Friday, October 24, 2008

Rachel's Story - when mania takes hold...

My first manic symptoms began when I was in university (about 7 years ago), at about the same time that the depressive symptoms began to have a dangerously negative impact on my life.  I have always had much longer bouts of depression than mania.  They are equally vivid & painful to me because the mania, though fun at first, often results in a suicidal climax (don’t know if anyone else experiences this?).  I’ll do my best to describe it, but I can’t help feeling that my language skills are totally ineffectual in portraying the experience.

Sometimes it’s like a carnival in my head.  Thoughts swirl around with excessive speed and volume.  And often, even the most mundane things become hilarious to me.  I lose all self-control and nearly fall to the ground in uproarious laughter.  I write furiously, trying to capture all the “brilliant” ideas flooding my mind – especially at night.  I make long lists of things I will have to investigate…money-making schemes, art projects, areas of study, musical instruments to master, things I suddenly just HAVE to buy, etc.  Often my ideas lead me to the computer, where I conduct frantic internet searches looking for the fastest way to order a certain product (book, makeup, TRIP TO BRAZIL), which I’m spontaneously determined to have that VERY instant.  I abandon each “project”/new interest as quickly as I acquired it, swiftly moving on to the next impulsive goal.  I feel GREAT - uncharacteristically social and confident.  (This is all very embarrassing to admit from my current, depressed frame of mind….)  When I go out in public, I feel like a celebrity.  It seems like people can’t take their eyes off of me.  Like everyone secretly wishes they could be like me.  I’m suddenly convinced that I’m excessively talented, attractive and intelligent and that all of these special characteristics were given to help me achieve some greater purpose.  Almost like I could save the world.  I feel like God has a direct line to me and I’m on a special mission.  (I have so much shame in admitting this but I’m thinking maybe others have had this experience too?)  At a certain point, though, it all becomes too much.  I become frustrated, angry, irritable and even suicidal.  In fact, for me, the manic times have almost always been accompanied by suicidal feelings.  This is by far the most terrifying time in my battle with bipolar disorder.  I’m impulsive and agitated and moving quickly.  I’m self-destructive and suicidal and all control just seems to slip away from me.  Things lose meaning and sense.  I feel overpowered until I don’t even want to fight anymore because eventually I find myself totally exhausting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

FirefightersStory-Need to Take Care of Myself-Sorry

I MUST apologize to everyone as I will not be able to write my sunday weekly installment. I have said many times here that I must know my limitations, and I have to continually learn to take care of myself by putting myself first at times, which is so very difficult for me to do, because it is not in my nature to do so. Right now though, is one of those times. I must. The events of the last couple of weeks have taken an extreme toll on myself emotionally. I have ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS though! This must be stated and for those who know me, and for others who read the blog about my many adventures and suffering with PTSD and all that accompany's this, must not worry please. The cause of raising awareness that I believe in so very strongly, and am committed to, has not left me any less determined, but it has left me needing to try to take care of myself now in order to continue on.
I have seen and heard of so very many successes in the last couple of weeks since the kickoff breakfast for the Royal Ottawa's awareness campaign headed, by Mr Alfredsson, the Ottawa Senators hockey captain, and the "You know who i am" campaign. The successes I have heard about fill me with so much joy.
Unfortunately though, there has been a very strong resistance by some, and this resistance has been against me personally, and has affected me very negatively in so many ways. I cannot explain any of the details, as the details must stay confidential.
Suffice to say though, I must retreat for a hopefully short period of time to do what is necessary to take care of not only myself, but the most important people in my life, my family.
I am hoping this will be a short respite and break before I return to continue writing and hopefully being able to help others, and to face the adversity and challenges associated with trying to effect changes for everyone for the good of all.
Thank you very much, Larry