This is only my third post on WordPress.
While tapping buttons on my phone (yes I’m writing on my phone) in an effort to familiarize myself with WordPress’ mobile site, I hit a link that took me to the front page. Right at the top was the banner for the Daily Prompt, the implications of which I realized immediately. A prompt for rudderless writers in need of direction. Cool! Then I saw the prompt and laughed out loud. I lol’d for real, like IRL, guys. Moody. That’s the prompt. Moody…
I’m bipolar. Moody elicits a quiet amusement. It’s quaint. People are moody. I’m moody like a hurricane is windy.
The complexity of mental illness and bipolar disorder could fill volumes, and they do. I’m not going to get into that here.
As for my own experience, I will say that it is difficult. People take for granted the ability to wake up in the morning and not want to die. That sounds dramatic, and it’s not everyday, of course, but depression is my default setting, as is the case for many who suffer from type 2 bipolar disorder.
I don’t go on mad spending sprees, feverish 24-hr writing binges ala Philip K. Dick (though sometimes I wish I could), and I don’t feel like a new age Adonis, god-like, super-human, pristine in ability and ready to take on the world. That’s type 1.
What I do experience are hypo-manic states in which my mind races and I feel a flood of inspiration, euphoria, and hyper-analysis of everything. Although this might sound useful and even desirable, the opposite is more true. It won’t stop. I can’t stop it, my brain. I can’t calm down. I can’t concentrate. I can’t sleep. But that isn’t often. More often than not, it’s oppressive, crushing depression.
There are treatments, of course, and I take every opportunity to feel better. The results are mixed. Medication can be a clumsy tool. The understanding of mental illness has no doubt increased leading to more effective anti-depressants. But there is still much we don’t know, and let’s face it, sometimes people are just incomprehensible. There are so many variables when it comes to human behavior that simply swallowing a pill everyday could work, but if you’re like me, it only kinda, sorta works.
I work out almost religiously. That helps. I do yoga too. It helps with the anger, and I do get angry, though that might have more to do with my job. That’s another post. Still I live my life more or less in a state of depression.
People who suffer from type 2 bipolar disorder have a high incidence of suicide, higher than type 1, in fact, and higher than most other kinds of mental illness. It’s hard, guys.
But you do what you have to do to keep going, preferably something healthy. Lord knows many a depressive has found themselves at the bottom of a bottle, or shooting up, or gambling, or employing some other means of self-medicating, self-destruction.
So, here on my third post (the other two being a muse on liberalism and conservatism and a review of a Star Wars movie), I’ve touched on a subject which is miles deep and requires more than a couple of paragraphs to analyze in any meaningful way. It’s a good bet that I’ll be delving deeper in future posts as it is so intertwined with my identity. I have to.
For now I’ll sign off, and apologize for getting a little heavy on this post ostensibly used for a casual daily exercise with the help of a prompt.