Blog Elle

Bipolar Mixed Episodes (Elle)

Basically I’m for anything that gets you through the night – be it prayer, tranquillizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels. (Frank Sinatra)

I feel like my brain is full of crushed salt and vinegar crisps and red hot needles. I say this with some sort of satisfaction because I believe it’s a better description of a bipolar mixed episode than you’ll get in any textbook. Textbooks seem to come up short when it comes to mixed episodes. They explain that these can involve aspects of mania and depression at the same time, but they never ever explain what it actually FEELS like…

My thinking is spiky and wired. I’m irritable with other people. Ambulance sirens are splitting my head. I have no energy, and a need to pace at the same time. I have no tolerance and no patience. No concentration (I’m writing this as an exercise in focussing my mind in spite of the state of it). My legs feel dead and shaky at the same time. I feel hungry yet sick. Time is doing strange things, and I can’t bear how long it’s going to be before I get to bail out of this and go to bed.

I’m trying to deal with this without a change in medication. I’m trying to hold still where I am, and I’m trying to deal with the demon. Sometimes you have to take the journey. I love the Frank Sinatra quote I quoted at the top of the page. So how do I get through the night? I should try and answer that question, for my own benefit if nothing else. Here I’m standing with one foot in the internal world and one foot in the external world (IRL), so the writing gets very tricky. Here it is – sometimes it’s necessary to to engage with the internal world. This might mean a withdrawal from the external world to some extent. It certainly means a lot of courage. It certainly means putting aside all the external world things that normally keep the mind distracted (like my computer). It means, for me, pacing up and down while my thoughts use the repetition as a kind of anchor from which to explore. It means building a heightened sense of awareness so that I can deal with the internal world while hanging on to the external one.

So far you’ve got me pacing up and down at home with the computer switched off talking with the demon. The demon and I have covered some ground over the past weeks. But this time round I’m doing things slightly differently, and trying to stay in contact with real people out in IRL. The blog has been a delight so far, and a good way to keep my mind focussed. Previously I’ve taken to bed to make the internal journey and ended up starving, unwell or in hospital. This time I’m walking with one foot in the internal and external worlds. I’ve never done anything so hard.

5 thoughts on “Bipolar Mixed Episodes (Elle)”

  1. So glad there is an external world that you can call upon Elle. And I hope you always will. A foot in each sounds precariously versatile but very sensible indeed.

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