The slippery slope
When I started blogging, I was hypomanic. The words and thoughts came easily to me, though I was never a once-a-day poster by any means. In fact, I loved the writing and the blogging so much that the internet pretty much took over my life--or rather, I let it take over.
Now it's been close to a year since I started my blog, and things have taken a turn for the worse. Aside from the problems getting my coop ready for market due in part to the fact that my ex boyfriend is just not doing his bit to get this accomplished, and the fact that my own inertia is making it harder for me to continue babying him, it honestly seems like getting a place I can call my own is some far off nearly impossible dream. Many people online and off that I've told about my plans can't understand what could possibly take so long, but if you saw the situation up close and the person I'm dealing with you might see why (or maybe not).
In addition, my immersion in the internet and my neglect of "real life" has had serious repercussions, and I now feel backed into a corner of my own making. I can feel the hopelessness starting to seep into my consciousness and unconsciousness. I've had disturbing dreams ever since I started on certain meds long ago, but now it's harder to shake off the effects when I awake than ever.
There's some things going on that I don't feel comfortable going into detail about here, but they have contributed to a feeling of near-despair of late. I know what has to be done, but it will likely take a very long time and be very hard to accomplish. If I can get over some major hurdles, I feel like I can have the life I want for myself and BG, but the road will be a long and difficult one.
Those who don't have to take meds for a mental/emotional condition may not understand how insidious the side effects can be. Of course, psych meds don't have the monopoly on side effects, and I take a few meds for other reasons which may also be biting me in the ass. It's hard to tell for sure what's going on.
There is a book I read long ago called "Flowers for Algernon" which was later made into a movie called "Charly" starring Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom. In it, a mentally retarded man is given an operation that increases his IQ gradually, til he reaches the point where he becomes a genius. Unfortunately, the operation's effects eventually wear off and he's doomed to go back to being mentally disabled again.
I watched a good portion of the movie but had to turn it off after awhile, before they reached the point where Charly's IQ began to diminish. I know there are a lot of hellish scenarios in life, but that has to be one of the most haunting. Though some may say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, would it be better to be given the gift of intelligence and then stand by and see it inexorably slipping away again--or is it preferable to never have experienced this evolution/devolution in the first place?
The other reason I had to turn it off was that it hit a bit too close to home. I've experienced the roller coaster ride of bipolar disorder a number of times, and though it's not exactly the same situation, it definitely has its parallels, especially since my ability to think and reason clearly vanishes when the tidal wave hits. I literally "lose my mind" in the deluge.
Although my periods of major depression, when they hit, are still as severe as ever--if not worse--every time, perhaps due to my current meds my hypomanias have become more mild and manageable. Maybe this last one was just what you might otherwise describe as merely "being normal." There are some people who go through life with seemingly boundless energy and drive. When I'm in an "up" mode, writing becomes much more effortless, and my outlook much more positive and hopeful in general.
But time and again I've had "up" periods, only to encounter some stress or other triggering event and be in the awful dilemma of seeing myself descend into that slippery slope of depression again. I start to notice that things are becoming more difficult; that my brain is not working the way it should. I become more withdrawn and fearful. Then I reach the point where the depression hits full force and no meds and no doctor seem to be able to cure it.
Hopefully that won't happen this time. As one of BG's old docs said, depression tends to feed on itself. If you give into it and stop trying, the cycle can take hold that much more firmly. But I think if someone has clinical depression that involves your brain chemistry going out of whack, I'm not sure that anything can be done when the ground starts to give out beneath you and the sense of helplessness, hopelessness, self-recriminations and guilt start to settle in.
In any case, I've been hiding in front of this computer for a long time and now there's hell to pay. Truth be told, I do feel a bit better that I was able to write this post. But is kvetching online just another way to escape and procrastinate? Thing is, I know there are other bipolar blogpals out there who can really "get" what I'm saying through first hand experience. And I'm sure that even those who don't have this condition may be able to relate; after all, everyone goes through pain at some point--it's simply part of life.
Well, I'm grateful that I have a place where I can put my thoughts down, such as they are--though the demands of "real life" are calling to me even as I write this post. I suppose the fact that I'm still able to write is a hopeful sign.