(First published: Sep 8, 2007)
In ten past posts, I covered over 100 specific symptoms I and others have experienced. I shared how I have lived almost every single entry on the list.
I knew when I wrote that series that I’d forget some symptoms. It’s just too big to remember in one shot.
So here’s two of my favorites that I overlooked.
Can’t separate real from imagined when referring to the past
How cool is that? I was speaking to my mom the other day and she brought that up.
She’d call me on the phone or tell me something important in person and stress that I needed to remember or get that thing done.
I’d tell her I got it, no problem and usually I’d be annoyed or detached.
Later, when the time had passed for that task to be done and I hadn’t done it, she’d ask if I remembered her telling me.
I’d then tell her I couldn’t be sure if that conversation had actually happened or if I had dreamed it.
This took place a lot and until recently, I had totally forgotten about these instances.
The little moments of my days were being lost to the illness.
I wasn’t sure what really was happening and what I was imagining or dreaming.
On a larger scale, when I look back on my thirties, when the illness slammed the life out of me, I can’t be sure exactly when different events took place.
I remember stuff happening but I can’t organize them chronologically. Can’t remember the order of events.
Much of what I share about my bipolar years is after having talked to family and friends first.
Now that I’m well and have been for a long time, it’s very odd to know these things happened to me.
Conspiracy theories take top billing
This is one clear indicator of bipolar. It’s a fine point put to the paranoia you might have. I see it all the time amongst sufferers.
I went through it for a few years when I sort of had control of my symptoms.
I mean, I was still able to hold a job and such.
But I became fascinated with the evil doings of our government, past presidents, the banking system, the Trilateral Commission, NATO… you name it.
Am I saying no conspiracies exist? No. I’m sure they do and those in charge of them suck.
What exactly can you do about anything in your life that isn’t good, when you are having trouble managing your own ass right where you sit?
I obsessed over these things and read countless books on the topic. I saw evil everywhere.
Worse, being like I was with authority (and still am really), I could not stomach the thought that someone was pulling one over on me.
I wanted to fight back.
How did that fight materialize?
- By regurgitating my thousands of factual discoveries to anyone who’d listen.
- By driving myself nuts with anger and worry about the fact that I was being taken advantage of and manipulated.
- By reading even more literature on any dark secret someone else had to share with me.
My goal was to stay on top of it all.
What tangible results did that get me? Zero. None. At least not positive results.
In the negative column, I was stacking up points as my anxiety and stress rose over a topic that really, I had no way of affecting. No way.
I was erecting little soap boxes all over town and screaming as loudly as I could but no one heard and the enemy was unaffected.
Am I saying you shouldn’t care about larger issues you feel are wrong and should not be ignored?
I’m saying that if it’s taking up a large part of your day and you already know you are mentally damaged in some way, you need to step back and see what it’s gaining you.
You are only feeding your pain.
Once you get better and can think clearly, then you can pick up the banner for what you believe in and wage a proper war if you’d like.
But once you ARE better I know you will be surprised at how many of these evil ghosts no longer concern you.
The photographer of this post’s featured photo: ali syaaban