Once upon a time, there was a famous scientist who said “what goes up, must come down”. His name was Issac Newton and he was talking about gravity’s affect upon objects. But really, he could have been talking about my bipolar!
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t just get happy
for endless periods of time.
No. I get what my system sells as ‘happy’ for a period of time and then, true to Newton’s theory, I get down.
Sad. Depressed. Melancholy. Dejected. Forlorn.
Gloomy. Glum. Wretched. Lugubrious.
This feeling lasts for a much longer period of time than the happy. Hence the ‘type II’ after Bipolar in my diagnosis. Even though I’m on Lithium – the ‘gold standard’ of mood stabilisers – my mood is still affected by gravity. Just not as much as it was before I started taking it.
Again, I don’t know about you, but I cannot control when these ups and downs are going to happen. I have no idea which one I’ll be when I get out of bed in the morning.
Take today for example. I woke up and found I was not in the black funk I have been in for the last week and a half. Just like that. Like the last ten days never happened. As if I haven’t just spent the last 14400 minutes dragging my miserable arse through each excruciating moment of every day.
Nope. Today, I’m bloody chipper!!
Woohoo!! No idea how long this will last. Maybe the whole day if I’m lucky. Maybe a week. It is really one of life’s great unknowns. Like the location of the hanging gardens of Babylon, or where Donald Trump’s hair flies to for winter.
I have found that I really only trust the dark times. I don’t trust the happy, the light, the trippy, the joyous, the sunny, the content.
Delight, is especially dodgy.
In my experience, happiness is fleeting. It always leaves and it never writes a parting note, nor gives a backward glance. Blackness doesn’t need to – because it never leaves. It’s always there. Always. Lurking. Skulking. Planning. Waiting.
Even if I wake up and my emotions are flying high, joyfully bouncing around in zero gravity, I cannot revel in the feeling because I know what Newton knew. What goes up, must come down. Every time. And so I wait for the happiness to end, because it will and there’s nothing I can do about it. And most of the time, this knowledge crushes me as surely as if my illness were a hand gripping my lungs and squeezing the air from them. I can’t tell you the last time I drew a deep breathe and didn’t anticipate the punishment of the dark side.
The ache in my heart after a high is so real that it magnifies the ensuing low, tenfold.
I feel the shutters come down over my soul and my eyes do not see in colour. Every thought is an effort; and every effort is like being in too-big gumboots, wading through knee high mud in a low oxygen environment. Awkward, asphyxiating, hard-going and intensely frustrating.
My life becomes a black and white movie that I am forced to watch through the dirty perspex windows that are my eyes. Every action is slow and laboured and feels like it is being performed by someone else. My ability to care about anything is non-existent. Because I am curled up behind my eyes, in a dank corner of my mind, trying not to fade away into nothingness.