As promised, I will spend a little time looking back at my last serious manic/depressive episode since my entries have concentrated more on my physical health lately. I wrote the following as a diary entry last October (2014). For the majority of the time it is almost impossible to make any sense out of bipolar mood swings. More often than not it has next to nothing to do with circumstances, other than the sadness and ‘depression’ that ‘normal’ people experience when things go wrong. If this cycle was all to do with circumstances then I would have the power to turn it around, but I have no clue what happened to my mind last week when- at the start- I had to be wrestled of the top of a bridge by my confused and desperate boyfriend.
Heaven knows what happened that night to set me off so terribly. We started off by going to the university in an attempt to find the foxes I used to feed. Despite not seeing any of them, we sat in total darkness in the woods where Pablo (my cat) is buried for a couple of hours. It was incredibly peaceful, romantic and I felt as if we were providing Pablo with much needed company (I do always worry that he is cold and lonely down there, in case the foxes have moved on).
After that we walked back into town. It was freezing cold and raining so at that point in time I wasn’t in the best of moods. But some switch inside me flipped walking down the road near the towers. My boyfriend asked me for a lighter and I said ‘No!’ and laughed, running towards the river to pretend to chuck it in. Suddenly I was hyperactive and climbed up on the bridge, above the strong current and ice cold water. I had forgotten that his friend drowned in that same river and kept pretending to jump in the water. I really thought it was some big, hilarious game and I didn’t think twice about whether I was scaring him. I had warned him before we got together of my strange and extreme mood swings but I don’t think any new man in my life ever realises quite what they’re getting themselves into, tragically.
Despite my strong desire to jump in the river- for whatever reason, perhaps there wasn’t one- I eventually came down. It was a very cold night and we were both already wet from the rain but bizarrely I decided to poor an entire bottle of water over my head, again thinking it was very funny. I was desperate to have fun and do something daring and so I refused to go back to the house, by this time it must have been 4am. James* decided to give up on reprimanding me and go home to get the guitar. I had been asking his permission to take all of my clothes off to which he threatened to leave me on my own, and that would be no fun. Instead I took off my shoes and socks and walked the streets that way until morning.
After buying yet more coffee, we ventured into the countryside with the guitar. I danced in the rain, happy as Larry, while he played guitar. We passed over and under many bridges and sang “Under The Bridge” as we passed each one. We sang “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?” in the rain and many more numbers to suit the passing environment. It was glorious and magical and all things wonderful. We passed a lone horse and attempted to serenade him with “Wild Horses.” I truly believed he could understand us and we cheered him up, perhaps we did. We walked together, hand in hand; into the rising sun to which we sang “Here Comes The Sun.” Unfortunately we came across a bench at this point and James fell asleep, much to my horror and dismay. I took up his guitar and sang all I knew by heart to passers-by. The real world had somehow disappeared and I lived in a dream; I wanted never to leave, it was surreal.
When James awoke we took a slow walk back, soaked but still full of enthusiasm. In daylight this time, we passed our horse. He was incredibly sad, with his young head hung over the barbed wire. I held and kissed him and fed him fresh grass. If I could, I would have taken him with me, the photos of me cuddling and kissing him are all that is real that remains of that crazy night, before the terror kicked in. Around 10am we wound up in a greasy spoon café in town. By then the exhaustion had begun to invade my body and my mood was dropping rapidly and severely. By the time James returned from having gone home to pick up warm clothes I was insanely depressed and feeling desperate to cry. As usual it was utterly confusing to go from one extreme to another in a cycle of unusual moods. This was also the first time that he had witnessed me in such a state and so he was no less than baffled by the sudden and drastic change in my character.
I could not face the breakfast, in fact seeing it there made me feel sick and James ate both. As much as I was fighting not to, I got dragged home. I immediately went upstairs, buried myself in the dog’s fur and cried and cried. I at last allowed James to see me with my guard fully down and be completely vulnerable. I cried on his shoulder for a good ten minutes. Due to my mental instability I couldn’t even face washing myself and so James showered me and washed my hair. He left me in the bathroom to finish up and went to bed for a few hours. I spent quite some time staring into space with only myself for company and felt terribly and unbearably alone, but by half past twelve I was back to being hyperactive and rather annoying. I pestered James by bouncing on top of him, tickling him and demanded he get out of bed and come for coffee with me. We met a couple of friends at the coffee shop who then too had to see my strangeness and giggliness; my seeming ability to find anything and everything highly amusing.
I cannot recall that entire day or what we did after that, but I do remember hitting rock bottom once again with a flick of the switch in my odd and unpredictable brain. Since that day my mood has changed consistently, even to the point of going from one extreme to the other in less than one hour. For the last couple of weeks I have gone from being manic to depressed- on average- every two hours. It would be impossible for me to be more confused by both my mental state and life. I have no stability, no consistency and really nothing of much concreteness in my life to rely on. Not only have I been miserable but it also feels like the outside world is against me; almost everything has gone wrong recently; I can barely think of anything to be happy about and even when I have the opportunity to be joyful and grateful to be alive I have managed to mess it up by being incapable of seeing any good in myself and the world. I push everyone away, and when I am not doing that to the people that care about me I am pushed away by the people that have a responsibility to take care of me.