Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

Dastardly Dan

I had no intention of being awake right now, however that’s just the luck of the draw tonight. Three ups, downs, and back ups so far since noon.

The trigger today was my therapy appointment. As per the last few times, my attendance triggered hypomania, and what has followed is a series of ripples that continue to expand.

Today my suspicions were realized when I came to the final, albeit roundabout conclusion that I have experienced mania much more often than I had originally considered. It has so many faces that the darn thing can be hard to pinpoint sometimes, and its trickery is only surpassed by its evil.

That’s right, evil. Many people talk about mania being fun or invigorating or spiritual, or even inspirational, and it can be all of those things. BUT, at the end of the day, those qualities are almost always overshadowed by irritability, poor judgment, paranoia, or psychosis. Mania wants to be friends so it can use your extra apartment key to slip inside in the middle of the night and stomp on your extensive record collection. Then, when you confront it, it’ll just try to make you believe you’re crazy for bringing it up in the first place. After that, it buys a round for everyone at the bar to neutralize the situation just so you can be friends again.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Dastardly, I tell you! The more I get to know this character, the more frustrating it becomes.

Anyway, what brought this all about was my therapy appointment, which I already mentioned.

Perhaps there is some kind of mathematical rule that the better one holds up on the outside between therapy visits, the more inclined one is to completely crash, burn, and fall apart during the 50 minutes one is paying for.

Regardless, I have a tendency to believe that the stuff going on over on the mania end of the scale isn’t really affecting me. Or, it is affecting me, but it isn’t affecting my life. That came crashing down pretty hard today, I must say, and I really underestimated the mania game of shadows.

It is so bizarre how my mind can play such vivid tricks on me, and I can only seem to see them when peering through magical binoculars made out of a mental health professional.

Game on mania, game on. You double inceptioned me, altering my perception wildly for a brief moment to take my attention away from the fact that the rest of my perception had been altered as well, but on a smaller scale. Bravo.

Is it sick to say that this makes me a little proud of the level of game this head of mine is bringing these days? I mean honestly, I’m a little impressed.

But hear this my friend, that’s it. We’re over. I’m totally dumping you, mania. I’m not even going to accept your free round of drinks, OOOh or maybe I will and just throw mine back in your face.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 26 years, well shame on…. you. Yeah, still you.

Consistently Inconsistent

That’s the name of the game though, isn’t it?

I was discussing with my boyfriend how bizarre it seemed that one day my blog could have one hit, and the next it could have 60, followed by 4 the next day, followed by 16 the next, and from what I can tell there is no apparent pattern.

He said, “so it is inconsistent?”

“Yes,” I replied. “consistently inconsistent.”

“But from what you’ve told me, aren’t people with bipolar disorder usually inconsistent?”

HA. Consistently inconsistent!

Inconsistency feels like it is the very nature of the bipolar beast itself.

Even if just basing this on myself, I know I can be an incredibly inconsistent person.

  • My moods aren’t consistent, they may not even reflect my actual feelings in any given situation.
  • My goals aren’t consistent, they’re inflated with mania and deflated again with depression.
  • My feelings aren’t consistent, I can enjoy someone’s company one minute and loathe them the next (though this has gotten much, much better).
  • My actions aren’t consistent, they can be swayed by my moods.
  • My work ethic isn’t consistent, because there is no way for me to reproduce, while depressed, the workload I can carry while I’m manic.

What I find funny is that despite all of this (thanks bipolar disorder), I am somehow also able to exhibit traits of obsessive compulsive disorder… which, to me, seems like an unlikely pair. How is that possible? I feel that instead of inconsistency, OCD breeds consistency.

I feel compelled to repeat an action or task over and over again, or to control my environment almost meticulously, or to inject a sense of consistency into inconsistent things.

Why did I spend hours yesterday arranging my dvds by genre? I did it to feel a sense of relief, and to inject a sense of consistency into my world.

The collision of these two worlds (Bipolar vs. OCD) has led me to produce behavior that has been beyond ridiculous on occasion. How are both of these things within me, how are they managing to co-exist? And, is it somehow for the better? I can’t claim that I have managed to stop being inconsistent, but it might be beneficial having that other force present, kicking me in the butt every once in a while to get my attention.

Having a routine is the most helpful thing I can think of, and all the parts of me that relate to OCD push and push and push for routine.

Even so, is it terrible to admit that I’ve learned to rely on my own inconsistency?

If I don’t like someone when I meet them, I know all I have to do is meet them a few more times and I’ll generally have a much different opinion the next time around.

And as terrible as I feel at any given time, I always believe that going to sleep will wipe the slate clean, as often it does. I can rely on the idea that I’ll probably wake up the next day feeling quite different than I did at any given moment in the evening.

In times of great stress I have a 50/50 shot that Mega-Sarah will appear and somehow complete every necessary task in a fraction of the time they would have taken me to complete otherwise (not entirely unlike Mary Poppins).

Is this giving up?

Is this resignation to mental illness?

No.

It’s adaptation.