We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Craze and Daze of Mania

A few weeks back, I ran across a book I ordered.  'Madness: A Biploar Life,' by Marya Hornbacher.  While I am still in the middle of reading her account of dealing with bipolar; I can only do so in swatches because some of her story is mine. 

To me, her being diagnosed with an eating disorder along with depression was a coping mechanism she built to survive.  It was a form of isolation to make sense of her world.  Add in her illicit drug use, sexual misconduct, and self-medicating with alcohol; I really do see myself in some of her rants.

What doesn't surpise me is the use of prescription drugs to control some of the mood swings.  However, doctors can only guess when making decisions about outpatient care options. Every individual is different; the lack of follow-up care in her case is as striking as in my own experience. 

Can you imagine not being able to seek care because of military restrictions dealing with forms of mental illnesses?  I know from mine own view -- sometimes


Giving me a drug to 'slow me down' in fact only heightens the being stuck and culls the frantic creativity that fuels my soul. While on drugs, no matter how hard I try; thoughts just race like a wheel in a rut and can make no rhyme or reason.  I guess for myself since, I have an uncanny recall.  My memory is a detrimental when dealing with the affects of any abuse or preceived abuse.

So... while I did practice some of Marya's coping skills which lead to her multiple hospitalizations.  I on the other hand, had to learn how to deal with my crazes or I could have wound up in military prison.  Talk about fear being a motivator; military prison in some ways was worse --- amped up--- in the form of control more than my own familial upbringing.

The question must be asked: How did I make it through 20 years of military service without being hospitalized or jailed? Did I do some really stupid shyte? Was there exhibited behaviors that could have ended a military career and or taken a life?

Oh yes, I did.  But one magic word got me through:


More to come later..........
On days like these
With tears welling in my eyes
I move about on tentative feet
Trying not to step on anyone

On days like these
Anxiety runs rampart on my body
So tense I can bite through nails
I hear Walt’s barbaric yawp

On days like these
Not yelling or screaming is so hard
I try not to rage against the machine of my mind
Because it scars and scares my boys

On days like these
My chest is so tight and heart races
I can hear my own heartbeat
Sitting back trying to breathe and focus

On days like these
No pin point of light to guide me through
Just tension I can chew
I tremble, falter, and pace

On days like these
With no tobacco to chain smoke
No wine to ease my ravaged mind into sleep
I just want these days to …… release


Sharon said...

I often wondered what was going on in my brother's head, I figure he was in a living hell, until they found out what was wrong and got him on medication at around the age of 45. To most people, he seemed normal, but at home, in HIS safe environment, things got pretty wild.

Nekkid Chicken said...

Did the medications work for him, Sharon? My experience is some worked but; only for a bit --- after I would tear about in worse condition once I had adjusted.

Sometimes I feel like:

Howling like a banshee
Zoning out
Running a marathon
Starting a new project
Writing like a mad dog

all in a manner of minutes

John Gray said...

there is a lot of self medication that occurs in bi polar

you show a huge ammount of insight

bless u

Cat said...

Having a family member that's bi polar, I watch helplessly when things happen. I am not close enough to help, and I know she could use a friend, if nothing else. I also know she self-medicates (marijuana), but as far as I know, doesn't tell the doctor, who is also perscribing her meds. I keep wondering if there will be a mental or physical explosion one of these days...


Nekkid Chicken said...

Thanks John, Your commentary on Camilla cracked me up.

Cat, More than likely to answer about the explosion analogy you used.


Sharon said...

His medication worked so well (he thought) he figured he didn't need it any more, and you know what happens then.... He did learn, but still played around with his dosage once in a while.

polly's path said...

I understand exactly what you mean. I have a hard time reading about families of children dealing with their parent's alcoholism. So many times what i read is what i have spent my lifetime trying to forget...

mixednut555 said...


Nekkid Chicken said...

It is a hard road to walk on meds, Sharon. Some of them just zap you right out of existance, others don't touch ya, and a few make things even worse.

Polly, I am the same way. I can not read some things are too close to home to be comfortable.


Jim said...

Mal, thanks for sharing this with us. If you remember, I grew up with a bi-polar mother. She never accepted that she had difficulties not to mention a mental disorder. It was hard for us all but more so for her.....her life was filled with fear, sadness and insanity at times.
I am just finishing a book by Margaret Trudeau called 'Changing My Mind'. She is bi-polar and was the wife of a former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau. I think you would like her....she was a 'free spirit' and still is one. She was the perfect hippie back in the 60's....I always liked her. She is finally on the mend and is learning to cope with her illness very well. Her story is very candid and she takes the reader through all of her hard times and good times.
I had to stop a few times because it was like reading about my Mom. It made me cry for the `torture`that she went through on a regular basis....all because she refused treatment.
You may like the book and find something that may assist you on your journey.