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The Down Side of the High Side. Tuesday August 1, 2017

It was party time and I was the life of my very own party. I considered my highs to be normal, as I loved this outgoing, fun loving person.

The exciting confidence embraced me so tightly that I could not resist the temptation of experiencing just one more high. When I was manic I became convinced I was invincible, incredible and irresistible. I knew I could be anything or do anything. I loved everyone and everyone seemed to love me. I had abundant ideas, enthusiasm and passion.

This was the late 1970s when risk taking behaviour, partying all night and spending sprees were considered normal behaviours of students. That is the deceptive nature of mania, it mimics 'normal' behaviour in many ways.

It is natural for people to be happy and it is hard to equate happiness with illness. The trouble is mania isn't happiness - it is a very exaggerated over the top state that seduces a person into believing this is normal and so addictive that one keeps wanting more despite the havoc one leaves behind.

I was enjoying the highs, having so much fun, ignoring the chaos I caused and convincing myself it was only the depression that was a problem.

This was a mental illness that made me believe it had an upside, but in reality there was a dark and destructive side. It was so enticing I did not see my highs as a problem, even after I had experienced financial debts, broken relationships, and disrupted studies.

Each individual handles the mania differently. For me it took over a decade of destructive highs and debilitating lows till I finally and begrudgingly decided to take medication. The party was definitely over and it was time to face reality.

I think the key to my managing bipolar was acceptance of my limitations and acknowledgement of my strengths. I also had to live in the present and not wallow in self pity. I gradually realised if my highs were not so high my lows would not be so low.

Every person will experience the illness in a different way so there is no one plan that will suit everyone. I kept a journal as I found this helpful in keeping track of my moods. A sense of humour is useful as well as an ability to laugh at oneself. I used to be ashamed of some of my past behaviours but I decided to take responsibility for them.

People fear if they give up their highs they will give up their creativity. I have been able to stabilise since I have been taking medication. When I gave up the extreme highs and lows I discovered the another part of myself.

Everyone has ups and downs, so if you dont have bipolar, how do you cope with mood swings?
If you have bipolar, or unipolar, how do you cope with your highs, are they your best friend or your best enemy?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 5:59am

Hi Leah, this is an interesting blog and really explains bipolar very well. I don't have bipolar (although possible cyclothymia) My main diagnosis being BPD. Some will say the two are different and I am sure they are but I also see many similarities. I can relate for instance to the 'highs' and acting in a way that is not 'normal'. I often have questioned who I was at certain times of my life. I know now that when I go on a 'high' I am to be very careful and I am totally aware that it will not last. On medication, like you are, these times are now rare for me, but if I have a manic day of wanting to do everything possible, I make the most of it, and do all that I can do (that I might not be capable of on other days). Sadly though, at times the manic feeling cannot always be satisfied, however much we try to satisfy it. So you pose a good question, friend or enemy? I guess it is both things, all at the same sodding time. Love to you. Molly xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:37am

Molly, Thanks for your thoughtful post. I too like days when I have energy but not full blow mania and I take advantage of it. Thanks for taking time to honestly share your experiences. Leah xx

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:17am

Hi Molly - Have you ever written a blog about Borderline Personality Disorder? It would be good to understand more about it from the point of view of a person who experiences it. How does it affect you? How long have you had it? How do you deal with it? When I offer advice to people it is based on my own experiences of depression (plus things learned from chronic illness and abuse - but they are more contributory factors), i don't really know anything about BPD.... Lots of love, MG xx

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:55am

I would echo Marmaladegirl here.

E Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:09am

Hi Molly, Yes I think you should write something about BPD. Personality disorder our "PD's" as "they" are often referred to by some MH "professionals" get very short shrift especially when "they" turn up in A&E displaying their self harm scars for all to see. Many Psychiatrists and MH nurses don't even view "personality disorder" as a mental illness at all, despite it being in the DSM & ICD10, and diagnoses like emotionally unstable personality disorder are little more than dustbin categories for what some MH professionals dismiss as the "can't cope won't cope" brigade.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:34am

I agree that more information on BPD would be very helpful. E thanks for your informative comments.

Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:19pm

Thank you everyone for your encouragement for me to write a blog on BPD. I will consider it but then wondered if I should go and get a life !! :-) xx

Molly Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 4:01am

Marmaladegirl - thank you for your suggestion, I will put my mind to it. Apologies for the sarcastic comment above but I had just read other comments. I appreciate your interest xx

David Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:26am

Good morning Leah, I can relate to your blog and I am fortunate in that I have a great insight to my bipolar condition.

I have met many famous Celebrities with it including Lord Oliver who explained about Vivien Leigh (Scarlet o Hara in Gone with the Wind) who suffered very badly and more people in my life of 68 years.

Labels for me have come and gone but the condition is the same. I sometimes wonder if people on here dwell on it too much and do not get out more and get a life.

Good Luck to you and all Moodscopers.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:51am

David, Thanks for your reply. You have indeed been privileged to meet famous people who have had bipolar. You have commented before on people getting a life and that perplexes me. I run a bookshop and I have a life whatever that means. Part of our lives for many of us on moodscope is to write and share our experiences with others so we can help each other. I see that as worthwhile. Cheers Leah

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:09am

Hello David, this is not the first time you have mentioned about "getting a life". This stings just a little, so I thought I would reply in a bit more detail. I am sure that most of us keep Moodscope as just somewhere to "check into" as part of our busy lives. Yes, sometimes it is more: it is a lifeline in the down times and how wonderful it is that it can provide that place of refuge. As for myself, many people comment on how much I do. I run a business, manage the investments of a family trust, write (Moodscope is only a part of my writing; I also blog about fashion and am halfway through writing my third novel); I run two large houses without help other than from my husband (And thank goodness he knows one end of a Hoover from the other) and a busy family and also volunteer with the church and my local surgery.I think that qualifies as having a life. I hope so, anyway!

Sally Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:20am

Get a life is not an expression I like. It always sounds like a criticism of other people's lives. On this site, and through blogs, we are trying to make better sense of our lives, so as to get more out of them! I don't think we spend every day all day thinking of our condition! But this is a " go to " place, where we can talk honestly and openly about our health and concerns or ways of dealing with tricky situations and the like. So it is very much a positive, rather than a negative. And not to be dismissed with a rather unfair comment, in my opinion.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:00am

Mary W It is amazing how a few words can be very touchy.Thanks for your comment.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:03am

Sally and Mary It is interesting how we feel we need to justify that we have a life when someone says we should get a life. I found myself like Mary wanting too list everything i did and then I thought, we all have lives and it doesnt matter how we live them. We are all unique. Thanks Sally for your comment.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:05am

David You are most welcome here .This is a safe friendly place where we can be honest with each other. I hope you find what you are looking for here. I am wondering if you are Australian and that would explain your humour as I am Aussie too.

David Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:28am

Yes I agree with you and realise everyone's moods are up and down and very sensitive at times. When low I leave all Social Media until well. I still think some commentators take as gospel these blogs.Everyone is different and have to live with it.I also have been privileged to meet famous Authors. Remind and puzzles are my tools for getting out of depression. Bye for now, David Gosling.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:16am

David, Thanks for your reply. Hope to see your comments again. The blogs are personal experiences that encourage discussion and help people to make sense of their own experiences.

LH Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:35am

Hi David, You have as much right to express your musings as anybody else. A general wondering is different from a direct insult. Wishing you well LH

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:49am

LH, I agree that David has a right to express his musings and I have a right to express my comments. You have a right to comment too, that's what makes moodscope a safe place to be. If you look at my comments to David I never said he did not have a right to comment, I was just expressing my opionions just like you have. I appreciate and elcome your comment. Thanks for contributing. People wonder and we can wonder at their wondering. All healthy and it makes for an interesting discussion. Take care LH.

LH Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:17am

Hi Leah, My comment was to David. I did not refer to your comments. I did feel that if I was David I might have felt a little attacked for a comment that did not seem to echo the ultra positive one's that people tend to post on here. As he then put bye for now and his full name I was concerned that he may not feel he can post his true comments again. LH

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:32am

LH I, I think David as been commenting quite a few times and knew already he can comment freely here as he has done. I was not attacking him and I know Mary and Sally were not ether or he would feel attacked .I know I have a a range of comments that range from very positive to disagreeing and I cope with that range. It is kind of you to think about David as I have too. We don't know if that is his real name or what bye means. I welcome more of Davids comments. He has encouraged a discussion and that is always healthy. Take care LH

David Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:58am

Hello Mary Wednesday, Your list of achievements is long and with substance, I also lead a very active life just Google my name which is my real name.I also am an Australian and U.K. citizen travelling the World with the R.A.F. I will be writing a book titled SIMPLY THE BEST AND THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Which will reveal all including my time with Diana, Princess of Wales? I hope this explains some of my comments.If you want more information please say so. Goodbye for now flying to the Middle East soon.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm

I did google ans saw you are an academic who runs seminars. I have one question did you come on moodscope to find out more about yourself or out of curiosity , you do have a fascinating time. Hope to hear about your travels when you come back or have time. Take care.

E Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 12:13pm

I think David may have a point although perhaps it could have been better phrased, “Get a life” is so pejorative a phrase especially when taken out of context. What David may have been driving at, (I think), is that humans have a tendency, almost a need to categorise physical phenomena. Taxonomy I think it is called. Sometimes this is useful and can reveal deeper truths about the world around us. The theory of evolution for instance is based to a large extent on the Taxonomy of species but our tendency to look for patterns can also lead us down a blind alley. Canals on Mars and the apparent grouping of stars into heavenly bodies leading to the “science” of astrology spring to mind. Psychiatry is the Taxonomy of behavioural and emotional symptoms into diagnostic categories. The problem with Psychiatric diagnoses is they frequently lack any validity or reliability which casts a long shadow over their utility. A Psychiatric diagnosis is little more than short hand for a constellation of behavioural and emotional symptoms some or all of which an individual may have to varying degree. What David may have been driving at is life is for living and time spent worrying about what diagnosis we have, (a diagnosis which may or may not mean anything) and whether we are on the right medication, (medication which may or may not have any therapeutic value), could and I stress could be time wasted in some circumstances. Perhaps if we spent less time worrying about if we have been correctly diagnosed and are on the right medication and got on with the business of living we might get on a little better and need those pills a little less. Or to quote another saying, which if taken out of context can also be viewed in a pejorative light, may be it is time to wake up and smell the roses, or coffee if you prefer. Speaking of which time for some tea I think, my drug of choice these days.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 12:54pm

E Thanks for your thorough comment. I find it hard to read long comments as there is no space and on my small screen my old eyes find it hard. Also I think I would need 3 degrees and many hours to do justice to your intelligent words. Firstly only David knows what he meant. I think you may be saying that diagnosis of a mental illness is pretty unreliable and to worry about labels could be a waste of time.Also I think you are saying tea is a better medication. I am trying to simplify it so excuse if I have missed a lot. I really don't think people on moodscope worry a lot about whether they have been diagnoses correctly. I feel moodscoper have many things they are interested in and concerned with but it is not narrow at all. I feel people on here have great and interesting lives are trying hard and are already smelling roses. Thanks again for your point of view.Cheers

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 1:23pm

Although I acknowledge that this thread has rather hijacked the main theme, I would like to contribute one more comment. Yes - my reaction was probably out of proportion (sorry, David). I think I felt the whole of Moodscope was being attacked, and especially those of us who contribute or frequently comment. I am passionate about Moodscope and feel it is of huge benefit to many people. Depression is an extremely debilitating illness and most of us are coping as best we can. As for medication: we are all different. I struggled for many, many years to manage without medication. Having now "given in" and accepted that I will take tablets for the rest of my life, I find that life as a "normal" person is better; much better. I *really* need the medication.

Jul Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 2:34pm

Hi Mary. I like your comments! Jul xx

Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:51pm

I like Mary's comments too, they make sense and are easy to understand. Molly xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:27pm

Mary, I don't see this as a hijackbut a continuation of my blog- all discussion is healthy. Thanks also to everyone for your comments here most interesting

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:31pm

E, I have read that someone thought my comments to you were spiteful and I apologise if you thought that too. They were not at all, if anything I was having a go at my ignorance. I appreciate the effort you took to reply and appreciate your point of view. I do hope you saw I was being honest with a bit of humour. Also when I replied it was late at night here and my eyes were tired, I look forward to future comments from you and have always liked your comments in the past. Leah, I think I will have a cup of tea now, too. Cheers

E Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:40pm

Not in the slightest and who thought your comment was spiteful? I must have missed that.

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 2:04am

E it is ok, all is fine.

Christine Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:19am

A great blog Leah, I don't have bipolar, but suffer from ups and downs, though not excessively so, more seasonal really, the weather affects me, sorry it sounds so trivial of me.
I hate the expression, get a life?! I don't work, but I still have a life! I have routine which can be comforting, so I don't step out of my comfort zone very often. I read I watch DVDs I go to the library a lot, see people I know there, it's enough, for now, thanks for reading this, take care all

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:07am

Christine Thanks for your comment. Please dont apologise for your seasonally affected moods and your life. We are all unique and we live how it suits us. Take care , Leah

Orangeblossom Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:21am

Hi Leah thanks for the blog which was very thought-provoking. I am slowly learning to take a day at a time by practising mindful meditation. As long as I have something to look forward to, I can now get out of bed before midday.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:09am

Orangeblossom Thanks for your comment. I like the way you are learning how to cope and that is great. Well done.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:54am

Oh Leah, I know this had to be you from the first few words. It sometimes seems that nobody understands. Even in my bi-polar group the people there seem to experience their bi-polar very differently. I guess we are all unique human individuals with unique ways of viewing the world.
But every word you wrote there chimed a bell of recognition with me. You speak about a sense of humour being helpful and of course you are right, but for me it is forgiving myself for the reckless and arrogant things I have done which hurt others!
It is the seductive "knowledge" that all this is "normal" which makes the highs so dangerous. It was only my last two, which were really unpleasant as I became jittery and hostile (a mixed state), which made me seek medication. And it is only since being on the medication that I realise how unstable I was.
The most incredible thing for me is that most of my friends have not noticed the difference; they say they've got their "old" Mary back; the one they had before things started to get really bad three years ago. I must have been good at hiding it, then.
So thank you Leah, you have created with this blog that amazing sense of relief when one says, "You too? I thought it was only me!" (Except, being a grammar nerd - I would say "it was only I.")

Sally Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:30am

C.S. Lewis ? ( the quote) I agree, Mary. I too felt that way about Leah's blog.

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:38am

Ah Mary, Mary, quite contrary - as a fellow grammar nerd I would question your last sentence - surely "it was only me" is perfectly correct? Either way, I still love you and wish you a happy and, knowing you, BUSY day! MG xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:15am

Mary, Thanks for your detailed comment.I think it is comforting not to feel alone. I can relate to the jittery and hostile but at the time I felt was so wonderful.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:18am

Sally I think the quote from CS Lewis is about we read so we know we are not alone- I have paraphrased this.Is that the quote you were thinking of?

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:20am

Hi Mary and Marmalade Girl, another vote for "it was only me". (I didn't think I was a grammar nerd but as we all know parents have a big influence and both mine were English teachers.) Love TF x

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:25am

Mary On a more serious note, it's really encouraging what your friends are saying as I know it's still early days for you with the medication and it sounds like the doctors have it about right. Hope you didn't mind the pedantic grammar comment above. This is my more considered reaction to your comment. Love TF xoxo

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 1:37pm

So the C S Lewis quote finishes "no one but myself...". And I stand by the I. If you finish the sentence " who felt like that", then you can see that I is more elegant. Me is acceptable because English is a forgiving and elastic language. It might even be on its way to being the more correct. I still don't like it in the written language though!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 5:12pm

And..... I have been corrected (hangs head in shame). My lovely fellow grammar nerd friend has quoted the chap who writes on grammar in the Times. Apparently he says that it is nearly impossible for a native speaker of English (presumably a moderately well educated native speaker) to get it wrong. Therefore, "me", which is more natural, is correct. "But what about the fact that it is more correct to say, "It is I," rather than "it's me!"? I cried. My friend was adamant, "If it no longer sounds correct, then it is redundant and an anachronism," she stated. I am overwhelmed by popular opinion and I retire, a beaten woman, from the fray.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:34pm

Mary, two things I never comment on , ok make that 3, whether someone is pregnant, someone's weight, and someone's grammar. I feel grammar is fluid and I thought you were having fun and that is a good thing. Take care,

Joanne Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:03am

As you Leah, it took me over 10 years to accept taking medication. It was only a comment from my friend when I was talking about the fabulous feelings of 'going high' that her comment of "yes, but you pay a terrible price for that" made me sit up and think. My fear of mood stabilizers deadening me didn't come true.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:14am

Yes, Joanne, exactly! My wonderful Dr Samar really understood how important my writing and art are to me, and assured me the Lamotrigine would not adversely affect my creativity. He was right. What I don't have is the drive and urgent passion which meant I could write at a tremendous (and unsustainable) pace. But, I do have a slow and steady rate which is better in the long run.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:20am

Thanks Joanne, I may not be the life of the party anymore but maybe I never was I was the joke of the party.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:23am

Mary W, Joanne AS I have said before I was never creative in my highs though I thought I was but I was deluded and unfocused and easily distracted. I think learning to appreciate what we have and not worry about what we lost is a good starting point.

Sally Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:28am

Leah, you have such a way of putting things! And getting to the nub of the matter. A very interesting blog which is going to take me some time to think through. Thank you for this insight. Your answers are always so thoughtful and kind too!

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:24am

THanks Sally, Your comments are very kind. I suppose I try to write honestly and simply. I appreciate your comments on my blogs and all of the blogs.

Sally Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:14pm

Why, thank you!

Nick Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:28am

Hi Leah, thanks so much for your honest and insightful posting. I haven't posted before on this blog but felt inspired by your comments to have a go. My own story mirrors so much of what you have been through from those heady days of the 80s when I thought I could play a part in changing the world. I guess I have also learnt to have a regular reality check along the way - but as you suggest that is tough when you are so down that you haven't the mental energy to challenge anything through to those heady days when you dont even really know why you need to question anything in the first place.

Three months in to using Moodscope I can see how it helps to capture the bipolar peaks of the 70% and troughs of 15% and help me appreciate the cyclical pattern which drives this. What I am still trying to master out though is how to stick with a 50% score!

Thanks everybody for making Moodscope such a supportive place to join.

Marmaladegirl Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:59am

Hi Nick - Welcome! Good to hear from you. I enjoyed reading your post, made extra exciting by you being a 'new voice'. I hope you continue to add your comments and insights and maybe write your own blog one day. All the best, Marmaladegirl

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:27am

Nick Welcome and thanks so much for commenting for the first time. I reall appreciate that. I am glad you are finding moodscope helpful to chart your moods. I found that writing a little bit on some days was helpfulso I could go back and see if there was a pattern . I echo Marmalade's kind welcome.

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:41am

Welcome Nick. I just wanted to say that i think we all have slightly different scores where we feel stable and comfortable and that they depend on how you interpret the questions and your natural personality type. You don't necessarily want to aim at 50. I am bipolar and 40-60 is fine for me (but in practice it is very rare for me to go much over 50 and my overall average is in the low 40s). However I think Mary Wednesday has a much higher score than 50 when she is well. Take care Love TF x

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:10am

Tutti Frutti, Thanks for your information abnout the scores. I think the important thing, Nick, it is important to get to know your own scores and patterns and not compare them with others, you will soo learn what is your base.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 1:27pm

Yes, my "perfect" score is 73. But then I am naturally a bubbly, optimistic person who tends to mark everything high. Everyone has their own perfect score. And - welcome, Nick.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:35pm

Thanks Mary for your comment I hope that helps Nick.

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:42am

Hi Leah
Liked your blog but nearly arrived at work now. Will try to comment later. Love TF x

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:59am

Thanks Tutti. I appreciate your comments to the other posts. Have a good day at work.

Valerie Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:50am

Like many "moody" people I suspect I have been Bi Polar "Lite" for much of my life.When I still had hormones, each month would bring a little enactment of the symptoms.

I have come to realise that what goes up must come down.If I have days of feeling unaccountably cheerful and full of energy I take advantage of it.However,sure as eggs is eggs,a day or so later I will feel wretched,unable to sleep and tearful.Migraine also follows a similar course with older sufferers.

An acquaintance with bi polar committed suicide years ago.When I heard the news I assumed it had happened during a depressive phase.Not so.Apparently she had been so elated she could not imagine that life could ever get any better,so decided to quit while ahead,so to speak.Feeling my head buzzing with ideas and confidence scares me,and I reach for an extra Prozac to regain some equilibrium. x

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:07am

Valerie Thanks for your comments. That is sad about your acquaintance. I was always more at risk when manic because of my risk taking behaviour . Also when high you feel invincible . Also some people in a small window of clarity when neither high nor low , see an endless life ahead of ups and downs , and feel that is too much. I think self knowledge is a great tool, Take care Valerie.

Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 6:50pm

Interesting comment Valerie. Hormones have alot to answer for. 'What goes up must come down' is so true as well and I was particularly interested in your story about your acquaintance committing suicide whilst 'on a high'. As Leah says, risk taking, and feeling invisible can maybe give you the bravery to think you can do anything (and everyone will say, "but they seemed so happy"). Molly xx

Jul Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:10am

Hello Leah. You have helped me more than anyone to look objectively at my highs (and lows). I get them after a good nights' sleep (rare). Something clicks in my brain overnight to produce this exited high. I can conquer the world with my self confidence, elation and wit feeling the next day. I will write more later as I am going out now. A precious gem of a bog Leah thank you. Jul xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:21am

Jul, thanks for your kind comments. I can relate to something clicking in the brain but unlike you my highs were chaotic and could have been dangerous. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your experiences.

E Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 12:28pm

Lewis Walpert calls depression “malignant sadness” maybe mania should be termed malignant happiness?

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 12:58pm

E Thanks for your quote. I like Carrie fishers description of mania as the best awful.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 2:01pm

Wow ! What a busy morning at moodscope ! Great blog Leah ! In the past I did a check looking up a number of comments to blogs and you always won ( my way of finding out if it rung the bell or moved somebody to actually sign in . I love David's spanner in the wheels and all the reactions but most of all his reaction to reactions. David should start writing blogs as his comments are too short and taken personally . You say that you do not like reading long comments Leah due to your screen ( ?) how do you manage reading the other blogs then ? the beauty of reply or comment is that it may be very very long , not so the blog , maybe that is why I had never written one - I cannot imagine putting my ideas in such a limited number of words and here I am allowed to go on and on and if nobody reads it it does not matter so much .... Everybodys reply to David was so careful , sterile almost ( emotions bubbling underneath ) however a long reply got a rally short shrift - almost spiteful . I have to admit that one should feel safe here however describing mania nobody expects manic comments and sometimes it is all it is . I maybe letting the steam of and letting me be a little rude you maybe saving my life - a different kind of understanding is being asked for here - me thinks . There were lots of language dilemmas in the past here too . One would not dare criticize or correct very bad grammar of so and so or was criticized for being petty as one got the gist so what is this showing of now for ? AND David may choose to comment under a different moniker each time but his style will be always recognized .Love to all . Keep on keeping on . I would prefer a rude answer to my comment than a complete silence as that hurts more .Please hate me but do not ignore me is my mantra in life. this is making me late for an important appointment. And why The Gardener has not commented ? What happened to the jokes ? no courage to put my real name to this yet - g.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 5:19pm

Hello g. And - I am hurt once again! Twice again in fact. Not only do you draw my attention to the fact I regularly get very few comments on my own posts ( I am very sensitive about this), but you also take exception to the banter about grammar! This was all in very good part, g, and only entered into in response to my rather tongue in cheek correction of myself. If you go up again, you will see that I have recanted my position - hopefully in a humorous way. It was all supposed to be in good fun. So sorry if it came over as spiteful to you. And - please do read this comment in a light-hearted way too. But at least you do not have silence in reply. Have a hug too, they're free all this week!

Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:11pm

Mary, I don't think g was having a dig at you, just that Leah gets alot of comments. This can sometimes depend of course on whether a 'debate' takes place. I found your grammar comments interesting, I am also a bit of a grammar nerd! You did indeed say it all in a fun way! g - you can make up a name ! Something a bit more substantial than g would be good. I have to say that I agree with Leah about her struggling with the comment that E made - it wasn't so much the length of it, but it was totally confusing and very hard to understand. Leah was certainly not being spiteful and not manic either, as she has explained in her blog, she does not get manic anymore. I feel if anything, your own comments were spiteful. And I am allowed to say that, because you gave permission for anyone who wants to be rude :-) Molly xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:51pm

Thanks for your comment g. I think numbers of comments can be deceiving as I reply to everyone when I can So most of my comments are my own!! and it is not a race. I hope I have never been rude, light hearted , funny yes but not rude or spiteful. Sometimes my Aussie humour is misinterpreted. When I reply to comments I need to concentrate a lot , and when reading blogs I am using my laptop and a bigger screen. When I reply to comments it usually at night or early morning my time, so I use my phone or ipad. I am not manic and haven't been for years ,but I sue humour usually at my expense. If you read my comment to E again you will see I was making fun of my ignorance. I feel we are respectful here and feel safe but we can disagree. Yu feel safe to comment on my comments and I appreciate your feedback. I feel David appreciated the feedback . It would be great if you wrote a blog one day andI would like to read it. I get the impression you had fun writing your comment and were hoping for a reaction! Thanks again for taking time to comment. Look forward to your comments . Leah xx

g Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 12:30am

OK back to square one Leah. I am the manic and spiteful one- nobody else . Maybe it is the way I write but yes you are right when you say that I was having fun and wanted a reaction - who does not ? My intention was not to hijack your blog and the subject matter - apologies here - especially knowing that you try to reply to all comments and they grew like mushrooms after the rain. I will never write a blog as I have no discipline to limit my ramblings. There is no limit on comments' length so if I have a lot to say nobody will stop me from writing a very long comment and nobody may read it. I only commented because of David. It is very painful for me to talk about my Bipolar experiences so maybe subconsciously I decided to latch onto a minor issue that was already taking over the subject matter. Who knows ? It was not my intention. I often act on an impulse and yes fun is a big part of it bit fun for all and not malicious selfish fun at others cost no no no ...

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 2:03am

g, that is fine. I have said something here I thought was funny and has been misinterpreted often due to my Aussie humour!! You did not hijack it. I did enjoy your comments. I take the point about long comments and I will read them on a bigger screen. I can understand how painful it can be to talk about one's own experiences. It took me a very long time and I still talk in general terms as I still feel shame for things I have done in the past. please don't apologise , I like all the comments you generated. You were having fun and not spiteful. I have been known to things to get a reaction to be a stirrer and a rebel, so I get that. If ever you feel up to talking about anything bipolar this is a safe an anonymous place if you choose. I look forward to your future comments the longer the better. I could see that you were having fun. You seem like a kind person.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 2:04pm

may be not maybe as life saver - this little mistake changes the meaning completely or takes it away , lol , sorry

Jul Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 2:30pm

None of us really knows each other on this site. We see only what we each choose to reveal and even then we interpret what is written according to our own perceptions. I have in the dim and distant past been quite critical and I remember Eva taking me to task. She was 100% correct to do this and I hope since Eva's thoughtful intervention I have curbed my words and tried to be more understanding. if I don't like a blog or anyone's comment I will leave it and not say anything. Why is my criticism important? It's not. I used to think it was. Moodscope has taught me to make allowances and to try to understand what motivates people to say what they do (if it's negative). I was one of those who thought it was OK to criticise and to speak my mind. I think I don't possess the skills actually to criticise in a nice way or with humour and therefore I steer clear of possible confrontation. I try to remember that we are all vulnerable and wouldn't be on Moonscape if we were 100% confident in ourselves. I do think opposite viewpoints are great though and David has raised an interesting discussion as have others. Anyway I just wanted to say I have been at fault before and wanted to write about how I operate these days. As I said Leah, I loved your blog today and I am able to accept now that my low feelings are probably the real me rather than the highs which I have always aspired to. My goal was to be high all the time but I never achieved it. One day is exhausting for me as I try to cram in everything that I have no energy for the previous days. It's no way to live or exist healthily and I have you to thnak for this different perception on my life (and Eva!!) Jul xx

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:30pm

Your criticism is very important ! This place is for speaking your mind ! The skills can be acquired or improved but letting of steam is a life saver for me . I have no time for small talk . When I come here I love the differences , variety of views , approaches , coping strategies . You are cruel denying me to hear your view and pushing me away when I find it all boring because your opinion is absent so by doing nothing you do do so much. Expressing yourself is good for your mind too.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:56pm

Jul, THanks for your reply. I have always found your comments to everyone very caring and compassionate and am sad to think they were critical. I find then helpful. I suppose is people interpret what we say differently, and I have been called spiteful and manic today, and even though that was not my intention if someone interpreted it that way, I am sorry. I am glad you got something from by blog. Leah xx

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:59pm

Expressing yourself is good for thr mind, as long as we don't upset others. I too like a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions and would not want everyone to agree with me. In debating there was the term 'ad hominem' which meant attacking the man/person , which was frowned n, it is better to argue with the idea and not the person. Thanks again g , for your contributions.

Kelly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 2:51pm

It's taken me a long time to come to terms with having bipolar and accepting that the highs can be just as destructive as the lows and to be ok with what medication is starting to give me which I imagine must be closer to the flatter hills and shallower valleys of someone without bipolar. My caseworker at partial told me that while the highs can be fun they have to be managed too.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:01pm

Kelly. Thanks for your reply. Yes it is a process and the more you get to know yourself and moods the more you can use that knowledge to help yourself. All the best.

The Gardener Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 5:39pm

Hornets nest or what! Just tottered home to France from UK and read above. I remember, luckily from a great distance the destructive nature of high and low - clearest is the feeling of invincibility when 'high' (and how wearing one was - rest of the world lazy idiots). I have to take issue with David on 'getting a life'. If those who are depressed COULD 'get a life' they would not be depressed anyway - because they would be positive thinking. I now have to bite my tongue at all who say 'You MUST get a life'. I cannot without money and people who are prepared to sacrifice some of their leisure time to 'baby sit' and give me free time. After six days spent round a family wedding - which left me on a distinct 'high' culminating in driving a huge shire horse last night I am trying to quell the rising fears 'how will I cope' when I get Mr G from a week respite tomorrow. One thing became certain in my mind, I'd NEVER live in the UK again after the sound and fury of 6 days in the South East. Two good friends have already fallen out with their new neighbours - nerves are at stretching point - and the new neighbours desire (natural with a new house) to change things has raised tempers.This is unfair, the French are quicker to fall out over property than anyone. G, the gardener did not comment as she was on a boat. The euphoria of the replies to my blog on Sunday is still causing a warm glow. Somehow I have to keep some of that spirit. Just read Jul, agree with what you said. Moodscope's value is it's anonymity - but I took umbrage and nearly left it through the writings of one 'Les' critical and supercilious - depressed people can be very touchy but molly-coddling does not help either. Oh dear, onwards and upwards, meal at favourite restaurant, clear clobber out of my lovely kitchen (I LOATHE unpacking) and last night of guaranteed undisturbed sleep. Mary W, thanks for your late reply to my blog.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:04pm

TG, Thanks for reply as fascinating as ever. I am glad the responses to your blog left you with a warm glow. Hugs, Leah

Lexi Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:29pm

HI Leah, I loved your line "When I gave up the extreme highs and lows I discovered another part of myself." Rather than fear losing our creativity if we lose the highs, we can instead look forward to discovering another beautiful, deeper layer to our character, perhaps one that is just as interesting and creative without all the destructiveness and shame (speaking for myself here!). I thought that was wonderful and so insightful. Thank you. xo Lexi

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:06pm

Lexi Thanks for your comment. Thank you for expressing what I said in a different way- a lovely beautiful deeper layer to our character, . I like that image, thanks

Molly Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:33pm

Blimey, what a lively day for Moodscope. Leah puts up an honest and excellent post about her bipolar and it opened a can of worms. I must admit though, I enjoyed reading all of the comments. David, I understand that some people are consumed with their mental illness and let it define them. I don't however believe that people on Moodscope are like that at all. I feel that they are all honest, intelligent, professional with their writing, interesting, and just like to have a discussion about their feelings. It is great that you can get on with your life and wish the same for others, but I do wonder why you have the need to tell us how successful you are all of the time and I do wonder why you are on here, if your belief is that people on here have not got a life. If you have such a fantastic life travelling around the world, and think people here should get a life (as great as yours) then I have to ask the question, why the hell are you on here yourself!? Molly xx

Sally Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 8:18pm

Hear, hear, Molly!

The Gardener Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 7:37pm

Obviously the breath has gone out of everybody with this huge response. Dead beat, back from excellent dinner. I am 'chez moi' (a bit of a reprise of my blog 'when is a house a home'. At restaraunt, greeted by owner and staff. Waved to by neighbours, welcome home. Food good, reasonable, you can park outside, no payment. Swifts are screaming round the houses, the 12th century church sounding quarters and hours. Thinking of David's 'bone of contention?' I have had three people in my life (one I quote frequently, picked up for 30 years). I think all of them, said to have some un-named 'mental problem' would have been worth taking a risk over, and saying 'snap out of it'. The risk (potential 'tipping over' into suicide) was too great - but seeing how their lives, and their families, have been almost 'blighted' by permanent 'propping up' it asks a lot of those who 'care' for these hapless creatures.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:10pm

Gardener , I am glad you are pleased to be home. I like the descriptions of the swifts.

Ach UK Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:39pm

Goodness Lea, You sure picked a complicated weather day to post your blog. I had windy, sunny spells, two thunder claps and a downpour of rain that flooded my side passage, followed by sunny spells. So, in the dry passages I managed to sort out the drains, but only tuned in to Moodscope this evening. And find it, to my reading, to have been much like my weather . . . Very variable responses all day - a bit like what my mood swings can be.
So ,I am sorry, but I dealt with today's blog and replies like the real weather. Pulled the shutters down and stayed in the warm and quiet. And if tomorrow's weather and the forecast are more of the same I will stay put and wait it out. i am too tired to stretch my brain at the moment, and though it is tempting to read all and try and give suitable measured replies, that response will totally exhaust me.
I am trying to go with two old sayings:

1st "Do as you would be done by"

2nd "A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more she saw, the less she spoke,
The less she spoke ,the more she heard,
People should imitate that old bird."

Sleep well childers


Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:13pm

ACh UK , Thanks for your comments. I have always liked the one about the owl. I think on moodscope it is good for people who want to express themselves as it is a safe place and it is always a place to read or just to shut the shutters. Glad you replied.

Ach UK Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:42pm

Sorry Leah
Predictive text shortened your name.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 9:52pm

Well now, interesting indeed. And tomorrow is mine - if i remember, all about missing my 3s. After todays that could touch a sensitive nerve. Oh well, time for bed. Love to you, Leah.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:14pm

Thanks Mary for all your comments on my blog, I do appreciate it. I look forward to your blog tomorrow. Xx

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:11pm

Thank you all so much ! I love the replies to my comment . All of them . I have written an extremely long winded reply - answers and explanations in one square that promptly disappeared . I was gutted . But it was meant to be ! Ach UK posted later and made it clear to me that I had said too much. I think that David is high and when he comes down he may not feel safe here . Sometimes it is too sterile . E's long reply was very beautiful and clear. Mary is a professional writer hence so touchy. I was the one in the past corrected for correcting or being petty hence a bit of spite probably due to 1st above. love to all . thanks for hugs - where is Bear ? Sorry TG , I will read Sunday blog next. ......

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:16pm

Don't you find it annoying when your longest best comments are lost and the one shorter ones are not? Thanks for your replies, g, Hugs Leah

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:16pm

You go to bed at 10pm Mary W ? I envy you even more.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:17pm

missing your 3s ? please explain

Mary Wednesday Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:29pm

In bed now. G - you will understand about the 3s tomorrow, and next Wednesday about being in bed at 10pm. It's all about being a lion! A sleepy lion right now. Night all.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:32pm

wait a minute !

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:32pm

lower case g. please do not big me up

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:17pm

I can't start a sentence with your name or it becomes a capital g.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:34pm

a lion ? so you should know where my sting comes from ?

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:37pm

sleep ? sex ? silence ? or strawberries , satsumas , ?

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:38pm

looks like I need to Stop. night night

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:18pm

Good night g, only morning here and I better get going. Replying to comments has taken a while.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:42pm

I love you Molly for speaking your truth.

g Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 10:52pm

I am sorry Mary if I touched a nerve ( and I never apologise ) . I prefer I although it sounds very posh nowadays . I love the movie " Whitnail ( probably wrong spelling ) and I " . I am a stickler for proper usage of any language myself.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:43am

So sorry, g, for being asleep for the latter part of the comments. Apologies for bigging you up! (Auto cabbage had that as bugging you up). And I always apologise. A soft answer turneth away wrath and all that! And - I must learn to either accept the fact that my blogs do not generate comments, or write more controversial blogs (evil grin).

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:52am

Mary many of your blogs have generated lots of comments but maybe you only focus on the ones they don't. I wonder do we even the need the tally of comments as we now get a notification of new comments. Some of the best written memorable blogs on here I am sure many read them but few commented. Thanks for all your comments.

Leah Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:33pm

Thanks for everyone's response. I would never have guessed the direction it would take. I hope everyone feels safe to express themselves on moodscope. I will repeat it is never ever my intention to be rude or upset anyone.
Back to the topic. I appreciate hearing how people cope with their highs and what they have learnt. I feel self knowledge is so important. There is still time to comment and I encourage anyone who has never commented, not commented for a while or is a regular commenter to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

Eva Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:42pm

What a day! Firstly Jul, I didn't mean to hamper or silence you, I'm sorry I don't recall the instance you mentioned, please talk/type as you see fit! Mary I favour the 'I'!

Leah what a gorgeous palaver, I too get caught up in invincible highs, followed by exhausted lows, I've been out of that cycle for a while with the fatigue but am just finishing up my studies so am pushing my limits in these last few days and will have to take some time out to recover its slightly scary to be working at my full capacity even though that is reduced from my old limits.

My issue with riding the highs has had an emotional motivation, desperately trying to get my dad's attention through hard work, also being so autonomous that I couldn't turn off, that combo has resulted in a high riding low falling life in which I didn't know any alternative.

Realising that there is an alternative has been an illuminating journey.

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 1:52am

Eva, Thanks for your insightful post. It is interesting you realise why you pushed yourself so much and then it became so autonomous that you could not stop it. I was different because I never got the insight until I started taking medication. I just enjoyed that wonder feeling and was oblivious the hurt was doing to myself and causing others. What studies have you finished and well done that is an achievement. Thanks again.

Eva Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am

Hi Leah, I didn't realise really until my bereavement counselling, I've been aware of overworking for a long time but did not realise the cost or source. The autonomy is a bit separate, neither of my parents were able to give emotional support to myself and my siblings so I did that for both of us, and as such became autonomous at a very early age. I realised with the help of a friend that I needed more down time a few years ago, so I was on the way to getting a bit more balance and less highs and lows, the bereavements kinda stirred that all up, pushed things to extremes, but also pushed me into counselling, which has been very helpful.

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 8:08am

Eva, thanks so much for this explanation. I find other people's experiences help me too to make sense of my life. I have never had any luck with counselling.

E Tue, Aug 1st 2017 @ 11:45pm

Does Leah get a prize for being the first person to get over a hundred comments?

Molly Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 12:18am

:-) Lol, I think her prize should be a week off to recover !

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 1:37am

E. not the first by a long time. I think it was ratg followed closely by Mary and I think Lex has the biggest total by far for his blog about one word to describe mood scope- think it reached the 200s and beyond. I am sure those with longer memories on moodscope would know. Also I would say more than half would my own comments!! so no prize for me and not sure Ratg, Mary and Lex got one!!

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 1:53am

A week off sounds great Molly, for everyone. I just realised my reply to E shows I don't have a life or I just remember things!!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:46am

Snigger! And, like virtue, I think the "prize" is the comments themselves.

Molly Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 4:55am

I take little notice of the comment figure although my husband is a number nerd (sounds better than a grammar nerd - has more of a ring to it). He will say to me, how many comments did you get? He doesn't realise that the figure is doubled because I have replied to everyone. It is my guilty secret xx

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 8:07am

Molly , my partner always asks how many did you get but he knows I reply because he can't believe how long I take to reply!!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:50am

Wednesdays are sometimes tricky for me. As well as being one of my busiest business days I have my Moodscope blog to monitor. At the beach today though, so I should able to reply. Hoping I don't get as many comments as You, Leah, though!

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:53am

Ok I should try and comment on yours as many times as you did to me, ifonlyI wasn't so tired!! Can you change your day?

David Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 7:03am

Hello Moodscopers, This is one of the longest streams I have seen for a while on the w.w.w. but it is not the QUANTITY but the QUALITY of the comments that are important.

I apologise unreservedly for any distress my comments have caused.


David Gosling

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 8:05am

David, thanks for your comments. Am I right in thinking you like to get a reaction from people. If so you did well. I don't think you distressed anyone but you did provoke a few of us to reply. I feel there is much quality of comments on Moodscope. I am curious as I asked before what drew you to moodscope, personal or research? Thanks again for adding to my blog.

the room above the garage Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 8:28am

Hello Leah, I'm late to the party and haven't read through. I wanted to say I loved your line "I discovered another part of myself". The essence of recovery I think. Love ratg x.

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 9:54am

Never late all welcome. Ratg thanks for your kind words.

g Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 3:43pm

Thank you Leah for all your replies. Your blog is excellent for comments . If nobody reads the comment you always step in with a kind encouraging carefully measured appreciative response. There are very good blogs when the author does not follow up at all and the comments happen in a different way. There are comments that are never on the subject matter - nothing wrong with that . I am by no means criticizing other blog posters by saying that you reply to absolutely everybody and in a kind way too . Response is always nice but lots of responses and a discussion , even a heated one .... I will probably never grow up and always try to put the stick in the perfectly stacked up hornets nest and sometimes it is just me and sometimes it is my Bipolar high and either time it may be rude or offensive or dirty and I will probably never find out if it is my character or if I should blame the condition ( ? ) and either way I do do want to take full responsibility for my actions . Here . I have revealed some of my dilemmas When I was referring to being manic and for comments being manic I meant that all of us when high may get carried away and it may happen here just the same as in daily life and as we hurt our family and friends we may occasionally hurt each other like spiky cactuses crowded together - after all the concentration of troubled souls is highest here and there is nothing wrong with being corrected , apologising and going on as friends. This is why I responded so strongly to Julia when she said that a comment stopped her from engaging .Nobody should feel pushed away , silenced , gagged. Controversy makes for interesting discussions , we learn from each other , we get closer , we go through lows and highs together bonding but leaving space for growth and newcomers .....

Leah Wed, Aug 2nd 2017 @ 11:06pm

Thanks, g, for your kind words and relatable post. I too, like to stir things to get a reaction and used to mess up my life when things were going well as I knew one day they would be messed up so I better make it sooner than later!! If that makes sense. I used to blame bipolar for everything but since being medicated I still do silly, rash, risk taking things so maybe it is just me. I like discussions and don't expect everyone or want everyone to agree but as i said before I want my argument to be attacked not me. Mostly on moodscope people are respectful. I enjoy your posts and insights and thanks for helping to make my blog an interesting one. I appreciate your honesty in revealing a bit about yourself and I know that would have been challenging. Sending kind thoughts, Leah .

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