Gettin it Back to Good
by Storm

I thought I would steal a bit of a lyric from a song by Matchbox 20, ď how can I get it back to goodĒ. How many times have we bipolars said and/or thought that. When our depressive side decides to show itself, it comes raging out like a lion. What most people donít realize is that our depressive side is just as strong and raging as our manic side. Just because we are depressed doesnít mean we are meek, cowering creatures to be pitied. I myself can become quite destructive to myself and others when in a depressive or manic episode. 


My depressive side manifests itself as irritability and anger, not tears. My antidepressants keep the tears at bay but not the anger. And for those of you nonbipolars who are reading this, yes, even with all those multicolored pills that we swallow each day, there are still times when we get depressed or manic. Hopefully we just donít get ďasĒ depressed or manic.


I can be angry when depressed or manic. But itís a different sort of angry. Itís difficult to explain but the energy that accompanies a manic anger for myself is much more dangerous to me and to others. That is when the possibility presents itself and presents an environment that may be ripe for me to actually go as far as to hurt someone else if pushed to that point. Luckily I have never been pushed there. But many of you have or you may know of someone who has. Many male bipolars get pushed to this point easier than females and sadly; it is their wife or girlfriend who pays the price for their rage. But of course, this can also go the other way as well.


My depressed anger is more of plotting anger. Maybe I will plot my suicide while I am angry. Or maybe I plot how to hurt someone who has hurt me. I have never actually acted out any of my ďplotsĒ, preferring to keep them in writing where they are safe and never actually harm anyone but probably my own psyche. But I do find self-satisfaction in writing out my rage on paper. I find it an extremely and wonderfully safe form of releasing my pent up rage. And believe folks, Iíve got some rage that has been stewing around for about 43 years, so I have a lot of papers filled with rage.


My manic anger periods I seldom remember. Itís as if Iíve been in a fugue. There is simply no recall whatsoever. I honestly will not remember calling so and so whatever name I uttered or doing whatever deed I am accused of. I will always remember my manic spending sprees to a certain degree. I remember that I did them but I may not always remember all of the places I went to spend my money or use my credit cards. When I go on a manic spending spree, my mind is whirling like Dorothyís tornado from Kansas and Iím the Witch on her broomstick doing doughnuts around Oz. I just shop and shop and I never drop because I have all that manic energy pushing me to keep going. The only thing that will cause me to cease shopping is the fact that my cards will be maxed out and my actual cash supply is spent and my bank account is at zero.


This is when I wonder to myself, ďhow can I get it back to good?Ē  Then I wonder, do I want the money to get back to good or do I want myself to get back to good? At the time I guess I probably just want the money to get back to good. Later on, after much introspection I know that in all honesty, I want myself to get back to good so that I donít do such things. Luckily I am in a situation now that I can be allowed the small spending spree almost anytime I want it. Notice I said ďsmallĒ spending spree. No more $3500 sprees for me. Those days are gone for good; at least I hope they are.


Getting back to the anger, Iíve been through anger management control classes and apparently I wasnít a good student because if Iím not in a stable mood cycle, my fuse is about as long as a grain of rice. I am defensive from the get go and any little thing will set me off and my anger is something that sometimes even scares me.  Iíve got a sharp Yankee tongue and can lash out with the best of them. My words can cause more pain than any punch to the face or anywhere else.  I learned at an early age that by using your intelligence you could hurt deeper than by using your fist.  Wounds heal, words stick with you for a long time.


Iím not proud of my temper or my anger. Itís a bit of a paradox actually because those that really know me will tell you that I am a very caring and compassionate person. I am one of the worldís foremost animal lovers in the entire star system. I will stop my car in a torrential rainstorm to help a turtle cross the highway so he doesnít get ďpoppedĒ by some moron who gets his kicks by running over small creatures on the road.  Where this anger comes from is beyond me. It more than likely comes from those Freudian childhood developmental stages that were for a complete disaster, and me, all screwed up. Nothing in my childhood was by the book.


Then of course there is the bipolar disorder.  I suppose that doesnít help matters much. I wonder sometimes if the disorder doesnít somehow keep us from being able to censor our anger when we need to, like nonbipolars that donít have anger problems can do. Granted, there are thousands of nonbipolars that have anger problems, so perhaps there is something in all of our brains that controls anger and some of us are missing something or have too much of something that messes up with the regulation of whatever it is that controls our anger. I donít have the answer and most of the time I donít even know the question because my attention span is too damn short. I wonít even get into the topic of attention spans because that itself is a full article itself! 




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