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These Cruel and Vicious Things. Wednesday November 2, 2016

My daughter is reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson for her GCSE English.

I want to tell her not to bother: she has the perfect example of a split personality in her mother.

Ninety percent of the time I am good natured, fairly placid, tolerant and easy-going. And then -

Well – I have told you about the wolves and the hedgehog. I won't bore you again.

It's what happens when I start to come out of that phase I'm coping with now.

Damage control, you might call it.

Did I really say all those things? I frantically rummage through the last few weeks' worth of texts and emails, trying to find out.

Yes, I did. In some cases. In others, thank goodness, the words remained safely locked in my brain – they did not escape to cause damage. But I thought them. Believe me; I thought them so hard it felt as if they would fly out of my head and circle round the intended victim like killer hornets. They battered inside my mouth and stung my tongue so it felt swollen and too big to fit behind my teeth. Yet I dared not open my lips. I dared not touch that keyboard.

Because words are like sharks' teeth – they grip and do not let go. You cannot undo the harm done by words with yet more words.

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

And yes, there have been tears. Because I never meant to hurt. I never wished to cause a fracture in any of my precious friendships. This is why sometimes I hide away, for fear of causing just this devastation.

Different friends react in different ways:

"Hey – you're certainly on form today! Very witty – but rather cruel, don't you think?"

"Ouch. That hurt! Be careful with my feelings please."

"................................................................" The long silence.

Abject grovelling goes only so far. Hugs can only be given if they are received. Gifts can be interpreted as attempts to purchase forgiveness. I can apologise. I can explain. But the fact remains that those words were said or written and I cannot bring them back, no matter how much I'd like to.

If I said things while drunk, then at least I would have chosen to drink; I did not choose to be bi-polar.

These changes to my character really piss me off.

I'd put it more elegantly, but I'm still up there; with those nasty words.

So, just watch out. And please, don't take anything I say to heart.

Because those hurtful words don't come from my heart – they come from my brain. And my brain can't be trusted right now.

A Moodscope member.

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

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DAVE Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:15am

Hi Mary,
Your sweet comments about a blog of mine recently.

Your blog is explicit, I feel I have invaded your mind, because I personally cannot get my mind around, why you feel this way with Bipolar, I'm not assuming that all sufferers have the same symptoms, but that I'm just wondering whether your experience and thoughts when 'High' reflects upon a suppressed anger, bitterness, resentfulness that lies within your sub-conscious, and during your 'Even' state is NATURALLY under control.

This may be because of your lifestyle, if you work ? but what do you do ? is it stressful ? does it not give you sufficient money to be able to do the things that others around you do ? And so on....

You look after your family responsibilities, husband, children etc, to look after, basically.....ALL THE BACKBREAKING, dedicated boring, routine that gives most women stickability and much more of the parents share of all this necessary labour, which puts women in such a dedicated light, that encapsulates the deep love that you all have for others in your families, as you CONSISTENTLY GIVE OUT, until exhausted....'BURN OUT', until you have NOTHING left to give...and at that point the above emotions rear their ugly head, explode into inner thoughts, in which you express, looking into your texts etc after this 'High' episode, of what, with some relief no doubt, that you haven't actually said, but was brought to the foremost part of your brain just in case you had said something unpleasant, in these explosive moments, which, have for others a caring timescale between the 'Highs' and the 'Lows'.

If this is the case then surely you may need to monitor, and START living in the 'NOW'...forget the past, and let the future take care of itself....decline, say no not today, when asked to perform some of these duties of routine labour....UNTIL the 'CONTROLLED' mind has, and is, comfortably rested sufficiently to be able to manage, and cope with that which has been demanded from you. So that given time to consider a time 'OFFERED' by you to others and therefore you would retain a balanced, manageable lifestyle, which would see you 'IRON OUT' and NOT 'BURN OUT' which would then give you calculated time to start to enjoy the CONTENTMENT, PEACE and HAPPINESS, which I'm always banging on about, which can only be attracted by an orderly MIND ? ?

Forgive me no offence...

Sally Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 8:14am

Ah, Dave, were it that simple, we'd all adopt the formula. Alas for many it is not possible to live the type of order you describe. Life just ain't like that. It gets in the way. As do the moods and brain alterations which stop everything being regulated. No offence, but we have all tried to alter our lives to fit in with our works, ...and it doesn't . That's just the way it is. That's why Moodscopers help. They get it.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:27pm

No offence taken Dave - and thank you for taking the time to comment. I acknowledge all your points and they are good ones - but with my form of bi-polar the moods are entirely unrelated to events and circumstances. When this foulness invades my brain I am at a total loss to know from whence it comes and I am deeply grieved by it. Furthermore, I repudiate it completely. Over the years I have undergone much therapy. Most of it has been extremely useful; none of it has helped this physical problem. I live in hope though!

Sally Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 8:21am

Mary, such honest, real, recognisable descriptions. I can only sympathise, and say that I recognise bits of me in your descriptions....I'd rather not of course, but I must admit that, yes, I have said those things. They sounded perfectly reasonable at the time...but in the cool light of day, weeks later, I know they were absolutely not. The dilemma with friends is real: how to make amends. You are so right. They respond differently. I think you are also right about the hiding away in case you give offence. Go carefully and know how valued you are, whatever.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:28pm

Thank you - and thank you for your reply to Dave above.The moods are there because it is an illness and not a response to circumstances.

Salt Water Mum Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 8:49am

Oh Mary, last Wednesday I recognised so much of your blog and here I am today too - that's me! I am crawling my way back after an episode of sadness and anger. A full eight days of railing against the world with tears and resentment - hiding it as best I can manage from my children, getting on with work and upsetting some friends and hiding from others.

I have just emailed a line from your blog to a friend of mine (I hope that's okay) -

"please, don't take anything I say to heart. Because those hurtful words don't come from my heart – they come from my brain. And my brain can't be trusted right now."

That puts it so well Mary. I sent it to my friend in the hope that he will understand my rantings. I think he will.

Another friend I could hear the weariness in her voice and I am sure she was thinking 'oh here we go again...'

And another cooked me lovely food. She doesn't understand it at all and doesn't try to so she kindly kindly cooks food. I always feel better after one of her mammy dinners!

My daughter - I need to apologise to her for getting on her case.

My sister - was practical and helpful and for that I am grateful.

My mother - I cried on the phone to her for the first time in years. Neither of us have mentioned that since. Emotions are rarely discussed!

My son - I thank him for the hugs.

My best friend - He's bi-polar. And he's five times as angry as me. And when I'm low, he disappears. He either gets more angry or makes himself invisible.

The very person who I always think will understand the most, does not. Or doesn't want to.

I am working on managing my expectations this week.
Those of others.
And those of myself.


Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:29pm

Ah yes - I recognise myself in you too. And yes - of course send these blogs as far and wide as possible. My writing is public. I even post these on my Facebook page: that is how public I am.

LP Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 9:48am

Hi Mary,
It's awful that such suffering continues. With a such clear diagnosis, it's a shame that health professionals aren''t able to provide the treatment needed.
I can identify with knowing what the cause is and struggling to control the symptoms, emotional outbursts AT people that just don't happen when we are feeling well.
I can have (reframe, have had) a very sharp tongue too. Family relationships have been damaged. The SENCO hing is I stand by my convictions. I don't regret what has happened or what I've said. I'd rather deal with the fall out than not be true to myself.
I hear that it's not the same for you though. My heartfelt wishes for more peaceful times to come soon Mary.
It is such a beautiful morning in London, so sharing the sunshine and smiles with you all :) LP xx

LP Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 9:49am

Typo that should've read "the thing is".

Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:32pm

Thank you Lillypet! I spent this morning in conversation with a psychiatric nurse; a delightful gentleman by the name of Steve. We spent some of the time discussing ancient choral music. But what I want of course, is a magic pill I can take when getting into this state, so I can become sane again! At the moment it looks like a choice between lithium for life or the modern equivalent to valium as needed! Neither option appeals.

Adam G Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 11:17am

Hi Mary, I found this a really fascinating post: I can always tell from the beautiful use of language when it's you posting, even before I see your name; and that was no different today - I knew it was 'Mary' from the use of language, but not quite 'Mary' in terms of the feelings and character coming through. It's very expressive, as always, but this is like a roaring spitting fire Mary instead of your more usual cosy wood burner Mary. You have, through your posts, inspired and given me strength and reassurance through my periods of anxiety and depression (not bi-polar), and I only wish that I could do the same for you: reach through the keyboard, look you in the eye, and reassure you that the 'real Mary' is caring, creative, helpful, valuable and good ... and put your demons on a leash for you. They are, after all, only chemicals messing with your brain.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:34pm

Ah Adam - thank you so much for your kind comment about my writing. Producing these blogs gives me so much peace and even pleasure. And knowing I help people makes it completely worth while. You have reassured me - thank you. Maybe you can reassure the family and friends I have hurt too!

Di Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 1:41pm

Dearest Mary ~ Such heartbreaking feelings ~ I am deeply sorry for your pain. I am sending you courage for all you are & hope to become. Wage peace, Di

Molly Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:19pm

I can also totally relate to this post and your last one Mary. I have a rant, upset people, then go into depression with regret for doing so. I don't know where the words come from either, even if they are how I feel, I know that often they should be kept to myself or said more tactfully, people irritate me and I tell them so. I push people away and some stay, some go. I have lost friendships because people don't want confrontation and don't want to understand. They see the illness as an excuse. This particularly frustrates me because I am a kind and caring person, willing to help anyone. The logical solutions some people try to provide is also frustrating. Yes if it were that easy we would do it. Chemicals in the brain, we have little control over. Also they lead to confusion, as sometimes we cannot tell the difference of whether we have acted out of turn or we were justified in our outburst. All of these feelings make life so difficult. It has given me some comfort to know I am not alone by reading your posts. Often I feel very alone and like a complete outcast. I get paranoid that people are saying what a horrible person I am, I am quite the opposite. Maybe it is pent up anger, or maybe we just care too much. Hormones also play a part. But whatever the cause, I would say to you, what I try and tell myself. It is not your fault!!! So forgive yourself. With love, Mandy

Mary Wednesday Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 @ 7:40pm

Mandy my dear, I feel that I want to copy and paste what you have just written to the friend I have hurt so badly this time round. Thank you for your comment. It is good for all of us to know we are not alone.

Mandy Thu, Nov 3rd 2016 @ 9:01pm

Please share as much as you would like Mary xx

DAVE Thu, Nov 3rd 2016 @ 7:10am

Hi Mary,
It's Thursday, so maybe you might not respond this, but I'm never offended, certainly not with your reply to my words.

I do not have access to the adversities which have come into your life, both physically and mentally, but you know there are folk (nothing personal) who complicate their lives with worry and anxiety who do not have depression or Bipolar, but are on the edge so-to-speak.

Whether we like it or not, I'm sure you know, we do need to get a balance, simply an orderly routine, because I believe, our lifestyle determines our moods, and so if we're busy with running a home/family we also need to attend to those vital issues of a personal nature which can demand and AFFECT our mood, immediately (if possible or soonest), because they weigh heavily on the mind and create an obstacle, which prevents our moving forward, and allowing other issues to gain part of that space recently occupied by an issue, which we have NOW rectified.

We are led to believe that 'procrastination is the thief of time', and time needs order, an order of priorities, to strive to maintain the balance necessary to cope with other demands upon that which time we have left in our daily routine.
So yes Mary this is only an opinion, and as such it may be useful to maybe only one or two, I do get things, all things straight, and deal with all that is 'thrown at me', because my life's demands are extremely busy, without a balanced orderly lifestyle, I know I cannot cope, and would end up in Hospital once more.

But Because I'm only 'Stabbing' in the dark, unfamiliar, with others individual issues, I just feel that if out of our daily blogs, just one tiny piece of their experience from each moodscoper, may just be the thoughts that are relevant to us as individuals, and whose comments are general and not personal.

Thank you for replying, the older I get the more I feel I have to learn, and your comments get added to my memory, and once in a while, digging deep your thoughts come to the foremost.

God Bless you today.

Mandy Fri, Nov 4th 2016 @ 3:06am

Hi Dave, I know you mean well but your response is far too much like what many people think. It is a typical response from a person that has never experienced what we do. And I can understand that, because in my good times, I want to provide logic and sort things out for people. I have many issues right now, as I have had in the past. But it is not those issues that are the problem. Those issues affect us more than usual but they are not the cause of what we are feeling. Quite frankly I dread anything bad happening to me, because this illness will not allow me to cope in the way I would like to think I can. As much as you are trying to help Dave, these feelings are not in our control. By making life changes, these feelings and behaviours do not go away !! Believe me, I have suffered for years and I am just learning this myself. Logical answers just don't quite work.

Mary Wednesday Fri, Nov 4th 2016 @ 12:11pm

Hello Dave and Mandy, I don't know if either of you will read this - but thank you both so much for your comments from both sides. Dave - I really appreciate your thoughts. Yes - I know that, if I can avoid alcohol, eat healthily and discipline myself to sleep properly during these times, I am helped. I spent some time on Wednesday with a psychiatric nurse and also with an alcohol counsellor. I know, if I can take gentle exercise and find activities that keep me calm and centred during the mania, it helps. We have agreed that, when the jitters get too bad, I will leave the situation and sit with my words, or with my paints/crafting, rather than reaching for the gin bottle. I will follow the healthy eating plan I have made and I will enrol the rest of the family to ensure I go to bed before 11pm every night. I really need this structure: you are correct. It helps, certainly, but it does not solve the problem. Mandy is correct, that this condition affects us in a way which means we cannot cope in the same manner that others might. Even with all my past therapy and intelligent patterns of behaviour, I am still plagued (as is Mandy)with these unwelcome chemicals which cause us to act out of character. If you read the MIND website or the NHS website listing the symptoms of bi-polar, they both make the point that, after the manic episode is over, we are upset with ourselves. the NHS says this, "Bipolar disorder is a condition of extremes. A person with the condition may be unaware they're in the manic phase. After the episode is over, they may be shocked at their behaviour. However, at the time, they may believe other people are being negative or unhelpful." This is what MIND has to say: About manic episodes Having a manic episode can sometimes feel exciting and fun, but it can also feel distressing, disorientating or unpleasant. Here are some things you might experience during a manic episode: How you might feel happy, euphoric or a sense of wellbeing uncontrollably excited, like you can’t get your words out fast enough irritable and agitated increased sexual energy easily distracted, like your thoughts are racing, or you can't concentrate very confident or adventurous like you are special or understand things other people don’t like you are untouchable or can’t be harmed like you can perform physical and mental tasks better than normal more active than usual How you might behave talking a lot, speaking very quickly, or not making sense being very friendly saying or doing things that are inappropriate and out of character sleeping very little or not at all being rude or aggressive misusing drugs or alcohol spending money excessively and inappropriately losing social inhibitions taking serious risks with your safety After a manic episode you might: feel very unhappy or ashamed about how you behaved have made commitments or taken on responsibilities that now feel unmanageable have only a few clear memories of what happened while you were manic, or none at all Dave, I have done things, while in a manic state, of which I am deeply, deeply ashamed. The chemicals are not an excuse, they are real. They frequently override all our best defences. It does not mean we should abandon our defences, but we have to accept that, like the great ocean and our sea defences, the forces of nature are sometimes too great to resist.

Nicco Wed, Nov 9th 2016 @ 1:36pm

Mary, I really appreciate your blog as I can identify a lot with it. I have read other members' comments and know they are trying to be helpful, and they are, but Mary Wednesday's comment describes it beautifully, esp '..They frequently override all our best defences'. I found my phases got worse with my monthly cycle, and a lot worse when I went through the menopause, so I know hormones played a big part with me and, thankfully, there were things I could do to a certain extent which helped. I find my unwelcome phases don't come so often now I'm through the menopause but when they do come they are somehow worse because I'm not 'used' to them anymore. It's so difficult that some people in our lives don't understand, but all they have to go on are their own experiences. I hope that by now your mood is levelling more. Be kind to yourself. Nicco.

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