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bear by san

February 2017



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criminal minds diana reid crazy

it's so hard when you're living in the devil's playground***

So as those of you who have been around a while are aware, I have some somewhat nonstandard brain wiring and chemistry going on. *****

I'm out about it, because I'm what passes for a public figure on a really bad news day, and who the hell knows--there's so much scare out there about bipolar that maybe it will help somebody to see somebody else with a fairly fucking acute case, who is nevertheless functional, creative, realistic, moderately successful, and not yet dead.****

Normally, I don't blog about it too much, because it's boring, but what's going on right now is actually interesting.

Short form: I'm bipolar I, ultra-rapid cycling**, and I have had that diagnosis since it was manic depression and the treatment was lithium until you killed yourself. (Things are better now.) I'm one of the lucky ones that can control it fairly well through diet, exercise, and supplements, and I got a buttload of cognitive therapy and coping mechanisms from about age 6, so I'm not medicated, and I'm also not prone to hallucinations, delusions, or *paranoia.

Well, anyway, as I write this, I have not slept in forty hours.

I'm not tired. I'm extremely productive. I am mellow and cheerful as a hippie stereotype, and every synapse in my brain is being bathed in massive quantities of sweet, sweet serotonin. Life is good, everything is awesome, I'm not tired, this is fun, and wouldn't you like to go for a walk?

It's basically like E, without the pacifiers.

Since Tuesday morning, I have run four miles, practiced yoga, had a fairly stiff rock-climbing session (which I only quit because my climbing partner had had enough), read a book for review, started another one, written over 8000 words (a personal best in wordcount), completed a novel revision, brushed the dog, driven up to my mom's place to split the farm share with her, gone through a massage therapy session (these hurt, and usually leave me pretty wasted afterwards), watched three episodes of Flashpoint (it r0xx0rs, rent it), played two hours of Bookworm, talked myself out of another run because I knew I was fucking tanked to the gills on Nature's uppers--

...I wish I could maintain this for the rest of my life. I could write three novels a year and have plenty of time for everything else I love doing. I would never get tired or bored or sad. I would be one of Nancy Kress's Sleepless, and I would fucking rule.

The problem, of course, is that life is not fiction.

I haven't slept for forty hours and I have no urge at all to sleep now. And even though I feel calm and alert (and with-it enough to remember that even though I feel great, my reflexes are probably not all that, and there are fatigue poisons coursing through my body even if I'm too stoned on happy chemicals to feel them) I know intellectually that there is a price to pay for this happy, happy serotonin bath.

There's a crash, you see. Or worse, there's a manic phase (which I have been trying to head off with lots of fish and running), and my manic phases are not a happy place.

So at this juncture, I will be applying beer and benedryl until I pass the fuck out. Because I can tell already, the alternative is another post like this at 10 pm tomorrow, and the Netflix queueueueueueue doesn't need reducing that much.

Self-medicating. It's okay, as long as you are nice and know better....

*mostly. I do get the occasional fugue state of everbody hates me and I'm a terrible person and I should fall under a truck, but mostly I can correct for those. Except the one that was apparently provoked by some unregulated herbal supplement in my multivitamins, Nov 2007-Apr 2008. That? Fucking sucked.

**I don't get the good mania. I get the fits-of-destructive-rage mania. You wouldn't like me when I'm manic. Fortunately, at this age, I have interrupts installed, mostly.

***Gram Rabbit always reminds me of how much I miss Life. That was some good TV.

****I said moderately.

*****So you've noticed that these end notes are out of order, have you? They are, however, in the order in which I wrote the post--and the end notes.


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{HUG} Sleep well.
This may be a two-beer problem....

having not read ANYTHING else in this post:

I'm REALLY upset at how quickly they had to wrap up Life. Great, Perfect resolution, but should have been at least two more episodes, getting there.

May have more pertinent things to say re: the other 96% of this post, after I get home and can read it, properly.

Re: having not read ANYTHING else in this post:

LIFE was some of the best TV in the last fifteen years.

For serious.

Fucking amazing--to use clair techniques to take on noir topics, and just cruise through their heart....
I wanted to make you an ASCII butterfly, but I do not have a Cyrillic keyboard.
I had no idea. I totally missed this. I am Bipolar. I have rapid cycling and mixed states. Thank you for this. Rest well.
You can live to be a hundred, babe. just remember that war ends.

Edited at 2010-07-29 03:03 am (UTC)
Since you write well when in this state, I suppose we should hug you, hand you another beer, and tuck you in.
40 hours is a bit long for anyone.
Sleep well, lovely lady.
That's the curse of hypomania. Because you do EVERYTHING well in that state.

You are God's Own Drunk and a fearless man.

This is why so many people with bipolar resist treatment.

Because hypomania fucking rocks.

My urge right now, by the way, is to ride it and see if it gets me through tomorrow. But I also know I have to drive tomorrow.

And I had better not have been up for sixty fucking hours when I try that.

(This is where the cognitive therapy comes in.)

But oh, hypomania is fun. I am ten feet tall and covered in gold dust, baby.
I'm not bipolar but one of my best friends..., but I run into my own problems with my brain wiring (depression and mental illness. Soooo, while our minds may not run in the same gutter, can empathise.

Take care.
you too.
ddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddde get that benedryl, srsly.

oh yes, teh fatigue poisons are crawling up behind your seratonins with a blackjack...
Good luck with the sleep; hopefully it heads off the worst of the other end of the scale!

(I have a different mixed bag of bad chemistry, but I understand the sleep problems, and I always feel somehow comforted by reading other people who don't medicate deal with theirs. So thank you for sharing.)
Medication with SSRIs is a valid application of the placebo principle.

Rock it, you who do.

I personally believe that the thing we call consciousness is an evolutionary adaptation to the Jaguar overclocking of our poor mammal brains.

The faster it revs, the more you need that mechanic.


We need to hang out some time w/o fandom shit in the way.
I <3 you.
Back atcha.

It's stupid how the scariest posts to write are the easiest to compose.
Thanks, as always, for the brave sharing.

I'm curious; do you have any self-tests you use to see how messed up you are (by things like fatigue poisons)?

I use Minesweeper as a primitive test of how crap I feel on any given day. It's useful when I am too mentally foggy or messed up to self-diagnose. If I can't click on the squares I want, I've got muscle-nerve coordination issues and will make lots of typos and should not attempt anything with knives or expensive things, and should stick to plastic cups and not driving. Likewise, if my times are crap, my reflexes may be slow and I shouldn't drive or play with knives.

Mentally, it's even more useful. On a good day, I play several rounds, score average scores, and start to get bored. On a stupid day, I may get drowsy after those rounds, or just be perfectly content to keep playing Minesweeper for an hour despite below average scores. This is a sign that major creative work isn't going to happen. If I become extremely irritable at my bad performance, or find myself doing the depression litany of "I suck", my emotional balance is crap that hour, and I may need painkillers/a meal/a nap. And so on.

How do you spot the mania other than not sleeping? Are your Bookworm scores breaking personal records?

It must be awesome to be productive for that long, and I envy you, even while I fully endorse the beer-and-Benadryl routine ASAP before the fatigue poisons get you. I have insomnia, but I also have fatigue, so I stay up for two nights running being horribly tired and stupid and useless, but still unable to sleep - which really sucks.

If I am actually happy/heartened, it is probably mild hypomanic and to be encouraged.

If I hate myself and everything I have ever done, if I think the world would be better off without me--depressive swing, sometimes triggered by abusive behavior on the part of another.

If I'm gonna fuck you up, I am angry. I am pretty sure I get angry sometimes for non BPD reasons, but fuck me if I can point to where.

May the benadryl and the beer mix sweetly, and may you sleep deep.
I may have grogginess. Stay tuned.


"...maybe it will help somebody to see somebody else with a fairly fucking acute case, who is nevertheless functional, creative, realistic, moderately successful, and not yet dead."

It does. Immensely. Thank you. :)
I have long cycles. And man oh man, I love the hypomania. I get so much DONE. Oh, and if it's horse racing season and I can make it to the track? Wow. 'Cause it's like I can see and read absolutely everything about what's going on in the paddock and I KNOW who's going to win.

Unfortunately, I have really long suicidal spells, and my full on mania gets me to the exploding glass stage. Not so much fun.

Lots of cognitive therapy. A good circle of friends who I can turn to when I need to. Serious coping mechanisms. And when all else fails I will curl up on the couch and remind myself not to go in the kitchen because there're knives in there.

I chose to go off lithium because the world was too fucking grey when I was on it. So I cope. And sometimes it's not fun. But sometimes, oh my, yes, yes it is.

Hope you're able to get some rest. Being aware of what's going on is half the battle.
That is such a good description of lithium. *shudder*
I was very glad to not be on it anymore.


Very interesting. . . thanks for sharing this information. After watching my father bomb the heck out of his relationships with me and my mother, I have no illusions about shiny bipolarity (once he bought a Mercedes on a manic binge). . . I think like many children of bipolar parents, I police my moods constantly and am always on the lookout for anything that might be considered manic or depressive.

I've never become clinically manic but occasionally enter a state of mild hypomania (alertness, energy, creativity, increased desire to Buy Stuff). . . and whether fortunately/unfortunately, am totally unable to enjoy or trust that state, because I'm sure something horrible and clinical is on the way. Still, fear does prevent me from overspending! It's particularly interesting and heartening (though it does not diminish your suffering!!) to hear about the disorder from the inside of someone who manages to troubleshoot it, and is creatively successful. My father's no longer around but perhaps there's hope for others. --phran
i too have to police everything i do,

fucking exhausting.
Ahhh...another person who gets the mean, cranky version of mania. Not everyone understands that mania does not equal happy. And since I'm bipolar II, that means that my hypomania sort of sneaks up and bites me on the ass - I don't realize I'm doing it until somebody tells me off, or I get in trouble with something or someone.
Good luck with the Benadryl and beer - Benadryl has that opposite reaction with me - I stay awake and climb the walls!
Benedryl makes me evil (psuedoephedrine doubly so) but combined reasonably with booze..

oops, meant to post that as myself, not anon
all good
I suspect your description of hypomania fits some people's notions of above-average sanity. (SF descriptions of hyper-sane people -- let's just say that Philip K. Dick's was not among the oddest ones.)

Strength to you.
in fact, that is what it is. what dick and sturgeon missed is that you pay for it.
A bit more: The herb supplement -- aren't unexpected side effects delightful? A prescription decongestant I was trying out made me depressed; it felt so natural that I took a while to realize what was going on.
I have a friend who flipped out on a decongestant.


for shit that saves lives, i worry.

I love you tremendously you know. Thanks for writing this.

Interestingly, I was JUST now discussing self-medication and have been thinking about it all week. This last several weeks I am anxietyhockeymom. Anxietyhockeymom is not generally productive.
i love you too. and miss you a ton.
Different set of pains in my backstory, but empathy obtains anyway...
Thanks for sharing this.
It has occurred to me that you and I may have similar tastes in television... I, too, loved Life. (and CM, which goes without saying)

So, I bet you'd like White Collar, too. Admittedly, sometimes my taste in TV is a bit less than stellar, but... I think you'd enjoy it. It's got FBI dudes, in the white collar crimes division. They're smart! And a con-man who's just a bit good, and still kinda bad, too. The cast is racially mixed in a pleasing manner (tho I still yearn for a main character to be non-white and non-male), and a major supporting character is lesbian! in the FBI! and she stays that way. :)

Anyway, show recommendation for you. Also, have a good sleep.
I have heard goodthings about white collar....

Ugh, the fugue state of everyone-hates-me, I-am-a-waste-of-oxygen. I can sometimes self-medicate with friendship, but it's a bitch to get the right dose from the Internet.

Go Benadryl/beer! I'm damn lucky Benadryl doesn't cause dependence, else I'd be in sad shape.
vibes do not work on him as an external conflict.

Dyachenko left the room. The org must secure.
As you know, Bob, we've discussed this before, and I'm Bipolar 2. Happily medicated until recently. I was beginning to think it wasn't working anymore, and then I spent 5 days in the Bay Area. Nicest little case of hypomania you'd ever want to see. Got home Sun. evening and it lasted all the way through Monday. Tuesday wasn't any fun at all. So I think it's Seattle. Which is why I'm moving back to the Bay Area. (see most recent LJ post for fuller explanation.)
you do what you must.
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