The Shot-Gun Blast

Joe Montagna, Criminal Minds, Dave RossiOne of the weirder things about bipolar disorder for me is that I forget how an episode operates once I’m through it.  I forget all the different ways an episode can manifest, the different markers of behavior and thought that can indicate which Path to Crazy we’re traveling on this time around.  For this reason, I started mapping some of those indicators, and refer back to them when my internal world gets wonky.

I had forgotten about The Shot-Gun Blast until it happened again this week.  This form of rapid cycling is the sudden onset of an intense mixed state that lasts for several hours, then either snaps into straight depression or mania, or drains into a fairly stable state.  When the characters on Criminal Minds talk about “a blitz attack,” this is what I imagine—violence that jumps out of the dark and takes you hostage.

There’s no time to pull out any tools, nothing but hysteria and a wild scramble to keep from drowning.  The part of the brain that wants to live calls up basic survival skills.  The best I could do was hit the video store and hole up in my apartment until the shooting stopped.  In about six hours the episode passed, leaving a sort of hangover that continues days later—fatigue, body pain and slow, muddled thinking.

I haven’t experienced a Shot-Gun Blast in quite a while, and it’s hard not to attach meaning to its appearance now.  Is it some kind of indicator?  After three months or more of rapid cycling, is something changing?  I don’t have any data to tell me one way or the other.  So, I’ll mark it on my Brain Map to see if there’s any pattern to be found.

Criminal MindsIn the interim, I’ve decided to take it as a good sign—the tea leaves of my brain chemistry portending good times ahead.  I may just be whistling in the dark, but that seems more productive than freezing in fear.  My BAU team would want me to keep whistling, if ever so quietly.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. littlesundog
    Dec 01, 2012 @ 18:31:21

    Gosh Sandy, I hope better times are just around the corner! The term, “Shot Gun Blast” makes me think of what it must be like for Daisy deer and her kind this time of year. Every time I hear the blast of a gun, I say a little prayer for the safety of the deer. I will do the same for you, my friend!


  2. Fork in My Eye
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 10:59:17

    Wow. Tea leaves and portents. I love your imagery. I’ve sometimes found comfort (and sometimes power) in recognizing my patterns, but it’s difficult and so often I forget to pay proper attention. Your mapping sounds ingenious. And the shotgun blast sounds scary. I hope you are well today.


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