There is something about being in a better place in your life that makes you think long and hard. Maybe perhaps that isn’t with the majority, but with me, being able to think is one of the primary things I kind of pride myself on.
When I was in worse times, I didn’t think clearly, the lows and the highs were very severe. The consequences were that I did lots of damages in many parts of my life. To give a short example of this, I was at one time a very talented percussionist and composer of percussion music. Because of my illness, and not treating it properly, I decided to give it up. I don’t really have any regrets about giving up music, but I often think about the damage I did while I was at the heights of my musician days.
Even beyond that, I still did some serious damage while I was learning to become a fighting game player. I was still untreated for the majority of those years. Now that I am better recovery wise, I always think about those days.
One of the things that I know for a fact is that there is no cure for bipolar disorder. I will always cycle through mania, depression, and in between the two for as long as I live. I do take my medicine everyday, and I now am in therapy training in tools that will help me identify, cope, and stabilize my own moods in conjunction with my medication. Hell, even now, I actually started using Lumosity in an attempt to up my brain functions. So, I am doing all the right things in terms of my recovery.
Even then, I still have severe attention problems, and I still have eratic behavior. It really bothers me when I get called weird, because I know I can’t do anything about my behavior at times. I don’t mean any harm now by my eratic behavior. The morbid thoughts are very few and far between, and most of my eccentrism is playful and lighthearted. In the times where I would dissociate or I was at my worst, it stemed from things that happened to me sexually from when I was a child. Then the eratic behavior I experienced in manic states, especially with women would be aggressive, and sexual in nature. To compound things, I would have an extreme fear of men that would lead me in the past to act aggressively towards any homosexual male. I am not a homosexual myself, but in those times I would pretty much want to fight any male that would hit on me. Now, I just respectfully tell them that I am straight.
I wanted to describe these thngs to you because, as I improve in managing my illness and moods, I think about it, and today, I think I have a fear of literally opening up my heart to anyone. This fear manifests a lot in my outings. Part of the reason I feel this way is that even though I’m better at this, I feel like I can’t know when I will cycle and what will trigger the cycle not even 40% of the time yet. So to me, it means 60% of the time I don’t know whether I’m depressed, manic, or in between. It takes me now about a day to process and adjust to a cycle and identify the trigger to it. For example, I cycled from mania to depression on Tuesday, shortly after I wrote the last entry and published it. It was because of a looming feeling of loneliness that perhaps accumilated because of winter. To compesate, I try and reach out to people. Then the problem I just mentioned arrives. If I am not clear about my thoughts, or in addition, my attention gets diverted, I lose the clarity in them, and the message I want to convey gets tainted. You can even see it in my past entries. If I get distracted, I tend to stroll off topic, and while eventually I get back on topic, it sometimes takes away from the message I really want to send.
In friendships, I feel so distant because of this. I can dance most people’s socks off and meet people through it. I can post up a clip of a combo on my YouTube channel and gain friends through that. I can even write my fragmented thoughts on this blog while spreading all the awareness in the world about the world of mental health and gain following through that. But what is the point, if my feelings can’t get through at some point to those people? In this phase of my life, as I’m heavily involved in the betterment of my own life, I am also wanting to leave anything I do better than it was to the best of my ability, and I know to do that, people will have to see how serious I am, and what moves my heart.
I will not lie however. The other half of my fear of really opening my heart to others in many ways stems from being afraid of my own illness itself. To be honest, I’m afraid of the damage potential that I can do. If I fail at not managing myself properly, I could potentially hurt a ton of people in the process. It has happened in the past. I didn’t treat my illness properly, and people saw me differently, and eventually went away from me. So, because of that fear, today, I keep my distance. I do have friends, a great deal of them one would say, but I don’t open all the way up. I guess I get scared because of those two things.
My therapist says that I need to accept that this illness is a part of me at some point. That way, it will help me to explain it to peers, and anyone else I come across. I guess what she is getting at is to become one with it, and treat it like a physical one. Maybe if I keep on my treatment plan, I can accept it. I guess right now, I’m just really scared to open up now, but I can’t keep being scared at the end of the day. Perhaps, it would be helpful if I knew who I could turn to other than my care providers. A know fact about me is that 85% of my friends are significantly younger than I am. That shouldn’t matter, but in a way, it kind of does. While I’m at a point in my life where I’m rebuilding my brand, looking for outlets to better myself and the endeavors that I partake in, and improve my treatment plan, I can safely say that the majority of those people only turn to me for fun. Honestly, this isn’t to say that there aren’t people that can be there for me, or that it is wrong to think that way of me. After all, when it comes to nightlife, I usually plan my weekends during the early week and know what is going on. What I’m getting at though, is because of their youth, it makes it even harder to open up to them in the terms of my thoughts, and that’s because of the fear of my illness that I have, and a warped thought in my mind that the people that would want to be there for me really are not ready for the “monster” I see myself as because of my illness, and thus, I don’t really want to taint their lives on my account, because I have done such in the past.
So there you have it. This may very well be the most concise and to the point entry I have ever written in my 5 and a half years of recording my thoughts when being bipolar. I know that in time, I will come to accept this illness, and make it a part of me. In this juncture, i have to. Otherwise, any progress i have made will start to manifest to regression, and then I could possibly die by my own hand due to that. I think anyone with this illness struggles with this very dilemma like I am right now, but for the most part, there is always something, whether it be children, a spouse, a family member, etc, that motivates you become one with your thoughts and be able to take control of them. I guess right now, the answer maybe still blurry for me, so the best thing I can do is to keep grinding. Perhaps one of you can comment and share some insight, or if you are reading this from seeing the link pop up on your Facebook or Twitter news feed, give me some insight on this problem. I guess this is my way of saying that, I’m lost, and I need some guidance.