Monday, January 11, 2010

the other side of mania

right, so here goes... i've often blogged about being bipolar - but i tend to stick to the manic side of things. even the posts that touch on the depressive aspects are written with a touch of mania. i suppose i don't want to spread the dankness too much.

well, today i might just break tradition. at least, i'm hoping my self-editing won't stop me from sharing a glimpse into the fog that hangs as a pall on the other side of mania.

yesterday was a black monday.
it didn't start off as that, mind you. in fact, i had an unusually productive, even satisfying morning. but it all turned to sh!t very rapidly. to be clear, i don't want to go into a lament about the triggers and such - but i think i need to show you another place some of us beepers sometimes go:

imagine, if you will, walking down your street at your favorite time of day. looking around, you realize that something's different. not quite right. you can't quite put your finger on it though... then you become aware of a cold hand gripping your heart of hearts. not squeezing it, mind you, but holding it down. holding it tight. suffocating your will to be. you're not loosing the will to live - you're not losing anything. you've lost the need to exist. it is already gone...

looking up, you realize that you are in a cardboard cutout of what you thought was reality. the trees, the mountains, the buildings - even the grass around you - isn't really there.

you realize you're no longer moving. your legs give way and you sit down. you think that you should want to cry - but even that is no longer real. color drains from everything around you. the cardboard cutouts waver, then crumble before your eyes. like an elaborate puzzle, everything falls apart. gravity. even your mind starts to succumb to it. the pull is all you feel. on your heart, your limbs, even your thoughts are getting too heavy to bear.

as you hunch over, giving up all resistance, you realize the ground beneath you has vanished. but you're not falling. you're collapsing into yourself. at least, it looks like you. you can't really tell. imploding is the word, i think. words... as a foreign blanket of icy despair starts to crush what little of you remains - you call out. i call out to God - but my words are meaningless. everything i know, or thought i knew, is meaningless. empty. there is just the relentless pull of internal gravity.

but just before you disappear - it stops. like a hammer hesitating to give the final blow - there is nothing, but you're not out of the woods either. woods? there's nothing around you but a steely, grey fog. this could be limbo. fear, frustration, powerlessness, unbearable sadness. despair. you understand, without knowledge, what despair is. that is the lesson. that is real.

when you open your eyes your back outside. the cardboard reality has been replaced by bricks and mortar. trees, grass, even a stray dog...

you get up to go home...
your name is Despair.


  1. Thank you for sharing this very dark and intimate feeling/experience/reality with us. In spite of your illness, I am SO-O-O proud of you. God bless!!

  2. Thank you Mom! You are one of my anchors in life. I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life - and to be able to share my life with you completely! The love you and Dad show me every day, gives me the strength and the heart to reach out and love where love is so desperately needed. God blesses us in ways we don't always comprehend.

    Ek is baie lief vir Mamma en Pappa. En oneindig dankbaar vir die Gawe van ons liefde.


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