By far, the hardest aspect of Bipolar Disorder that I’ve had to deal with are mixed states. When I’m manic, I still manage to keep a good grip on myself — enough to prevent myself from doing anything reckless. When I’m depressed, it’s hard in the sense that I become extremely unproductive. All I…
Jesus Christ, thank God I am not the only one.
I’ve only had a Mixed State a couple of times, and I can pinpoint them now that I realize what they are, and how I experience them.
Mixed State No. 1: May of 2012
Mixed State No. 2: December of 2013
Mixed State No. 3: April of 2014
Each of these have a few things in common. Extreme restlessness, crippling anxiety, the inability to feel calm, or even experience happiness. The effects of any downers such as alcohol are not felt on a cerebral level, and instead, only the body gets intoxicated. Since booze is my standard for alleviating feelings of anxiety, it is my first go-to in times like this, only…it doesn’t work. In May of 2012 this feeling landed me in the hospital. It was Jazz Fest, extremely hot, I was wearing layers of black, and drinking at an alarming rate because I. Could. Not. Feel. It. Result? Hospitalization.
That brings us to December of 2013. I was coming off of a Mania high that was so fucking delicious, I wish I could eat it as a topping to ice cream. I was content, the world felt vibrant, I did not fear death, and I was having spiritual experiences that were so intense, that I sometimes could not handle the ecstasy. I was happy. Sadly, that all went downhill and it was Christmas. My family arrived, the Incident happened, and I landed myself in the hospital, again . Two days later, I was diagnosed as bipolar.
April of 2014. It started weeks before I had left for Florida, only it came to a head when I was in a house with 30+ people that were preparing for a wedding. I had the worst panic attack that I have ever experienced. I thought my heart was going to combust, and it was over nothing. I was sitting out in front of a jade blue ocean with not a care in the world, when it creeped upon me like a slow flood. I thought I was going to die. Sadly, that set the mood for the rest of the week. I drank to calm down, only I did not feel it. I had moments where it was physically impossible for me to move my limbs. Finding all my things among the chaos of the wedding stressed me out immensely, and my inability to have a space to my own sent me into a tailspin. I lost my damn mind.
The agitation that comes with a Mixed State set in, and I was a raging bitch. I was mean, confrontational, and downright pessimistic. It was terrible. Again, I could not feel the effects of alcohol, and I was drinking too much in an effort to calm down. It didn’t work. One night, when I was unable to sleep, I started to have thoughts. Thoughts that washed upon me and were tingling and jade blue as the sea outside. I thought that I was Poseidon’s daughter, and that the only way for me to find peace was to walk out into the ocean, and to be one again with my true patriarch.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is called psychosis. In a house of 30+ people, mere hours from a wedding, I fell into psychosis. Fucking A, bipolar. You are a fucking asshole.
Good news. I slept for three days straight after I got home, and I have had mostly good days ever since. My psychiatrist was upset that I did not call him immediately or go to the emergency room, but I had neither cell phone service nor insurance, so those two things were not going to happen. He put me on Buspar, and it is working ok for the most part. I still have a little anxiety, but it is NOTHING compared to the anxiety I experienced in my Mixed State.
Sometimes I sit for a moment and realize that I have a pretty severe mental disorder, and then I cry. How unlucky I am; how incredibly unlucky. Still, I have hope. This is my cross to bear, and I am going to be ok. Only for some times, I won’t and I just want to apologize in advance. Late-onset bipolar 1 disorder is no fucking joke.
Pray for me.