Tag Archives: manic depression

I’m exhausted. I think I went to sleep around half 3 this morning. I woke up for the first time at 8, then dozed on and off until 9.20am when I had to get L up. I got home at about 9.55am. I’ve spent the morning/afternoon in bed watching films (so far Show Me Love and Some Kind of Wonderful) and ate a huge takeaway. Also went for a quick goodbye lunch at McDonalds with a friend who’s leaving today. I’m really glad I saw him but was so glad it was brief, I found it exhausting.

Just caught a glimpse of W through a mutual friend’s Facebook pictures. They’ve gone to Amsterdam this weekend. Just seeing the back of his head in a picture made me feel like sobbing/barfing. It hasn’t hurt in a while but with a glimpse it all rushed back and hit me in the stomach. I don’t know what that means, if anything. I hastily avoided it.

I lay awake thinking last night. I regret not having written far more diaries or blogs in my life. I sat and read through some of my recent posts and saw so much of myself. I wish I’d cared enough about what I thought as I was growing up. Instead it’s all just a smoky blur of drug addled ignorance. But I was younger and sillier and so very, very unhappy. I hated my first degree, I hated where I lived, I hated dropping out of uni, I hated all my relationships, I hated my friends, I hated myself. I finally know I’m in the right place and doing the right thing, plus when I’m unhappy I know it’s because I’m unwell. Or at least I think it is. I don’t know if I’ve made myself this way. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It’d just be nice to have a longer picture.

I feel really depressed today. I tortured myself in bed last night. I tried to lie there and take in the thick comfort of the duvet, listening to the fish tank bubble, but I just kept twitching with thoughts. I just don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m so tired I can’t think straight.

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Edgar Allen Poe-Faced

I didn’t fall asleep until at least 4am last night and woke at 11am today. I have felt a small swell of anger and anxiety pooling within me this evening, a barely there tension, but have felt a lot better since I came to work. Got incredibly frustrated and stressed while trying to organise my banking and finances (to the point where I was quite vicious with my dad on the phone – he does have a habit of overcomplicating things – but he was very understanding as he hates call centres too) and was at points incandescent with rage. It turns out that I’d made an error with an account number so my rent didn’t get paid but I’ve sorted it now, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It just took me rather a long time to come down.

Coming to work has been a real pleasure. I really like L and spending time at her home tonight has been dead nice. We’ve just quietly floated around each other, me assisting where necessary, but we shared a really nice moment as we flicked through her support plan together. Despite only meeting her briefly the other day we seem to have clicked and I’m pleased about that, even though I’m none too enthusiastic about the sleep shift itself. I just hope that all continues to go well and I do eventually get some sleep, though I doubt it’ll be L’s fault if I don’t.

I tried to have a small workout but it left me feeling a bit cranky and heavy. I didn’t have any trazodone last night and I’m going to try not to tonight, though I’ve brought it in case it gets to the wee hours and I really need some help getting drowsy. It’s not so much the nights that bother me but I know when I get up I’m going to feel rough. I can’t afford to nap after work.

I contacted someone after a silent week. After indulging a great many fantasies during last night’s sleepless ague I forgot how impenetrable he can be, particularly over Facebook. Small talk, nay talking in any form, is not his forte. Not sure how to play it. Going to take a bigger needle to get blood from this stone. Still, it’s all just an amusing fancy and something to do. Chasing boys is just another interest or hobby, a diversion from the unending tedium of existence which creeps its fingers up my back and around my throat. Not that I’m feeling morbid or anything. Just a bit of grumpy, gothic joie-de-vivre.

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I-Dawg (typing just ‘I’ makes things very confusing so we’ll go with his nickname) has just been round for a brew after work. We had a good chat, even if I bollocked him for messaging his ex and accidentally stirring up rumours. I told him about all the magical changes which I’ve recently experienced. While I’ve been going through my ups and downs, I’ve felt something stirring within me. I feel like I understand the world and myself a bit better than I did a few months ago. I’ve learned some hard lessons:

– Don’t start conversations that you’re not willing to have because the other person as a real, living and separate human being with feelings.

– Patience truly is a virtue. Be patient with the universe, it unfolds at its own pace, and also with yourself. I can be so hard on myself and live life at breakneck speed. It comes down to having confidence that things will happen as they should. Most importantly, if someone wants you then they will come and get you – particularly boys who have to think it was their idea in the first place.

– Don’t assume that everything you hear is true. Question it and look at your source. You think this one would have stuck with me having done a sociology-ish degree but it’s a lesson easily forgotten. By the same token, there are two sides (often more) to a story. You will only ever hear an interpretation from the teller’s perspective and so too will the listener interpret it themselves.

– Empathy is hard but a valuable skill which not enough people dedicate themselves to.

– Nothing is permanent, particularly with regards to your body. I first learned that my body was flexible when I started doing yoga, not because of the positions I got into, but that it could move and change. I don’t always have to be overweight. I can be strong and healthy. On the flip side, if I get lazy then I don’t look as good but I never probably look as bad as I think. As a fat kid (a lifelong psychological condition exacerbated by rude grandmothers and PE teachers – even if you lose weight you never lose that feeling of wheezing on the sidelines) this can be very hard to learn. I realise now that fit people work hard to be that way, just as I work hard on essays and mathematicians work really hard to solve problems. This shit does not just happen and it all takes skill, dedication and hard work – though, of course, there ain’t half been some lucky bastards.

– In a much greater sense, nothing lasts forever and it can be much easier and more thrilling to live when we recognise the transient nature of everything. You realise then that every experience is a gift and it doesn’t have to last forever. Preservation, if you really want it, takes work.

– Taking care of yourself feels (and tastes) good. It permeates all areas of your life.

– Being alone can be super awesome. It makes you free and you don’t have to wear pants.

– Doing stuff is awesome and makes you more interesting. I always used to be so skeptical of people with hobbies because I always thought they were a replacement for personality. I still am but going and doing stuff, particularly with other people who also enjoy doing that stuff, is fun.

– Others are just as rich and deep as you. Don’t be a snob and take time to get to know people. I realised last night that I’m just like all those other people at life drawing, particularly the boozed up enthusiastic geeks at the end, and loved both them and myself for being vulnerable and daring enough to go out and talk to strangers.

– Be proud of who you are and what you do, though don’t be a jerk obvs. When we’d finished drawing last night, I assumed that we had to display all the pictures we’d done so I spread mine on the floor in a big collage. I looked round and realised that only the bloke next to me had done it, foolishly copying me, while nobody else dared. Everyone kept saying ‘oh it’s terrible, I don’t want you to see it’ and I felt a fanny who’d committed a dreadful faux pas. Then I saw everyone looking at my work, all gathered round, and I felt really good. However, I have never been shy and am quite ready to bear my soul at a moment’s notice. I’ve always been an overachiever with my work on the walls too so I’m quite happy to display myself as I trust that people would never be rude enough to say anything nasty… also I’d had two glasses of wine. If anyone’s horrible about you when you make yourself vulnerable by sharing then it’s definitely their problem, not yours.

I’m hoping that all this stuff is part of me getting closer to that real, undeniable truth of myself. There’s so much more to do and discover, and plenty more stuff to fuck up, but I gotta say: I’ve come a long way, baby.

I had a nice time at work. I really like the service user and I think she likes me. She’s got a wicked sense of humour and spent the entire four hours gently mocking the other staff member without really saying anything out loud. She’s not much older than me and I’m hopeful that we’ll get on well. I have been a bit low today but I worked out after tea and felt a lot better, especially when I watched Lukas Moodysson’s Tillsammans before I-Dawg came round.


“Better porridge together than a pork cutlet alone.”

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Life drawing: sexier than a bowl of fruit, cheaper than a lap dance.

Last night I went to a life drawing class and left behind any semblance of my working class roots. It was when they brought out the prosciutto and brie at the end that I knew that the area I grew up in is no longer a valid shield against my taste in hobbies and cured meats. I had a very nice time drawing an impossibly toned woman (all the while trying to ignore my Peep Show-esque thoughts about not spending too much time drawing her boobs so I didn’t look weird) and met some nice people including a former long- and triple-jumper who’d competed at the European championships (who now trains for the 400m sprint… and works at Holland and Barrett), an art teacher and a chap who’s just started his own clothing company. There was also a nurse who has agreed to be a contact if I want to do a placement on her ward which was really exciting. It was a bit wanky (the music was terrible and I was forced to listen to someone’s plans to cycle from Brittany to Northern Spain… it does sound fun though) but after my two free glasses of wine I had a jolly good time. I definitely need to get married or something eventually though – I don’t end up there post-40, single and on the brink of being a bit too drunk, as was one of the ladies. I got home around midnight, finished Eva Luna and then went to sleep some time after 2am without any trazodone. I’m nearly off it but it was mostly because I got more of it on to the worktop than into my oral syringe so just gave up.

Yesterday I slept well, though I haven’t been getting to sleep until at least 1.30am but usually later, and I spent the day in a tentatively good mood. We were doing all about Johari’s window (a grid showing what we know about ourselves, what others know about us, what others know that we don’t or don’t know about us and what nobody knows about us, including ourselves) and transactional analysis (where we adopt the ego states of the parent, adult or child depending on context and power relationships). It was very interesting and made me feel good to know that others perceive me as intelligent, trustworthy, honest, outspoken and confident as well as knowing that basic facts like I’m bipolar and live alone. The transactional analysis made me reflect on all my past relationships where I’ve probably acted like a parent (nurturing/supportive/controlling/critical) or child (playful/spontaneous/difficult/prone to tantrums) rather than an adult (non-threatening/non-threatened/respectful/logical). We adopt patterns we are comfortable with and behaviour programmed into us – see this video for more info. It’s all useful stuff to bear in mind when acting as a professional and in our personal life, allowing us to communicate effectively with people.

Last night I slept ok but I slept in until 11am and now feel thick-headed and morose. I’m not in a bad mood as such but I feel a bit tragic for no discernible reason. I think the lurid sexuality of my dreams (no doubt triggered by the book and last night’s nakedness) is bubbling away in my belly. I want to feel nails in my skin and breath in my ear but I also want to keep my woolly socks on and cry under my duvet. I have to go to work for a few hours later. Not exactly pleased but hopefully it’ll drag me out of myself a bit. I did a full workout yesterday which left me feeling really good.

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Eva Luna

Had a definite case of the head melters today. Music and conversation has been pretty much intolerable, I feel acutely sensitive to everything and binge ate earlier (pastrami bagel and three Princesa bars – really need to avoid the Polish aisle in Tesco) to try and quell my anxiety. A bit of light exercise helped, though I’m exhausted and didn’t want to push it in case it over stimulated me or made me cry.

Managed to get through it with quiet solitude and books. I’ve finished Anne Frank’s diary and have moved on to Eva Luna, a book I read when I was just about to turn 17. I was on my way to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. I spent the first night sleeping in a tent in the garden of a nice Christian lady who had opened her home to about 10 of us thespians. I caught a horrendous cold and so was moved to my own private room. It was very small, Just a a top bunk over an old desktop PC, but it had a tremendous vent through which I could observe the kitchen. I took great delight in my little crows nest, a sense of isolation permeated the entire trip due to my lowly status within our so-called theatre company (4 drama wannabes and a piano player), and I very much enjoyed watching the comings and goings over breakfast. We ate Burmese Cheese Rice (a recipe from my mother’s old Austerity Cookbook) at least twice that week and I was introduced to the joys of vodka and apple juice. I can still taste the acrid tang of that cheap Prince’s juice with the added vitamin C. I also invented ‘Russian Gold’, a cocktail consisting of vodka, milk and honey.

I remember having a good time but I also remember the day I was left in the flat on my own. I was still very ill with a cold so while the rest of the gang went flyering for our show, I stayed wrapped up on the sofa. I was also very depressed at the time, though I don’t think I told anyone, and I recall writing something which turned into a morbid spewing of self-hatred and bile – something which used to happen whenever I tried to write in my diary. It was uncontrollable, like an unseen force would take the pen and make me carve my rage into the paper as I sobbed. I still have those diaries at home.

The show itself was quite good, if bizarre. It was about a vicar whose mother wanted him to marry an appropriate, cake obsessed C of E spinster (me) when really he was in love with a working class (I.E. The actress put on a Scouse accent) pregnant girl. This dilemma was resolved only with the help of the idiot who lived in his bathtub and transported him to an Alice in Wonderland style alternative reality where we were two rabbits and he was the Mad Hatter. In the end the pregnant girl died giving birth and we adopted the baby (obviously), the whole thing supposedly representing the role of the church in modern Britain but really being about the tawdry and repressed sexual desires of Christian drama geeks. The next year we did a show about a man who couldn’t pass through to the afterlife (‘drink his milk and go to sleep’) without help from two balaclava’d entities in pyjamas, one of which would torture him (me) and the other one who tried to persuade/seduce him (P, who was very camp indeed but married the idiot in the bathtub), the grand twist being that he was a milkman who I think fathered an illegitimate child. We got decent audiences for both (the latter we performed in a real theatre and at our schools/colleges, including the scene where I wore nothing but my underwear and a balaclava) and I think we had a good time, though I always got the sense I wasn’t supposed to say anything because I was the ‘chavvy’ one. Posh kids are fucking weird though.

I celebrated my 17th birthday there, they took me for a meal which I was still too depressed and gauche to accept graciously and without tears. I lost my wallet at a fairly decent production ofFaustus and everyone subbed me, so much so that I got horrendously drunk in a hotel bar and sobbed that I could only ever attract ugly men. This was after I had taken up with one of the (significantly older) semi-chaperones of the grown up theatre company who had endorsed us and took us up for the ride, of course. He gave me a copy of Sophie’s World which I found interminably pretentious but we did enjoy a nice afternoon kissing in the park, despite his wankiness and blonde ponytail.

The day of my birthday itself we were on our way back home. We stopped at Lindesfarne in Northumbria on the way and went to see Holy Island. It was cold, it being the end of August in Britain, but we all went in the sea to paddle. Of course someone started singing a hymn but I remember it all being very beautiful. We all got silly and far too wet but it was good, clean fun. As we got within about 30 minutes of home, the bus (an old postal van which was shakily approaching death’s door) gave out and we had to get picked up by various grown ups. I think I lent someone Eva Luna and then went home, satisfied but deflated in post-show malaise, to open my birthday presents.

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Definite mood swing. Slept badly again last night, feel tired but wired. Pressured speech and trembling. Had to run away to library at lunch because I couldn’t bear conversation. Everything’s a bit loud and I keep wringing at my clothes. I just want to bury myself into the warm hug of my shirt. Embarrassing memories tickle my brain stem. I’m aware I look rubbish and I think I’ve got a worried/horrified/tense expression. It’s like there’s a balloon made of acid in my chest.

Fantastic movement around my dissertation and lots of great feedback already. My tutor says how well I write and how interesting and current my work is. She’s told me to hang fire on my autism project, maybe save it for my dissertation in third year, but that it sounds very interesting. She seems impressed with my ambition and quality which makes me feel good. I was offended when my pdoc said I was being grandiose about my intelligence – I genuinely am shit hot.

Don’t want to go back to class but don’t want to go back to the flat tonight. Want to go to life drawing tomorrow, hope I can manage it.

It’s just a feeling – keep breathing!

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And how does that make you feel?

Thursday – Felt relatively level. Friend M said I seemed ok to her (she’s good at spotting which way up I am) and managed to plug through uni in a cheerful manner.

Friday – Slept in a bit but not too late so was in a relatively level mood for most of the day. Had my appointment. Was really just an assessment as it wasn’t a straight transfer between my old doctor and the new place. However, three months of conscious living with bipolar ii has offered some new insight which was hopefully helpful. Explained about my history, including the old naughty business, to an extremely patient and non-judgmental social worker. I explained my deep, deep desire to sort out my relationships and explore medication and therapy together and gave a (probably patchy but what can you do) overview of my moods. She says I will hear from them in a couple of weeks, probably psychiatrist first and then psychologist can follow up at my own GP surgery (I didn’t even know that was a thing – really fantastic). Then W came and I didn’t want to really talk or do anything. We ate Chinese and watched films.

Saturday – Slept in late. Didn’t shower or really get out of bed. Watched films all day. Didn’t say very much. Not touchy-feely in the slightest. Didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Ate a lot. Was a bit irritable. Felt very tired.

Today – Slept in a little bit again. Got up, dressed and showered and went for breakfast at our usual spot. Quiet but more talkative than yesterday, not touchy-feely, lazy but washed. Not been in a bad mood as such but been a bit numb. I find weekends so difficult as I feel I’ve nothing to get out of bed for. Feel shame and guilt at my relief to be alone, feel like a disappointment, feel very bad for W, feel empty and then feel guilty whenever I manage to laugh or enjoy something because I’m not depressed enough. Then I also feel something I can only express through blowing air from puffed out cheeks, an abstracted nothing that’s also something. Feel annoyed that it’s just something I have to wait to blow over, worried that it might be something real bothering me that I either don’t know/don’t want to acknowledge/repressing some horrible trauma, feel a bit upset as had some bad memories over the weekend, feel annoyed that it’ll change and it’s not ‘real’ so no point expressing it, feel guilty that I find it so hard to speak out loud. It’s nothing and something and it’s bleh. Staying in bed.

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Feeling Resourceful

Yesterday was a bit up and down, mild depression/not wanting to talk to a soul because I slept too much and did too little, but today has been lovely. Last night I got between 3-4 hours of sleep before an exam today. Think I passed so all should hopefully be well. Probably been a bit hypo today, felt words drip off my tongue and span sentences from sugary spiderwebs. I even had a stab at my Angry Birds routine. Was dancing and singing to myself for a lot of the afternoon and even wore a bit of make up.

Had a wonderful evening with my brother and his blossoming pregnant girlfriend. I was very animated and charming, had a thoroughly delightful time eating risotto and having family bantz. Had been rather nervous as my brother and I have misunderstood each other in the past but we haven’t had such a good time together in years – was lovely to reconnect. I’m really glad he’s so happy and looking forward to seeing them both at Xmas.

Still, it takes energy to contain even mild ups so I’m socially acceptable. Managed to be friendly with neighbours and W today (after a prolonged silence with both). Glad to be back at home in my quiet sanctum though. Not sure if I’ll sleep so let’s see how it goes.

Utterly excellent resources in the meantime:

Love Has Its Ups and Downs – book about living with a bipolar loved one

Bipolar and Relationships – short article about bipolar relationships (who’d have guessed)

Living Manic Depressive – wonderful, wonderful blog which offers practical ideas, personal experience and puts so many things I cannot say into words

Health Central – some of the responses are incomprehensible/spam but a few offered me some cherished insight into why I withdraw from relationships, mostly out of guilt

Healthline on Bipolar and Relationships: Ultimate Guide – bit sparse in places but has some great articles on bipolar living

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I crashed my bandicoot.

I’m pissed off. Not least because I’m in the midst of a pretty bad mixed episode but because my Gamecube just crashed and took all my rad Crash Bandicoot data with it. I set up the Gamecube in a twitchy state in order to try and cope with the yawning chasm of the night. I’m cheerful for now, techno-grievances aside, but the past couple of days have been rather rocky.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I went to sleep at 5am. I cried because I couldn’t figure out what to do with my washing and panic cleaned the house. I didn’t go to Spanish and wandered aimlessly round Tesco, picking things up and putting them down, looking like a mad old bat. I ran away back home to the safety of my mum and dad’s. I’ve been feverish, focused but distractable with busy hands. W took me for apple crumble in Wetherspoon’s and I swung through about six or seven different states in the hour and a half we were there.

In the past couple of days I’ve been through more cycles than Lance Armstrong on steroids. I’m like a washing machine who’s not only swallowed all your socks but decided to shred the remainder of the load and turn it into an artful collage representing aggression. I’ve been tearful, I’ve been buzzy, I’ve been too fast, I’ve been bombarded by memories and intense dreams. I’ve found thoughts physically painful as I churn and churn on pump and spin. Last night I managed to sleep at about 4am so I’m hoping that if I’m good I might even be able to make bedtime at 3.30am.

I’ve finally heard back from the mental health team and should have an appointment in 2-3 weeks. Until then, it’s onwards I go, smashing boxes and eating the apples that life throws at me as I try and make profound analogies using a video game about marsupials. Ripper.

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I can feel it. I felt it happening this afternoon. I felt it when I realised that I can’t go on placement next week due to various fuck ups and I wasn’t angry. I was vaguely annoyed but cheerful. And now in the past hour I’ve experienced a mixture of panic and abject terror while in a bath surrounded by candles. The only way I could calm myself down was to lie face down in the bath, chin under the water, digging my nails into my shoulder blades. I felt good then and then abstracted, like I wanted to cry but couldn’t feel anything. I’ve been distracted, leaving things half done and the flat’s a mess. I feel trembly and like everything’s just a bit much. I thought all my hair had fallen out and I broke my cold tap because I couldn’t remember which way to turn it. It sounds stupid but that’s how disorganised my thoughts can be.

At first I just felt a bit feverish. Then it was like after you’ve had a night on eckies and are struggling to sleep at 4am. Your head keeps chattering like a little monkey with stupid thoughts like ‘how do electric showers work?’ and you’re just a bit wired and buzzy. I just feel a bit unsafe, not like I’m in danger or going to do anything silly (or serious), but just nervous.

It’s funny because I was laughing until I cried earlier. There’s a pile of rubbish building up in the kitchen – a sign of the impending doom to come. Every time I think I’m normal, that I can’t possibly really be manic depressive, I have to stop and remember. I struggle so much to remember what it’s like at either end. When I’m up I forget what I’m like when I’m depressed and vice versa. I ask W ‘what am I like when I’m not like this?’

I’m going to go ask him now.

23.19 – I rang W and all it did was make me sad and angry. He doesn’t understand and he never will. There is absolutely fuck all he can do and I really want him to do something but he can’t. I just want him to fuck off. I just want it to stop.

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