Not only do I have Bipolar Disorder, but I’m a rapid-cycler, and I have extensive mixed episodes. Rapid cycling means that I can swing from a degree of depression to a degree of mania, back and forth. This can occur hourly, daily, and weekly, and within minutes. As for being in mixed state, that means that I can be both depressed and manic at the same time. For me, a mixed state is almost as dangerous as being in a full-blown manic episode.
My depression manifests itself as social anxiety-I won’t leave my home nor do I want to be around people, any people. My depression will also show my anger. I have never been a sobbing depressive. Instead I am a cranky, solemn depressive who is not much fun to be around. I never know when this cycle will hit but when it does, trust me…look out.
My mixed episodes are the worst because then you have a very energetic, cranky depressive. This is when what I refer to as my manic monster, comes from within its hidden cave in the creases of my convoluted bipolar brain. This monster is mean. It has a sharp tongue and its main goal is to force me to make those I love hate me and it tries to force me to do everything I can to push people away.
The mixed mania monster has a voice inside my mind. I hear him but as long as I remain on a steady medication schedule, I can push him aside and be generally happy as a rule. But lately I have been under a lot of stress financially and looking for work.
I’ve been forgetting to take my Lithium, which is the only medication that my psychiatrist and I have discovered that will keep the monster at bay. Particularly the suicidal thoughts. So since this medication key to the monster cage has been absent of late, the dreaded mixed cycle monster made his escape a few days ago and I have been fighting to entrap him back into his lair where he belongs. He comes without warning. He washes over me as though he were a gentle sea wave coming to shore. Once he has me in his grasp then that gentle wave becomes a crashing, thunderous roar. This is when I will dissociate from my “normal” bipolar self and the monster is in control of the words and thoughts that I have.
I become extremely verbally vicious to those near me that are a part of my life. The seething words seem to ooze out of my mouth as I float above and outside of my body, watching as if it were a movie. I hear the words, I know they are coming, but I am powerless to stop them. This monster is more powerful than I am at this point and there is not a single thing I can do to stop his growing strength. It is no wonder that I have lost many a true love due to this monster’s influence over my psyche. He is sly and wicked. He does not want me to experience any sort of happiness in the least. And trust me folks, he does his work well.
In time, sometimes it can be thirty minutes, sometimes it may take a day or two, but the monster slowly slips away. I can remember some of what he said but not all. There have been times I have totally blocked out anything he may have said or done. But of course I the person, am the one who must pay the price for the monster’s evil doings. I learned at a very young age how hateful words could cut to the quick and cause more pain than any folded fist. Hateful words stick with you; the punch in the face will soon heal.
In case you are wondering, this monster does have a voice inside my head. He sounds like me on the outside to everyone else, but I hear his deep voice internally. He laughs at me, he mocks me, and he pushes my buttons. I know which medication to use to keep him at bay but lately I’ve been so busy I’ve forgotten to take it. Yesterday that monster surfaced and hurt a very dear person in my life. Again the monster mocked me. He knows I cannot control him or his influence once he emerges. Why is my monster male? I haven’t a clue. But he is and he is powerful. It is my deepest fear that if for some unforeseen reason I had to go off of my meds completely, he would gain control over me and the real me would be lost forever.
The monster had control over my life for about 12 years. Those were a hellish 12 years. He gives me a headache too. I always know when he’s been in control because I have a headache and am physically exhausted. Some memory of him is a floaty, airy feeling. There is not one good thing I can say about him. But I know now that I must not ever forget to take my Lithium so that damn monster will remain in his locked cage inside my neurons.