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Not What I Was Expecting. Wednesday April 30, 2014

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Do you all remember that wonderful sketch from Monty Python? If you've forgotten it – here's the link

Of course, the point is, as the sketch develops, everybody does expect the Spanish Inquisition, with its weaponry of fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. Oh, and not forgetting the soft cushions and comfy chair!

So, five years into my Bipolar 2 diagnosis, and having carefully analysed the previous thirty-eight years I thought I knew exactly what to expect this time round.

Apparently, the majority of people with bi-polar would not choose to be cured/healed if they had the option. This is because, although the depression bit is pretty grim, the mania or hypo mania or "up" part is just wonderful.

And I was really looking forward to mine.

It was due to kick in anywhere from April to June, last three to six months and I'd mentally scheduled my "shut down" period for September when all that lovely energy would abruptly drain out and the depression would swallow me whole. It had happened almost every time before. Surely the pattern would repeat again.

In the "up" period everything is easy. I would lose the 20lb I've put on this year comfort eating after the death of my uncle, I would put a whole load of work into business marketing; there were several personal development seminars and workshops I'd planned on taking...

Instead, the depression has showed up five months early without giving me the high first. Bummer!

Oh well; you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men* (or just mice, if you're a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan)?

So, shut down everything that can be shut down (emergency low level lighting only, please), call in the rescue and support teams, send out the distress signals, hunker down and concentrate on just surviving until the dirty black fog lifts again.

While I'd love to spend this time muttering about how it's just not fair and "Where is my "up"? ", it would be just as useless as the mice wailing "Who moved my cheese?"

So I'll just get on with the surviving bit. Don't mind me – I'll just be humming a little hum, like Pooh.
Ho Hum. (sigh)
Hum Ho. (sound of shuffling)
Tiddly om pom pom... Tiddly om pomp om...

A Moodscope member.

* Apparently they "gang aft agley".

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Anonymous Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 8:04am

Hello Mary, I just want to say you are an inspiration to all of us who know all about depression in its various guises. I hope your low period does not last too long & you get double high time. With all best wishes.

Mary Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 8:21am

Thank you so much for your encouragement. Every time I write something so personal I worry about inflicting you all with TMI (Too Much Information) - so know ing that some of you at least find it helpful is fantastic. I really appreciate the feedback and good wishes.

heather Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 8:43am

Dear Mary, in the early days of my illness when nothing much was known I noticed on looking back on my hospital admissions that they regularly occurred around mid June and early October (every 18 months) - these really severe episodes petered out but I was interested to see that your warning dates are similar. I wonder how many people are affected by midsummer madness and autumnal sadness? All sorts of other things affect us of course and I had an unexpected "low" recently which has sharply risen into an unexpected glow. (Someone did send me special healing wishes - could they have worked ?). Anyway I am sending the same to you in your horrid dark place. I am sure you are a beacon of light there really and I am sure all other bloggers will be sending you their warmest wishes. Love and light to you Mary x

Mary Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 9:13am

Thank you Heather. Your warm wishes are very appreciatively received.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 9:33am

Mary I can imagine how hard it is not to be angry. So brave of you to keep thinking positive

xmb Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 9:39am

Hi Mary, I so identified with your post. Although not officially diagnosed with Bipolar II, my psych has confirmed my bipolar 'tendencies' and can't diagnose me until he sees me on the up! (In the meantime I've self-diagnosed and that's enough for me!) But I love your sense of humour & being able to see that riding the dark waves is the only way - fighting them only makes them last longer. I do hope they're fairly short-lived and that your long-awaited highpoint is just round the corner. Xxx

Anonymous Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 10:33am

I've felt down a lot of late. The promises of being paid never happened and there is now the threat of my benefit being cut.

heather Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 10:40am

So sorry.

Lois Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 11:47am

Much Love Mary xx

Paul Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 1:10pm

Mary - thank you so much for such a positive sharing when you are having a tough and unexpected) time. I love the Python and Pooh - I sspect we may be of a similar generation!
Very best wishes and many hugs

Paul x

Lostinspace Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 2:15pm

What a bummer, I hope it doesn't last too long.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 3:06pm

I read your post with keen interest. Thanks for bringing this out in the open. I watched a doc produced by the BBC and narrated by Christopher Frye on bipolar syndrome. It's online in 2 parts. I had just—finally—realized I had success-triggered mania. This for me was very dangerous as it has led to losses in several life domains.

This is my self-diagnosis, but, as I frequently remind people, I am my primary healthcare provider. Who sends me to bed to get enough sleep, makes me eat right, encourages more exercise, etc. No one, 'cept myself.

Mr Frye asked everyone he spoke with, "If there were a button that you could push that would end the wild cycles of mania-depression, would you push it?" Only one person said she would, the others would not for the reasons you said, they liked the highs too much.

I thought long about his question, and decided, for myself, to "push the button." I sense it has been one of the main pillars of my taking command of my moods.

Health to all.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 3:15pm

You are fortunate to know roughly when depression comes. I dont know from moment by moment. Each day that I wake up is a mystery to me. It changes throughout the day also. I am super sensitive (not in a possitive way), emotional, scared, grumpy, frusrated, anxious and the list goes on. I can have a few good days throughout the month. To add on top of all this, I have short term memory loss. What I learn today usually isnt remembered tomorrow, so I write tons of things down. I have diagnosed bipolar for 2 years. I have had some changed but not like I would like. Someone close to me says that I want life perfect with no problems. i told her that is not true. I just wish I could handle life like a "normal" person. But it got me wondering if she is right. Do I expect life to be without problems? Yes, but I also know that that life is only in heaven. So I continue getting up each day, dreading what may lay ahead. Wishing I could go more than a few hours once in awhile in a happy state.

Julia Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 4:03pm

I find this v interesting Anon. I saw the Fry documentaries too and noted the same as you about most not wanting to push the button to end the wild cycles. Anti depressants for a while made me on a high everyday, the same high I got previously only after a deep sleep. I loved it of course but it wasn't for real and when the tablets stopped their magic,although initially I was upset, disappointed and devastated (that there wasn't a lasting cure for my low mood after all), I somehow inexplicably also felt a sense of relief that I was back to my "normal" self. I think I would have died prematurely had I continued with that whirlwind high for ever. So I truly understand your very brave decision to push the button. The highs are great, wonderful etc etc but they are not for real. I often wondered if ecstasy or heroin or coke give users the same highs. I understand Mary where you are coming from but I have given up even trying to predict when I will get a good nights' sleep. I cannot control it and letting go has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

Richard Wed, Apr 30th 2014 @ 5:35pm

Dear Mary,
I loved your blog, as always.
I cherish Python and Adams.
I wish you a speedy return to sunny places.
Love, Richard x

Diana Thu, May 1st 2014 @ 5:39am

I was diagnosedabout a year & a half ago and the meds hav made me so much calmer.I us to b compelled to speak about everything but now I no longrr do that. I do like to stay up half the night - get my energy then! I am not a morning person so it takes me a few hours to get going. I was 58 when I was diagnosed and it was such a relief - I always wonderd what was wrong with me, so I could relax and realize it was an illness all along. I had diagnosed with depression all my life but bipolr 2 mae so much mor4 sense. I hope you feel better, that is disppointing. I hope you find meds that help to balance you! I too, appreciate your blogs.

Anonymous Thu, May 1st 2014 @ 12:09pm

You could never do TMI Mary. It's your openness that makes your writing so accessible and personable. Les's lovely post today affirms that. ??Thanks Mary. Hope the black cloud lifts soonly. Moodscopers love The Mary! ;o) Suzy x

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