Here, There Be Dragons

I think I’m moving out of the current bipolar episode.  I’m not sure, which feels disconcerting and new.  Usually, there’s a clear demarkation—the mood lifts, energy returns, thinking clears.  But, this time I seem to be seeping both ways at once like paint on watercolor paper.  I’m able to get things done—going to appointments, remembering to take back my library book, writing my novel—but my body aches and my energy is low.  My mood seems to be fluctuating more into the higher/brighter ranges, but a sudden Dark and Dangerous thought will still blow in and try to take over.  The compulsions are quiet, but my mind wants to fret about them anyway.

This is a different kind of in-between place for me.  Or is it?  Maybe I’ve just forgotten what happened last time.  Maybe I just slid through this phase faster when I was medicated.  Maybe other life-events or physical conditions have tweaked the process this time.  Maybe the mild weather fiddled with my internal barometer.  Maybe the stars are aligned a little differently.  Maybe…

If there’s one thing I know about bipolar disorder, it’s that it never stays the same.  So, I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m moving through the cycle in a new way.  I don’t think I’m alone in wanting the comfort of familiarity, to be able to place myself on a known continuum.  Silly girl.  Just when I think I’ve got this illness mapped, a whole new vista opens up.  Like the ancient explorers, I’ve got sound sea craft in my head, a tough ship, and curiosity.  I’ll hoist my sails and see where the winds take me.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kitty
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 09:10:05

    Or maybe all your hard work is paying off and this is the beginning of softer edges and more moderate transitions? Remember when we talked about what I called “Taking the sharp point off the top?” That was all about creating a bigger space called “the middle.” And what you’re describing sounds more like that. The way I see it, more middle means less extremes… but this is just my experience. Think about it and let me know what you come up with. 🙂 XO


    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 03, 2011 @ 09:27:28

      The middle should be a pleasant place, or at least not awful. This is more like getting seized by a tornado, first I’m over here, then I’m over there. Maybe not so much violent as confusing.


  2. pegoleg
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 12:42:19

    Bring limes to ward off scurvy.


  3. strugglingwithbipolar
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 13:58:24

    I just read your comment. I’m very sorry you are having such rapid shifts and transitions. I also know that no two bipolar episodes are exactly alike. I hope that you soon come through on the other side.


  4. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 15:18:03

    Brilliantly said, Sandy. Those of us with bipolar disorder crave predctability more than anything, I think–probably cause it’s so hard to come by. I understand.

    Your image of paint seeping on watercolor paper works beautifully.

    Hang in there, my friend.



    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 03, 2011 @ 18:38:53

      It’s so wonderful to have you on the other end of my words some days (most days). I’ve been feeling misunderstood a lot lately, and to have you there *understanding* means the world to me.


  5. Hannah
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 15:35:44

    Just wanted to say that I have just come across your blog & think it is wonderful – such beautiful pictures & brilliant insight into your experiences with Bipolar disorder… I have recently been diagnosed myself so it is so great to be able to learn from others… Thank you X


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