They say that both bipolar type 1 and 2 are synonymous with irrational behaviour and feelings. I know the most common feeling I experience which is highly irrational is loneliness. I can be on a crowded train, surrounded by people and feeling happy one minute. The next minute I’ll feel I have to reach out to somebody right now or I might die of the desperate feeling that’s just slammed into me. The loneliness feels as if it’s eating me from the inside out and I know it’s irrational even when it’s happening, even when I’m desperately checking Facebook for the ten thousandth time for a comment or a sign that someone is online to talk to.
Most recently I’ve been chatting via text to a friend of mine every day. We discuss creative things we both like, writing, photography, websites, films etc. This week he told me he was going away for 2 days. He was taking his phone, he could still text but he wasn’t going to be in the place that I always imagine him when he usually texts me, he was going to be miles away. We’ve gone long periods without talking before but once I knew he was going away up North I suddenly felt extremely lonely, when in reality nothing was going to be any different.
I think this is a throw-back to the days when I was constantly depressed. I suffered due to the feeling of loneliness then too. I remember once being at a cocktail party (it wasn’t a posh one, it was one where everyone ended up showing their knickers at the end of the night). At one point I looked around and I wondered if everyone there was pretending too, if the happiness and the smiles were all plastered on, just like mine. And I felt incredibly lonely in that room full of friends.
I think what bothers me is that when I get two seconds of peace from my ever churning and changing emotions I realise that there’s no way I want to be like this. Those moments of peace are like waking from a bad dream in which all irrational feelings and odd behaviours have seemed entirely normal. It’s only upon waking from it that you realise they are far from normal, but by then you’ve probably lost a friend or two or become obsessive to the point you’ve driven someone away.
I wouldn’t mind if the doctors could tell you what’s going on in your own brain. Why it’s backfiring and conspiring against you to make you unsociable and odd to the extreme. But they can’t. They tell me it’s a chemical imbalance but they don’t even know which chemicals are playing see-saw in my brain.
So if pumping 1 in every 100 people full of battery components does the trick most of the time I guess we have to go along with it. I love the lithium and the effect it has on my tired yet busy brain. But just like the symptoms it aims to control, I find I’m totally at its mercy.
I often find I become more than a little fixated on things. I look to Facebook one hundred times a day for someone to reach out to and when I’m met with the standard ‘Like’ in response to my posts I find myself feeling even more desperate and alone.
What I want to write:
“Do you ever hate your life so much you can feel it crushing your chest? Have you ever felt so lonely you think you’re going to drown in sadness? Do you feel as if your insides are empty of everything except liquid pain sloshing about in the gaps between your ribs? No. Me neither (except I do really).”
What I actually write:
(Post a picture of me looking happy with my family).
“You can tell we’re related by the genetic uni-brow.”
I usually try to make the posts I write funny, but at times they hide what I’m really trying to say which is ‘I’m drowning here. I need someone to reach out and save me.’ The funnier the posts, the more frequent, the more I’ll find I’m flailing and the more dependent I become on nothing more than a networking site to quell my loneliness. And so today I wrote this note to Facebook as a way of trying to break my dependency.
“You know what, Facebook? We’ve had some great times together. No, some AMAZING times. Remember the time you posted a picture of a seagull dive-bombing me on the beach in Spain and me and my friends all laughed and laughed? Ahh, good times.
“The trouble is that just lately I keep feeling like our relationship is taking a lot of effort. And I feel as though I’m the one putting in all the work, if I’m honest.
“I hate to tell you this, but I’ve started using Blogger. I’m sorry, I can see the pain on your face… book. The thing is, it just feels so easy. No short, stunted sentences or awkward jokes. I don’t have to hide behind the laughs and I don’t have to check in monotonously. Blogger just lets me talk and talk and be myself and when we’re done I just walk away. Sometimes for days.
“So I guess what I’m trying to say is… I think we need some space. I need to get my head straight. Stop looking so hurt. I know you see other people. The evidence is there for all to see, so don’t bother denying it.
“It’s over, ok? I’m sorry, but we’re done. At least until Friday when I’ll undoubtedly weaken after a glass of wine and pine for the length of your timeline like I always do.
“Just know that no matter what happens from here on in, I’ll always love you.”