Topic I am Bi-Polar/Manic Depressive. (I suffer from a mental illness called Cyclothymia.)
09 Jun 2012 18:10
I am Bi-Polar/Manic Depressive. (I suffer from a mental illness called Cyclothymia.)
I have lived with this condition all my life. I was diagnosed in my early 20s, but the 'treatment' of the condition, in my case the use of the drug lithium, I found less than helpful. The drug did indeed stabilise my moods, but in doing so seemed to rob me of my very personality, turning me into a kind of zombie. On lithium, I found I lost my sense of humour, my creative drive, my joy in just being alive, my very sense of self. I currently take no meds for my illness.
Manic Depressives, for those unfamiliar with the illness, outwardly and often appear perfectly normal. However, the internal relationship of the Manic Depressive to his or her own being is frequently very deluding and destructive. One can be, in one's own mind, at one moment the most beautiful and brilliant creature who has ever lived. At other moments, one can be so self-hating and so much in emotional pain that the ending of one's own life seems only sensible.
Cyclothymia is a very serious mental condition. 20% of people who have it die from it. They kill themselves. Myself, I have never seriously attempted suicide, (I never actually made the cut...) yet the idea is never very far away when I am in a 'black' period. I try to ignore those voices, those thoughts.... BUT they are MY thoughts.... It's terribly difficult.
People like me very often use drugs and alcohol to attempt to 'calm the demons'. It works to a degree, in that self-medication CAN alleviate the symptoms, but of course that self-medication brings its own problems.
One of the strangest things about my mental illness is that it enables me to do things that feel I could NEVER do were I a 'normal' person. I am, by profession, a writer, a musician, an artist and an entertainer. I'm rather good. My anxiety, my uncertainty, my desire to be brilliant in the face of that, in SPITE of that, all come together to drive me to be very, very good at the things I attempt. Often I am. Sometimes I am not. The failure to be 'very, very good' when YOU KNOW you've fucked it up is crippling. (The demons inside your head giggle.... "We TOLD YOU SO...." they laugh.... "We TOLD you you were just a stupid cunt....)
Over many years, I've learned to live with my condition. Incidentally, no-one else ever has. A lover of women, I've never been married and indeed never had a relationship that's lasted over four years. I HAVE been loved, and I have loved. I have no children.
In the last seven months I've lost my job, my house, and the girl I loved married somebody else. (She's now happier then I have ever seen her.) As I feel my world crumbling around me, my illness, (like it EVER needed an excuse,) is fucking with me to a degree I've never really experienced. I'm not sleeping, I've lost a great deal of weight because I'm not eating, and I'm distrustful of my own thought processes and my own emotions. ("You COULD just end it," say the demons.....)
Well, I fucking won't just end it. I'm a fighter.
Why am I telling you lot this?
NOT because I need sympathy. I've been here a long time and I know some of you regard me. Too much to pity me, I hope. That honours me.
NOT because I need affirmation, I am who I am, and I live with that, as well as I can, every day. I do okay, mostly.
NOT because I expect an easy answer, a quick fix.... That doesn't exist.
Very simply, I am afraid. I am scared. I am lonely and isolated. This is a low.
This is all very emotionally honest of you Steph... But I still really, really, really hope I kick your ass in the competition.
Seriously though. I hope you find all the little things that make you happy so you can start to make your whole being happy again. Or at least not so scared.