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Bipolar 1…Coming to terms with life in the trenches (Part 2 of 7)

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar several years ago, my reaction was ‘so what, who cares?’ In fact, the doctor explained that I was bipolar 1 and I remember thinking, ‘at least I am on the low end of the spectrum.’ I’m sure he explained it more thoroughly to me but honestly I don’t remember anything he said after bipolar 1, I just wanted to get out of his office. Even then, in a manic episode, I had places to go and I didn’t want to hear any more of his explanations.

I had no idea at the time that Bipolar 1 is the most serious of the bipolar conditions.

In retrospect that reveals a few things about where I was at that time in my life. I knew nothing about bipolar and perhaps for the moment that ignorance served me well. I had no idea what some of the symptoms were but in reconsideration I can now see them all too well. I’m not sure I could have handled the implications had I known.

Some of the issues that caused me to visit a doctor were clearer to my wife than to me and even then it took quite some time for me to admit that I had some problems going on.

I remember driving through a residential neighborhood to see the doctor. The fact that I was driving 65 miles an hour in a busy neighborhood where children were playing never fazed me and yet now I see the danger and foolishness of my actions.

The question may be, ‘what exactly is bipolar and what are the underlying causes?’

Tomorrow I will reveal some of the craziness involved with the illness  (Part 3 of 7) from a personal, non-clinical standpoint. The whirlwind (remember that word) that is my real-life continues to cut a path like an erratic, non-predictable tornado.

split-head 1

Artwork: tolbert

silent scream

i heard the silent scream again
and felt the piercing
of my heart…where i used to live

now someone else plays in my head
games i wish not to play
with no board and no rules

i will die alone when the time is right
lie on the floor and breathe
the silent invisible fumes
that will wrap wicked fingers
around my neck
squeezing the final breath from my body

the voices in my head hurt
in ways i never knew possible
as my tired body longs for sleep
while my racing mind craves peace
at the hand of this intruder
who shreds my heart

the silent scream is louder now
and the voice i hear
frightens me
now that i recognize the crying
i feel the tears

the silent scream is my own

Next:  Some of the craziness involved with the illness  (Part 3 of 7)