my space…

Life and experience is intoxicating, I love it. And I love people, but my love comes with a warning. Do not get too close. They never listen. I wonder if it is healthy, the distance I try to create with my loved ones for their own protection.

There are some axioms to my existence that do not lend themselves to stable relationships. I have learned that the best way to enjoy the company of another is to be honest – or as honest as I can be – about myself. Which only works if I am not delusional in the moment that I am talking to you. But that is a topic for a different day.

My euphoria interests people, and it is easy for them to forget that it is temporary. Soon to be replaced with my inability to get out a bed for a few days. I have been queried about my Buddhist leanings, my ability to forgive and move forward – what they call my fortitude. But people forget how easy it is to turn off the world, to be unaffected – whenever you feel as though you were never a part of it to begin with. Everything has a cost.

I have had this recurring dream for years, I am standing alone in the center of a tornado. In my space, everything is calm, silent. But my world, everything I know, is a vortex swirling around me in an infinite void. There have been people in the center with me, on occasion. And after my daughter was born she appeared in the center with me, as she has done every time since then.

Strangely, the dream is not scary. Chloe and I are at peace in our space. Still, I cannot help but wonder what this says about my view of the world around me. Does it say anything at all? If it does, does it provide any insight on the distance I find necessary to create with the ‘others’?

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~ by aikaterine on July 27, 2007.

14 Responses to “my space…”

  1. I am so very similar to those things you describe it really does make me wonder…
    The chemical nature of these conditions…

    I can be so intense and emotionally invested in something/someone one minute, and so quickly, without warning be completely unbothered. It can be people, thoughts, projects…its like my mind is a great big searchlight that illuminates whatever it is trained on, and then it passes, leaving what was previously so clear completely in the dark.

    I hurt people really badly because I am like this. I try to explain it has nothing to do with them, or boredom…its just moods….they swing and shift and I can do nothing about them. Best just to follow them and make the best of what I have.

  2. Ah yes, I have said the same to others, couched in many different phrases.

    “Just enjoy the ride”,

    “Let’s not focus on the future – just the here and now”

    And so on and so forth. But, inevitably, people get caught up and they forget the warnings. And yes, I too have caused pain. And I still cannot figure out how to stop.

  3. I am speaking as an outsider, and hope I am not being insensitive here, but isn’t there a medication which can smoothen this out? I am quite ignorant of this subject actually even though my uncle was bipolar. It is said so were two of my grand-uncles but no one knows because they were never diagnosed.
    I loved my uncle a lot but he drove us away, me and my father and well everyone else. At times he could be so loving that it was overwhelming and difficult to handle and at other times he was completely indifferent and rude. I was a teenager then and it made me think it was my fault. So I started to keep away. But over the years he drove almost everyone away. Even though we knew what a good man he was (he was brilliant as well) people started to become a little apprehensive about meeting him. You could never predict how the meeting would go.

  4. Nita –

    You are not being insensitive at all. In fact, I think it is good to have the perspective of someone who is not bipolar.

    The medicine ‘takes the edge off’. As an example, when I get very very depressed (or when I am in mixed states) I suffer from suicidal psychosis. When I am manic I tend to go on extreme shopping sprees. I also have some psychosis with extreme mania. The medicine keeps me from having those severe episodes. I no longer cut, and I have not attempted suicide since starting meds. I have also not gone on any major shopping sprees. But the medicine does not get rid of everything, the swings are still there, only less extreme. Unfortunately, for me, the meds have not stopped the feelings that I described here.

    I am not sure that they stop them for anyone. I guess you take what you can get and then try to live the best you can with the rest.

  5. Have you ever been assaulted by sound?

    You are sitting happily, even contentedly, listening to the conversations of others. An odd sensation over takes you, slightly dizzy, off balance, everything seems to tilt sideways for a split second. Increasingly the volume of the voices around you rises. It grows until every sound, every utterance, becomes a malicious blade slashing into your skull. You freeze up, tense, can’t think. People are talking to you, but you can’t understand them. You look around, uncomprehending. You think to yourself, “Oh god, not again” You feel foolish, embarrassed, and they JUST KEEP TALKING; every word like an assault on your senses.

    Then the pressure comes. It starts in your chest, squeezing your lungs until they feel as if they will burst. It moves downward, into your stomach. You feel sick, nauseous, can’t breathe. You begin to shake, you begin to sweat. You know you’re making a fool of yourself and that realization intensifies the sensations.

    Escape! You run, pride and dignity abandoned, to the safety of darkness. To silence, to peace. Slowly, slowly, you can breathe again. You take deep breaths of the sweetest air you’ve ever had, as the sweat turns cold on your skin. Finally, after what seems like a week, you sit up. You flip on the television and find something, anything, to take your mind off of what just happened.

    And then someone finds you: “Hey, I’ve been looking for you. Are you watching TV again? God, you’re so lazy.”

  6. Velinn-

    Thank you for sharing. That reminds me of many moments I experienced before getting on the Lamictal/Adderall cocktail. Which I always found odd, because I cannot normally function without two or three things going on at the same time. But there were moments when I definitely felt ‘assaulted by sound’, and the pressure you describe is all to real to me.

    Again, thank you for sharing. And please feel free to comment any time you want.

  7. Thanks.

    That was one of those stream of consciousness type things. I just pressed the right keys as thoughts bubbled up. Not sure what caused it to come up, probably the familiarity of your tornado metaphor.

    Not to be overly dramatic, but building on the metaphor.. if I were also finding myself slowly sinking into sand, it would be the most accurate. There is the space, the distance – but I am also battling myself at all times not to slide into what I can only describe as an absolute state of apathy. Not caring, even in the least, if you, or anyone around you is alive or dead, is a frightening place to be. The fear of pain, or even death, keeps us safe. To loose that is.. well, it’s not a good state to be in.

  8. There is an interesting difference between the metaphor of the quicksand and the tornado. In the former, you are battling with yourself not to slide into the state of not caring. In the latter, I am not battling with it. In fact, I am at peace with my world being a big vortex of wind, violence, uncertainty (I have no idea what the tornado represents – I just know what is in it).

    One of the real pains in the ass about my bipolar experience is that I have a tendency to be horribly self-centered and; if I am to be honest, probably a little sociopathic or anti-social (someone help me out here – I do not know the differences well enough). Not diagnosable, but many people who are bipolar have these ‘tendencies’.

    In any case, I cannot help but wonder if that plays into the differences I mentioned. I agree that the loss of fear (of pain and death) is not a good state to be in. I wish that I could ‘feel’ that the way you do.

  9. “There are some axioms to my existence that do not lend themselves to stable relationships.”

    How nicely written – wow! Within this seemingly simple sentence lies a profound truth that would liberate many bipolar people. Most of them blame themselves for not being good at relationships and suffer as a result. This is such a refreshingly different way to look at it…

    Your dream does provide all the insight into how you need the space. Me, I’ve never been able to keep or maintain such a space. Hence I always struggled.

    Medication has helped immensely. Lithium works like a charm. I’ve much more stability and am surviving without the need for the space…

    PS: I haven’t divulged any of the above on my blog. But couldn’t help expressing myself here.

  10. This is a tough one for me. It makes me think really hard about myself and people…oh dear.

    I’m not cold. I’m not distant. But I can be? Depends upon my mood and what’s on my mind? But usually if I’m with someone I care about…? Oh god, I don’t know! ARGH.

    I allow some people in with no problem–absolutely no barriers but then others? Well, I still think the majority gets in because I trust so easily.

    Shit, I don’t know. I still think I’m terminally relationship impaired. Probably the wrong person to even try to comment here!

    But I do agree with you on the honesty point. I am always honest–sometimes too much so and I’ve gotten my ass kicked for it but I’d rather be too honest than dishonest.

  11. “Shit, I don’t know. I still think I’m terminally relationship impaired. Probably the wrong person to even try to comment here!”

    I say that to myself every day. But then again, maybe we are the best ones, maybe we can serve as a warning to others. Just Kidding – Kind Of.

    I think relationships are fun and I revel in them. I imagine I am being this introspective because I am not actually in one at the moment. Lack of sex tends to make me very very introspective. It’s like, if I am not going to be satiated sexually then, dammit, I might as well solve the world’s problems.

  12. OMG…you’re funny. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever heard turn sexual frustration into a mission to save humanity!

    I love relationships too. I just can’t ever seem to “get it right.” I love falling in love and really am fascinated by people and enjoy all of the exchanges etc… but romantically…let’s just say very bad track record.

    Fall in love with the wrong women and get crushed every time!

  13. “I love relationships too. I just can’t ever seem to “get it right.” I love falling in love and really am fascinated by people and enjoy all of the exchanges etc… but romantically…let’s just say very bad track record.”

    This seems to be a common thread for many of us.

  14. Mahendra –

    Your comment got caught in my spam filter. Thank you so very much for sharing, and please do not hesitate to comment here.

    I think there are a few people who comment here on Lithium and it has worked wonders for them. It does not work well for me personally, but so much of managing this disease is getting the meds that work for you.

    I can understand not wanting to put this on your blog, so if you ever need a forum please feel free to use mine.

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