~What Does A Bipolar Manic Episode Feel Like~Bipolar Mania~

Ok. I’m gonna take you on a tour to try and experience what mania feels like. I’m writing about my traits mostly, and a few small stories along the way with added visual effects. So come on in…..

IMG_2057So What does a manic episode feel like? Lets begin. The fun part:
(if there is such a thing) it’s like your on cocaine. So if you’ve ever done coke then that’s a good platform to grasp exactly how the early stages of mania feels like for me. Ten feet tall & bullet proof.

IMG_2058But what’s is the catalyst? For me
It starts subtly, but there is always a trigger. My trigger is extreme external  stress from specific conditions around me. So far this is what ignites the mania.

IMG_2059This stress will then manifest itself in Creative ways. First my interest in music increases. So much so that every song is speaking to me and was most likely written for me, and has special meaning that I’m obviously the only one able to receive the special message, the only one able to hear the encrypted meaning. I’ll think of a song I want to hear, I’ll shuffle my entire list of songs on my iPhone(740 songs) and about 9 times out of 10 the song I wanted to hear will be selected . “Wow that’s a connection” I’ll think. So now the universe is speaking to me through the songs as they play.

IMG_2060Next I’ll begin to have a pattern to my speech. Not only will I begin to speak faster but I’ll speak in riddles, rhymes and beats. I become the Dr Seuss of bipolar rhyming. And every word is profound and perfect. Why? “But of course” because its coming from me. I think to myself “it’s the nuggets of wisdom that fall from my mind, it’s the words that escape you that somehow I find” kinda stuff.

IMG_2061Then my sense of good judgement starts to breakdown and fail me. I’ll spend money on stuff that I normally would never do under sound mind. 

IMG_2062Then I continue to fall faster into the rabbit hole.

IMG_2063Finally numbers come into play. I’m a 0101 baby, born January 1st!  Alas I’m binary! And that ignites the magic around me. Things come to life and meaning can be found anywhere I look especially in numbers. Meaning to what? Meaning to life! How I can save the world! Wait I can’t even save myself.

IMG_2064
Then truthfully animals and insects begin to interact with me. Example honeybees flock to me. Yes this is for real, as well as wasps. Here is a photo of the one wasp that followed me back to my hotel room for my weekend stay in Tampa(by myself)  the wasp just chilled.
I put it back outside later. Now I’m the queen of the bees! Or at least for the time being this seems to be the case.
IMG_2065So I’m in Tampa(alone)Mania full swing. What’s next you say?
Next lets take life on a dangerous dare! I get into my car, decide at 7:00 am to go back home 2 hours away. But I’m gonna make it there in 1 hour & 15 minutes. Why? Well I can drive with such precision and ease when I’m super human. So much so that speeds of 100 miles an hour is achievable  once my mind, my body and the road, adapt to my driving style. Which I proceed to drive the entire way home at speeds between 90 to 100 miles an hour. Can’t let that speedometer not be on my lucky number!! 0101 my birthday, the encrypted magical message. thinks to myself “Must keep achieving speed of 101! I can do it!” And I did. Thank God I’m alive to recall this to you, and that no one was killed
IMG_2066Oh I forgot to mention I’ve not really slept the last 48 hours. IMG_2067Then comes the low. I just want it all to stop. I literally wear myself out to a point that my mind plays tricks on me. I lose concept of time frames.  Hours turn into days, days into weeks it seems.
IMG_2068And then darkness… Sadness. The gaping whole of humanity’s injustice sucks me into deep despair. So much injustice in the world, it takes me to dark cold places. “What’s the point” I think , I may or may not plan to exit existence… Where is that exit door? It’s just one action away.
IMG_2069Then I sit down and look around and the destruction of my actions lay at my feet all around me, I dare not try to list them, for there are many. 
IMG_2070Slowly I begin to gather the pieces of my puzzle and try to put it together again.
IMG_2071After weeks sometimes months of  seclusion, I slowly allow myself to go experience the external environment outside my front door.
IMG_0720The awe of Gods creation inspires me, and my Son… My beautiful son. He does not deserve this, I fall to my knees and begin to pray.
IMG_2072Yes there is so much more,  more stories to tell,  jaw dropping accounts of my madness and how it unfolded differently each  time, and the different circumstances surrounding each event. But my Son.. He does not deserve this and neither do I. So I press onward .. And remember there is never a dull or bored moment. Ever! That’s what it feels like.
IMG_2073IMG_0266IMG_0256 
 
 
 
 
 

~The Truth About Mental Illness~How can you tell if you have it~

I recently wrote about truth and forgiveness, upon waking after a decent sleep I awoke inspired to write a few more bipolar thoughts. So after a bit of prayer, and thanksgiving I felt the need to expound upon other issues considered taboo, subjects of a certain nature, issues we skirt around that are easily ignored by some of the very people who are afflicted with this virus of the mind we call mental illness.

See often time’s conflict or malice, jealousy; hate can be just like mental illness… Grudges held, harbored with indifference, tormenting the mind, much like the virus we call mental illness.

Think of a computer being the mind, and often times our computers have a virus, which eats away at the data, causing the computer to run slowly maybe even shut down, in any case a virus sucks. No amount of defragmentation will remove the corrupt virus. Instead it needs a full diagnostic repair, a definitive diagnosis to best find the course of treatment.

However unlike our computers that we can easily replace the mind unfortunately cannot.

A virus whether it is of the physical, mental, or emotional kind, can often occur simultaneously. You know the kind where your sitting on a toilet diarrhea coming out one end, vomit out the other.

In my recent exchange on topics uncomfortable to discuss the subject of mental illness came up. I’ve had the opportunity since becoming a member of Quora/Wordpress community to be a spokesperson of sorts. You know the one, or in my case the go to Gal if a question you may want information on with regard to mental illness needs answering in a more discrete way, because like I stated above its a skirt around issue laden with stigma, shame and even remorse. I understand, its cool, you’re not ready to go to public or speak out yet about this virus of the mind. In fact I feel honored that others feel I am approachable with such sensitive issues of the mind.

I’ve exchanged some great and touching views, ideas, personal feelings on the topic of mental illness both in the question forums, and mostly via private messages.

I’ve strived to bring light to what I call “the forgotten subject” or plainly stated the ignored area of existence that each and every one of us encounter whether it be your personal illness, a spouse, relative or a friend or an undiagnosed one of your own.

Before I learned to fully embrace the diagnosis I received, I was among the majority of “those people” Who prefer to ignore, belittle, or just firmly state the phrase “it’s all in your head, snap out of it” and truly it is “all in our head, your head, my head’……..

Now hold on a minute, in no way am I saying you’re mentally ill necessarily.

No, I’m merely offering up dialogue to paint the picture in your mind of the message, my plight about a subject near and dear to me, one that has affected me personally due to both parents and their parents having some form of mental illness and my present diagnosis.

It’

Not For Reproduction~

 

 

~What Does It Feel Like To Have Bipolar Disorder~

What does it feel like?
Like any illness in general it sucks.
Why? There is no cure.

When I first received my diagnosis I stayed in denial for about 2 years.
I mean who wants that stigma right?
Both my parents suffered enough with the illness, so early on I swore “not me” “I’m not gonna get it
Majored in Psychology to gain a better understanding , while earning my degree , I had my first bout. It was after finishing statistics in psychology.

I’ve been up and down all my life. Looking back I most likely lived with it for the better half of my life. The traits that others found endearing, such as boundless energy, the life of the party, ideas that were radical, spontaneous, whimsical, rhyming, the abuse of drugs, Was all cool and fun.

As I got older those traits turned from endearing to dark, and bold, and brutal.
Believing yourself to be a superhuman of sorts is not realistic. But I did believe this. I also believed many other non truths while in mania.

The low, the depression, it was real bad. So much so that suicide was a close friend of mine that I romanced often. Attempted twice. Hospitalized against my will because of it. Even wrote a large essay about suicide and how it is actually courageous and in no way selfish. I rationalized this by turning the selfish element on to those who would miss me, as being the selfish ones. And truly I still see it that way.
The only reason anyone wants you around them, although some may claim love, it’s that they need you, they want you. In that alone arises their selfish desire of needing you to stay here. I realize that this is a polluted thought , but it rings true to me.

Bi polar disorder skews reality, it blurs the lines, and we don’t always use nor have the same filter as those not afflicted with this disease of the mind.

But I always remind those who will listen that some of the greatest minds were afflicted with this disorder this disease.
Here is a link to see for yourself the list of many famous minds:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…
In short it’s a slippery slope, full of wonderment,  energy, lows, depression, delusional thoughts. Sometime more creative, other times completely destructive. That’s what it’s like.

~The Struggle~

It’s always some struggle, because there is always some fight.
It’s always a struggle in the day and at night.

Egos at play
Words you can’t say
It makes it easy for our hearts to stray.

I place upon you,
You place upon me
We can never seem to just let it be.

Twisting and turning convoluted
In fashion.
Lacking control and abandoned compassion.

Brutal in truth
Standing your ground
Ominous atmosphere
Thick all around.

Minds that refrain
Lives in constant pain
Lives in the struggle
The never ending strain.

Pitiful characters are what comes to mind.
Knowing the struggle they constantly find.

Not For Reproduction~

~Can a Person With Bipolar Lead A Normal Healthy LIfe~

The Following paragraphs below were in response to a question Via Quora.com.
A women asked if there was any way someone with Bipolar Disorder could lead a healthy normal life (BTW What is Normal anyway?)The women had told me that her boyfriend was up and down, and a few times physically abusive  Below is my response. To her Question~
Yes, and no. It’s a double edged sword.
First it sounds to me like he is not managing his illness. The first step to mood stability is taking medication to level out the moods. This usually requires medication of the anticonvulsants family such as depakote, lamictal, topamax to name a few. Lithium is also awell known medication in regard to bipolar management.Next sleep is as important as meds. A proper sleep scheduleshould be in place. At least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Otherwise moods become unstable and a manic episode will follow. Next exercise is extremely important. This gets the brains neurons and transmitter firing the right type of dopamine through the brain the endorphins get released. At least 5 days a week he needs to get a good strong workout in for no less than 1 hour.I mentioned the above because what you are telling me does not match up to someone working a routine to keep bipolar disorder managed. Anyone that has experience with bipolar would say that the three mentioned above are of the utmost importance.

Then you have alcohol. A bipolar person simply shouldn’t drink at all. However I personally drink an occasional glass of wine without repercussions. Remember that the variables are vast in management of bipolar disorder and each person is unique in symptoms and treatment.

 

 

Next meditation and spirituality go a long way, I pray each day upon waking. I meditate later in the day. I can not stress enough of how God has helped me. I realize not all share my view in regard to God. But hey it’s all personal and more importantly what works for you. I will say that when I didn’t pray and have faith, I was not a happy camper, and all the meds in the world did not make a difference.

 

Today I’m on an extremely low dose of meds. I only take 250mg of Lamictal, and 100 mg of Trazadone, Xanax only when needed. My meds are mild in comparison to others I know. It was not always like this for me. But prayer and spirituality centered me. Changed me.

 

Now if any of the above is not being followed to the best of ones ability, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

 

To answer your question, yes it can be done. But the management is a hit and miss. One has to be diligent in order to stay with the realm of reality, and to thwart mood swings.

 

What you are explaining almost sounds like rapid cycling. Truly your spouse needs to manage the disorder more closely than I suspect he actually is.

 

Also no form of violence should be tolerated. Period. None. I can’t stress that enough. Every time you over look physical violence it will increase in severity each time after until a deathly outcome may be achieved. You don’t want that, no one does. But a person in mania or hypo mania does not use logic or have the filter in place that those who don’t suffer mental illness have. So I severely stress again no violence tolerated!

 

I highly recommend couples counseling. A temporary separation while his medical issues are worked out and managed better. Also you should accompany him to a few psychiatric visits. Why? Because your reality needs to be offered up to the doctor not just his in order to be treated properly.
Besides this is a team effort. Support helps.

 

Research and read. Here are two books I highly recommend. This one is like a handbook for bipolar people.

Next one is ~Madness~ Marya Hornbacher does a phenomenal job of giving the perspective of a manic bipolar person. I just recently finished this book.

I will tell you, both books will give great insight and ideas to you and your spouse.

Now the flip side. If he does not take treatment seriously, and does not manage his bipolar, then the answer to your question is a firm and loud NO!
You will not be able to lead any type of happy normal relationship and life unless steps are implemented and treatment is followed.

It took 3 and a half years to get my life right. Lots of loss and heartache along the way. Many relationships lost. Financial trouble.. Just huge mess. Even jail time.

If I can be of any further assistance please reach out to me via private message. I am more than willing to help in any way I can, and point you into the right directions.

Also get online and look for support groups in your area.

Good luck.

Asked to answer by

 

~~Endless Exits~

This gun is my friend, as you well see I kiss the end, of what is you and of me…..

It sits there like some offensive reminder ….. of exit door

But courage it takes

So I take that picture  then I quietly think…..
If I could ever get out from under the weight of this garbage
Maybe then I’d let the combustion out…
The steam roll off this sweltering pile of debri which is my life
Just my reflection in
The mirror is a contradiction
There is some sort of power in the weight of my words, it’s like it spills forth from a spring of knowledge of some unknown source from my lips these thoughts drip~my Catherism  speaks to me, I dare not protest

I realiz I could be like the rest however~
These words are a strange comfort to me, they will be waiting for me long after everyone else is gone.. They are solidly spoken.. Insight in times that are baffling yet enlightening~ and I kiss the tip of my gun all is real, not for fun~

~NJM~

 

 

 

 

 

 

~The Hardest Part Of Living With Mental Illness~

~The loss. Somewhere inside, you lose yourself. You can recall some images of what you thought you were. But parts of you, or at least to me it was, like losing me… Shattered all over the place… Gathering the pieces of me. And not being very effective at gathering the pieces, some lost forever.
 
Which brings the next point “doubt”.
Doubting that you are ill, not accepting an illness that does not have a cure yet. Not wanting the label, the stigma.
 
Stigma, exist even today if you open about mental illness to others, people begin to judge you, question your ability to fit neatly into a category that they’ve never experienced first hand. Humans like labels, and they like consistency. Mental illness is hardly ever consistent, and mostly unpredictable.
 Image
Further more some can see easily in others what they quickly dismiss in themselves. Sometimes it is them, and they’re living in the denial, and unless treated, and accepted, those very people who continue to deny they have a mental illness usually wind up dead. Why? Because anyone that has terminal illness will experience repercussions if not treated properly and in a timely fashion.
 
If you have cancer and you don’t go to chemo, and don’t do what you’ve been told, you will eventually die sooner than you would had you’d followed a treatment plan.
 
Diabetes, I tell my son almost weekly that like him being dependent upon insulin, that mommy too is dependent upon certain lifestyles changes and medication to keep my illness managed, just as he needs to check his blood sugar and take insulin to manage his illness. So it is with Mom. There it is again, that word” Loss “of freedom to live without medicine. To have to be dependant upon medicine in order to live effectively and to the best of our ability is binding to say the least.
 
Then there is the isolation that comes with the illness, at least for me it did. All of the crazy things I have done while manic have broken ties with people I once considered friends, are now gone forever. But had proper truths been applied in society and the medical profession at large would have educated society, then perhaps the ignorance of my supposed friends on the subject today, may still have been around. All though I feel it very unlikely, that the outcome would be much different. We were already growing apart. The illness only escalated it. Yet again “Loss”
 
 
 Lack of information and education is rarely used in the right way to inform. Truth is society’s no closer to unveiling how the medicine we (society) do take for mental illness works, society still continually sees it as weakness instead of the terminal illness it is.
 
Then there is a two edged sword due to the label or category for those who are deemed bipolar. Bipolar individuals (at least in my experience) tend to have a marine forecast in place. Some times we’re sunny and the ocean is calm fishing conditions optimal, sometimes rip currents, sometime high tides, then low tides, choppy conditions, rainy and worse even is hurricanes. That’s the easiest way to explain the way bipolar people feel, how quickly we can escalate if we are not treating our illness with the care and respect it demands of us. Then there are moments that anxiety clenches my chest and I get over whelmed with self doubt a gripping fear that my “mind” might let me down. Trust me, it’s a feeling I hope you never have to have. The ability to not trust oneself is an extreme loss.
 
All because of loss, the challenge I face now is turning my loss into the advantage and always press on. Because if there is nothing more to consider or believe. I believe in restoring…….. that which was lost can be restored.