Swing Low, Sweet Bipolar Brain
by Storm
December 13, 2000 

Just the other day you were full of energy, running errands left and right. Cleaning like a French Maid, cooking like Julia Child, and crafting like good ol Martha Stewart. Then it comes. Slowly at first, gradually snaking it's way through the convoluted folds of your brain until it finally encircles you like a Herculean stranglehold vine.

Tears, they refuse to come. Medication makes sure of that. Body and brain both adopt a numbness that nothing nor anyone can penetrate. You hear the voices speaking to you...you just want them to shut-up and go away and leave you to your silent numbness. Must always be aware of the numbness for it is generally this cycle that many bipolar people will take that final step to end the numbness once and for all.

Energy levels have diminished to where you perform only the functional skills needed to survive. Food is more of a nuisance than a necessity. Too much energy to get up and fix anything. Except coffee and Pepsi. And cigarettes. 

I want to hibernate for the next 3 months like the Grizzlies do. Or at least I think they do. No social interactions please, I don't care to carry a conversation that will undoubtedly be totally lost on my ears. While the numbness has set into my body, my thoughts still race around the folds like tiny little NASCARs on a short oval track. I'm grouchy, irritable, sensitive...stay away from me until the cycle ends. Don't ask me if I'm okay because I'm not and you wouldn't understand if I did try to explain. 

"But the normal world continues to go on", you say. Sure, and so do I, but I'm not "normal" and my world functions completely bizarro compared to your so called normal world. The normal road is a smooth omelet and my road is semi-scorched scrambled egg. Now is not the time for serious, lengthy or short discussions. My attention span is worthless. My thoughts are intruding to the point I don't hear you anyway.

Actually, I will probably be dissociating during this entire cycle and if you push me, I'll spew out hurtful words like daggers and never even remember any of it. It's like watching an old movie of yourself...you see yourself saying mean things but you don't feel it, nor do you always remember it. Behavior you're told about later is not a forgotten memory...it is just something you have no recollection of ever. Because in your mind, it never ever occurred to begin with.

I would love to cry but I cannot. So I just sit here, waiting for it to end. Thinking of how well it was a few weeks ago, wondering what sink hole all that energy fell into. Will it return full force? Of course it will, when the brain decides it's ready to. I do run hot,cold and even lukewarm, but you cannot turn on or off my faucets. They have minds of their own; it is beyond my control.

Sleep won't come to save me without a heavy duty pill and wisdom and experience blares at my mind that pills are not the answer. Too easy to take too many and sleep too much. Cannot tend to my flowers for Mistress Autumn has cast her spell on them and they have long gone disappeared. My pastel drawings are of no use to me when numb. Use too much black and brown, morose morbid drawings. Quite a contrast to my usual pretty pastel scenes.

Feelings of a smothering solitude of loneliness is my winter coat for the time being. Face muscles cannot remember what to do to create a smile. When forced to be out to get food for the cats, the plastic mask of joyfulness comes on just long enough to get through the social rules of politeness. 

Waking every morning at 3:30am for no reason but a instantaneous GET UP NOW order from my brain. Days getting longer, internal clock is all out of whack. What is my purpose here again? Numbness makes me forget. There has to be a reason, perhaps I'll find out sometime. But not now. Not with the numbness of the down cycle. 

I love you as much as humanly possible but, please leave me alone for a few days. The other me will return, I promise and the laughter and smiles will return with me. But for right now, solitude is all I want, because what's important for me right now is to make sure the numbness doesn't lead me to the dark pit of hell

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