjoy more than fleeting happiness, I was foolhardy and impulsive.
Paul is a short man, but his charisma is impetuous. Napoleon comes to mind for some damn reason, probably because I’m toking, listening to my breakup playlist and having dozens of thoughts sweep through my mind every millisecond.
When I’m happy, I’m extremely happy, but it’s a very short-lived burst. Then something else tragic or devastating happens and poof, everything disintegrates so quickly I am left wondering if it was all just a dream.
I got swept up in my relationship with Paul. I was considering having his baby within six weeks of meeting him; little did I know I was already carrying his babies1 Surely, I should’ve known it was possible. After all we were fucking like rabbits and never used protection. I was living second to second without considering consequences.
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Thursday night Paul had a private show after work and I assumed he would go to his house afterwards so I invited Tori over to spend the night. Tori and I chilled and caught up a bit since we haven’t had much if any alone time lately. We fell asleep shortly before 3am. Paul woke me up a little after 5:30am.
I wasn’t expecting him to come over and I don’t like being woken up when I’m finally sleeping, but I wasn’t mad. In fact, I was glad he came over, even if he was a little drunk – a side effect of working at a bar. We talked quite a bit and he told me more about his past. He also told me he loves me, again. After he said it, he said he probably said more than he should, but it is how he feels.
I admire his honesty and ability to express his feelings, but I am a commitment/intimacy-phobe and it spooked me. I care about him, but I don’t love him yet and I wasn’t going to lie to him and say that I do. Instead, I hugged and kissed him and told him that I like him a lot. I know it isn’t what he wanted to hear, but when I say those important words, I want to mean them. Tori slept through it all.
Music has often been a lifeline for me, especially when I can identify with the lyrics of particular songs. Not all of these songs are about Bipolar Disorder per se, however, they resonate facets of the bipolar experience.
10. Chumbawamba – Tubthumpling lyrics (I get knocked down)
Bipolar disorder is a roller coaster. This song serves to remind us that we are fighters and we will survive and get through the episodes. We truly only fail when we give up and stop fighting.
9. Nirvana – lithium
This song describes the Bipolar Battle perfectly. The structure of the song itself is reminiscent of Bipolar Disorder and its irrational thought patterns and short attention spans, jumping rapidly from image to image with little or no connection. It was written by Kurt Cobain, who unfortunately, lost his battle with Bipolar Disorder and killed himself April 5, 1994. Like many of us, he suffered far more depressive episodes than manic/hypomanic ones. The last several years of his life were spent self-medicating with hard drugs, such as heroin and LSD. He also took lithium to treat his bipolar symptoms. Lithium is the most well known medication used to treat Bipolar Disorder. However, it carries its own horrors. It is relatively toxic and it is common to experience tremors, nausea, diarrhea, lethargy and dehydration. It can cause damage to kidneys and thyroid. It can also leave those who take it feeling tired, dull, empty and lost.
8. Godsmack – Whatever
Irritability, rage and social isolation are common symptoms of an episode, This song describes bipolar rage and isolation.
7. Matchbox 20 – Unwell
Bipolars still face a lot of stigma and discrimination. Many people automatically assume we are “crazy” and withdraw from us. We just need a little understanding.
6. Tonic – Tonic – Take Me as I am
After the bipolar diagnosis we are left trying to explain it to those we care about and we hope they can accept us as we are.
5. Placebo – Meds
Medications are often the cornerstone of bipolar disorder treatment. Many bipolars choose not to medicate as they do not wish to lose the manic highs. Or they will take the meds during depressive episodes but go off of them when they feel better.
4. Aerosmith – Amazing
3. Three Days Grace – Break
At one point or another all bipolars can identify with this song.
2. Good Charlotte – Good Charlotte – Hold On
Suicide is the leading cause of death for those with bipolar disorder. This song is a reminder that we can get through those terrible times and it also reminds us how killing ourselves would affect those we care about. This song has literally saved my life.
1. Manic by Plumb
The most well known aspect of bipolar disorder is the manic episodes; this song is from the viewpoint of someone who loves a bipolar who is in the throes of a manic episode..
Honorable Mention: Macy Gray – Relating to a Psychopath
The aspect of recovery from mental illness that is most difficult for me is having the knowledge that relapse is not only possible, it is inevitable. It has made me damned near obsessive with self-awareness. Many thoughts, behaviors, and urges I have are automatic, but I find myself frequently questioning them shortly thereafter.
For instance, if I have the urge to exercise, I ask myself if it’s because an episode is in progress or impending, then other questions follow, such as: Is it because you’re manic and have too much energy? Is it because you want to lose weight? If so why do you want to lose weight? Are you ashamed of your body? Are you starting to hate yourself again?