Category Archives: Emotional Disorder

Explaining Manic Depression To My Loved Ones

EXPLAINING MANIC DEPRESSION TO MY LOVED ONES:

 

Manic Depression is very difficult to live with –both to suffer from it, or to be affected by it. It also comes with a stigma, which those with Manic Depression feel forced to wear like a shame they have to conceal. Had we been afflicted by a socially acceptable illness such as diabetes, we would simply say: I have diabetes. And everyone would become sympathetic, and ask what type we have and how we are coping and if there is anything they could do to help us? But we don’t have a PHYSICAL illness. We have a MENTAL illness, so we cannot just say: I have Manic Depression. Because then people are scared of us, not sympathetic towards us.

 

So, what does Manic Depression feel like?

 

Some of the time, it feels like nothing. My emotions are relatively neutral, and I can adjust to and function in the same environment as any ‘normal’ human being could.

 

But then at other times, it isn’t so neutral. It is a little happier. I want to say a bit more when in conversation, stay out a while longer when socialising and interact more openly when in crowds.

 

Until suddenly I am a LOT happier. I don’t want to keep quiet; I garrulously speak a mile a minute and want to mingle with every single person whose path I cross, engage everyone in frivolous small talk or deeply intimate heart-to-hearts…

 

I want to go EVERYWHERE

And do ALL OF THE THINGS

all of the time!

 

Everything I do is spontaneous, and very impetuous. I make impulsive decisions, I act without inhibition…

 

And make extravagant plans for events in the future.

 

I look great. I feel great. I do great. I probably am great!!

 

I am a well of strength to all of those around me, and spread a seemingly infinite source of love and encouragement to everyone that I encounter.

 

I have the most fantastic ideas, and enough stamina to start any project that I put my mind to…

 

Which works out fantastically, because I cannot sleep at night so I have PLENTY of time to finish any and everything, right…?

 

Until….

 

Until I slowly stop wanting to do anything. At all. Anywhere. For any reason.

 

I communicate much less, and replace long nights out with endless days in, confined alone in my bed.

 

My well of love and support has run dry…

 

And it feels like I have fallen into the bottom of it.

 

Everything is dark and cramped and constricting,

 

And I am mostly alone with my own thoughts

 

But I WANT to be this way.

 

Both mind and body are destroyed from my mental fall, and don’t want to get up, nor change out of these pajamas. They’ve accepted me as their own. And all I need right now is to be accepted.

 

Maybe I eat a whole cake at once
Maybe I eat nothing at all
Maybe I shower
I probably won’t

 

All I know is, I may have had the stamina to run a marathon last week,

And I may have made well-meaning plans –

 

BUT I CAN’T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ANY OF THAT TODAY.

 

And I might not be able to tomorrow, either.

 

In fact, I might not be able to for quite a while…

 

But eventually, I will be neutral again.

And then manic, too.

And depressed once more.

 

All that I ask… And all that we need…

 

Is that you try to understand. And if you cannot understand,

At the very least

 

LOVE US THROUGH IT ALL, ANYWAY ❤

On The Days That I Cannot Get Out Of Bed

On The Days That I Cannot Get Out Of Bed:

I’m cold inside, but my bed offers the illusion of warmth. It will not infuse my bones and my blood will remain reptilian: Jack Frost has not simply nipped at my nose. His touch has violated me, it has burrowed through my flesh and pulsed through my veins until I myself have become Ice.

On the days that I cannot get out of bed, food feels like a nemesis that my teeth are in no position to battle, my tongue too weary from words unsaid to even pretend. And so, in liquid states I ingest only -and barely -what I need to keep me alive… But I always wonder: what I am trying to stay alive for, anyway?

On the days that I cannot get out of bed, my closet remains untouched as each clean garment lays folded precisely in place -and I? I bask in the putrid glory of pyjamas that cling to my skin in a disgusting display of three-day-old sweat, their sleeves crusted with snot and my chest stained with the remnants of a meal that did not quite make it to my mouth.

On the days that I cannot get out of bed, my mouth seals itself in a strike of silence and I wonder if anyone knows how grateful they ought to be? For I haven’t cleansed myself in as long as I haven’t felt like myself. My  unwashed hair glistens as though it could provide a fast food restaurant with enough grease to operate the entire franchise, and my eyes are gummed with what the Sandman is working overtime to deliver -gifts that bring only nightmares, never dreams.

On the days that I cannot get out of bed, I wonder what it would feel like not to ever have to get up again? The blankets swathe me in their surety of safety from any external hardships, yet nothing can undo the pounding pessimism that wraps itself around my own internal being -strangling all that makes me who I am. I wonder if the inside of my coffin will be the comfortable haven my bed is not? I wonder how soon I will get there…

Lately my body has begun to fail me. It has derailed with my mind in a pitiful downward spiral that is the ever – present battle of Manic Depression -and today, I am more Depressed than Manic.
And so on this day, I cannot get out of bed.

I’m Anxious, Not An Addict

When I twizzle a lock of golden hair around my finger until the snap of strands sound, it isn’t because I am a giddy girl in the throes of flirtation. The notion of a partner has always been more terrifying to me than it has been enticing. I am anxious, not infatuated.

When I still my body and seek shadows as my environment becomes overpopulated, it isn’t because I perceive myself as being too good for the companionship of my peers. Burrowing myself in the retreat of solitude ceases the treacherous spinning of yarns in which my mind becomes knitted. I am anxious, not arrogant.

>When I disguise my ears beneath headphones and disappear into mind and melody, it isn’t because I believe what you are saying to be worthless. Music muffles the suspicion that your words are weapons aiming to tell me that I am less than worthy… The music serves to embellish the background of a life to which I do not feel I belong. I am anxious, not inconsiderate.

When I press a beverage to my lips with alarming frequency and gulp the contents as we share a meal together, it isn’t because I’ve been in urgent need of hydration. The opportunity to occupy my hands and excuse my silence is a subconscious motivator that drowns both tongue and words. I am anxious, not thirsty.

When I consume a disturbing amount of liquor as we sit amidst a gaggle of strangers, all erupting with their own characters that mesh into the night air, it isn’t because I want to be instantaneously inebriated. The liquor only serves to dissolve the walls in which I am enveloped. I am anxious, not an alcoholic.

When my teeth rip the skin from the beds of my fingers until they drip scarlet sheets, my habit is not a statement about my past. Tearing flesh from fingers and feet means I am easing my emotions NOW, not fixating on occurrences back THEN.  I am anxious, not time locked.

When I self-medicate in my spare time until I have merged the darkness of reality with the comfort of neutrality, it isn’t because I found a moment too mundane to endure. My vices aid in alleviating an internal battle so that I am less war and more warrior. I am anxious, not an addict.

When blackened universe speckled with stars form before my eyes as panic attacks and renders my lungs redundant, it isn’t because I want a spotlight shone on me. My heart pounding faster until it unites with my throat isn’t a contrived act in a bid for your attention.  I’m anxious, not desperate.

When you think you can analyse my every action, and neatly label me with a diagnosis so as to know which box to shove me in to and find the shelf to hide me on, know that I am more than my panic attacks and mental disturbances, more than my emotional dysregulation and paranoid withdrawal. I am anxious, not a statistic.

My reactions to this world should not warrant me a stranger riddled with a disease, to be avoided, to be ignored, to be viewed as lesser than and unfit for the reality of this life. I am anxious, not incompetent.

I am anxious, not ill.

I am ANXIOUS, not UNLOVABLE .

Skittles Taste Like Suicide

“My death will be the result of suicide.” Neither the weather nor my emotional state were particularly gloomy when this thought calmly made itself known to me last summer. It should have shocked me to my core, and yet it felt more like acknowledging the unavoidable than encountering the absurd. I was not enduring a bout of depression and my life circumstances weren’t troublesome, so this thought should not have had any grounds… And yet it did, and it does.

It’s an odd feeling, knowing that you have an inconsistent and untrustworthy emotional state. During some stages you find yourself a blissful, euphoric individual that is grateful for every scent, every sight, every situation, and at others you’re nothing but an empty void of an entity, wondering how the changing of seasons can be so colourful yet you yourself are nothing more than ebony stains and inky errors?

To those who haven’t dealt with emotional dysregulation, the very idea of suicide is seen as a selfish act; as if thinking a person should exist simply so that you do not suffer their loss isn’t selfish in itself. They cannot comprehend the severity of sadness, and think that “time will heal” and “you will get over this” are adequate pieces of advice. And perhaps yes, time will heal that particular wound and yes, that obstacle will be overcome but in the case of truly emotional time bombs it runs deeper than a surface problem –it’s a lifelong affliction that comfortably settles in the recesses of your mind with one definite promise: I WILL EMERGE AGAIN!

A scenario may be surmounted, but as life advances so too do emotions. At what point does a person ailed by recurring bouts of depression decide that the happiness they will acquaint themselves with once more is no longer sufficient to excuse the misery they are stifled by periodically? If you absolutely know that, even with medication to attempt adjusting your dysfunctional chemical imbalance, there will be another time when melancholy is the attire that you are donned in then how can you be blamed for deciding you no longer wish for the burden of providing the mannequin for the garb?

And so the thought of my demise did not frighten me that day, but rather felt like a truth I calmly accepted. Although I am certain at this very moment that I am enjoying the roller coaster of a life that I lead and have absolutely no intention of surrendering my existence at my own hands, I cannot guarantee the self that will succumb to a chemical decline will see fit to continue this charade in the future. If you do not experience the extremities of the highs and the lows of life, the inability to truly empathise will cause this concept to be viewed as an inexcusable act to you –and yet those who know, who truly KNOW, that sometimes time and tide are not enough to compensate for the ever-swinging emotional pendulum will not be plagued by the misguided fantasy of “if only”, for they will know that even if only the deceased had persisted, so too would the depression. Eventually, and inevitably, it always comes back.

May your atoms disperse and vibrate on a more positive frequency, my darling Skittles.