Monday, October 28, 2019

About Me Monday: The Dark Half

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Trigger warning/content warning/warning warning/danger danger:
Discussion of suicide ideation. 
If you don't want to read about that, don't read this post.

Would you like to know the practical problem with being thrown on a downward spiral?

Have you guessed that I'm going to tell you anyway?

"With" is correct in this case, Grammarly. Not "of." Fuck off.


The practical problem with falling down the hole is having to re-establish my productivity patterns after making a break with them in favor of Netflix and Brood While Hoping the Asteroid Obliterates The Earth Soon So I Can Quit Feeling Like This.

Seeing as my brain is (as I have explained before) like one of these fucked-up spiderwebs...

Click to enlarge

"Like" is correct in this case, Grammarly. Not "as." Fuck off again.

Anyway, my brain is a Peyote spiderweb or an LSD spiderweb. Those look normal at first, but on closer examination, they aren't.

I think it's freaky that the Peyote and LSD spiderwebs look more normal than the Caffeine spiderweb. I drink coffee and tea all the time for "mental clarity." Or maybe just because I like them, seeing as apparently in a person with ADD, caffeine really doesn't do jack shit for your mental clarity. This is why I can drink coffee and then go to sleep, no problem, except for the fact that I am perhaps a bit more likely to wake up having to pee two hours later. Which might happen anyways, so it's kind of a crapshoot.

Anyway, enough about my caffeine consumption. The OCD part of my synaptic fuckery (yes, I really do have OCD, I'm not using it as a euphemism for "hyper-organized," which I am not) hates like a motherfucker when my patterns get disrupted. I don't have an exact time of day for getting things done--the bipolar part of my synaptic fuckery hates the fuck out of rigid deadlines--but I do like to have certain things done on certain days at a certain period in the day. For instance, I like to have my Monday morning "share this shit around with these certain blog hops" post done in the morning. Not "at *8:15 sharp" or even "by ten," just "in the morning." Because that is how I roll.

When my shit psyche has decided to take me off the rails into "fuck everything, it all sucks" town, and I have gotten nothing accomplished, my pattern is fucked for the day, possibly for the week, and I am anxious as fuck.

This is why I start wanting to throw shit whenever some clown-ass shrink sells a book claiming that people can be "cured" of mental illness if you just follow their sage wisdom, which is probably the same fucking "sage wisdom" that some other fucker touted in some other book, and it probably involves Stopping that Stinkin' Thinkin' and instead Thinking Positive, Say Halleluja, and Boy Howdy, You are Cured! And if you aren't you're doing it wrong. Kind of like with all the cabbage soup Special K Weight Watchers Jenny Craig Nutrisystem Medifast Slimfast Alli Atkins Detox Tea Shit Your Pants In Public and Be A Fucking Grouch that No-One Can Stand To Be Around Because Your Ass is Fucking Starving And This Shit Only Works Long-Term For About 5% Of People diets out there. If the millionth one of these crap-ass bullshit not enough nutrition to keep a fucking ant alive diets doesn't work long-term for the dieter, it's always the dieter's fault and not the fault of a flawed-ass program designed to keep you paying into a flawed and fucked system forever while you remain filled with self-loathing for your entire miserable life.

But my misanthropic self digresses.

You can't "cure" mental illness any more than you can cure type 2 diabetes with whatever brand of snake oil or mantras or "defining yourself" or whatever the fuck bullshit they're spouting. Type 2 diabetes occasionally goes into remission. Occasionally. It can never be cured. Myself, I ain't going to bank on it going into remission because that's highly unlikely. I'm going to go with Reality Bites on this one, use my insulin, and other than that, try not to obsess about the fact that this fucking disease makes me multiple times more vulnerable than your average 54-year-old for strokes and kidney failure. It wouldn't do me one damn bit of good to obsess about that shit, so I'm not going to. Not the same thing as being in denial, I'm fully aware that I have diabetes. But it's not going to cure me to think about it all day long or to try to pray it away or wave magic wands at it or eat only bran and some sort of overpriced oil for the rest of my life. 

With mental illness, you don't cure it, you learn techniques to cope with your fucked and broken brain. Nobody has ever "cured" mental illness. They have taught people to deal with shit. That's all. If you're lucky, you find a sympathetic shrink who will help you learn some coping skills and hopefully teach you how to get along with yourself rather than just teaching you to be an obedient little cog in the machine. If you're not lucky, well, welcome to the club. I've never resonated with mental health professionals. I always feel like they're not listening to what I'm really saying. Some of them are sort of pleasant to shoot the shit with, the rest just piss me off. Most of them have nothing to offer me. So, I'll make do with what I can do. It's cheaper, both in terms of money and time lost.

Because I have rapid-cycling type 2 bipolar disorder, I've had people imply that it's no big deal when I go down the hole, because I'll cycle back up again within a week to ten days. This is true to a degree, although circumstances do impact mood and feeling ignored and ostracized can keep me down for longer. On the other hand, sometimes I just need to be left the fuck alone for a while. An adorable little bundle of contradictions, me.

I read that statistically, people with type 2 bipolar disorder are more likely to commit suicide than people with bipolar 1 or schizophrenia. On the surface, this doesn't make sense. Since bipolar 2 presents with hypomania rather than full mania and people with bipolar 2 don't experience psychosis, wouldn't this mean that they are more capable of reasoning things out?

What it means is that people with bipolar 2 do not experience altered states and therefore tend not to experience the euphoria which sometimes (by no means always) accompanies a full mania. I've only experienced full mania when taking SSRIs and I don't know how anyone handles that state. I was tremendously agitated and nothing made any damn sense at all. I did not experience euphoria. It was like my entire body was electrified and I just wanted to turn it the fuck off, but I couldn't. Bipolar 2 does not come with full mania, although when untreated, I did at times experience giddiness surrounding a given situation. When I realized that I was mistaking giddiness for happiness and that I have only experienced actual happiness a handful of times in my life, that right there kind of made me want to off myself. It was really discouraging.

Similarly, people with bipolar 2 do not experience hallucinations or delusions (except when taking narcotics, at least in my case). The metaphysical part of my belief system thinks that it's possible that for people with schizophrenia, the barrier between worlds is not closed and they see creatures such as elementals and spirits all the time. Whatever the case, for people with Bipolar 2, we are aware of the world as it is. This means we are more likely to aware that reality, in fact, does fucking suck, and sometimes we are not able to Stop That Stinkin' Thinkin'. The more we look at our crap-ass, hopeless situation, the more hopeless we feel. There is no magic fairy dust. There is no Happy Ever After. There is only more of the same fucking shit to look forward to because even if we pull ourselves out of this round of fuckery, we're just back on the same roller coaster. As Sylvia Plath (who had bipolar disorder) said:

"To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.

How did I know that someday—at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere—the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn’t descend again?"

--Sylvia Plath (27 October 1932 - 11 February 1963)

As I have learned, it does descend, again and again and again.


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