Some pretty awesome things have been happening for me as a writer recently. Little victories, small successes that add up to the dream I always had of what it would feel like to be a published author.
Still, I fight.
I’m deep in reconstruction on my life, and with a recovery well under way (hopefully… first post-op appointment is next week) I should be feeling better than I am.
I shouldn’t be fighting not to sleep all day.
I shouldn’t be feeling like I want to cry when I have no tears to do it.
I shouldn’t wonder, again, if it’s time to switch up meds because I’m not writing, I’m not painting, I’m not creating.
I’m adrift in this sea of emotions that can be full panic one moment and the deepest desire only to sleep the next.
This is the struggle of a Bipolar Mixed State, at least for me.
I’ve blogged about it before, but I want to discuss how it’s different from other kinds of depression.
It’s said that depression lies: if that is true than Bipolar Mixed States are the champion liars of all.
They tell you nothing will ever be good enough while at the same time drive you to try to do more, and more, and more, beyond the point of physical exhaustion. All while nothing you do or see makes sense.
They jumble and mix the creative impulses that you (read, I) can channel into creating things on canvas or on the page when in a hypo-manic state (my favorite way to exist, really, because it rides that ever so fine line between depression and the agitated manias I endure.)
I want to hide.
I want to run.
I want to get on a plane. Right now, today and be anywhere but here. I’ve done it before.
The only thing keeping me from doing it now is that doctor’s clearance that all is healing well inside my poor body before I try to drag it along on another “adventure”.
I should be waiting patiently for a trip scheduled in the fall: better for my body, and better for the budget to be sure. But my mind repeats one word in a state like this, and that word is only, “run.”
Trouble is, I have nowhere to run to.
So I stare out the windows willing the view to be different than it is. I retreat even further into my head to try to stop the pain.
I force myself to engage on social media (confession: I am often most visible on social media when I am struggling hardest) to try to keep other humans in my periphery; to be reminded by them of the joys and sorrows that are a part of everyone’s life.
I’m not special in my pain. Having Bipolar Disorder does not make me the winner of any sort of award for ‘most long-suffering individual’, neither does being blind without my special glasses, needing to use a crutch to walk (and a wheelchair to go long distances like at museums and on trips).
Nothing makes me any different from any other who has ever battled this monster.
I’m just weary of the fight. It happens. There are days like this and days that are better, I just have to get through the days like this to get to the better ones.
That is the trick, isn’t it?
To fight through the blinding light of day and the darkest night; guided by sun or light of stars.
It’s the darkness in the brightest days that scares me the most, because when you get to the point that you can’t see anything but the glare anymore, it makes you question your reasons fighting at all.
I was a part of the #StoryDam chat last night and one of the questions asked was how we dealt with taboos in our writing. My answer was I deal with them more in nonfiction writing like blogging here and such than in my fiction, but I see them in my fiction too, if I really look for them.
I write about Bipolar not because no one else is doing it: there are a lot more people these days willing to share their struggles. Most however speak of high, high manias in which they feel invincible; and I deal with something quite different. Mixed states are very dangerous because anger, aggression and agitation turn inward on you, and you become your own worst enemy.
I write because of the battle; to let others know they’re not alone. That treatment isn’t perfect but it is worth seeking, worth trying. That they are worth saving, because we lose too many.
I feel lost, but I’m counting down the minutes in heartbeats until I will feel better; hoping that I will feel well again and the words will come back and the paintings will appear before me as my hand crosses the canvas, brush in hand.
Until then I can only draw as I drew a very different portrait of myself this week: one I call “Blind”, because in so many more ways than one I am… just stumbling, sightless, on through the brightest light of the darkest of my days.