I wrote a song about the downward spiral of a dysfunctional relationship I once had. I called the song “Driving Round the Bends” All we seemed to do was drive to my dancing gigs (the only fun part) and fight. I could also use Driving Round the Bends as a metaphor for my days of restlessness and agitation. I always thought these were depression days. Now I’m not so sure. Having read about the experiences of others, I am now quite sure the agitation was my Bipolar having a field day. Depressed or agitated. Or both. It doesn’t really matter. Does anyone relate? Is anybody out there? My days of Bipolar agitation are characterised by a feeling of wanting to be everywhere and yet not wanting to be anywhere. And so I jump in my car and head out of my flat. I drive to somewhere. I don’t know where I want to go. I can’t make up my mind. I should be able to make up my mind. I feel guilty I can’t make a decision, as though I have failed for not being able to get my shit together enough to have a normal day like everyone else. I feel distress. I feel uncomfortable, like sandpaper is rubbing at my brain, at my insides. I feel fog, as though a pane of glass is curved around me, separating myself from the world. Making conversation is an effort, but I attempt it. I look presentable to the world around me. Nobody knows I have a fractured mind right now. Do I go to the park or the coffee shop first? It seems to take all day to get there even if it is just an hour or two that has passed. I drive myself. I drive myself around the bend.
In the park, I attempt conversation with an old man. Even if successful, my conversation feels like rubber. My words and sentences don’t seem to form. I try to explain something and it does not come out clearly. My dog is friendly. She only barks because she wants more pats. She’s a girl. She’ll roll over and show you her belly. On a normal day, these words flow. On a day like this one, the words seem to come out in the wrong, jumbled order. At least in my mind, they do.
Agitation. Irritation. With everything.
A popular song plays on a radio in the chemist. It grates in my head. I’m grouchy and impatient. I am in a hurry to go. Somewhere. Nowhere. Everywhere. An invisible force drives me on, takes me over. It is my illness driving me.
I drink coffee. Being in the coffee shop seems to help for a brief amount of time. I try to write about my agitation. Writing helps.
The monster in my head takes over, squashing everything I usually like to do. I am not productive.
The sound of visitors in the other units causes Molly to bark. I scream out in a rage and then get embarrassed.
My key gets stuck and I have a meltdown. Rage and tears.
I get a new interest. Playing bass. It helps, but I go from one interest to another, my mind sparking with new ideas that never get finished. Or get finished after a very long time if I am travelling okay in my mind.
The downward spiral takes all interest away. Nothing gets done during these times.
But I am now on new drugs, and I feel even, like I’ve never felt before. I still get some breakthrough symptoms. Today I had anxiety.
But I went for a swim with my Mum and today was a beautiful day.