Sunday, May 4, 2008

Things I KNOW about "

As you know, I am Bipolar and suffer from Turrets. The Turrets I deal with fairly well. Roll the windows up now and then and I am good to go. But the Lows come out of no-where and sometimes at the strangest times. They infiltrate a great day and take you from a wonderful high to an instant Low. An example of my words here is this event today.
It was a picture perfect day today. The Sun was shining brightly on this 81 degree Sunday. I spent the morning writing and then when the afternoon began, I found myself outside working on a project in my garage. I was in heaven on earth and enjoying everything about the day. I had a friend at the house and she was outside watching me put a new wheel on a Radio Flyer Wagon. We were laughing and talking and my smiles were as wide as the ocean.
As I stepped out into the full sunlight, it hit me. That terrible Low that takes it all away without warning. No chance to think about it or divert it to another dimension in your mind. No time to process where you are going or where the thoughts might better be sent. What was a beautiful day was still beautiful but now... it was the enemy. How dare I sit and enjoy this day and smile so much! How dare I soak up the Suns rays when they should have been shared with a lady that wasn't here any longer. A beautiful lady that I still wondered if I had done everything i could have to keep her here longer on this earth. Fear and guilt rushed in all around me and I began to remember how much she loved the warmth of the Sun. I remembered how she would sit in her wheelchair and soak up the Sun as we laughed and talked.
Tears streamed down my face and I cried for the love of my life. Oh how i wanted her here with me to spend this glorious day with me. I got lower and lower and felt those all to familiar "ticks" that come with my lows. "Damn me anyways" I said aloud, to no one in particular. I felt my stomach fill with rumbles and my body start to shake inside as well as outside. I knew this would be a bad one.
Thoughts of my self worth and the purpose for my being here on earth became stronger. The tears were now heavy and my body was shaking more and more. I tried to think of other things but the Low was set into motion already. No way was I going to beat this one out. The thoughts were racing around so fast that I was not able to catch just One single thought and work it out. Sad thoughts and happy memories collided inside my head and my heart and I missed Sheila so badly and wished she were right there beside me, holding me, saying all the right things to bring me back to earth. The Low gripped me and I wondered if I really served any purpose here now that Sheila was in heaven and no longer needed me to help her.
Then, as suddenly as it started... it stopped. I was looking at the beautiful day and telling her it was wonderful of her and God to shine heavens best on me. I told her I thought we should go fishing and enjoy the rest of the day together. At the lake I smiled and soaked in the Suns rays again. I caught and kept what was going to be dinner later. I thought about tomorrow and decided I would get out early and do more fishing and see what the day brought to me.
On the way home, again without warning or provocation, I was in tears again.Still worn out from the last session at the garage again, my emotions and physical being felt like I had been horse whipped. Nothing to do with Sheila this time at all. I was thinking of my books and my CD. I wondered if they were good at all as they had not hit the #1 best seller list yet and had a long way to go to do so. I chastised myself for thinking myself anything more than some guy that wrote a book or four and someone decided to publish them. I was angry at myself for thinking I was going to ever be more than what I was now. A 49 year old man that was so deeply bipolar that he couldn't even be in an office of people without freaking. I had to be with someone that was my "Safe Place" just to go to the store sometimes. Just in case this "stuff" hit me in the store and I had to get out of there. I was crying and angry and feeling completely disconnected from the entire world around me. I didn't belong here at all. I was a man out of place with the rest of the people that existed around me. I felt exhausted and lost and cursed the disorder and this "stupid" head of mine. Why couldn't I even have a half of a day that wasn't a roller coaster ride.
And then I said silently to myself... "this IS your world, buddy. This is your day and Lows and highs are part of it, everyday." This is how I live every day and what having Lows and Highs sometimes only minutes apart is like. They wear a body down and yet I sleep only 2 to 3 hours a day because my mind NEVER shuts down. As I walked into the house with fish basket in hand, I murmured aloud "This is it Buddy! Welcome to the wonderful world of being Bipolar. Damn, it wears me out." I laughed and smiled at my own self and enjoyed a fabulous meal of fresh fish.
What do "I" know about the Lows that come with this disorder? I know they are always there. I know they are worse after a great High. I know they kicked my butt sometimes and leave me to worn out to think. I know that being Too worn out to think is NOT a bad thing sometimes. I know some will read this and think "Wow, he's not right in the head. Some will think this looks like a fiction novel. Believe me, it doesn't get any more REAL than this. I do NOT recommend the ride to anyone! But should you find yourself tossed on to the ride without warning, well it is like the weather. Hold on if you don't like the weather, it will change in a minute.
Welcome to My World. Love me, smile or cry with me, walk away because it is too complex, but never feel sorry or pity me. With this illness comes the biggest heart, the best writing mind and the most numerous blessings from the people that love you.
Always, Darrel



I did not know.

I do know that you speak the truth about the disease. I have Major Depressive Disorder. At least it has a cover-up name: clinical depression. That doesn't sound so bad and the average Joe on the street thinks that you're just a bit wacky, not severely so. If they only knew. Fortunately, I live in the day and age of Zoloft and it works for me. I thank God for that. I'm not familiar enough with bi-polar medications to discuss their pros/cons or even if it's possible to get by without them, but I do know that we do the best we can. And, God love us, we're pretty darn creative and compassionate!

I appreciate your openess about this, Darrel. You have tread where most others would not dare to take one step!

Darrel said...

Thankyou for taking time to read this Susan. I am glad that you have found a medication that works well for you. That is the ticket I think but many like myself have not. Many of the medications prescribed for others have a ver "unsafe" effect on severe bipolars like myself. They excelerate as well a drive the thoughts of suicide to a very highly dangerous level.
As for our level of creativity and compassion, oh yessss, why do people think we are such imaginative and good writers? Smilessss. If there is to be a plus found to these disorders, that is for certain one. And we love and reach out with a passion I think unmatched by the "average" Joe...or Jill as may be more politically correct. ;)
Thank you again for reading this. I mens so much to me. Always, Darrel

KB said...

Sweet D, I too understand about the highs and lows (not as extreme as you write about here). But sweetie this is a part of who you are and we all love you just as you are.


Unknown said...

Well, I must say I concur with your other readers. We love you as you are. It is what makes you, you. I too have clinical depression adn I control it with Zoloft. Not really liking it, but it is better than wanting to end it all. Love,

Darrel said...

and as simply as i can put this... It is because of those that surround me, those that read my words and still stay, those that understand that this is the best and the worst of me, but truly me, that cause me to stay. Thank you for caring... thank you for having the heart to love me the way i am. Thank you mostly for being EXACTKY who you are. You keep me grounded and give me confidence and courage to face tomorrow. Always, Darrel

Darrel said...

for some, the meds are exactly what they need and I am thankful that there ARE meds to help so many people through what might otherwise be unhelpable lows that might destroy them. You are a blessing and I am the "blessed." Thank you from my heart and soul. Always I am, Darrel..........

Magdalen Islands said...

Because of you Darrel and all that you have said in the past, there is something, somewhere in the back of my mind that is just beginning to understand that this bipolar is something that is real. I feel different about the word then I did when I first heard the term last year. It is not the same understanding now. Last year, I understood the dictionary meaning of the term. Now I'm beginning to see that the dictionary doesn't come close to the emotional meaning of the word. I know I'm not making much sense, but that is because I don't have the same highs and lows. so I don't actually feel what it is that you feel.

Darrel said...

it makes perfect sense to me. Hugsss you... I am so happy that I may have helped you understand a little more. You could not be more right in that tyhe dictionary can only place a very small amount of what bipolar really is. There are different levels and because everyones character and make up is so unique so are the events that occur with the disorder in everyone. there is no way to "define" something so abstract but I do hope I have somehow helped define what bipolar really is for you. Hugs again to you for what you have written. It has touched me very deeply, Wynn. Always I am, Darrel

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