“Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are. Because my bipolar went untreated for so long, I spent many years looking in the mirror and seeing a person I did not recognize or understand. Not only did bipolar rob me of my sanity, but it robbed me of my ability to see beyond the space it dictated me to look. I no longer could tell reality from fantasy, and I walked in a world no longer my own.”
― Alyssa Reyans, Letters from a Bipolar Mother
Manic depression’s touching my soul. I know what I want, but I just don’t know how to go about getting it.
There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. – Aristotle
Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. – Ray Bradbury
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life. – Carrie Fisher
Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively. – Voltaire
What a creature of strange moods [Winston Churchill] is – always at the top of the wheel of confidence or at the bottom of an intense depression. – Lord Beaverbrook
Had [Winston Churchill] been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished. – Anthony Storr
If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman. – Plato
When I am high I couldn’t worry about money if I tried. So I don’t. The money will come from from somewhere; I am entitled; God will provide. Credit cards are disastrous, personal checks worse. Unfortunately, for manics anyway, mania is a natural extension of the economy. – Kay Redfield Jamison
Of all our conversations, I remember most vividly [Robert Lowell's] words about the new drug, lithium carbonate, which had such good results and gave him reason to believe he was cured: “It’s terrible, Bob, to think that all I’ve suffered, and all the suffering I’ve caused, might have arisen from the lack of a little salt in my brain”. – Robert Giroux
I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation. – W. Churchill
I’m so happy. Cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head. I’m so ugly. But that’s ok. ‘Cause so are you. We’ve broke our mirrors. Sunday morning. Is everyday for all I care. And I’m not scared. Light my candles. In a daze cause I’ve found god. – Lyrics from “Lithium” by Nirvana 91′
“I am excessively slothful, and wonderfully industrious–by fits. There are epochs when any kind of mental exercise is torture, and when nothing yields me pleasure but the solitary communion with the ‘mountains & the woods’–the ‘altars’ of Byron. I have thus rambled and dreamed away whole months, and awake, at last, to a sort of mania for composition. Then I scribble all day, and read all night, so long as the disease endures.”
-Edgar Allen Poe
“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars….But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against–you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable….It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
-Kay Redfield Jamison
“I want to apologize for plaguing you with so many telephone calls last November and December. When the ‘enthusiasm’ is coming on me it is accompanied by a feverish reaching out to my friends. After its over I wince and wither.”
I finally came to terms with manic depression and lithium. I’ve taken lithium regularly for the past few years and have had no further bouts with manic depression. – Charley Pride
Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside. Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without… Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow. Oh, but God, I want to let it go. – Lyrics from “Lithium” by Evanescence
“Then, as time rolls on, my head really speeds up; ideas are moving so fast they’re stumbling over each other and I begin to get this sense of power–power over other people. I begin to feel that what I think and do is of significance to those around me, even to the universe at large. I think of myself as having special insight, as understanding things that others do not, and with a special capacity to lead. I recognize now that these are warning signs.”
“It is difficult to put into words what I suffered–the longing that seemed to be tearing my heart out by the roots, the dreadful sense of being alone in an empty universe, the agonies that thrilled through me as if the blood were running ice-cold through my veins, the disgust with living, the impossibility of dying. Shakespeare himself never described this torture; but he counts it, in Hamlet, among the terrible of all the evils of existence. I had stopped composing; my mind seemed to become feebler as my feelings grew more intense. I did nothing. One power was left to me–to suffer.”
-Hector Berlioz (French composer)
“Clear your energy, honor your rhythm, live your vision ”
- George Denslow
“Suddenly I wanted to get better. Mania wasn’t fun anymore. It wasn’t creative or visionary. It was mean parody at best, a cheap chemical trick. I needed to stop and get better. I’d take whatever they gave me, I pledged silently. I’d take Trilafon or Thorazine or whatever. I just wanted to sleep.”
― David Lovelace
“Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illnesss, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable. The pendulum swings back from transcendence in shards, a bloody, dangerous mess. Crazy high is better than crazy low. So we gamble, dump the pills, and stick it to the control freaks and doctors. They don’t understand, we say. They just don’t get it. They’ll never be artists.”
― David Lovelace
“A big part of getting better is through acceptance and acceptance alone.” -Grace E Collier
“Love is not enough. It takes courage to grab my father’s demon, my own, or – God help me – my child’s and strap it down and stop its mad jig; to sit in a row of white rooms filled with pills and clubbed dreamers and shout: stop smiling, shut up; shut up and stop laughing; you’re sitting in hell. Stop preaching; stop weeping. You are a manic-depressive, always. your life is larger than most, unimaginable. You’re blessed; just admit it and take the damn pill.”
― David Lovelace
“Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re “not at all like yourself but will be soon,” but you know you won’t.”
― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Please Hear What I’m Not Saying
Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear For I wear a mask, a thousand masks, Masks that I’m afraid to take off And none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me, but don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled. I give you the impression that I’m secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water’s calm and I’m in command and that I need no one, but don’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing. Beneath lies no complacence. Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness. But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed. That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant sophisticated facade, to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope, and I know it.That is, if it is followed by acceptance, If it is followed by love. It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself from my own self-built prison walls from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself, that I’m really worth something. But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare to. I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me. I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game With a façade of assurance without And a trembling child within. So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks, And my life becomes a front. I tell you everything that’s really nothing, and nothing of what’s everything,of what’s crying within me. So when I’m going through my routine do not be fooled by what I’m saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying, what I’d like to be able to say,what for survival I need to say,but what I can’t say.
I don’t like hiding. I don’t like playing superficial phony games. I want to stop playing them. I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me but you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to hold out your hand even when that’s the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of the breathing dead. Only you can call me into aliveness. Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings – very small wings, but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling you can breathe life into me. I want you to know that. I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator –of the person that is me if you choose to.You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,you alone can remove my mask, you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,from my lonely prison, if you choose to. Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.It will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.The nearer you approach me the blinder I may strike back. It’s irrational, but despite what the books may say about man often I am irrational.I fight against the very thing I cry out for.But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls and in this lies my hope.Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands but with gentle hands for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well.For I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet.
-By Charles C. Finn-
“As I say I don’t want to kill myself, I just wouldn’t mind dying.” - Stephen Fry
“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.”
“Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.”
“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.”
~Theodore I. Rubin~
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”
Saint Francis de Sales