Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Face of Hypomania

Storm has been absent from my life for about five years now, and although sometimes I miss those wild, free, crazy times, I also fear her return.

Storm is my hypo/manic side. She embodies all that is wild and dangerous about me. She is not somebody you want to invite to a Sacred Family Gathering. Unfortunately, she has turned up at quite a few, leaving a trail of hurt and disillusioned in-laws behind her.

She barges in, uninvited, and puts her muddy boots (or more likely, her stiletto heels) up on the table. She drinks too much, talks too loud and too fast, laughs inappropriately, and flirts with everyone. She tells my deepest secrets to any who'll listen. She spends my money and she whispers in my ear about how I should dress, what makeup and jewelry to wear, what color hair--sexy, sexy, sexy.

When Storm is around, I sit up all night working on stories. I can hold hundreds of pages of work in my head and see the connections between the plots and the subplots as if they were a big glowing ball with brightly lit lines running through it. My mind connects the dots and combs out the tangled story-lines effortlessly.

So...as a writer, I realize that Storm's presence does confer a certain advantage upon me. And while I appreciate being able to visualize a whole novel all at once, I do not appreciate the chaos that follows in her wake.

Medications and their various side effects kept her at bay...but they also imprisoned my mind. Now, med-free, I don't know what will keep her contained...and I'm not sure I want to keep her down. Sometimes I really want that clarity and the ability to see all the connections back...

4 comments:

Gianna said...

Hi Jazz,
I really believe we can integrate these parts of ourselves...

You need to find the right help which may be in the form of self-help or therapy or both...

Meditation while in extreme states can help...

If you go the therapy route it has to be with someone who truly understands extreme states and most people don't...most people are afraid of extreme states...

check out Sean's videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az9SCgaeKdc&feature=PlayList&p=60E1AA5CB6B715EE&index=0&playnext=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-2BIGJeBy8

I have a good Jungian therapist who understand the unconscious who is helping me integrate shit that has been buried all these years on drugs...

If you look hard and long enough I believe the answers are there for us. They are different for each of us. I don't actually believe I'll ever be manic again...but if it's a possibility for you I encourage you to think about learning how to integrate that part of yourself...because she is you!!

Jazz said...

Thanks, Gianna.

I know she is me! That's what scares me!

It's funny, but in the five years since my diagnosis, I spent the first two years so medicated I completely lost touch with myself, and the next two trying to ignore it. It's only really in the last year or so that I've started to accept the fact that the diagnosis is probably right (it explains far too much), and that I need to work that into my self-concept.

Journaling and yoga and meditation have been a helped me make a start with this, but obviously I've still got a long way to go. I still alternate between (1)thinking the diagnosis is right, and (2) thinking I manipulated the doctor into it, and (3) thinking that I'm just a horrible person and isn't the diagnosis a convenient excuse for some of my behavior.

I will check out those videos.

--Jazz

Gianna said...

just so you know ...I don't think the videos are an expample of you...as far as i know you don't get psychotic...but the acceptance of one self and moving into the experience (for us probably with meditation) is what I'm pointing at...

I did have an experience (psychotic) just like Sean's but it was rudely interrupted with drugs...

Jazz said...

I've only had one experience that my pdoc called "pseudo-psychotic"--I saw an angel standing over my bed. Which is odd, because I'm not the least bit religious...

Self acceptance is key, here, I agree, and sometimes that is almost harder than accepting other people for what they are. I have such high expectations of what I should be and what I should be capable of doing. I constantly disappoint myself.