Monday, 26 November 2007

Bipolar, Good luck or pure Bad Luck?

Sometimes I feel that instead of controlling my own destiny, my destiny is controlled by other forces. The pragmatist would argue that I look for other factors (other than my own self-desire) to blame things on. Therefore every illness has a cure and every flaw of personality can be corrected. As you may have read in my blog I have tried to maintain 'sleep hygiene' but despite every attempt to reduce this flaw, I have not been able to even get close. So then I say to the pragmatist is this my own self-desire or am I 'choosing' to sleep? Has my mania faded and my depression come back again? Indeed this depression is not one that I had felt so deeply a year ago but it is lurking around.

I am trying to take a grip on my depression but every time it makes its presence felt and I now know that it is because I am afraid of being left alone. Ever since my father left us, I feel lost when I am left to deal with responsibility. I remember the days of when I was a child and when my uncles told me that I was the "man of the house now" and that I would "save the family." The pragmatist would argue that this all irrelevant and that I should now look to the future because I am not a child anymore. But what about a child's dreams? Dreams that I would save the family and be the man of the house. Most boys were dreaming of becoming astronauts, lawyers, policemen, firemen and CEOs. Of course, everybody diverted into different careers later on but I am still stuck on how I can save the family. Unfortunately, this is just a painful reminder of when my father died and it leads me nowhere because I always feel the weight of this burden.

Most people who have lost a parent at an early age will state that they grew up much faster, so it is always difficult to find good friends who can understand you. My sister doesn't even remember when my father died so she has just been born into a single-parent family and she is as I would describe very pragmatic in her approach to life. Yet another problem was that before my father died, I had hated him and I thought that it was my fault that he had passed away. Every normal boy usually hates their father at a certain age but I lived with that burden until my psychosis occurred.

Most of the time I viewed myself as some kind of martyr where I had to endure pain to give other people happiness. I waited for hours on end for my friends to finally arrive. I served a man (who I hated) with appetizers and let him watch whatever he willed on television. I cleaned up the dishes (when that man ordered me to) and I took the dog for a walk twice a day. If I didn't take the dog for a walk I was punished by this man. Most of my family believe I am exaggerating when I talk about these incidents but I just want to be open. They claim that I was a happy child but I believe that they never saw the darkness that had accumulated inside of me. I was definitely bipolar as a child and with increased hormones this meant that there was rapid cycling to some degree. Yet I do think I was lucky because I could work for endless hours and understand every detail of every text I read (for English class for example) when I was manic.

Nevertheless, I still have a picture of my father hanging on my wall and he watches me as I sleep till the late hours of the day. I reminisce about the times when I was hypo-manic and I believe that even without that state I can keep on writing. When I was in that episode I was trying to find out the basics of this illness. I will continue to follow my dreams of pursuing a freelance career but I must be more pragmatic and learn to overcome this illness. I must also learn to defeat the side effects of my medication and forget about being a martyr. As a wise friend once told me after my first fistfight "Why are you trying to be the martyr?" I will try to help other bipolar people like myself but I can't really save my own family. Somehow I must learn that I am on my own.


ilker said...

OK. I don't believe in luck. People "create" their own lucks with what they choose to do and there are no "forces" involved - or at least I'd like to see it that way. Let's assume that there are external forces involved, but there is nothing you can do about it. They are not in your control (e.g. the death of your father was not in your control). So, whatever you do will be your own doing - i.e. what you know you can control.

Anonymous said...

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) tells us that whatever we believe- affects how our life in fact pans out. If we think it's all luck or destiny, then we kind of let go, sit or lie back and let things happen to us. If we believe we have some control, then we actually do start controlling what we do and at least steering our life in the direction we want it to go. Like a ship at sea, we may sometimes be steered off-course by tides and high winds or threatened by rocks or icebergs- but as long as we're at the helm,have a map and a compass, and know where we want to go, we will get there eventually.The times when people get most unhappy about how life is treating them is perhaps when they feel they have least control i.e when they don't really know what they want or where they want to go or don't see how they can get round the barriers that stand between them and their goals-so they feel 'out of control'. I think you've realised this, Extremoo, and thanks for sharing your feelings, past and present, so openly. You've certainly got me thinking again about whether I know where I want to go and if I am really 'in control' of my life or not. The fact that I keep feeling 'unlucky'and unhappy seems to indicate that maybe I haven't planned my route and destination out properly yet. Still, the longest journey starts with the first step, as I read somewhere. So thanks, Extremoo. Have a safe one.