I think I’m a far stronger and more capable person now than I’ve ever been. I sometimes feel like I can withstand anything and I’m not a hysterical mess who falls apart at the drop of a hat. I do deal with this, I don’t idle along on the path of self destruction. But…
Ah, whining! Hello there.
I want to stop taking my medication. I don’t know how I’d ever learn to join the mortal world in natural sleep but I feel (or don’t, as it happens) that I’m anaesthetising myself. I hardly even argue anymore. I used to argue all the time. I wonder if I am becoming one of those repressed housewives, whose hate or hurt or any antisocial emotion only comes out after a bottle of gin and the loosening of the tongue with valium, to a dead sleep and regretful waking.
So many people close to me, who love me and have seen me go mad, would credit my progress to medication. I am more even now, less insane. I don’t self harm, I haven’t wondered through the streets thinking I was being stalked by Danny John Jules in ages. I still experience the bleak depressions and my self awareness tips into ridiculous and strangulating self analysis.
I wonder if I feel that I am losing myself due to the immense stresses of recently, or if I want to abandon responsibility and drift into wholly natural madnesses. I always do the responsible thing. It might just be because recently I had to make a gigantic decision that was based on having this fucking illness. The sense that it is not fair. I’m not singing the virtues of mania or mental illness. I wish violently that it was not the cause of absolutely any single part of me, because that is not fair because the treatment means sacrificing parts of myself, and a lack of treatment means I will probably destroy my life or die, like I was heading for anyway.
I feel like I am less vivid than I was. Less interesting, less, for want of a better word, intense. I miss the invincibility, the confidence and the energy of hypomania. People say I am sweet, but I miss the vicious streak in me. Not hatefulness, but anger. What is wrong with being angry? With justified rage? I analyse everything to incoherency, where the end result is always the same: My Fault.
What has kept me on my medications, apart from placating people I love and the psychiatrist (and there is the question, the one I’d never think of anyone else answering, would never call anyone else this; am I weak? Have I submitted, given my life over to the all-famed “higher power”?), is the fear of hospitals and the terror of the psychotic abandonment of my teenage and early twenties years. The people who truly loved me look me in the eye and say I’m mad but they love me anyway; the others, they bring me to my knees with well aimed shame. I don’t want people to think I am crazy, when I’m not. Vicious, or cruel, or malicious in the slightest. It is repugnant to me.
And I know in my worse times, and even my best, I can be relentlessly self pitying.
I know that this is just a mood disorder. It’s just that. I am a different person than I would have been without it, but I haven’t changed as a person- not the fundamental person- because of the medication or whatever. Just some details. There are other things, like the BDD- and mania, or more specifically hypomania, gave me a relief from that. A security in my skin before the raging agitations told hold. A feeling of peace and of transcendence. Confidence.
If I am naturally mad (and I don’t mind being mad- I fear being crazy), then what is so wrong with that? I am furious I don’t have enough control over my moods to just live with it.
This is the manic depressive sonnet, really. Romantasising illness, forgetting the awfulness, the misery, confusion, agitation, psychosis, hideousness. However close to death and destruction our illnesses bring us, there is the lure of fire. Of wanting to be atop the spinning plates. It is not self destruction on my part, or even what will be will be; I am not someone who extols the virtue of rightness just because of what is natural. Mental disorder is unnatural in a sense because it is a deviation, or at least seems to be, from the proper brain chemistry. But it occured, and so it is.
But all these experiences, horrible and not, and feelings and moods, they were mine and I don’t feel that they are anymore. And I say this from the position of sadness and depression, where the lament of missing the madnesses is most resonating.
I am a mercurial person, I always will be. But sometimes it just feels wrong to me that I take pills that mess with my brain, that do nothing for depression. The diagnosis is a kick in the balls anyway but it was especially shitty to me to be diagnosed with bipolar I. They throw everything at mania, and it was the severe manias that were the most life destroying for me. But nothing for depression. There is nothing I can take and often nothing I feel I can do. And wonder if I will die without really living anyway. If I’m going to die anyway why not be a harlequin atop my spinning plates.
Recovery, or the idea of it, that mirage, is equilibrium and I can’t find it. Sand in my mouth, over and over again. The medication has just left me as someone prone to depression who cannot form a sentence sometimes and who cannot recall a good portion of her life (although mania and depression eroded my memory, too). My hands shake, I sleep, I have horrible dreams, my thoughts are in disarray. I have become accustomed to thinking in pathology- is it pathology, all of it? And a lot of my creative energy is focused on… this. Not the blog. But the thinking. And the trying to figure out a way to live with it, and to live without it. And always wondering if I’ve just been left to be depressed for the rest of my life.
I hated myself sometimes for being the reckless psychotic madwoman. I don’t want to live without consequence, it’s not that. But I rarely cry anymore, and I even miss crying. I liked the fact that I was impulsive, for better or worse. I loved more intensely. I felt things more intensely. And all the beauty of the world and the exquisite delights of love and the wonderfulness of the sense of touch, the night air and muddied red lights, sirens and skin are still fascinating. As dull and inert as I have felt, and as much as I’ve fantasised about kicking the chair from beneath me, or been far gone enough to not understand what is real, and what is not, and having no hope of knowing, I still spy the moon and revel in the impossibility of our existence and the one million little things that happened to make us who we are. The moods can drain the colour from the world but it is the wrong way round; I am the grey one, the world is in colour, and I do not feel a part of it, and know I am loved, but have no understanding why, or even real belief in it anymore. And I find it hard to truly regret anything, and end up regretting the one big thing, that I am who I am, and wonder if I can even really carry on living with myself because of it.
Sometimes, I just crave the freedom to go mad. I wish it just didn’t hurt people when I did. I wish I could be one of those types of brilliant mad people- the oft cited, yet always less mad than the people we know, the “a little bit mad”, acceptably mad ones. Eccentrics, they’d call them. I wish I could have a dial in me that I could set to “stop” when I needed to, naturally, not just “stop”, full stop.
It is crap wondering if you’ll have to be on medication for something you thought was part of your personality for the probable rest of your life when you’re twenty three. I don’t feel like I can win either way.
Here lies Seaneen’s, “I want to throw my medication into the Thames” incoherant rants, number 33. This time I’m wondering if I should do it slowly, give it a go and see what happens.
Filed under: Bipolar Disorder