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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

this post brought to you by hypohypomania

September 29th, 2011 (06:23 pm)

So... update!

My life has been quite literally crazy for... oh, for six months easy, I guess, but I only picked up on it a couple days ago, when I finally swung out of a fairly lethal depressive state and into hypomania. Hypomania! It is incredible! I can just like do everything! Until it changes to a mixed state and I start sobbing with rage because, for example, there was an offensive line on Harry's Law,* a show that I only watch in the first place to ogle Karen Olivo. But mostly, I have found hypomania to be a relief after all those months of hating myself and wanting to die and telling myself over and over again that I wasn't really chemically depressed, I just really was such a horrible person that it would be best for me to die.

And no, I don't talk about those things with anybody except λ. I figured I was being self-indulgent enough as it was without whining to the rest of the world about it. Sometimes it is odd to look back over my Internet records from the worst periods of my life and see the blogs and tweets of a girl whose biggest apparent concern was what Julianna Margulies wore to the Emmys. I don't even care about Julianna Margulies.

At any rate. Right now I am perched very precariously on a thin rail of what neurotypical people call "normal", although teetering slightly in the direction of manic. I kicked up my meds a little last night and got a full night's sleep for the first time in a week or so, and I'm not hypomanic anymore**. I'm not depressed either. But... I can do things. I don't really think that anyone who has not had to deal with depression can understand the meaning of that. I mean that I woke up this morning and decided, after six months of sobbing and wanting to kill myself every time I thought about writing or doing any other kind of work, that I should be doing some freelance editing work in addition to the writing that I had been busy not doing until two days ago, when I finally managed to get busy doing it again. So I printed up a flyer advertising a college essay editing/SAT tutoring service and I went to post it on some community bulletin boards. While I was out I ran some errands, many of which I had been meaning to run since we moved into this apartment. Then I came home and decided that since we live in a nice apartment which is not only entirely undecorated but still not totally unpacked, I should work on that. I unpacked the boxes in our little game room** and then decided that I should try to cobble together some decorations for our huge expanses of entirely bare wall. I dug around and found paint, some old coloring pages I'd done, construction paper and popsicle sticks. Awesome! I thought. I will make a series of homey yet polished pieces of artwork with these supplies and they will not look like a kindergartener made them at ALL! I will decorate our entire house for absolutely no money! This will be so great!

I'm not hypomanic anymore, but here and there you do find traces of it still.

Anyway, so I had this idea that I was going to make frames and matting for some of my coloring pages with popsicle sticks, paint, glue, construction paper, and a big cardboard air conditioner box that I cut up before λ could tell me that we needed that to repack the air conditioner to store it for the winter. So I'm awesome. But still! It was going to be very easy and simple and after a few hours or so I would have like an artwork series!

Five hours later (five hours later) here is what had happened:



Clearly that deserves pride of place over the mantelpiece we haven't got. I'm especially a fan of the way the stray glue smears catch the light. And the way the popsicle sticks frame has that charming, one-of-a-kind unevenness going on. And the way that the super glue we had wouldn't bond with wood and we didn't have any other glue in the house, so I had to secure the popsicle sticks frame to the murdered air conditioner box matting with thumbtacks. Which don't really stay in the cardboard very well because I measured the cardboard wrong and it's a little too small, so the tacks are riiiiiiight at the edges of it. And also they're thumbtacks. Holding together popsicle sticks. And cardboard.

Since this took me five hours I determined after some judicious thought that I would save the rest of the series for another day. Or a series of another days. Next time I will be smarter about it though. I will actually measure some things and stuff. Really getting professional now.

Anyway the only thing I have not done yet today is write, but I am going to do that now, because I am capable of doing that now. I sent my agent an email in the middle of the night the other night telling him to expect the revised book on Monday, after having been out of touch with him for I do not know how many months. His reply sounded a little startled and confused, but he was perfectly receptive to this suggestion and now I am sending the book back Monday.****

The thing I am not talking about now because it does not do any good to talk about it now, really, is that this okay period is going to vanish in about three days, if I get that long. And I cannot bear to go back to being depressed. I can't. I had forgotten what it was like not to drearily hate every breath I drew. I called my doctor (who really should have picked up on this before and done something about it, like maybe one of the two times I made overt suicidal gestures, but then we mustn't ask for too much) and I am planning on telling her she needs to fucking do something about this, because I have just had a breath of fresh air for the first time in six months and I am not going back down in that coal mine with the dead canary fifty feet ahead. Somehow I am going to make this okay.

Man, fuck bipolar disorder right in the ear.

___________________________


*Granted the line was really offensive. The lawyers were doing an interview with some weird guy who seemed to me to be suffering from some combination of sociopathy, autism, and addiction to horse tranquilizers. Later one of the lawyers asked another one what was up with him. "He's bipolar," Lawyer 2 said. "At least, he'd like to be bipolar. Bipolar's very chic now. It used to be bisexuality was the hip thing, now it's bipolar." FUCKING SERIOUSLY, HARRY'S LAW. Get a better show, Karen Olivo, I don't feel like watching this one anymore.
**This means my thoughts aren't racing, I'm not talking too fast, I'm not finding everything in the world to be the most brilliant and amazing ever, and I managed to sleep through a night. Other residual traces of the hypomania are slight enough to be more or less disregarded, although they do make life kind of silly at times.
***If I'm telling the truth, what it actually is is a stuffed animal room. It has a bookcase full of stuffed animals and toys which is the dominating feature. It also has a lot of board games and a digital piano. I call it the game room most of the time, the music room when I'm trying to sound a little more upscale or when I remember mid-sentence that people will think we have a pool table and a poker setup if I call it the game room, and the toy room when I'm talking to λ.
****The reason I can predict Monday with confidence is that I froze up with virtually nothing left to do. It was unbelievable. I spent months on end crying about how I couldn't write, knowing full well that all I had left was to write one half of one chapter, edit the framework for another chapter, and add some seasonal references here and there so that the entire book doesn't seem to be happening in the span of a week and a half. That's it. That's what has been making me want to commit suicide for months now.

Comments

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)

*HUGS*

I don't know what bipolar is like from the inside, but I do know depression, of the "failing classes because I can't bring myself to do two minutes of homework, crying myself to sleep because I can't find enough energy to slit my wrists" type. It sucks. I hope you can find whatever help you need so you don't have to slide back into that.

I've missed your presence on the internet. I assumed it was because your life had gotten busy and you had better things to do than blog and/or tweet; sorry to hear it was a less happy reason.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)

This comment was really helpful to me, Damian, thank you. What you said about depression is exactly how I've experienced it, and it made me feel understood and not alone. I mean, Christ, all the nights I've spent in a fever of self-loathing because I didn't "have the courage" to kill myself. (And all the classes I almost failed in college -- I dropped out two-thirds of the way through one semester to avoid actually failing. Well, and to get treatment. Anyway, not being able to write anything longer than a tweet was due to the same issue.)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)

I did drop several classes in college rather than fail them - some of which were way over my head anyway, but at least one, I could have passed easily if I'd been able to make myself actually do the work and turn it in. I started college as a physics major on the honors track, and failed - there were other factors, but depression was a big one. To this day my mother's holding that against me as "proof" that I'm indecisive, don't know what I want, can't stick to a goal. It's not. I was mentally ill. (Still am, though I'm better at managing it now.)

Also I almost killed myself over a two-page reading summary five years ago, so your last footnote - I can relate to that.

So...yeah. You're not alone. I do understand. *HUGS*

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)

Ugh, I am so sorry your mom thinks/says that. Having someone else put that shit on you makes everything so much worse because if you're anything like me you sometimes start to believe it in your dark moments. That laziness comment of Marcia's stuck with me forever, and all this past summer my mom was telling me that I'm not bipolar, all my problems are actually caused by the medication, and if I would just exercise and eat right (which I kind of ALREADY DO, THANKS) I would be cured. I was depressed enough that I really started to believe her, even though it's a pretty blatantly ridiculous idea. I guess my point is that people's ignorant comments, particularly mothers', can make things a lot worse, at least for me.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)

Yeah. I do start to believe it sometimes - that and a lot of other crap people have said to me. People who'd KNOW it was ridiculous to say something like "Oh, you have cancer? Well, if you really WANTED to be healthy, it would go away" think it's perfectly alright to say that about mental illnesses. My mother has also implied, on multiple occasions, that my autism a) is a problem and b) would cease to be a problem if I'd just put a little effort into it. I also had a friend once who seemed to think "problem caused by brain chemistry" was the same thing as "faking it for attention" because it's all in your head, right? It's not like it's REAL. Argh.

Mental health problems are hard enough to deal with without all the shit people say about them. Frequently people who really ought to know better. (Did your therapist seriously call you lazy? Seriously??!!)

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