The Play is the Thing

As I’m more and less skillful in adapting to the changes in my life, I also get to ride the slippery slope of my bipolar disorder.  Mania shifted to agitation, which dropped into a mixed state of depression and anxiety.  Now the depression has smoothed out into a deep darkness that I know well.

It’s uncomfortable here, but at least the burning itch to DO and GO has passed.  I want to eat everything in sight, but I’m too tired to act on my compulsion.  Mostly.  The sexual fantasies that crowded my thinking released their shameful grip.  My thoughts twist with self-loathing now, but I can distance myself from them better than the hot longing those fantasy men pull from me.  They still lurk in the background, but their siren songs are muted by the dark.

I remind myself to believe nothing my mind throws out.  What feels reasonable isn’t.  What seems like a course of action rises from compulsion, or aversion to pain, or grasping for comfort.  Paranoia pops out of social interaction.  Isolation feels so good it has to be questioned.

I can believe in the tools that have worked for me in the past—distraction through art and TV, exercise, reaching out for support.  I can remind myself to Watch, to feel the discomfort in my body, to be aware of the impulses my distorted thinking shoots out like lightening.

This is just another face of the illness, another long episode making a costume change between acts.  Sometimes I forget my lines in the middle of this play, but the Prompters are out there.  I’ve worked hard to place them around the stage, helpful voices in the dark to remind me where I am, who I am, and the artful response to Bipolar’s monologue.  I’ll get through this performance, and the next, and the next.  There’s always a curtain call, a chance to bow, smile and feel the lights come up.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deb
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 11:49:22

    I love you, honey, and am so proud of the way that you manage this disorder. Your self-awareness is a wonder. Sending lots of positive juju and support your way.


  2. Kathryn McCullough
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 18:22:05

    Sorry to hear you are feeling deprssed, my friend. Sounds like you are doing the right things–in addition to making great use of a Hamlet image–appropriate on a lot of levels.


  3. Sherry
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 23:32:38

    I’m confused about leaving comments. It always throws me to the Word Press login and it never used to do that. Any hoo…..I think you are getting through this boute of lowness better than ever before. Must be your bad-ass training kickin’ in. Hang in there, I gave in to Cheetos today, just sayin’. Love ya, Sissy


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 30, 2012 @ 05:08:18

      Huh. I don’t know what that login business is. WordPress is always dinking around with stuff. Might be they changed protocol.
      This isn’t the lowest I’ve ever been, but still, it’s interesting how others perceive me from the outside and how it “looks” from in here. There’s always been a disconnect there.


  4. Miss Alexandrina
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 13:30:38

    A beautiful post with an engaging metaphor throughout. 🙂


  5. Modern_JayGatsby
    May 01, 2012 @ 00:16:05

    Hey Sandy Sue, I stumbled upon this blog when I searched “anxiety” and came up with this. I understand that you have BPD and are using this blog as an outlet, I am impressed by some of your posts and hence forth, decided to follow you. I am unsure whether or not I have it as well as some of my peers have made assumptions that I do. But I as well do feel too comfortable at times when I am alone. I started my blog to publish my 85 syllable Haiku poem titled: No Shelter a poem about isolation and fears.


    • Sandy Sue
      May 01, 2012 @ 06:06:22

      I would encourage you to seek help in determining what’s going on with you. Meeting with a psychologist or therapist might be a place to start. Wondering alone and unsupported can’t be helpful.


  6. ManicMuses
    May 01, 2012 @ 03:02:08

    Absolutely wonderful post. You’re riding the wave, it isn’t riding you. Excellent!


  7. littlesundog
    May 12, 2012 @ 07:47:51

    Your written expression is beautiful. I know I say it over and over again, but you are inspiring to me. You give me courage in days of wandering aimlessly and uncertainty.


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