I woke up this morning feeling good and rested. Then I realized my alarm hadn’t gone off because my cell-phone had died (while charging) and I was late for work. Then, my first order of the day was to plug an Ethernet cable for someone who didn’t know how to. (It’s a nice person, I don’t hold a grudge. Not their fault for not being Tech-savvy). But still, you can imagine how the rest of the day went.
All of this bad luck aside, I did come to an important conclusion. I’ve kind of figured out my cycle.
I think I can mostly situate myself on my personal scale and know what’s to come in the next few days. I didn’t use to be predictable, and maybe it won’t last very long either. I think that even if lithium doesn’t stop the depressions or the hypomania it helps me see through it and remember who I really am.
So I think my cycle lasts between 1 and 2 weeks and goes like this:
Phase 1: HAPPY. Everything is great. Life is awesome. I can do everything. MUST MAKE PLANS.
Phase 1.5: Happy, enjoying my time. Stuff becomes a little dull or irritating but it’s okay.
Phase 2: GET OFF OF MY FACE. I will blow up this whole planet. I want out. Of what? How the hell should I know?!?
Phase 3: I’m angry. And I’m tired. More like exhausted. Please go away. I want to be alone and maybe sob a little.
Phase 3.5: I suck. I can’t do anything right. I’ll always be like this and I don’t deserve anyone or anything. I want to die. I can’t take this anymore.
Of course that’s just a scale, but I think it’s pretty accurate. Also, events/news/situations can come in and completely change it of course. But I think knowing my base cycling can help me. Maybe I won’t do certain things or go to certain events when I know where I am or will be in the next few days. It might help me prevent overreactions as well. Also, when I was writing it down, I realized that I don’t have a space for “normal” state. Maybe that’s why I feel so alienated with the whole concept of being normal “in between” episodes. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cycling like that for so long, normal actually doesn’t exist for me. To be honest, I also feel like I’ve lost something. I’ve lost the mysterious in one way. I guess it probably sounds weird or crazy -both of which describe me well. It’s for the greater good though, right?
What about you guys? Have you figured out your cycle, or do you even have one? How did you feel when you figured it out or how do you feel about not having one?
Having bipolar II, means I’m more often languishing in the lows of depression, than frolicking in the magnificence of mania. Over time, I have learned to adopt certain strange strategies in order to avoid becoming marooned in the sea of sadness. It’s no quick and easy fix, mind you. It takes some work and a level of commitment to pull it off. But here’s what works for me:
I make pacts with myself. Yes I know it sounds childish. And in your mind’s eye you’re probably expecting us to meet in the treehouse at dawn, wearing our father’s old army camoflague, cupping our hands to mimic the owl-call that is the secret password. Hoohoo hoohoooo Hoohoo hoohoooo.
Well, put the cammo gear away, this is far simpler. All I do is I make a pact with myself. I make stipulations, I bargain and negotiate to get the job done, I…
We had a sword war today! I just love those events to bits. At the end of the day when I get home I actually feel like I’ve accomplished something. Granted, the only thing I’ve actually accomplished is make a fool of myself and die a couple times, and maybe get a sunburn. But it’s so much fun. We’re doing them every week now so I’m pretty sure all of my Sundays are set for the entire season. Go forth soldier! Protect the King!
M was there. I thought I’d find it harder to see her since Friday was like a punch in the gut. It turns out it wasn’t that bad. We spoke a tiny bit and then she pretty much ignored me and talked with a friend. Oh she played too but there the ignoring was kind of mutual. I think we both don’t know what we’re suppose to do with ourselves in the presence of the other. I guess some things can only heal with time.
Unfortunately, V couldn’t make it. She said she’ll definitely come next week though! That’s exciting. I mean she seems like she really wants to come and is interested in seeing me again? Friday when we departed she said “We should definitely do something again.” Not the “Yeah let’s do something!” that doesn’t mean anything that we all blurt out. But now I have to be patient and not overwhelm her with invites until then. Sometimes my bipolar brain forgets that time for other people doesn’t flow the same way it flows for me, and that 1 day is not a million years. I have a very poor notion of time. I also have a very poor notion of knowing when girls are interested in me. For some reason I can tell if a guy is interested from a mile away, but when it comes to women, my intelligence drops to the level of a pigeon. Ah women. They make me all funny inside. I think I’ll force myself to go slow and enjoy the ride this time. So, when it turns out that she’s the straightest woman on the planet and is married and pregnant, it won’t feel like I’m loosing something and I’ll have had fun in the meantime.
On a completely unrelated note, I went to the Old Port with a good friend after. We just sat in the grass, talked and ate. I’ve gotten her hooked on Rosette de Lyon, so we had Rosette, smoked Gouda cheese and bread. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a heavenly combination. Rosette de Lyon is some sort of porc sausage, specialty of Lyon. And NO it is NOT salami or pepperoni. It’s horrible on a pizza but it’s amazing in a sandwich or on its own with cheese. If you live in North America, don’t get the pre-packaged ones, they’re nasty and way too salty. You have to buy it at the counter and have it cut – and then you taste heaven and never go back. Anyways, I’m glad summer is there because this little snack à la Française was just perfect with the birds and the wind.
En prime, I joined the song that I’ve been listening to on repeat today. It reflects well how I was feeling.
It’s the week-end! Or rather: IT’S THE WEEK-END YOU ALL CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??
You’ve guessed it, I’m feeling better. It often happens, after I hit my lowest I get up the next day like a new person. Like surviving the horrible suicide temptation granted me access to unknown amounts of energy (aka hypomania). Don’t worry I’m not trowing myself out there out of happiness.
But that was not the point of this post. Yesterday was my friend’s birthday party. My ex was there. We’ll call her M because I don’t like referring to her as “My ex” all the time. For some reason, before going, I had the need to make myself look good (read: a tiny bit more presentable than usual). I even put gel in my hair cause it looks cool! And I know I did that for her. Because I was thinking about her the whole time. Not that I want to go back with her. I really don’t. I realized I wasn’t particularly well with how our relationship was and if we went back it would be the same. We just live in worlds that are way too separate. Yet I wanted to impress her. Not even to hurt her, or make her jealous. Just to feel good I guess. Don’t ask me why.
But then I was there, waiting with friends, being attractive and all and she arrived. In her nice work outfit, her make-up and her perfect smile. And the smile was directed to me. All shiny and beautiful. That second, I felt like I’d just lost a battle against a professional wrestler. I don’t know what my face showed but I think she saw something in it because she looked unsure after. To be honest, I barely looked at her, or spoke to her, for the rest of the evening. I can speak to her online no problem. But seeing her, it’s like it’s too real. I don’t even feel the urge to kiss her or hug her! I just want to disappear in the ground because she’s perfect, and I’m not, and she’s obviously over me.
But then there was this other girl. We’ll call her V. She was sitting in front of me at the restaurant. She was funny and cute and we had fun making jokes and all. It wasn’t even awkward (you know like us computer scientist can be when meeting strangers… or friends). We then decided that 4 of us would go to a gaming bar (board games + video games + fun). M wasn’t part of the group, thankfully because I would have remained silent the entire time. Also, it turns out people can get angry when playing Settlers of Catane!! But it’s almost okay because V and I just had that look where we understood each other (or I think we did?) whenever my other friend would get mad. Anyways I know I was hypomanic and somehow the people of this planet gain 5 points in attractiveness when I’m in that state, but I kinda have a little crush on her now. Nothing big! But I kinda like her. You know. Like I can’t make sentences?
The point is, M was there, and even though I felt horrible, I still got a crush on another girl. For me that was a big moment. I may not be over M (will I ever? I really fell deeply for her) but I’m getting there. It means maybe at some point I’ll be able to envision some kind of relationship with someone else. Maybe I didn’t get broken so bad I can’t ever want to be with anyone again. That’s good! I want to have crushes and have hope. It’s so much more fun than hating couples in the street!
I don’t know if V is even interested in women, let alone me. I’m not really looking to start anything right now anyways, but she’d make a good friend. But who knows? Life always brings us surprises when we think all is lost.
What was the moment that made you guys realize you were moving on? Let me know in the comments below!
Good luck to you all in your love/hate filled moments.
I try and keep a positive tone in most of what I do. I find that it keeps me hoping and it also prevents me from driving everyone around me crazy. I have accepted long ago that my emotions and my crazy thoughts are too much to handle for other people. How could they not? I live with them and they’re too much for me. Sometimes, I need those horrors out there though. By keeping them inside I end up believing in them.
Often I wonder how I’m still alive today. I spend at least 30% of my time trying to convince myself not to give up. That’s a lot of time and energy. I’ve been like that for over 10 years now and I know it’s not going away anytime soon. But some days, it becomes too hard. Some days, everything is too much and I’m not sure willpower alone can keep me going. On days like this, I need to talk. I usually talk to people but lately I’ve been rather lonely. I mean I have friends but I can’t bother them with my irrationality anymore. And I currently have no doctor either (bless the Quebec health system and its wonderful ways) so I can’t just call and book an appointment.
So I’ve decided to talk here. After all, I created this blog to help me deal with the ways of my brain, so I should use it! Now if you don’t feel comfortable reading about suicidal ideation or if the subject is a trigger for you I advise you stop reading here. As much as I need to be writing about it I don’t want to make anyone else feel horrible right now – one is already too much.
When I feel good it’s almost like I forget what it’s like to be depressed. In a way it’s good, because it lets me breathe a bit and enjoy life when I can. But when I feel bad, it’s like I’m a completely different person. And it disturbs me. I get so exhausted, but I can’t get proper sleep, and it makes me incredibly annoyed. It’s like all the little things I usually have patience for now hold great importance. Everything is wrong, and it’s inherently my fault because I’m the one thinking it. And my brain is all foggy and encased in some sort of material that’s applying pressure on it. My head hurts from that foreign entity trying to force itself upon me. No matter what I do, it stays there and grows stronger. And I fight back, as much as I can, with the tools I learned to use.
I take walks, I make jokes, I think about all of those great things I did. I remember the travels, the moments spent with friends. Everything I’ve got going for me. I listen to music and I dance. And it works. Because those things I know and I believe. I know that my family loves me because of everything they’ve done for me. It took me a lot to be remember that though. As a teenager, when I was going into depression I had to keep repeating to myself over and over again “It’s not true. It’s your brain tricking you. Your family loves you. People in the street do not hate you. No one looks at you weird. It’s all your imagination.” It took years but it finally worked. I don’t think that random strangers in the street hate me anymore. I don’t believe that I’m worthless, and have no friends. But my real problems, the one that are present no matter what state I’m in, they’re still there. And they appear so much worse when I’m depressed. I see no hope, no future because my financial situation can’t ever get better, after all, I’m going to get hypomanic and start spending like crazy again. I’m never going to get a stable job because I am not stable myself and I’m unreliable. I can do my best, but my best will never be as good as everyone else’s regular. I know inside that it’s not completely true. But all the fog is making it hard to distinguish the truth.
I’m not a religious person, and I don’t think humans have souls. But that thing that hurts inside of me, that thing that is screaming out in pain, it feels like a soul. I try to hug it tightly, to tell it not to worry. But I’m so tired… It’s going to get better… but it’s also going to get worse… Over and over and over. I think that’s the hardest part. Knowing that I’m stuck like this for the rest of my life. Forever having to battle highs and lows and spend all my energy trying to convince myself that all those thoughts are wrong and filter my emotions. I know that if one day I end my life, this is going to be the reason. I just can’t take the sickness anymore. It takes so much out of me, how can I survive more of it? I don’t want to die. I really wish I could live without all of that pain. But I can’t deal with this any longer. I don’t know where I get the strength to continue when I’m curled up in a corner screaming and crying. Probably from my friends and my family. I don’t want to let them down. We have so much stuff planned – I can’t just die on them like that. Just one more day. Everything will be better soon.
I’ve had a rough week. I’m doing my best to stay afloat. I really wanted to talk to my ex, just a little bit, to get reassured. But I can’t. She has other problems, real problems, to think about. Besides, I don’t think she ever really understood or felt comfortable with my mood swings. I don’t blame her, they’re terribly confusing, scary, and annoying.
It feels like the world has abandoned me. But I’ll keep doing my best. Tomorrow, I’ll go to work, and in the evening, I’ll celebrate my friend’s birthday. Saturday, I’ll help another friend store some of her stuff in the empty room. Sunday, I’ll go fight with foam weapons. And I’ll smile. I’ll pretend that everything is well because this is what I know. I’ll do my best to keep going. Because life is worth it. Even if right now I don’t believe it.
I feel a little bad because I disappeared for a while. I didn’t have the will/energy to write a post. I didn’t really have anything to write either so maybe it’s better I didn’t! So, summer is almost here! The grass is chirping and the birds are growing…!
I somehow managed to get a hip inflammation last week. Who knew that when you do something thinking “I will regret this”, you actually end up regretting it? Nothing to worry about though, it was just an air conditioner and a couple of stairs. I can tell you now… I will not learn from my mistake. I give you my word.
I’ve been very tired this week. Exhausted is more the word. It’s like no matter how much I sleep, or try to take things slow, I end up angry and tired and crying. It’s getting hard to deal with. Thankfully, I have the true love of my life to help me with this. The one that never leaves me – unless it has no more to give. Ahh Nutella. I could write a very cheesy and annoying love song about our relationship. It’s like a little sunshine on a rainy day, a little happiness in a dark world! … Hum. I think I’ve already told you I’m not completely sane right?
I turns out I didn’t have that much to say today either but I thought I’d write anyways. Some days I feel like putting words down help me chase away the terrible thoughts that walk around in my head.
Do you have tricks to make you feel better when the depression takes over? Do you talk to a friend, a family member, a doctor or do you try to go through it alone?