Bipolar Unplugged: Friday 31st December 2010

This is a journal entry I wrote at the end of 2010 during a mixed episode. I had a much better New Years this year – in fact, the best and most stable I have had since 2007 – but I will get to that.

400mg Quetiapine (I hadn’t started the withdrawal at this point)

New Years Eve and I am alone, on a bus, going home. How many 23 year olds have a mental breakdown on a summer holiday?

I had my reservations about going, and although I gave it a try, it turns out I simply cannot do what others do.

Two nights in, and I am going home. Without The Olympian. I left him there. God, I felt so awful leaving him. He will be fine, he will have fun but I felt shame for having to go and for not being able to explain. I tried to explain and maybe he understood. I don’t really know.

My mood plummeted after the first night there. Or maybe it was already low. The first night I had a little bit to drink and stayed up until 12. That wasn’t so bad. The Olympian and I went to bed and at 5am he got up to go fishing. I slept until 9.

Later, on the way down to the beach I mentioned to The Olympian that I wasn’t happy about the fact he hadn’t worn a lifejacket in the boat. We had an argument about it and I snapped at him, telling him “fuck off then, asshole”. I wish I could take that back. It was a total overreaction. It’s a sign I am unwell when I snap at him.

I went back to the bach, he went down to the beach. Luckily, he couldn’t find the others and came back. I’d had a shower and was crying. We made up, somehow, and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach.

That night, there was drinking going on again, and I had a little to drink but was very tired so I went to bed around 11:30pm. It wasn’t so bad to start, when I put in my earplugs I could barely hear anything. But as I waited for the Quetiapine to kick in, the noise became louder, and louder, and louder.

Over the next three hours they became so loud that the earplugs were useless and I was lying in bed sedated, hard balls of wax in my ears, uncomfortable, and my heart beating so loud and so fast I honestly thought I might have a heart attack. That’s that thing I told you about a while back, where my chest shakes (literally), and my heart is so loud I can hear it. Frightening enough without having earplugs in, which, as you probably know, make internal body noises sound louder. So I lay there, for four hours, my heart beating like crazy, the others partying like crazy, and me, stuck in between it all.

Around 2am, the music had been turned up as loud as it would go, they (they being about eight people) were singing and stomping around the entire house. They then came into my room and jumped on me in bed. Sometime after this, they went to bed themselves (probably because I went nuts at them), and I passed out.

I was then woken up around 10am by the music which was turned on almost as loud as it had been the night before. I spent the whole morning crying in my room on the phone with my Mum. We went over and over the same questions, the same concerns and the same conclusions. Worrying about money, and tickets, and buses, and what people would think. I decided to stay.

Half an hour later, lying on the beach, tears streaming down my face, uncontrollable and only partially concealed by my sunglasses, I phoned my Mum again to re-discuss the situation. My mind too confused and too sick to make sense of anything. “Would you feel better if you stayed, or if you went?” she asked me.

So here I am. On the bus, going home. Alone.

It’s hard to explain what happened but I guess it’s a matter of brain chemistry. The Quetiapine stops me from becoming manic (or even hypomanic it seems) but I am more than capable of being depressed, and of having mixed moods.

I don’t know if I can call this depression. It’s not normal depression for me. I haven’t had much appetite and although I was kept awake for hours last night, I didn’t feel deathly tired today, I felt awake, but emotional. I felt confused, and anxious and unable to understand what was going on.

I’m in a strange state. Time does not exist here. I’m sitting on this bus and I couldn’t care less about how long I’ve been on it, or how much longer I have to be. I could spend the rest of my life on this bus, and it would mean nothing to me. I am just here, just being, just relieved of the pressure that was building. Relieved from the explosion and the expulsion and my exit.

My writing is stilted because my mind is heavy. I am not quick thinking, I am not thinking much at all. At least, it doesn’t feel like I am. It hurts to think. A dull ache at the front of my head, slowing me down. The effort of this is too much for me. I almost didn’t write at all because I couldn’t bear the thought of moving my hands.