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Stationary Rollercoaster. Wednesday October 8, 2014

Do you love fairground rides? I don't. I most emphatically don't!

When I asked a friend of mine recently how she was doing she said "Well, I've been up and down a lot, but I don't seem to be going anywhere. I haven't moved on. I feel as if I'm on a rollercoaster which is standing still."

I guess the statement resonates with a lot of us. Having been definitely up then down over the spring and summer, I've come up again to find that the world has moved on while I've been – otherwise engaged. My best friend has become a grandmother (how did that happen to the girl I've known since we were both eleven?), another friend has come out of the closet, left his wife and moved in with his new partner (he'd been so far in the closet he paid his taxes in Narnia! Shocked didn't begin to describe it!), and someone else died. I couldn't even go to her funeral because nobody told me; having made the (kindly meant) decision that I was far too ill to cope with it at that time.

So there's this lurching sensation as one adjusts to the new and starts delicately picking one's way through the social minefield where, I feel, everybody else knows where the explosives are, but I don't. Not only is there a new curate at Church, but a new widow (I'd missed the announcement of her husband's sudden death). The "I didn't know: I'm so sorry." sounds so inadequate. Somehow, I feel, I should have known.

But, while you're on that rollercoaster, you are conscious only of the ride, and you are absolutely incapable of relating to events on the ground. Friends have commented (kindly) that on both parts of the ride; the ups and the downs, I'm self-absorbed. "Not that!" I want to say "But clinging on for dear life; grasping the rail, gritting my teeth and praying for it all to stop; to just stop!"

So, it's stopped now; for a while. I can get off, shore up the shaky legs and try walking along. I can actually go somewhere. A little way along the track will be another rollercoaster ride. I'll probably have to ride that one too, and the one after that. The point is to realise that they are not the same rollercoaster; they are at different points along life's track, and different lessons can be learned from each of them.

Well, that's the theory anyway. I still hate rollercoasters. Give me a gentle carousel ride any day. Or better still, let's ignore all those rides and head straight for the hotdogs and that candyfloss stand!

A Moodscope member.

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Lex McKee Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 6:35am

Great Blog, Mary! (GB) All these 'rides' seem to go around in cycles or circles, don't they? The chap I've been writing with talks about the difference between tactics (a ride to get somewhere or experience something) and strategy (the plan to go in the right direction - and to move forward). He links this to Covey's "True North".

Being a man, I can only seem to concentrate on one matter at a time. I am reliably informed that this is true for my lady friends too. I wonder what True North is for all of us. As you head straight for the hotdogs and the candyfloss mists drift away, what is in the distance...?

Hopeful One Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 6:44am

I only ever suffered from the common or garden depression the so called 'common cold of psychiatry' ( It certainly does not fell like a cold to the sufferer!) and thankfully emerged at the other end reasonably intact. I consider that the greatest achievement of my life bearing in mind that it has a 10 to 15 % mortality,even worse than some cancers.Please correct me if I am wrong but I am guessing that Mary is a bipolar .My sympathies are with you because I am not really familiar with that world. Are bipolar depressions similar to the ordinary ones.?Anyway thanks for giving me an insight into your world which appears so unpredictable like that roller coaster how much down is down and how much up is up.

And thanks everyone who liked my quip yesterday..

vickyherbert Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 9:00am

excellent description of how i feel on a day to day basis. Thank you for sharing.

Bunnykins Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 9:12am

Thank you Mary, it's comforting to know I'm not alone with these awful, senseless times of feeling un-connected to reality. Bless you :)

heather Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 9:49am

Do you take a "leveller" to help with the extremes ? Mine has got me through my life and although I hate the idea of long term medication am having a healthy and relatively normal retirement. Love from Heather xx

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 1:11pm

Hello Hopeful One. Yes, loved your joke yesterday and also Paul's! Yes, I am bipolar. I can't answer for everyone with bipolar but I think my depressions are "ordinary" in that I resonate with almost all of the "I had a black dog - his name was Depression" video published by the WHO on You Tube. Check it out if you're not already familiar with it. I found it powerful and very positive.
Anyway - I'm one of the lucky ones, I go for quite long periods (18 months or so) between roller coasters and only have to medicate for the downs, as the ups are more or less manageable (for me if not for my friends and family anyway). I feel for those in our community for whom the roller coaster is a permanent experience.

Anonymous Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 2:44pm

Hello Marydoll, what a great description, a rollercoaster standing still...all glossy, and colourful...going nowhere. I hope you pick up your speed again soon, albeit a steady walking pace and nothing hair raising.
I'm not bipolar, just have an awful, pressing Low that never leaves, then worsens in all manner of ways, then returns to Low. I wrote about that in the Summer, never sent it in, and now to read it, it is so distant from how I feel now that it's interesting to me to lightly analyse. I suppose writing is a good marker. I'm rambling. Just wanted to say hello. And I also love candy floss. Real stuff, freshly poured and spun, preferably in a hot, Spanish evening...heaven on a stick. Will watch for you there and join you in The Sticky Face Brigade. Love from the room above the garage x.

Anonymous Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 4:14pm

I am bi-polar and on the low end of the spectrum right now....and when I am like this I do find myself absorbed and clinging on as Mary describes...I think because we know we are slipping again and do not want to fall further down....I look at it like a car engine.....if one spark plug is not working, you still function pretty well...but if four are not functioning, the engine really struggles..and if not addressed, all plugs will foul and a whole new tune up is required...right now I think I am at about to the 5-6 good spark plug range and holding on so others dont foul while changing the bad ones...can any of you others relate to this...glad you are feeling better Mary and please maintain if at all possible.. Dave B

PWD Wed, Oct 8th 2014 @ 7:03pm

Thanks Mary I was beginning to wonder if any did laugh I thought it was funny

Di Murphey Fri, Oct 10th 2014 @ 3:22am

Dearest Mary ~
I was thrilled to read your post and found myself nodding along affirmatively about the rollercoaster (paraphrased) "....sensations of lurching as one picks through the social minefield where it seems everyone knows where the explosives are, except you."

This appears to me to be a harsh and lonely journey, with a few snippets of joy. And yet, look at you. You are amazing and authentic and wildly joyful in your comments to buck up the rest of us. We love your zeal for life and your witticisms.

Somehow, and I do not pretend to understand how you accomplish this, you have made it your mission to override the rollercoasters so you can be in service to others who are struggling. For that moment in time.

We so thank you, Mary. Be well.
Di Murphey

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