The 4 Faces of Memee: Bipolar Me

4-faces-of-memee | Memee's Musings
A snapshot of one person trying to survive in 4 different chemical bodies.

Hi all,

It’s been a long, long while. I have been suffering with bipolar depression in a very extended way lately. Some people who don’t understand bipolar have the misperception that we suffer both the depressive side and the manic side equally. We don’t. Also, we’re all different in our levels of functionality at the various phases of the disorder. So I’ve been down and out of the game. I am on a new medication, Latuda, and I think it may finally be kicking in. I certainly hope so! It is supposed to relieve the symptoms of Bipolar Depression which is a very big deal for me as I have never had relief from this phase and it is the phase I suffer from the most frequently as well as it being the most catastrophically impactful for me.

Anyway, the picture above was put together back in December at the beginning of a manic phase which I will be sharing with you very soon. During mania I have many brilliant ideas and am extremely active. Unfortunately the mania does not last long and when it burns off suddenly my activities cease and my plots, plans, schemes come to an abrupt halt. For instance, this article had the headline written and the picture uploaded, and even a link to some statistical data but no body. Fortunately, I know my main intent was to go over my 4 “personalities” (for lack of a better description) that I am constantly trying to adjust to and live with.

Left to Right:

  1.  Deep Depression.  This is where I have been for the last several months.  My days in this state consist of sleeping (escaping my problems, but also I am exhausted physically and mentally), crying uncontrollably for no specific reason, staring at the ceiling or blank wall sometimes with no thoughts registering in my head and other times inundated with only negative recriminations for  being this person (something I cannot control) that suffers this chemical imbalance of the brain.  I’ll get up to pee and return immediately to bed.  I mostly drink my calories during this time as I have no energy or desire to even pour cereal into a bowl to eat.  I will bathe once a week but don’t remember to brush my teeth and do not bother brushing my hair or changing my clothes.  I am completely shut down.  Inhuman. Some days I am afraid to be alone because I fantasize about killing myself.  I know that is not the answer and it is really not an option.  Besides, in this state I am frozen in grief and depression so I do not act upon thoughts.  I “just” terrorize myself with them over and over again.  Visualizing myself killing myself.  It’s not fun, believe me.  It scares me and heightens my depressive state.

2.  “The Blahs”  This is where I live the majority of my life.  I still have difficulty with hygiene most days.  I am messy and tired.  I have zero focus, zero attention span, zero interests, zero motivation , and zero drive.  I do nothing but zone out on the computer or Netflix day after day.  My mind is chaotic and so is the environment around me.  It’s better than the deep depression but it is no life.  A waste.

3. Happy/Balanced.  This is my goal persona.  It is who I long to be.  I enjoy friendships and can hold onto a job.  I feel like I am pursuing goals and making real change in my life toward becoming this person authentically.  I bathe bi-daily, I pick up after myself, I eat and sleep in a normal pattern.  I have a life and recognized the blessing it is.  I may even be able to have a romantic relationship again!

4. Mania!   I am awesome!  You are awesome! Life is awesome!  I have big plans and they are, no matter how far-fetched, attainable!  I just got to follow my plans step by step and I’ll do it!  I will succeed at anything I try and I will try anything that interests me!  The world is my oyster, my cake, my playground!

The 4 Faces of Memee: Bipolar Me stats1 | Memee's Musings

So who is susceptible to  Bipolar Disorder?  Statistics sourced through Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance says that:

Bipolar Disorder Statistics from BDSA

©2017-2020 All rights reserved.

Mad Scientist is Winner of Friendship Poetry Challenge!

Mad Scientist is Winner of Friendship Poetry Contest! | Memee's Musings

Mad Scientist (by Carlos Lewis)

I have had often the habit,
Of digging too deep,
Into the private lives and minds
Of those friends that I keep.
You see, I never found it wrong
Or intrusive if I strikingly asked
Those questions that are to answer
Difficult; leave them masked.
If I waited until we were alone
I might ensnare you with emotion
And then deliver that unwanted gift
Of a beckoning favor, of commotion.
Then my friends would, somber,
Try to evade my words, my voice.
I simply would return with a stone
Expression; I leave little to choice.
So in this way I could draw out
The answer that I craved so badly;
Be they underwhelming or shocking,
I desired them, I obsess madly.

Now you probably would look at me
And wonder how inhuman I act,
But I detest this view of my practice.
I am an indulger of mental fact.
What makes the mind tick?
What causes these humans to take
A form that creates their personality,
And in time, a tortured soul to make?
These are the burning questions
That I desperately wish to address;
Therefore, my actions are an act
Of science that evidently impress.
Only a mad scientist would delve
So deep that they risk losing it all;
Then I am mad! madly observant,
And I keep down the rabbit hole, I fall.

Each mind is so unique,
With all its experience and abilities.
They all open up worlds unknown,
And create endless possibilities.
For I myself am but one man
But in the equation I add a universe;
Now multiply that exponentially
And boundaries become reversed.
Now all of the planes of existence
Have opened themselves to humanity
And I am taking one small step;
Maybe for the sake of my sanity.
But I could endlessly keep falling,
Simply chasing, never ceasing;
However, I could never stop and see
All the beauty I would be releasing.

I’d rather explore the universes
That cross paths with mine,
For they shift my orbit and gravity
Much more than a distant shine.
For if I understand the connections
Between myself and a friend,
Then I also share in that link
A bigger world made by our blend.
This is why I ponder over their minds
And why I ask a burning question;
After all, it’s how I keep alive
My somewhat unhealthy obsession.
And in my craziness maybe you too
Have become excited to explore;
I say friends are meant to be known,
It’s what we keep them around for.

by Carlos Lewis

You can get to know Carlos and his writings over at his blog, Thoughts of a Trainwrecked Pineapple. He is absolutely one of my very favorite people whom I’ve met during this blogging journey. Please be sure and let him know how much you enjoyed his poem by visiting him and leaving comments.

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Submitted to Memee’s Poetry Parties by Carlos Lewis 2-22-2016.
Original Poem: Mad Scientist © Carlos Lewis 2016-2018. All rights reserved.
Mad Scientist is Winner of Friendship Poetry Challenge!© Memee’s Musings, 2016-2018. All rights reserved.

The wonderful photograph was taken by Elijah Henderson and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

Dear Eating Disorder – by Rosie

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: Rosie Elsom

Dear Eating Disorder -  by Rosie | Letters to the MindI hate you for taking over me
and making me believe this is how I want to be.
Why do I stay with you when all you do is put me down?
make me starve ’til I fit into the smallest gown,
with the loss of each gram I’m closer to my goal,
with your grip tightening over my dark soul.
Filled with fear at every bite I take,
your plan, my plan, would be ruined by cake.
Counting calories, and fearing how much I weigh
I am beginning to feel like you are here to stay.
My reflection has become something I fear,
I dread the time I have to look in the mirror.
The pain in my stomach never goes away,
it grumbles with hunger while in bed I lay.
You tell me you are my only true friend
and make me fear the day this relationship must end,
but I know your presence is here for a while,
so I hide this relationship behind a smile.
Dear eating disorder I know you are wrong,
but how can you make me feel this strong?

© Rosie Elsom 2016


About the author:

My name is Rosie, I am 18 years old and from the UK. I suffer from a variety of mental illnesses however this poem is focused particularly on my anorexia which I have suffered with for many years and has led me to numerous inpatient admissions. During my lows, my highs and my admissions, I have found poetry a really positive and productive thing and it has helped me to make sense of some of the chaos in my head.

My favorite quote is one from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and it is:

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 

I like this quote because sometimes mental illness’ can make you feel trapped but it is important to remember you have the power, potential and the ability to be free.

Blog: Positiviteablog

Read the original post: To my eating disorder (poem)

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Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters to the Mind blog project.

Click here to Contribute.

☀ Memee

Dear Anxiety – by B.G.

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: B.G.

Dear Anxiety | Letters to the Mind

 

Dear Anxiety,

I shouldn’t even be spending my time, energy, and talent on you right now but it’s time we get something straight. You’ve been trying your hardest for a while now to drag me down, but as you can see, I’m not giving up. I’m kind, talented, loving, and worth a lot more than to be controlled by you. I want to be a writer, I want to help people, and I don’t want to be afraid to live my life. You’ve stopped me from enjoying doing certain things and even stopped me from doing things altogether, but NO MORE! I know that I won’t get cured overnight, but that’s not going to stop me from proving to myself that I’m stronger than you. Because you know what? I AM!

I’ve accomplished so much in my life, even with you trying to stop me. In high school, when you tried to get to me, I pulled through. I graduated and then I went to college. You followed me there, but I still didn’t give in. I graduated. Hell, I made the Dean’s list several times. You may have caused me to take some online classes instead of going on campus at times, BUT I GOT THROUGH IT!

My life is too important to be squandered away by you. I’ve been working harder, working stronger and I’m going to defeat you! I’ve already shown myself my strength and I’m not going to back down!

You’ve tried to make me think that I’m weak and even though I’ve felt like I was, I know better. You’re a liar and you get a kick out of making people miserable, but I don’t get a kick out of it and I’m not enjoying it. So I’m going to keep showing myself that I’m stronger than you and I’m not going to let you continue to control my life. I’ve seen the damage you can do, to me and to others. However, we’re stronger than you think and we’re tired. We’re tired of you trying to take over, tired of missing out on opportunities, tired of YOU. So don’t think that we’re going to let you win, because we’re stronger. MUCH STRONGER! We’re going to continue to practice on a consistent basis, working in small steps until we reach our goal: to be free of your restraints. Whether or not you’re ready to let go of us, we’re ready to let go of you! -B.G.

About the author:

My name is B.G. and I have been struggling with anxiety for several years. I created my blog Getting Through Anxiety in order to help both myself and others who deal with similar issues. I love to write, read, and watch TV. In college I majored in English and minored in writing. I also have written some posts for The Seeds 4 Life and Battle of Mind. I hope to one day be a fiction author.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison

© B.G. 2015

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Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters of the Mind blog project.

Contribute.

☀ Memee

Dear Depression – by Matt

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: Matt

Dear Depression | Letters to the Mind

 

Wherever I go, you’re not far behind
You are the shadow cast over my mind
My face is fixed, no twitch no blink
I show no emotion, as I come back from the brink
It took me time to see through your lies
To see the truth hidden in your eyes.

I’ve made some mistakes, there’s no denying
If I claimed anything else, I’d only be lying
I’ve lived my life in black and white
There was no colour, there was no light
I can’t see where I’m going, but I know where I’ve been
I don’t want to return there and see what I’ve once seen.

© Matt McKeen 2015


M_McKeen
About the author:

My name is Matt, and I started this blog nearly two years ago now. It’s been a release from the stresses of everyday life ever since (though I’ve not always written as often as I’d like!). I suffer from both anxiety and depression, but through writing I have found comfort and friends, many of whom have their own struggles with the same illnesses. It’s a constant reminder that we are not alone and to speak out. In silence we suffer.

Blog: The Pebble in my Shoe

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali

 

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Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters of the Mind blog project.

Contribute here..

☀ Memee

I Pledge to Change the World!

Attention: Mental Health Awareness lime green whistle
Photo by Steven Depolo

There is a stigma attached to my life, it is called Bipolar Disorder. My pledge is about educating those around me and beyond me. Stigma comes from fear. My fear of how you’ll respond when I tell you and your fear that I will suddenly go postal on you.

I won’t. You are safe. This is my problem, not yours. This impacts my family, not yours. You are safe. Sit down and talk with me, ask me questions about it. I will not bite. I am happy to share because once you know me and understand me you will feel better and so will I. I am making the world a more understanding place one person at a time.

I have joined forces with Jade Moore to create the mental health blog, Letters to the Mind, where we invite YOU to write to your mental illness. You will grow from the exercise and you will teach by leaving your letters, poems, and stories behind for others to consume, relate to, and learn from.

We want you to have a dialog with your illness. We want you to grow and flourish and be all that is possible. We want you to help educate others. We want your creative voices to join us in changing the world!

Do you live with someone who is diagnosed with a mental illness? Please, join us. Your viewpoint is just as weighty as ours.

Jade writes on the Contribution page:

There are no restrictions as to what you write or in what form you write in, and no issue is excluded. This is your piece of writing, and it is for you to make it whatever you want it to be, so there is no wrong way to do this, but here are some suggestions of forms you might like to write in:

A letter
A poem
A short essay/blog post
A script-like conversation (between you and your issue)
A short story/flash fiction (involving you both as characters)
A piece of art – see the ‘Art’ page for more information.

Like I said, you are not restricted to these forms and I encourage you to use your imagination, but I put emphasis on the fact that the act of writing your piece should (I hope!) act as a coping method and a technique that will help you to deal with your mental health and to feel better and think differently about it.

Get out from #behindthedisguise!  Click here to go to the How to Contribute page of Letters to the Mind blog project.