bad days fail

It doesn’t stop, you realize: the vigilance, the surveillance of your day to day, from inside your private little chamber to out—out and about—it doesn’t stop. The mood disorder is not over even though it’s suppressed. The pills, even though you take them, are not it, not the final answer. It really doesn’t stop. You continue to be bipolar. You continue to travel all the way to extremes without moving a muscle.

It’s just better. Better than it was before the pills; better than before you knew what you were grappling with, that fighting shape all elbows, knees and knobby bits in the dark; better than bending back to wrestle with it and try to hold it’s indefiniteness away. The unknown is still capable of throwing you off. What you can’t see can hurt you. What you don’t see coming can unplug your senses from the battery of life. And what you still don’t know is when; what you never will know is why.

I spent 12 weeks working on something called integrated social rhythms therapy with a psychiatrist over  a year ago, trying to map out what triggers my emotions move like mercury in a candy thermometer. Where are the stresses that take you too far? What encounters make your mind start thinking not just outside the box, but as boxes inverted, set aside and upside down? I still don’t know, exactly, though I have some vague ideas better than what I started with. Too much catabolic stimulation is bad. As is too much gregarious stress. Too much manifested excitement. Too much worry. Too much life.

Even it all out to a reliable hum, a predictable wave-pattern, and you should be okay. Get everything down to a minimum and your chances of relapse, of “episodes” are diminished.

But I still have a life I’d like to be part of. I would still like to be present where the pulse of the world beats heavily in the human throng. My days must be full of something. I don’t know how to sit everything out. It’s hard enough to be slower. You can’t ask me to stand still.

Someone I used to work a couple of years ago committed suicide at the end of the summer. He was handsome. He was fit. He was at the beginning of his life’s success. He didn’t make it for whatever reason. I didn’t know him well, but I saw the 21st century aftermath: RIP messages scrawled on his Facebook wall. Well wishes. Well passing. Well over.

I was unplugged from the battery for a few days there; just there; just now. A week or so. Maybe a little more. I was erratic, did some funny things, and then I stopped. I stopped writing. I stopped waking up. I stopped moving without some monumental herculean shifts of willpower to place one foot in front of the other. I was bad again. When it happens you don’t know how long it’s come to stay, and after the time off, after not feeling it for a while, it’s very frightening indeed. You don’t know how long you can cope, or how long your regular (tidy, incremental, superbly reasoned) existence can bear your absence—because certainly you’re not an active participant with your surroundings when it happens, the cord dangling limp, cold prongs hanging diffused in open air; and a motor barely whirring; internal cogs scarcely moving the wheel. It’s scary enough when you don’t know if you’ll ever be attatched again—that you might not make it back. I’m reasonable enough to know that these things are cyclical, and that that is part of the disorder too; but it’s exhausting; and I still feel as if I’m relearning how to live.

Depression is all the ends. Mania is too many beginnings. In the middle are all these continuities that have to be maintained, re-found and re-connected after falling off, losing track.

It’s a fucking lot of work; even with the pills.

Sometimes you want to get off.


~ by A Mundi on November 18, 2009.

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