Darkest before the Dawn: Manic Depression and the Bipolar I

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Bump, “Oh hello again, that is right is has been a while WordPress. I have been okay. Needed some time to recover, ya know. Sometimes life is rough going and space and time is needed.” Nods listening, “You are of course correct, it is weird when you don’t see a good friend for a while even an internet friend…So much better, I am quietly confident for the future.”

“How have you been? 17 months is a long time. Are you still…and did the project work…how are/is your travels? yoga? food? life?.”

That is so great to hear, I am glad you are doing well. I am too after a bit of a rough patch…

I have taken a hiatus for the past 17 months. An emotional hiatus, a spiritual recovery after a very intense time. Life shook me up for a while and I was losing my ability for joy. Anger was in the forefront and took over my life. I was in pain, so I caused pain. It is not the first time or even the second.

2014 was my third major manic episode. This was followed by my 3rd major depressive episode. Hence the name Bipolar 1 or Manic Depression. The Melancholic mixture of moods and passions first put a stop to my goals and then tore down my life. I slipped, lost control and tried to drag others along for the ride. I rose slowly at first. The sun’s magnetic pull lifted me. I stared at it, grew light and wild and my mind began to move fast. Higher and higher until, I fell.

This was not my first rodeo as someone said sometime somewhere. It was my third major manic episode. The manic portions have become increasingly dark and striped through with violence, anger, misery. When I was young, the mania was more of a fun energy. Easy and clean until you ran up against the limits of those around you. It was still scary though. Scary for those around me and many times scary for me. I wrote a piece of writing about it a while ago.

The prompt: “Write about a time when you didn’t understand what you were feeling, or why you were doing what you were doing.” I was in a new class, so I tried to keep it generic and not give too much notice to a specific diagnosis. Sometimes I am better at this than others. The wild write was from the Wildfire writing class. You can google that to find it, I am not sure my teacher wants me to share her name or not. I will see and edit it in later if so.

It is the transition point between a rising mania and the deep dark plummet that is depression…

“I didn’t understand how I could go from feeling the best I’ve ver felt to the worst ever, in little more than a day and a half. The impact of one small circle of chalky white dust was immense. From soaring through the clouds to plummeting into the waves, diving deeper until the world was ink-black. Tank was empty. Life was over. Whatever semblance of life was left, was invisible. Even if vision were restored the solution could’ve floated ten feet in front of me, it may as well have been 100 miles, underwater. Multiple atmospheres of pressure pressed my every cell. They collapsed into each other. The human that I was, concentrated into a bundle of inscrutable anatomy. Muscles were rendered inert, joints compressed, bones grinding, the fluid pressed down into the core. The fall was fast, so fast. The only refuge sleep, dark deep sleep. Life, the best ever and then…

I began to rise slowly at first, simply, sweetly. Quicker, cleverer, brilliant at times, hilarious. At first it seemed  I was just happy and bright and motivated. Increasing speed gradually then faster with each short breath. I flew towards the sun out of the troposphere into the stratosphere and higher. Weightless body rising, head ever lighter, equalizing with my bodyweight. Stared into the sun long, too long, so long. I waved to the sun. The cold numbing, the scales lifted, consequential no longer. Turning eyes away, I scanned the Horizon, I could no longer find it. No Horizon, nor friends, nor allies, gone. Family, gone.

Alone floating, alone freezing. Sneezing and no one to say “bless you.” Consciousness faded and mind slipped, slipping in and out of awareness. Accepting weight, knowing the way deep in the heart. The heavy need to return to earth to clarity. Mind, nothing, heart knowing. Floating at the apex, fading, falling. Unconscious. Stars fall away as I rush to the earth.

Wake up deep underwater. Darkness. Heavy weight, heavy heart, my guide. Despairing, drifting, listless. Among shadows, among echoes. Deep in the dark depression spectres haunt the mind. Fear is cleansing, fear takes time. Lessons learned quick have no effect. As the blade is forged in fire and cooled in cold water, so am I. Accepting my weight, my place deep, patient solitude. The heart pulsing, the heart my guide my protector. Pulsing beating, vigilant. Trust your heart, I trust my heart. Floating further down shadows grew. And from below arose an orange-red glow. Heart pulses vibrant. Even in the darkness their is power. Power deep within the earth, the hearth, deep the heart.”

And so, a lesson I have learned over time is relearned, deeper, etched into the lining of my heart and soul. There is a reason for depression. It is a hibernation of the emotional state. A rest for the body. Like Edward Elrich, the fullmetal alchemist, I have learned about equivalent exchange. Mood disorders are no different. Mania is energy, often uncontrollable. It is pleasant at first and is hindered by the darkness that accompanies it in later stages of life. Like any high the first is the best.

Depression is recovery. It is dark and scary for everyone, especially the first time through. To fall from so high and go so low, high drama. The contrast with mania makes depression hit harder. The sun of mania the depths of depression. Still I am and was buoyed by the knowledge that there is a way out, knowing deep in my heart that I have made it before. It is not logical knowledge, it is internal knowledge of the body. The body is wiser than the mind after all. The brain is smart, but it overcomplicates things. During mania the mind takes over, it ignores the body. Ignores sleep, hunger, breath. During depression the body resets the mind and takes over, for its young friend. The body’s wisdom is millions of years old after all. The brain, especially the higher forms, is much younger.

The rest is necessary. Mania is scary and so is depression. The spectres of guilt hit hard and deep. I need to be clear here. I do not mean to glorify Mood Disorders or Manic Depression. As much as I have learned from these experiences, I do not enjoy them. Perhaps I enjoyed mania at first, a younger, dumber me. The darkness and the solitude that follows added to the difficulty of reconnecting with others is not worth it.

I loosely paraphrase from the book “Detour,” “I just got tired of putting out the fires.” This was the first thing that resonated with me. Then later, after reading “Touched with Fire,” by Kay Jamison, I am lucky. I have an easy cheap medication that is safe and has minimal side effects. Lithium is truly my sidekick on this crazy journey. And my family, and my therapy, and exercise and nutrition.

And conversations. Externally processing with friends, trying to be still in my fervor. Thinking out loud. I love them, I love each and every one. I am sorry I hurt my family again. I am sorry I hurt my friends again. I am sorry I hurt strangers.

I am on the tightrope again walking with Lithium, Li. A year now. Therapy off and on. I lost my mind, my stability. 4 years stable and I see my life in ruin again. And all the people I have hurt along the way. Again, I am sorry for the pain I have caused. My clear and lucid mind and the wisdom of my soul knows how much Each and every one of you mean to me.

I love you, I thank you, I respect you. Patience is now my practice.

And to those who have already heard me and welcomed me. I give you my gratitude.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

~Curly Adventurer

P.S. sorry i got so tangled up.

 

 

 

 

My Home Energy Project: Step 4 – Green Energy

This is a post from Laura. She is focusing on Greenifying her life. I give her much respect for that and you can too if you go to her post🙂  She is doing a lot more than me, reusing shower water to flush the toilet. Little steps and ya won’t trip

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Over the past two years, I have been working to reduce the impact of the energy consumed by my home. From creating an energy baseline, to minimizing heating/cooling and lighting loads, I have been …

Source: My Home Energy Project: Step 4 – Green Energy

A year in the life of Earth’s CO2

Eideard

Concentrations of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere continue to increase. On Monday, NASA released a striking video that visualizes the invisible gas as it travels around the planet over one year.

The simulation shows plumes of carbon dioxide “swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources,” according to NASA. The video also shows differences in carbon dioxide levels in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, as well as the change in concentrations of carbon dioxide that come with changes in season due to the growth cycle of plants and trees.

Created with an ultra-high-resolution computer model, the visualization is called “Nature Run,” simulating May 2005 to June 2007.

The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates,” NASA wrote. “The model is then is left to run on its own and simulate the…

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On The Cusp of Dual Identities #Dispatch: Afropean

This Dispatch is incredible!! The perspective demonstrated is beyond enlightening.

everywhere all the time

All photos courtesy of Johnny Pitts All photos courtesy of Johnny Pitts

Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist interested in issues of Afro-European identity.  He won a Decibel Penguin Prize for a short story included in the ‘The Map of Me’; a Penguin books anthology about mixed-race identity. He recently collaborated with author Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay for the BBC and Arts Council England dealing with London and immigration, and curates the online journal Afropean.com, for which he received the 2013 ENAR foundation (European Network Against Racism) award for a contribution to a racism free Europe. He currently hosts a youth travel show for the BBC and recently finished the first draft of a travel narrative about a five month trip through ‘Black Europe’, due to be released in 2015. john@afropean.com

Bani Amor: Tell us about yourself. How would you describe your work and the impetus behind it?

John:…

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Support Bani’s Medical Fund!

Please check out this amazing writer!!!

everywhere all the time

Hola beloved community,

I’m raising some emergency funds for my healthcare. If you could donate or share my story please do! I’m not asking for much, just a few bucks will honestly go a long way. Below are the deets. Make a secure donation by clicking here.

Gracias!

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I moved back to Quito, Ecuador seven months ago to have access to affordable healthcare so that I could address my different disabilities, which doctors are still trying to diagnose. But insurance payments, co-pays and medication (not covered by my insurance) all add up, in addition to having to pay extra for tests (cat scans, X-rays, echos) for my pre-existing conditions. Yesterday, my doctor sent me to buy a brace for my right hand, but I can’t afford it. I’m a struggling writer and don’t have the funds to cover these medical costs, so if you could just donate a few bucks…

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Portland Highway…A land down under

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Portland

Portland

Portland

The rose city, full of hippies and hipsters, dissidents and occupiers, teachers and poets, writers and artists, coffee and tea, books and movies, plays and DJ’s, Fred and Carrie…

Portland Archiving the fantastic, over brewing IPAs…

Home of the best MLS fan bases on the planet.

The best bookstore in the world.

Portland…

I love you,

I respect you,

I thank you,

Written this, the 16th day of November, 2014. Just off 14th at Nossa Familia Coffee.

It is good to be home.

Curly-urly,

~C.A.

Global Chorus: Daily meditations about hope and the planet

Global Chorus: Daily meditations about hope and the planet
NOVEMBER 8, 2014 ~ ~ LAURA
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Next year, I hope to start everyday with a bit of hope – with insights and perspectives to keep pushing towards solutions. To spend some time to let ideas marinate, to observe, to taste and feel the fullness of thought leaders perspectives on relevant issues about our world. I want to listen – really listen. I want to go outside, touch the ground, experience the breeze, smell nature. I want to feel her within me, I want to hear her speak to me. I want to re-energize.

I am humbled to be part of project that will help others to do just that.

“Global Chorus a groundbreaking collection of over 365 perspectives on our environmental future. As a global roundtable for our times, in the format of a daily reader, this book is a trove of insight, guidance, passion and wisdom that has poured in from all over the Earth. Its message is enormously inspiring, and ominous in its warnings. And yet, united in a thread of hope, its contents are capable of helping even the most faithless global citizen to believe that we have the capacity to bring about lasting positive change in our world. Places at this roundtable are occupied by writers, environmentalists, spiritual leaders, politicians, professors, doctors, athletes, business people, farmers, chefs, yogis, painters, actors, architects, musicians, TV personalities, humanitarians, adventurers, concerned youth, concerned senior citizens, civil servants, carpenters, bus drivers, activists, CEO’s, scientists, and essentially those who have something thoughtful and visionary to say about humanity’s place upon Earth. Compiled for your reading as a set of 365 pieces, Global Chorus presents to you a different person’s point of view for each day of your year.”

I had the true pleasure of being at the Ottawa book launch and signing this past week. It was incredible to meet the editor, Todd Maclean, who envisioned this book 5 years ago. It speaks to what the power of a dream, ongoing effort, and an indomitable spirit can accomplish.

Grab a copy of this #1 Amazon bestseller, and join David Suzuki, Paul Hawken, Bill McKibben, William McDonough, Michael Reynolds, Rick Fedrizzi, Will Potter, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth May, and Jane Goodall by adding your voice in this global chorus.

The contributors for the book, were asked the following questions – add your own perspective in the comments below: “Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crises? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?”

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4 thoughts on “Global Chorus: Daily meditations about hope and the planet”

curlyadventurer
NOVEMBER 15, 2014 AT 1:10 AM
Laura,

“Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crises? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?”

Yes

Yes

Yes

Beautiful, like the face of every human, the view from every vista, the soul of all spirits. Like a supernova, sunset, and sunday morning.

Yes we have hope. Yes we can do it. The changes I have seen globally have given me hope. The thing about hope is…the more hope there is, the more hope there is. It is an ever expanding force. The transition for the 3rd to the 4th is on its way and there are more light bringers and thus more light each and every day.

blog me back if you want to discuss…

~ L to the Aura ~

global-chorus-cover

Next year, I hope to start everyday with a bit of hope – with insights and perspectives to keep pushing towards solutions. To spend some time to let ideas marinate, to observe, to taste and feel the fullness of thought leaders perspectives on relevant issues about our world. I want to listen – really listen.  I want to go outside, touch the ground, experience the breeze, smell nature. I want to feel her within me, I want to hear her speak to me. I want to re-energize.

I am humbled to be part of project that will help others to do just that.

Global Chorus a groundbreaking collection of over 365 perspectives on our environmental future. As a global roundtable for our times, in the format of a daily reader, this book is a trove of insight, guidance, passion and wisdom that has poured in from all over the Earth. Its message is…

View original post 308 more words