Once again, I got cocky until my disease kicked me in the ass. I never thought I was cured of bipolar disorder, but I thought I had it all under control. This has happened many times before, yet I fall for it nearly every time.
Things had been going well for me. It’s been some time since I’ve had mania or even hypo-mania. I’ve dealt with several depressive episodes, but most were not debilitating. Everything was fine until this past weekend.
The trouble started while we were on a church retreat in the mountains. A group of us were playing “Cards Against Humanity,” and it was all fun and laughs as usual. Then I felt something. On the back of my head, at the base of my skull. It’s hard to explain, but I’d best express it as a tightness and tingling. I was feeling light headed and remembered it was a feeling I’ve had in the past when I was frequently having seizures. I started to ask Maurice to take me up to our cabin, but at 6,000 feet the oxygen was low and walking up hill to the cabin was more than I could handled at the moment. Eventually the feeling left, but I had a suspicion it wasn’t over, and I was right.
We drove home the next day and I was still feeling out of it. I thought it was the lack of sleep. I was wrong. During the trip, and after we got home, I was functioning but was having mild episodes of disassociation. As usual, there’d be moments when my surroundings were blurred and I felt out of touch with reality. I was able to function, so I went about my business, adapted and felt fine…until I took a shower. Numerous times I’ve mentioned the difficulty of showering and bathing. It’s what I was feeling that night, but, again, I was functioning…until I got in. The tub began moving. The walls were waving back and forth. Just a little bit at first and then they began to close in. I started shaking violently and the room started spinning faster. I was terrified, out of control and started screaming for Maurice to help me. I was unable to function and can’t imagine what I would have done if he wasn’t there to hold my hands to guide me out of the shower and then helped to dry me off before I climbed into bed, the feelings never going away.
When I woke up yesterday, I knew it wasn’t over. I dealt with dissociative episodes throughout the day, but nothing major. Then, I went with Maurice to the grocery store. We weren’t shopping for much, but we were there long enough for me to have another panic attack. I ran out of the store hyperventilating. The rest of the night I spent wavering in and out of reality.
So far so good this morning. I have an appointment in a couple of hours with my neurosurgeon which is unrelated to the panic attacks or dissociative episodes. I am concerned about getting there. It involves taking the bus (for only a short distance) and then a one mile walk to his office. I feel good, but am unable to enjoy the reprieve because I’m ever vigilant that the episodes may occur.
That’s my unpolished grocery list of my events over the past several days. I don’t know why I keep putting myself in the position of being hurt. Why do I keep lying to myself by believing it’s over? Despite knowing it’s likely to never end, I’m sure, in the not too distant future, that I’ll start to believe it’s all over again.
Is it just me or do you experience the same thing? Do you let your guard down only to have good ol’ bipolar smack you in the face?