Other than just shutting down the stimuli,
I don’t know how to shut down the stimuli.
So much coming in all at once,
And I liiiike it!
That’s what the white walls are for. But, I PREFER COLOR!
It’s like when you get a taste of something you like,
And you want more.
You don’t want the feeling to end,
Trying, usually in vain, to sustain it… Fleeting…
Pausing to consider the “friendly”, often proves problematic.
A sense of loss, for the eventual loss ensues.
Acknowledging that it won’t last forever,
Brings the “high” down to unsustainable.
Stimuli remains massive.
Eruptions of thoughts continue.
But I have to fight the mood shift.
And I plan to!!!
It’s hard to recapture the rapture…
I revisit her sometimes
I seek to be understood, and I seek to understand
Knowing judgments fly and misconceptions dominate without information
If I let you into my world will you let me into yours
Our realities, while different, are threads upon the same tapestry, sounds of the same chord
The notion of a place within one’s mind lacking typical restraint
A locale confined to a personal, unwelcomed realm of confusion, reality-estranged
Where night and day become blurred into one, and pure exhaustion takes over
Physically spent but mentally on fire, even if desired the mind won’t let sleep flow
Spinning thoughts, rational in their lack of true clarity, seeking to tell the world what I think I know
Motivated to impact change and impart the ideas and “wisdom” my mind has shown
Writing furiously to let the escaping thoughts anchor in a home before they are lost forever
Solutions to universal problems, goals and aspirations, remembrances which won’t sever
If only others could hear through my rapid speech, what it is I’m trying to say
I try to turn the noise off… try and stop the buzzing in my head, but it does not go away
All feelings of usual self-consciousness disappear and confidence supersedes
There exists a freedom I normally lack, and don’t we all want to be free?
Senses heightened… aromas are dramatically enhanced; feelings of touch intensify
If I could bottle up hypomania and utilize it at will, I’d know a constant high
But the “happy” episode is short-lived…
If I transition to full mania, it’s no longer fun or exciting; twisted staircases abound
I know not what will be around the corner; I walk with fear, not wanting to be found
The thoughts are no longer prophetic in their intrusive insistence
I’m more out of control now without much strength for resistance
Shadows lurk and come alive in my sight and it’s hard to know what is real
The internal dialogue is now frightening chatter, striking hostile deals
There is no escape while breathing, a message expounded by a cruel reality
Each moment is a fight for life, plagued with the torment of my own heart beat
I want to sleep now; it’s no longer fun to be awake
Yet upon my island of horrors I’m forced to sit with mere dreams of safe escape
I await the conclusion of another unharnessed roller coaster experience
The desire to just get high at this point is insidious
To make it stop, to pause the chaos enslaving me on the inside
Medications adjustments sometimes help, but time seems to be my only ally
I simply must survive…
When I think It’s over, and it actually is sometimes
I often slip into a depression which further seeks my demise
Maybe it’s just the trauma of the hallucinations and lack of substantial sleep
The regretful things I may have said and done when the mania had a full hold of me
But the crash is violent and hard to bare; I’d rather the darkness of maximized mania reign
I can’t get horizontal enough, or sufficiently sustain sleep to make the world go away
The thought of movement is paralyzing, covers provide the illusion of safety
Tears from red and swollen eyes fall relentlessly
Open, shut, awake or asleep… I cannot part company with me
Thoughts of ceasing to exist creep in, as in the product of a full grown manic seed
I hate the sorrow-filled darkness the most…
It’s the extremes I fight to push through, if I can just survive the hostile moments
The storm eventually clears and I again know the sunlight after the torment
I am fortunate to have people who love me offering protection and safety
I know without their strength the monster would devour me
I have never had thoughts of harming others; I plot no dangerous, harmful schemes
I live peaceably among the world, I have hopes and I have dreams
I did not ask for this illness, and wish it were not so
I accept it as part of me, and while sometimes hard, I know I’m not alone
My heart is filled with love, yet I’m stigmatized; others ignore my good
All I seek is to understand, and to be understood
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I (one) back when I was 26, in 2001. The struggle has been challenging- beginning with years of denial and non-compliance with treatment. I did not want the label and all the negative beliefs that went with it. I attempted suicide by overdose back in 2007 during a depressive episode… things were soooo dark- and darn that Coldplay!! LOL. My substance abuse didn’t help any either. The experience is not worthy of repeat- but it did lead me out of denial and into acceptance. Acceptance is one of the greatest gifts in this life, in any circumstance. I then became med-compliant and have been ever since. Meds may not be the answer for everyone- but for me it has made a huge difference.
I volunteered for an organization called NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for five years, until my illness, a move, and some others personal issues hindered my effectiveness. My whole perspective on mental illness and the people living with the various diagnoses changed. I met people living “normal” lives. Careers, families, interests, education- didn’t come across any of the “psycho” stereotypical, media enhanced, individuals at all. Are there a percentage of people with mental illness who go “off” and harm others- of course- add substance abuse in the mix and it’s higher. However, there are so many people who are not mentally ill that do the same. We don’t base our understanding on facts and accurate stats- we tend to base them on visibility and fear. Living with the stigma surrounding mental illness sucks- to be blunt. What is “normal” anyways? My first psych class in college, the professor asked everyone to write down on a piece of paper the definition of “normal” and pass them to the front. He then read each definition… and not ONE was the same!
People will always think what they want, typically based on a lack of information- sometimes through no fault of their own- we get bred a certain way without even knowing it half the time. I just wish people sought to understand in the same way they seek to be understood.
September 16, 2013
Photos, drawing, collage: by me
My mind is spinning spider webs in a dark and crowded room
While it is imprisoned and overtaken by a restless state of doom
My warrior protectors have disappeared and I’ve been left alone
As the world slithers around me, and I don’t feel safe in my home
The feelings within bring to the surface only negativity
Which, if my mind wasn’t racing so, I could extinguish with sleep
Yet I remain conscious while my world and body physically shake
And I’m forced, when confronted by “mysterious sounds and visuals”, to stay awake
I once was able to escape from this torture with a mixed cocktail created by me
But I find myself now adrift, upon a restless, wild and deep ocean- called early sobriety
Thoughts, thoughts bumping into each other as they race to a nonexistent finish
Around in circles my head goes, I just wish this incessant static would quit
I’ve never paid so much attention to the constant chatter in my head
I’ve never seen the paranoia, pain and fear with such clarity and depth
Will this battle within subside or is this my new normal
I question because it feels like, never to return, over the edge I will fall
Someone please promise me that all will be okay
Help me pour myself into God’s protective loving grace
I know He holds my hand even when I try to run
And that as long as I’m faithful, the world we will overcome
Hopelessness prevails though, despite my internal convictions
Forgive me Father; I know Your work in me is not yet done
I just can’t sit still and I’m dizzy from the thoughts swirling inside my head
Keep me intact, guiding me through this jungle, not with fear, but with faith instead