I had an urge.

I had an urge last night.  I thought about killing myself.

It’s truly bizarre.  I’ve been doing so well for quite a while now.  My medications seem to have gotten the extreme mood swings under control.  My therapy is going well.  I’ve been able to focus on and overcome the personality traits and habits I’ve picked up through the years of mental illness.  I have a budding relationship (Slowly…very slowly) developing into what feels healthy and safe.  My work has slowed down and there’s no anxiety or stress like there has been.

It’s all good.

So where in the hell did this thought come from?  I’m getting ready for bed, walked into the bath to take my evening medications, and BAM.  Out of nowhere I have this overwhelming urge to die.  There was no warning or sad feelings that could lead up to this at all.  It had been a good day at work, I got off on time, had a pleasant drive home, and relaxing evening watching TV.  I hadn’t been drinking, and the anxiety from quitting smoking is under control.  I’ve been behaving myself in regards to inappropriate behavior.  I felt good.  And I felt just good enough; no hint of hypomania or depression.  There was absolutely NO reason to suddenly have a death wish.  It didn’t last but a minute, but just the fact that it happened at all is truly crazy.

The Brain is an amazing thing.  Separate and apart from an illness, it is incredible how it works.  It controls hundreds of body functions simultaneously.  Heartbeats, breathing, hormones, chemical balances, sleep patterns, organ processes… the list goes on and on.  And all this happens automatically.  Add to that the subconscious mind.  All of the emotions, feelings and thought processing that influence our personalities and behaviors.  There is the ability to remember events, feelings, and emotions; memory is a wonderful and horrible thing.  Then there’s conscious thought.  All of the things we actively think about on so many levels.  This is the organ that creates an entire life.

And then; there’s the bipolar brain.

In many ways it works just like any other brain when it comes to managing the physical body.  There are differences too.  The chemical balances that affect emotional reactions are thought to get ‘out of balance’ and lead to depression and mania.  Personally, I don’t think it’s an out of balance condition; it’s just a different balance.  In my opinion, it’s the way that the brain functions that causes these reactions and behaviors.  For whatever reason, the chemical makeup in a bipolar person is different, not unbalanced.  I believe that the physical characteristics work just like the brain intends.  It’s the brain itself that is different.  I don’t know if there’s any scientific proof of this, but based on what I’ve learned over the years, it’s the way I feel.  But whatever the cause, there’s a powerful, underlying condition that overrides ‘normal’ (there’s that word again) thoughts and behaviors.  Medications can alter the physical features that are believed to contribute to the bipolar illness.  Therapy can train the natural reactions and unlearn habits that both cause and contribute to the abnormal actions.  Tools and skills can be learned to counteract emotion and feelings that are experienced in a bipolar life.  This is a disease that can be managed.  But the illness is always there.  In spite of all the treatments and no matter how successful they are, the beast lies in wait ready to exploit any opportunity to wreak its havoc.  It takes a constant vigil to beat down this disease.  There will be always be unexplainable bipolar moments that occur when least expected.  This illness will fight to escape all efforts to contain, and try yet again to take control.  I know I’ll need to maintain my treatments, faithfully take my medications, and constantly be aware of the fact that I am bipolar for the rest of my life.  And, God willing, I’ll have this life for a long, long time.

Even if my brain is trying to kill me.

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7 Responses to I had an urge.

  1. EdelWilliamsLifetimes says:

    I read your post and it resounded so much with how I feel today. I’ve been feeling really good, just like you. Everything in my life was going well, family was good, work is good but has been getting progressively more stressful in the last few months as the company embarks on a major expansion; to which I have been told my input is key: no pressure then! And bam! – I had a what I term a ‘white rage’ incident yesterday. I lost complete and utter control of my emotions and ended up having to leave work instead of stay there and abuse everyone I work with. I could not control my anger, I could not control the rollercoaster of emotions that went through my body and ended up having a blazing, screaming cat fight with my husband later that evening. Haven’t had one of these in years. It was and is surprising to me that no matter what the circumstances of your life, no matter your adherence to your medication regime, you can still be blindsided by the effects of bi-polar. Thank you for writing this; I don’t feel so alone today now! Keep up the good fight, am there with you in spirit.

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  2. Ni-Kaye says:

    What you’ve learned about bipolar may be much more accurate than what a scientist may claim to have discovered. You are living with it. Who is qualified to define “Normal?” Because you don’t act like most, that makes you abnormal? Everyone has a moment when they want to kill themselves, someone else, or even both. The maturity is not to carry out your thoughts. Get off that therapist couch, sit in your mirror, and talk to your damn self. So what if someone hears you, they probably think you’re crazy anyway. You have the answers to your own quandaries.

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    • cissyblue says:

      I hesitated to read your blog this morning, because I feel ok physically. Mentally… pretty good. But I did read it. It tells me that my life may always be part struggle, mostly confusion. Last week, I did a really stupid, stupid thing. And I have never ever had a death wish. The vet had sold me a bottle of special shampoo for my little dog, and I had left it out on the back porch in Texas, and it sorta “blew up.” (No telling what was in that stuff.) So I found a plastic container with a lid and poured what I could save into it. And here’s the weird part. I placed the container in the refrigerator. (Maybe because my mind thought it got hot, now it can be cold?) Anyway, that night, in the middle of the night, I woke up unexpectedly to that wall of anxiety so familiar, and went to the refrigerator. I was half awake and half asleep, no doubt. And there was that nice new pretty little tub with something red and wonderful in it. I opened the container, gave it a smell, it had no smell, and damn if I didn’t take a drink, all the while thinking “cherry” in my head… (bear in mind I’ve never ever done such a stupid thing in my life.) It had no taste at all really, and I actually swallowed down a big slug of the stuff. All of a sudden it all came flooding back to me, I guess, and I woke up. My first thought was “I am trying to kill myself now.” So I drank a ton of water and started throwing up, hoping to clear as much of the chemicals out of my stomach and throat as possible. I did it non-stop for a while… After that (and by the way, I did live-haha) I became convinced that I had some death wish. Now, a week or so later, I am convinced that my mental state is not what it used to be. I am 58 so I worry about things like that. What I have learned since, is that thoughts can come into our head from a million different places, and for a million different reasons. They just happen. But they are not “us.” They are just thoughts. The whole Buddhist religion is built on finding that gap in between thoughts. And if you’re bipolar, good luck with that. It seems most everything I do has a sort of frenetic tone to it, even meditating. So instead of worrying about advancing senility, or a death wish, I’ve decided that it was just a stupid thing to be avoided in the future. And thoughts are just thoughts. They have no life of their own and we can totally acknowledge them, then dismiss them just as easy. What I learned yesterday from a woman struck down by polio at age 7, who is now 52, living 24/7 in a wheelchair with MS, is that she never had a choice. She has no real concept of courage or what it means to be brave. She said she never had a choice in the matter. It was get right and get real or die. Giving up is the easy choice for sure. I have lived that choice for two years now, medicated sure, but depressed, oh yes… So I changed some things and I am making progress once again. Slow, but sure. Everything in my house is a huge mess, a disaster really. But one item at a time will find a home, be given away, or be cleaned and washed and put away. Somehow, I will do it. Furniture will be moved into place, and even with scoliosis, I will manage it. Because i have learned to work smarter, not harder. I have company coming, actually more than company, a real friend, more like a son actually. And since I have never had kids, I am pretty much a nervous wreck. My friend has been homeless the last two years and he is bringing his pitbull mix dog, AND her 6 puppies, and guess what? I already have a house load of my own animals and 4 new ones from the kill shelter right now. He’s a great kid, but I have no idea how I will deal with the dog issue. My neighbor will go absolutely ape-sh*t, no doubt! She is hysterically terrified of dogs, and one day my dog got out the front gate and bit her leg. So if she sees more pitbulls here, she will call every dog catcher and authority in Texas after me. But, I don’t really care, because I am ready for her. I am a registered foster mom for the shelter through a rescue organization, and we will do what is right for the animals, one way or the other. They will not go to the shelter. So from this very lengthy “comment” maybe you can see how complicated life can get sometimes, especially for someone like me, who is so far from organized it’s not even funny. If I had my way, I’d spend every day painting, playing my keyboard listening to music, reading, writing and learning stuff. And trying to garden, although that is what I hope my young friend can concentrate on, so we can eat. Texas is not a friendly garden state, not by any means. If the sun doesn’t burn everything, the ants will take it in the night. So, yes. It is easier to give up and die. I suppose. But surely what the lady in the wheelchair said was very important. I’ve always believed in free will and choice. But today, I am telling myself something new and different. I have no choice. I must clean up the mess. I must get organized. I cannot think of my back, or my pain. I must enjoy what I am doing, and do it for the right reasons, because there is no choice in the matter. My life affects another human being now, and that is sacred stuff. Thank you for writing your blog. Thank you for telling it straight and being honest. I really do like myself. I’m a great girl, and really fun. It is just hard being inside here, inside my own head. One lady on my depression site sent me to a site coming out of Oz, which was telling me I am not flawed, actually I was most likely a “gifted” child, that was not handled in the right way, ever. I should put the link here, but I am lame on links. I like that idea though. I am not flawed, actually gifted. And I’m gonna go with that for now… 🙂 Good luck and have a great weekend! And thank you for reading this, and any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated as well. Cissy in Tejas

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  3. cissyblue says:

    Reblogged this on ephemeral spirit and commented:
    I realize that my comment here is longer than the original post by the blog writer himself, but, maybe that’s okay. Anytime I have a moment of clarity or understanding, I feel it important to share it. There are a lot more of “us” out there then you might think. And most of them are undiagnosed and un-treated. At least some of us are awake and aware, and we try really hard to get along, and have good productive lives. So thanks go out to the man who writes this blog. I’m very glad I read your post this morning! Really!

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