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'Ol Dirty Legacy
How to Score Points With Your Wife 101
Where the Heck Was I?
Signs, Part 3
Signs, Part 2
A Word About the US Presidental Election Result
Best Photos of 2004
What Kind of Blogger Am I?

Click to go to the most current Cliff Between the Lines
Life, viewed sideways. Emotions, amplified. Answers, questioned. Me, between the lines.

- A Wounded Heart, Who Can Bear?
- Drowning Under a Tidal Wave
- Clawing My Way to the Sunlight
- Yes, Santa Claus, There Is a Virginia
- Fugu
- Touching the Spirit
- A Hole in the Universe
- Riding on the Dreams of Others
- Turning Into a Shark
 - A Heart, Ripped Asunder
- Surrendering to the Roller Coaster
- Hunting in the Jade Forest
- Dodging the Shark
- Dancing With Invisible Partners
- The Captain and the Harliquin
- Courting the Devils
- The Captain Makes His Mark
- Mad Dog to the Rescue
- Innocent in the Big City
- Dropping the Ball Briefcase
- Scrambling Brains
- Cheating the Reaper, Again
- What If the Man Behind the Curtain Is No Wizard After All?
- All of Us Have a Soundtrack
- Working With Broken Machines
- Happy Anniversary, Baby
- Standing on Stars
- Running the Film Backwards
- Identity Crisis ("Who am I?")
- Can We Ever Really Admit the Desires of Our Heart?
- Forgiveness is a Rare Thing
- Having Your Heart Caressed By the Creator
- Working With Broken Machines
- A New Leg to Stand On
- The Real Spirit of Christmas
- Chatting With Infinity
- Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
- We All Have a Great Capacity for Loss
- Brushed Lightly By Might Have Beens
- We See the World Through Our Own Looking Glass
- Every Storm Passes Eventually
- Accidents Can Introduce Destiny Into Our Lives
- Freedom Depends on the Walls Around Us
- Pulling Aside the Velvet Curtain
- Riding the Razor's Edge
- Dying With Strangers
- In Your Face
- Between the Lines
- The Bobcat
- Angel With a Coffeecup
- Innocent in the Big City
- Chains of Gossamer
- Playing With Knives
- Stumbling Through Memories (Ooops)
- Picture This
- Running the Film Backwards
- Playing the Score, Tasting the Music
- Coins and Corals and Carved Coconuts
- My God, I Confess
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 1, Speechless)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 2, Taxi)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 3, The Pan American)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 4, Guano)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 5, The Andes Express)

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"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."

Walt Whitman (1819-92)

"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."

Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)

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The WeatherPixie

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Image derived from Broken Heart © 2001 by David Julian at http://www.davidjulian.com/kayaking/surf2001/pages/broken%20heart.htmkin-dred
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from kin + Old English r[AE]den condition, from r[AE]dan to advise, read
1 a : a group of related individuals b : one's relatives
2 : family relationship : KINSHIP
3 : a spirit that you sometimes encounter

Tonight I met a kindred spirit of sorts. And inside, I wept for them.

As a person with bipolar disorder, I am subject to amplified emotions and moods. With me, anyway, the medication controls it and thus I am rehabilitated. Others aren't so lucky.

Even so, I remember with crystal clarity the things that I felt and the thoughts I had before my diagnosis and treatment. Even the thoughts and reactions that were produced by the illness and not really part of me.

Living with bipolar for 35 years or so, undiagnosed, my mind had gotten into some extremely damaging ways of thinking. One of them that I believe is a hallmark of this illness is what I call "reverse causation." Yeah, it's a fancy name, but if you've lived it, you kinda have the right to pick a name like that.

What it really means is simple. It means that normal people have cause then effect. People with bipolar can have effect then cause. It's backwards, reversed, wrong.

For example, a "normal" person may get to know somebody, then fall in love. On the other hand, a person with bipolar may feel an intense flood of love, then try to fixate on who is causing it, frequently experiencing elaborate fantasies about relationships with people they have never had such a relationship with, and even encouraging themselves by thinking that the other person loves them just as passionately and intensely as they do.

It's kind of like when the Faerie Queen Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream is drugged by Puck and falls in undying love with a tradesman with the head of a donkey who happens to be sleeping beside her when she awakens.

In a word, it's obsession. But more than just obsession, it's obsession powered with rocket fuel.

It can lead to some very bizarre behavior. It can wreck families and destroy lives. It can even, in extreme cases, lead to imprisonment for stalking.

Fortunately, I never got to that point.

Without the medication, this disease can be almost impossible to fight. And so I found it. But I was so horrified at what was happening in my mind, at the wrongness of it, that I was able to keep control. I remember telling friends what my thoughts were, and at the same time telling them how baffled I was at this flood of emotion that was so, so out of place.

Some people can't fight it. The sheer power of the emotion simply swamps them like a paper cup in an angry sea. They go under, knowing it's wrong, and embracing every last minute of it, helpless.

This is the part of the illness that no one ever really talks about, this amplification of emotions. But to someone who has it, it is the hallmark and sign, the thing we do battle with every day.

I have met several others with the illness that experienced amplified desires. If uncontrolled, they cause all kinds of trouble. This is fairly common among those with this illness, when untreated.

But tonight was the first time I ever heard another person use the term "obsession." When they described their experience, I saw and heard myself.

It was good, after all this time, to know that at least one other person knew what it was like.

A kindred spirit.

One who truly understands.

And oh, I wish you didn't. I'm so sorry.

You are always insane when you are in love.
-- Sigmund Freud

Permalink: 11/16/2004 11:40:00 PM |
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