It’s official, the manic fairy has arrived and she has me all over the place. I knew yesterday that it was coming when I decided to start cutting bushes and doing yard work. She is here, carrying me from here to there. I was taking deep breaths all day, and sweating in 40 degree weather. It was a beautiful day yesterday and I was thrilled to have my sunroof open. I got so many responsible things done yesterday that it was definitely out of the norm. My best friend even called it as she drove by and saw me whacking the bushes faster than any landscaper on the planet.
I am a professional according to my manic fairy. I’ve been up since 2:30 this morning. I tried my hardest to get some sleep around 6am, but no such luck. With mania, comes insomnia but the positive is that I have no desire to sleep. I’m not tired at all this morning. If I could have, I would have started cleaning at 2:30am. My manic fairy has equal love for all but when I’m on a roll, my equal love can be sparse, especially when I’m cleaning like a meth head.
People ask me how I deal with the highs and lows, and no in between all of the time. My simple answer would be that it’s my life and has been for almost 20 years, diagnosed. Bipolar disorder doesn’t define me, it isn’t who I am and it never will be. It is a lifetime disease that has no cure. It is a very misunderstood lifetime disease, just like all mental illness. It’s easier to look away than to look someone in the eyes and ask them if everything is ok. When you see that lady in the grocery store with bed head, mismatched socks and her obvious favorite pajamas, don’t judge! When you see the teenager in the mall that is all alone, has a weird demeanor and won’t make any eye contact with anyone, don’t judge! When you see that beautiful woman that always has a smile and seems to have it all together, even with 5 children, don’t judge! When you meet the perfect friend and go to spend time with them and see 15 bottles of pills on the kitchen counter, don’t judge! Mental illness is invisible. Mental illness isn’t picky. Mental illness is REAL! Would you judge the man at the post office with no hair, no eyebrows, no muscle mass left and a can of oxygen? Most would assume he is dealing with, and fighting the evil beast, cancer. Most would go home and pray for that man, or would hold the door for him as he was going or coming. But me, I’m just crazy with a side of crazy. I look normal on the outside but what most don’t know is that I am constantly battling the demons in my head. One demon falls asleep and the other wakes up and seems to be even worse than the one that just fell asleep. I’m constantly doubting myself as a person, as a mother, as a friend and as a wife and that of course creates that lovely snowball effect.
After 16 years of being a diagnosed whack job aka bipolar freak, I am finally on the right combination of medications. I have been through almost all of the older psych drugs. I was a walking experiment during my first stint in the mental hospital at the young age of 15. I was a drugged, emotionless and empty soul when they sent me home. I was taking 8-9 pills, three times a day. My speech was slurred and everyone thought I was self medicating but I wasn’t. I was only doing what these doctors told me to do. No one expected that I would try and take my life 7 years later and that those same drugs that were supposed to help keep me alive would make me want to die. I dropped all of the mental health professionals after my second trip to the ward. All they did was throw the prescription tablet at me and say, “Try this and come back in 2 weeks.” Only to say the same two weeks later.
My primary doctor has saved my life. I’m on less medication than I have been on in these last 16 years of my inner hell. Yes, I am currently manic and yes I am dreading the depression that comes next. Yes, there is no in between for me, I have accepted that. This combination keeps the highs from being so high that I spend thousands of dollars and crave sex from hot guys at the club. Matter of fact, I really don’t even like the clubs and bars that I used to have a love affair with. This combination keeps the lows from being so low that I want to die. I am not saying that I don’t want to completely give up on everything, including my family during these lows but they seem more controlled than ever before. This magical combination for me, could be deadly for another person suffering from the same illness.
It’s a constant battle going on within me but honestly I can’t imagine it being any other way. It has taken me a long time to accept this PART of my life. It has taken me a long time to forgive and forget. It has taken me a long time to show love to others in the right ways. Writing helps me to process, reflect and accept my daily actions, good and bad. I LOVE writing when I’m manic but I’m better at it once my transition begins to the dirty underworld. I choose my lovely and perfect manic fairy any day over the grim character that takes me to places that most will never experience.
There is hope! For those of you that think there isn’t, I love to break it to you, but I am an example that hope is possible. Dreaming of a better life for myself wasn’t as dumb as I thought it was. Mania is so colorful and crisp, depression is so grey and vague. It is what it is and you, nor myself are alone. Someone else is always fighting a harder battle than we are but that doesn’t make our battle any less because it is in fact OUR battle.