Der Rapid Cycle

BrunnhildeI’m at that phase of The Chest Cold/Bronchitis Opera where initial mania (Ooo, goodie!  I get to sleep all day and eat Raman Noodles!) gives way to the longer aria of depression.  I’ve been singing this part for several years now, and sometimes the Dark Solo can go on for months.  As can the bronchitis itself.  It’s a nasty, double whammy.  Sorta like Brünhilde losing her immortality AND getting thrown on a pyre.  Heh, Heh.  That Wagner.  What a cut up.

This season, though, I’m finding the depression to be different.  Not easier—that strum und drang never gets easier—but simpler.  This time, I have the gifts my mom left me to help me through the whole Ring cycle—her almost-new Honda and a small monthly income from investments.

sisyphusI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—the stress of poverty kills.  The hopelessness and desperation it creates turns a person into a sack of mindless meat.  It yanks away the will to live and leaves said person on bloody knees.  It’s a weight that can’t be shucked off or reasoned with—like Sisyphus’ stone (Oops.  Wrong Mythos).

I thank my mom every day for taking away my need to choose between medicine for chest blight and gas for her wonderful car.  I thank her for taking away the stress of being squashed-flat by poverty.  Eliminating that stressor has already made a huge difference in how I deal with my bipolar disorder.  Now I have a real chance to manage it.

But I still have to manage it.  Last week, someone asked me if, since I had a little more money and didn’t have the stress of my Peer Support job, I’d ‘get over the whole bipolar thing now.’  I wasn’t sure how to answer.  It’s not like a cold sore that flares up when you get nervous and then fades away.  It’s not a case of hives.  It’s a mental illness.  I still have to strap on my breast plates and take the stage.  Every single day.  And belt out that damned song.

Don’t be fooled.  The fat lady sings because she has to, not because the show is over.  This is one show that never ends.

22 Comments (+add yours?)

    Sep 27, 2014 @ 19:25:21

    I so get it. You are very fortunate that your Mom left you a way to survive. Hugs!


  2. roughghosts
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:45:13

    If it was so easy to get over “the whole bipolar thing” we would all be cured by now, wouldn’t we? Great post.


  3. LindaNoel
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:04:17

    Applause…from a member of the audience who totally identifies with the actor (I don’t say actress anymore). I have a great used Honda because of the planning my parents did for us 4 kids and because I somehow didn’t manically spend all of it when living off of it for a year…manically telling myself, “Oh, I can always get a job.”, forgetting I’m no longer young and able to bounce in and out of work… and because, amazingly, I recognized a great deal when I saw it: I’d never bought a car on my own before. I’m thankful daily, too. So glad to hear you are safely, comfortably, economically mobile — like me !


  4. David Kanigan
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 03:28:11

    Raman noodles, nourishment for soul. The show will go on. Must go on. Great post Sandy. Inspiring.


  5. Servetus
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 12:31:57

    Really well written.


  6. Kitt O'Malley
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 13:30:42

    We need better mental health education if people still wonder whether you would ‘get over the whole bipolar thing now.’ Even my husband yesterday wondered if his friend’s girlfriend wouldn’t have become severely mentally ill, incarcerated, and put on a 21 day psychiatric hold if she hadn’t done stressful work in foreign intelligence at one time. Perhaps she also had PTSD from her previous work experience, but her biological mental illness was inherited and passed down generation to generation.

    Take care of your physical health, for it does, as you well know, affect your mental health.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 28, 2014 @ 19:41:47

      Wow. You guys know a real-life Carrie from “Homeland”!
      Seriously, though, since severe stress usually precipitates those blow-out episodes, that’s all neuro-normals can hang their theories on. And I find that friends and family are constantly on the search for The Cause, even when they know better. I think they just can’t stand the truth of it.
      Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words. We’re all in this together.


  7. giselzitrone
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 03:42:22

    So ein schöner Beitrag lieber Gruß und eine gute Woche.Gislinde


  8. gleaningthescriptures
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 12:49:42

    Hey there. I have dealt with depression and it is no longer mine! I have found peace. I have enslaved myself to Jesus and as I wake up everyday and strap on my spiritual garb, just as you strap on your breast plates, I have found freedom from most everything that use to stress me out. I don’t even get sick anymore. I try to act in a manor that is not obnoxious to people who are turned off by Christ, but hey I am a healer and I say that when you feel your life being taken from you, give it away, on your knees, To Yeshua (thats Jesus), and eventually you feel the wrath leave you as it finds its way to where it belongs: on the cross. Romans chapter 6 explains it perfectly. Good luck and keep being beautiful. ; ) I will pray and want you to for me as well.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 30, 2014 @ 16:52:48

      I’m happy for you that you’ve found a way to deal with depression. Gratitude, acceptance, love are all needed in recovery. I don’t pray, but I will send loving intentions out into the Universe for your continued healing and peace.


  9. Littlesundog
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 14:33:32

    Wow… great post! The Universe is definitely speaking to me this past few months! Thank you, Sandy, for pulling me back to reality and reminding me that I am at the helm, and to look in the mirror for change.


  10. pegoleg
    Oct 02, 2014 @ 09:17:09

    You write so well, Sandy, even in the middle of a nasty aria. Hope this cycle is through quickly, for both mind and body.


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