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I hate the comments when someone tries to encourage me to “overcome” or “silence” my crazy. It is always fun. I was diagnosed when many doctors still considered the diagnosis to be taboo and was a “label” they would try to avoid for another ten years. Now, I kid around with others that a Bipolar diagnosis is the “flavor of the month” since almost everyone who ends up in a psychiatry office now receives the diagnosis with a ton of pills. Many of these people have only mild symptoms and never understand the pure pain and difficulty which exist in the mind of an individual suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Furthermore, those who are just witnessing the manias and depressions always antagonize the people who struggle with the continual battle caused by the disease. It really annoys me when talking to someone, and they say I just need to learn to control the crazy. I want to scream: BIPOLAR IS A DISORDER!!! IT IS BEAUTY AND TORTURE, SOMETIMES IT CANNOT BE CONTROLLED!
Look Beyond the Person’s Crazy, Bipolar as a Sickness
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is helping others to understand the importance of looking beyond the “crazy.” When I am on my nutritional and vitamin program, this is the most sanity I will ever know or experience; however, one mistake and the rollercoaster of my mind begins. One of the most difficult things to do is to look back after a manic episode and recognize how you have harmed the people closest to you. People who you would never hurt for any reason in this world. Unfortunately, my most dangerous times, as with many who suffer from Bipolar 1 Disorder, is during the high of mania. In these moments, I am invincible, unbreakable, and seeking new adventure. It is also during these periods when I believe in the impossible, try to “embrace life” so I can soar, become reckless with finances, seek attention (both negative and positive), and start looking for a multitude of changes I will regret when sanity returns. Were this not enough, I get the excitement of the hallucinations, loss of time and focus, along with many other negative drawbacks. I am no longer me. My decisions are no longer my own. Instead, during these times, the insanity consumes me and controls me. If you have loved ones in your life suffering from Bipolar, then I beg you to look beyond the crazy. Remind yourself of the person they are when they are not in the clutches of madness.
Understanding the Mind Behind the Crazy, Mania, and Bipolar
But, hey, it is also when I am fun… Well, sort of ☹ I want to blare my music louder, drive faster, and so many other things. In the clutches of manias, I make choices against my very being. Can you imagine this life? If you live with Bipolar, then you know what I am talking about; but, if you are an outsider, this may sound a little off. Someone suffering from Bipolar disorder can operate on time existing in their mind alone. Perhaps they have sat down for just a minute, which is all that may appear to pass to them, but instead, they have “zoned out” for hours, even days. This is hard for many to grasp and even harder to understand when you are the one returning to reality. I have even become confrontational and violent because I could not understand the passage of time. The person being driven by the mind of mania cannot slow their thoughts, loses track of time, becomes easily angered, and (according to people in my past) embraces wild sexual actions. Did you partner cheat on you during a mania? This is unfortunately not uncommon. Many times, the sexual spike found in the fast-driven mind, is enhanced by physical contact. Maybe they have become outwardly violent. Again, a negative result. The mind is not in control, at least not in the sense that someone who lives outside the madness can ever understand.
If You Hate Hurting People, Why Do You Love the Mania Existing in Bipolar?
When you return from this trip, you know the crash is coming. The fear of the depression is perhaps the lifeboat many cling to as a form of encouragement to continue taking medications and doing everything necessary to maintain “sanity.” Sadly, this state of existence robs one of their creative juices many times. In a mania, a person’s love and passion (music, art, writing, etc.) become intensified and fueled. So many beautiful works have been composed by individuals who were experiencing a mania. These gifts, the creativity, is what calls to the mind of the person with Bipolar. During the worst parts of the episodes, they create magnificent work. People many times ask me if I dread the mania. My answer is two part, and not a simple yes or no. I love the ability to write, my drive, the amazing feeling sex me, speed, and the enhancement of the world around me. At the same time, I despise the insanity I know consumes me during these times. I have no understanding of truth and reality. As a result, I create alternate realities in my mind, and there is no telling who will suffer because of these moments. Furthermore, as on who is tortured by the curse of Schizophrenia, hallucinations, conversations with non-existent entities, and the continuous sensation of bugs crawling on my skin is a dangerous price to pay for the spike in my writing. Even worse, I will hurt the people I love because I lash out. I do not want to admit my weaknesses and difficulties and do everything necessary to push them away. If there were not enough, when it crashes, and it will, the depression will claim me quickly and completely. How can you not love the gift which gives you an incredible talent? At the same time, how can you live with the person you can never control?
A Basic Understanding of my Reasoning for Admitting my Struggles with Bipolar 1
My madness is not only my destruction but my saving grace. I wanted to take the chance to provide some insight into the life and mind I live in because of Bipolar 1. The ramblings on today’s posts were an insight into the reason I feel it necessary to share my experiences with natural medicine. I am currently coming out of the challenges from septicemia, so forgive me if it appears jumbled and unclear. I do not handle antibiotics well and may have been a little unfocused. In the posts ahead, I will be taking the time to delve deeply into the different vitamins I take, and the reason they play a significant role in assisting me to maintain a balanced life. Also, I will be sharing occasional videos to provide a little more background and understanding into who I am and offer glimpses into my mind as I speak since many times I can talk the words but not write them. May you find strength, courage, and passion for overcoming the challenges you may face with your struggles in the disorder. Or if you are the family member of someone suffering from Bipolar disorder, perhaps you can gain insight into understanding the challenges faced by the person you love who may seem unreachable at times.
One Final Thought
One of the most valuable tools in one’s arsenal is the willingness to read a variety of books. I have several I have read, and a few I have even advised others to read. When struggling to consider the challenge of attempting to maintain a balance when looking at Bipolar Disorder, and how to answer when someone asks if the manias are worth it, there is one quote which has always stuck out to me, and I would like to share that with you guys:
Many spiritual beliefs teach us that we pick the lives we’re born into, and many times I have played the scene in my head, of me a half a century ago ready to disembark the goldly planes as I negotiate with my cosmic broker the terms for my upcoming earthly existence. I have been singled out, he informs me. I can have all the worldly success of Diamond Jay Brady, he lets me know. The catch is I will be a Diamond Jim Brady (the pronto Donald Trump, heaven forbid). The other path, he tells me, leads to a deeper humanity and spirituality through a trail of a thousand sorrows.
I am clearly being honored. Precious few souls, I realize, are presented with such spectacular options. Nevertheless, I find myself trying to strike a better deal.
Can’t I have the spirituality and humanity, I ask, with the Diamond Jim success, without the sorrows? And the cosmic broker only laughs. He sees my hesitation, then presents me with another choice – of a successful but modest professional life, a family, secuirty, perhaps a light karmic obligation or two. He catches the wishful look in my eyes, of a simple dream denied by someone who has already made up his mind. He reaches over and hands me the thousand-sorrows documents, which I sign without reading.
~ Living with Depression and Bipolar Disorder, Pg. 88.
Understand, these are not my spiritual beliefs, but they provide an excellent example. I have read the books several times and always mention it to others who are looking for something to help understand Bipolar Disorder. This book reveals the various traits, challenges, and aspects of surviving with Bipolar Disorder. It provides excellent insight and can be a beacon in the dark. In case you want to click here to be directed to a listing to purchase the title.