Welcome to the art of curiosity; my personal amble through the worlds of art, crafts, books & all manner of other curiosities. You'll find examples of my jewellery & art work plus an account of how I'm attempting to confound depression & my bipolarity by pursuing my creativity. There's a lot of whimsy too; my mind set is distinctly frivolous at times!

So, Dear Reader, won't you join me on my journey?

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Bad Hair Day Code

I'm trying to climb back from a bipolar slump. I don't like to bore people with tales of what life is like if you're a bipolar babe - thankfully when one has spiralled down to the point of no return, one is usually too incapacitated to do anything other than pull the bedclothes ever tighter over one's head, so one couldn't write anything anyway! Sighs of relief all round :-) One can't keep people out of the loop completely though - my family & friends do need some explanation as to why I occasionally disappear from view.

We all develop different strategies of dealing with bipolar swings & mine are particularly irritating because I push people who are close to me away by being flippant & by denying that there's anything wrong. The crash comes & members of my close circle say gently that they did try to warn me - unfortunately I either didn't hear or I wasn't listening.

I'm also a difficult patient because I argue, joke & make light of things - I do my best to switch the focus away from me. I think I do this because I don't perceive myself as being a person - I am merely a thing with a series of human roles: wife, mother, daughter, listener, advocate, etc. Whatever was me was destroyed a long time ago. Please, please don't feel sorry for me - I only mention this for the purposes of illustration. I've never asked any fellow bipolar babe if they feel divorced from life in this way - it wouldn't surprise me if some of us feel that we can only participate in life from the sidelines. That's just the way it is for some of us.

Usually I refer to my bouts of depression as 'blips' & those that include suicide attempts as 'slumps'. I'm being dragged out of a slump this time & I'm fortunate that I'm being monitored via a daily visit from the wonderful health care team who are looking after me at present. Inspired by the hood-proof hair gel, I've now been allowed to add a new term to the monitoring lexicon - 'a bad hair day'. This covers days when one's concentration goes into hiding; when even the smallest things seem mountainous. The positive aspect is that one is at least trying to do something helpful because:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker


Sometimes it's essential to be frivolous. Being frivolous is not necessarily frivolous :-)

9 comments:

Angela said...

Like a storm, it will pass. I hope that it's a fast storm. :) Wonderful post! I'm sure that it is theraputic to write about these things as well.Thanks for sharing! *HUGS*

the art of curiosity said...

Angela,

Thank you for your very sweet words.

I 'like' to write about bipolar & depression because they're conditions which many people still feel ashamed about. As they're physical illnesses brought about by chemical imbalances in the brain, I'm 'loud & proud' about it in the hope that this may help someone somewhere feel less alone & isolated.

Jennifer

Jafabrit said...

Thank goodness more and more people can talk about it without the stigma and shame. I hope it's helped to share and in doing so helps others who are shy about it.

sending a hug
corrine

Jean said...

you're right. it was the first neurological disorder to be acknowledged as such by the DSMV-IV. This officially makes it a disorder, not a mental illness.

Interestingly, you're extraordinary awareneness of what you are doing when you deny your family and frends show to me that tyou are even more aware than most people -- it's not being in denial, it's a sort of survivial technique. I am glad you wrote thus, and proud to know you. You are a leader.
"The Leader of the Pack!" :)


xox

Jean said...

excuse me for the grammatical mistake--it's 'orrible! :)

xox!!!

Jafabrit said...

When my son was with a new doctor (we had just moved to a new state) for his OCD I was horrified when I sat in on one of their sessions. I couldn't believe some of the questions. I found out he was Freudian trained and OCD was not his expertise. OCD is not a mental illness brought on my childhood traumas on the potty or unconscious sexual struggles with id, it's neurological.
I think the more people talk about it the better so they understand that just like other physical ailments, the one's to do with the mind are not something one should be ashamed of or can just snap out of.
okay, off me soapbox now.

the art of curiosity said...

Corrine & Angela,

All hugs are gratefully received :-) Thank you!

the art of curiosity said...

Corrine,

You have my deepest sympathy - that's an appalling account! Well done for getting involved. Over here, not every doctor understands adult neurological conditions let alone those which become clear in childhood. I've learnt to stand my ground & argue with health professionals, but it does take a while to overcome that fear that

'Mother always says,
that doctor does know best'.

I know this childhood rhyme is droppings from a male ruminant, but I worry about parents who feel unable to fully question what is going on - then both parent AND child are bullied into situations which could prove unhelpful at best, destructive at worst.

I also have a lot to say about the prejudice that children encounter -we know that children bully children, but there is more. My son has been educated in a main stream schools & the prejudice from other parents is appalling!!

I'm going to write about this in a post as soon as I can screw my head on a little better ( things are not going too ticketty boo), but on several occasions in the past, whilst waiting at the school gate, I heard other mothers discussing my son. He was at a small, affluent village school where the staff were WONDERFUL. Were it not for small children milling around, I would have tackled the mother who'd instructed her child not to play with Tom & told her just where to stick her SUV!

Thank you for getting on your box -you've reminded me to stand on mine and that's a darn good thing!!

Jennifer xox

the art of curiosity said...

Jean,

Thank you!

I must beg people though, to at least try to pay attention to the increasingly urgent warnings that you gather as you build up steam on the bipolar train. It's so hard to stop it once it's hurtling down the track.

It doesn't help to be an arrogant cow like me. I've spent my adult life believing that I know best & this just gets worse when I'm racing down the railroad.

Perhaps that's why Stone Age man allegedly clubbed his wife on the head & pulled her back into the cave. In truth, could she have been a feminist with bipolar & knocking her out was the only way he could get her to go home & sleep?