A friend of mine who has never seen an incident of my bi-polar rage, got a dose of it over this last stressful year.
As we know stress produces a lot of fun chemicals in our bi-polar brains, yet we seem to like the stress, and are notorious for creating havoc. We like adrenaline it seems. We enjoy those miraculous chemicals that make us happy and joyous. We despise the depression. Resist at all costs. But really the depression is much easier to control than mania, especially mania that has no end or light at the end of the tunnel. It's a combo deal: mania and depression.
I have been battling it back for two months and I'm not sure when it will end or if I can make it back to home plate. For several years I've known different people and they were not witness to who and what I am. They know I tell them I'm bi-polar and I'm certainly garrulous enough to qualify, but it's the other stuff that is tough to analyze and understand. I've talked to so many non polars and they give the shit about, "it's just an excuse" "yes, you do have control" or "sorry you're damaged." None of the above are even close to actually living this kind of "self controlled" life.
What I mean is we have to be vigilent and honest about where we are in terms of our thinking which may lead to actions unwanted. On an average day I handle average stress without much ado. Then there are higher forms of stress and I know I'll be angry or upset so I prepare my reaction. Most of the worst reactions come from a few types of things such as physical pain, not getting enough sleep, and medication or drugs, the same but some are prescribed.
I note that most of the bi-polars I know, which are many, including family, have drinking or drug problems. I'm not one of them, but I do understand as I have drank my way through a few bad times. However this is not at all what you should do. A bi-polar has their own chemicals, you don't need drugs. Trust me on this one.
My friend took me to an appointment where they were going to gingerly put some cortisone or steroid in my back. The doctor said it would be fine, they would give me a pain killer, and that I would not feel anything. They forgot to give me the painkiller. The doctor ignored my communication as I gripped onto the bed, while he continued to insert things into my back. I was sweating by the time it was over, once I sat up, there was snap, crackle and pop, as my neck was so tense that it aggravated something and ended up with an instant migraine.
Now had I prepared and brought my own meds, the one's I know what the reaction will be, there probably woud have been no problems. But these doctors want nothing more than to fill your baggy up with pills and then you're fine. If you don't react well to the medication then you have a doctor with a mental issue, doctors need to feel they are doing something for you, even when they are not. Fragile people I've noticed become doctors.
After the procedure, not done exactly as described, the doctor could care less as I was ready to throw up on him, and I just wanted to leave, which I did. Sadly, I went crazy on my friend as she was the driver and I was the psycho freaking her out with my cussing and thrashing about.
She had a lesson to learn that day: this is what a bi-polar can do.
I learned that day that yes, I'm capable of things I don't even know about. We argued vehemently over my ability to "control it." She went on and on about how she had seen me control myself, and that if I would just listen to her all would be well in the world. I explained through clenched teeth from the back seat of the car that had I known there was a problem I may have been able to foresee the stress and control it, but now it was all past that point.
If you trigger a bi-polar, my recommendation from what I've seen and done, is run.
But she kept arguing with me. I told her she's the crazy one for arguing with someone in a crazy state, such as I was at the time.
Hint, if a bi-polar is angry and quiet, why ruin a good thing by arguing with them.
Finally miles down the road, I gave the warning not to fuck with me or argue with me anymore as I reached the point of no return and I would jump out of the car and walk home if I had to. I couldn't listen to a non-bi-polar telling me what I am or am not.
I suppose luckily she was slowing for a light on the busy street when I opened the door and jumped out. The shock of hitting the pavement gave me a moment of clarity: "did I just jump out of the car? I did, wow."
She was far more shocked as she came around to pick me up as I was brushing myself off and walking thru traffic.
I told her the only way I would get in that car is if she "shut the fuck up" and let me wade through my bi-polar disorder by myself. She had no other choice. Then as she let me vent and listened to my explanation, I could see and feel she now understood something she hadn't before. All the bi-polar talk and she had not seen a true episode and it took her by surprise. But after an hour of having to listen to me, she knew I know myself. I may not have control but I try to get it.
She also was now the "medical contact" as she could explain me and my maladies. However, she didn't get the chance recently as I've had more great healthcare chemically induce a major mental episode which is not finished apparently.
With all the government thinking hey let's cut the benefits of people who rightfully should be given help to keep a balance in this country. How foolish, what idiots, the government contains to think we polars are ignorant fools, out of control. You will find most of us have above average IQ's and that we have little patience for stupidity.
The best option in dealing with our kind is simple kindness. Once triggered, an episode can last two minutes or two years or basically it's unknown. I'm trying to deal with a difficult situation which has me at a point of wondering "will I make it?" That sort of stress seems to propagate itself. And that is often countered with suicidal thoughts and basically a host of imagery of homicidal thoughts. This is where it gets dangerous and where you better know who you are dealing with and what to do. I honestly can say I don't know these current thoughts or myself at this point, thus keeping a balance is problematic even for me an old polar bear.
I believe I could say I'm experiencing other types of disorders, such as panic attacks when I recall a certain situation where I had pain to the point of dying. I'm also spacing out going back to the trauma, which I don't think is necessary and it is unpleasant.
How do I stop it? One of the main things to do is always question yourself if you feel you are out of control. Others as I described with my friend, may never have seen a true manic rage episode and they will not be prepared for it. She never expected me to jump out of the car and frankly neither did I. Every healthcare provider should be prepared for such episodes and friends and family need to create support to keep things from going from bad to much worse.
I have several to thank for my most recent challenge and this is where you have the most stress, is with people who will hinder from healing: mostly healthcare folks. They think they know fucking everything. The doctors in my town should start their own website called, "I'm so arrogant I think I know everything." They can tell us all about how great their own lives are with their ill fitted mates, their cheating on each other, their smoking and likely my most recent experience includes a doctor who was either on drugs or who is in need of an education.
If you can beleive it, I'm the "nice one" in the family. My brother and sister have actually stabbed people and shot guns at fleeing "former" friends or lovers. They have done things in their rage which I helped them work through the same as I do with my own mind. I talk them through it, now they don't know what the hell to do with me. My biological mother, she's the worst of it, she's like a biological warfare, one hour with her and your life falls apart. She's a bi-polar I should bring to this community where I live and then leave immediately because she would tear this place apart. She is diabolical and scares the shit out of me. My syblings are far more malable and resilient, whereas she's got the bad vodoo bi-polar.
When her life and mine collided as I stupidly tried to help her, I had the lesson of a lifetime. She didn't want help, whereas I do, but can't get help. No matter what type of issues you have always keep your friends informed, my whole brigade is on watch with me right now, but some are angry and some are hurt and some have no idea what roils in my head at this juncture. My torment is I can't let go of the torment and it is seeming out of my control. I'm a workaholic who can't do much but write about what? My torment.
Help is somewhere, I can't believe there are only people like I've seen here in the Killer Kern river valley, one of the worst places to live if you have health issues or children in school. I thought I was coming to a place for some quiet while I healed up. Instead I face my biggest challenges ever in my life and my health slid right down the mountain. In terms of trying to deal with people of supposed "intelligence" tell them ahead of time, always tell your doctor and do drop any doctor that makes any remarks or tells you that you are not okay and a redeemable, important person in this world. The more positive an environment, the more likely you'll successfully be a true blue bi-polar American. And the more likely the people will be more understanding with you.
I'm on edge, actually I am an edge that should not be rubbed up against right now as it's a cutting edge. I'm in a "time out" trying to deal with things in a way that the rage doesn't take control or taken out on the wrong people. There have been too many times in my life I've done things I regretted later.
That is your answer to the question: Just how bi-polar am I? Do I need on-going treatment or just here and there? All keys to being a successful bi-polar. And it's possible. I didn't need constant treatment until I had trauma and physical disorders and pain to go with it and then it becomes a multiple problem. Stick with it, there are always answers and I have my own to deal with, hopefully it won't involve CNN. That's for the next post... may there be one.