My Manic Depression Diary
Thank you for visiting my MD Diary. I have suffered from Manic Depression since childhood and I have found great comfort in writing my thoughts and feelings down in my diary. I often find that when writing it helps release some of the stress I am feeling at time, it also helps to cope with the constant pain of my illness. Manic Depression is such a lonely illness, and my diary has become a friend where I can express how I am feeling at the time. I never hold back my feelings when writing in my diary, like a friend my diary is there for me in my good and bad times. I hope you find my diary helpful and maybe you may feel comfort by writing a diary of your own.
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+ Symptoms of Manic Depression
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You have truly been a friend to me since childhood. You have always been there for me, you listen to me in my good and bad days. You never judge or criticise me. You are my friend whom I can tell my most intimate thoughts and feelings. Whatever happens you are always there for me, listening silently until I write the last word of life.
+ Sunday 28th NovemberMy worst fear come true +
My Dear Diary. I write to you from my heart tonight my friend, from the depth of my soul I cry out to you to listen to my despair. Over the past weeks I have been desperately ill and have been in hospital, my worst fear has come true, I have Cancer. I see death itself standing before me. Each day my body grows weaker and weaker drifting further into never ending sleep. I am so afraid, so very afraid of what lay before me. I try to make sense of what is happening to me, but there is no sense, no sense at all. I cry from the depth of my heart and soul to be saved from the sadness and destruction of my body. I cry to God to help me through this despair, to hold my hand in the darkness, but My God cannot be found. Feelings and thoughts rush through my mind as it seeks a reason for this pain and suffering. I want to hide, run, but my legs will not carry me. I ask the very basic question that has been ask ever since Man has been on this earth, What is life? What lay after life? I will not die peacefully my friend, my illness will not permit that, but eventually, if it be Gods WILL, my mind and body will feel peace as God holds me in his arms again.
+ Sunday 12th SeptemberFacing my Fear +
Dear Diary. I cannot begin to tell you the pain I feel as I write to you. I feel desperately ill both mentally and physically and there seems to be no escape from the medical problems I face at this moment. I was doing fine until a week ago, but during my holiday last week I became physically ill, I wasn't able to breathe and was taken into hospital. The Doctor took an x-ray of my lung and found a shadow where they said fluid and formed. The Doctor told me that if the shadow was still there after the fluid had gone then it may be something serious like cancer... How could they tell me something like that? I panic every moment thinking that I will die and my MD has taken over my mind completely making me feel that all sorts of things will happen. What am I to do? There is nothing at all. My worst fear seems to have come true and I cannot escape from the fear of dying. The Doctor had no compassion for my feelings after he had told me it could be cancer. After much research and speaking to other Doctors I have found the truth of my physical illness, the fluid in my lung does cause shadows on the x-ray and it doesn't follow I have cancer at all. But the Doctor who told me this has placed the fear in my mind and I cannot rest until I have my next x-ray. My fear of cancer is very real, I remember my Mum who died of cancer two years ago and the pain she suffered. I held her hand while she died and spoke quietly as she passed away. My Mum was so brave, telling me not to worry and to pray often after she has past away. My Mum said that she would always love and protect me and I know that she is with me right now and feels my sadness and pain. My Mum died of fluid in her lung caused by the cancer and I am so afraid the same is happening to me. Logically I try to make sense of things and try to think that there are many reasons why the fluid is there, but my fear tells me I am dying of cancer, that there is nothing I can do. My whole body seems to be dying but I am still alive. The fear of cancer, of death, seems to be worse then the illness itself. I tell myself that I do not have cancer, but my mind says that I have, that it is growing inside me slowly and I will suffer in the same way as my Mum. I have to go to the hospital on Friday to have another x-ray and I am so frightened that they will find something wrong, that the shadow will still be there. Holding onto reality when you suffer from MD is so hard to do. My fears have taken over my mind and it seems I have already died.
+ Loving Memories +
Memories of my Mothers death two years ago flash through my mind as if it were yesterday. I remember every word that was spoken, every tear my Mother cried. A few weeks before my Mum died I sat beside her and we talked and right out of the blue she asked "Am I going to die?" The question was so unexpected, I remember just sitting not knowing what to say. My Mum asked the question again "Am I going to die" I knew the truth that she was going to die, and as my Mum looked in my eyes my Mum knew my thoughts and burst into tears. I remember my Mums panic as she walked around the bedroom crying, and although tears were in my eyes I did nothing but hold her hand and go through her pain with her. My Mum eventually calmed and asked me to be with her until the end, and until the last moment of life I held her hand, staying by her side as her son and friend. Eventually days before the end my Dear Mum was taken to hospital to have fluid drained from her lungs and the Nurse said that she could go home the next day. That night in hospital as I sat by my Mothers bed she looked so peaceful and calm and I kissed her and said I would take her home the next day. When I went to collect my Mum the next morning the Nurse asked to speak to me as soon as I arrived. The Nurse said that my Mum had a stroke during the night and the end was near. I remember crying, the sadness was so bad. Eventually I found courage and went to my Mums bedside. My Mum could only move her eyes, the rest of her body was paralysed. I sat by her side and I remember my Mums eyes moving as I asked how she was. The strange thing was I do not think my Mum knew that she had a stroke, she didn't know that she couldn't move. It was like that part of her mind didn't recognise her illness. My Mum and I eventually found a way to communicate through the movement of her eyes, I would asked questions and in return my Mum would move hers eyes to show that she understood. As time went past my Mum became more breathless and as each breath past the fluid from her lungs drained into her mouth. I watched and held her hand tightly hoping that my Mum would pass away peacefully, but my Mum refused to give in, she fort her illness for three days and nights. As time went past I communicated with my Mum by the touch of my hand and the movement of her eyes. Strangely my Mum seemed to wonder what the fuss was all about, it seemed that she wasn't aware of her illness. Sometimes my eyes would fill with tears as I watched my Mum in such distress, but just as I was going to burst into tears my Mums eyes would somehow give me courage to continue, to go on. On the second night after my Mum had a stroke we both had the shock of our lives. My Mum seemed to be at peace and I was relaxed and calm but suddenly a Nun came bursting into the room. It was so strange to see this person crash into the room without warning. I could see the shock in my Mums eyes, as the Nun without warning, or any understanding, gave my Mum the last rights. The Nun without even speaking a word to either of us started reading from the Bible saying that in just a few hours my Mum would be with the Lord. The Nun then made a sign of the cross on my Mums head before leaving again without a word. The distress in my Mums eyes was one that I will never forget. The Nun could not see the damage she was doing, and in my mind I wanted this person to leave as she spoke the Lords prayer in such an abrupt way causing such distress to my Dear Mum. After the Nun had left we both sat in shock, who was this person who spoke words from the Lord but caused such distress? I held my Mums hand tightly and calmly whispered in her ear "Its ok" and "I love you". As I sat with my Mum a verse from the Bible came to mind "Be still, know that I am God." This verse seemed to express everything, it explained that nothing could be done, that we are all powerless in the face of death, that the only thing we can do is BE STILL, just know that GOD is Lord and he will take care of us. Every so often my Mum lost consciousness and during those times I would whisper loving words in her ear, then suddenly she would wake in total panic and I would hold her hand tightly and tell her I was near.
Time to let go, time to Die!
On the third day my Mum was still fighting to live, fighting to survive, and it seemed she was caught between life and death and the struggle was so hard for her. After some thought, some tears, and some very emotional feelings, I whispered to my Mum that it was time to let go, time to let go of life. My Mum was suffering so very much and the only thing that was keeping her from relief from the terrible pain was her will to survive, it seemed that she was holding back her eternal sleep by will-power alone. I spoke very softly in my Mums ear saying that she had done so well, had fort her illness so long, but it was now time to let go and sleep, sleep forever. I whispered that my Dad was waiting for her who had past on some years ago and it was time to reach out her hand and follow him. I whispered that she should relax, be calm, that she was safe and that I would not let go of her hand until she was safe in my fathers hand. My Mums eyes gave me a message, saying farewell and that she was now going to leave me, and enter ever-lasting sleep. As my Mum closed her eyes I held her hand and whispered, "sleep my dear Mum, let go and sleep in my arms, you are perfectly safe, I will love and protect you, I will be with you soon, everything was ok." For sometime my Mum would let go and relax then wake and fight for life, but after some hours she let go for longer and longer and suddenly she took her last breath, a smile came on her face and then my Mum past into ever-lasting sleep. Even after that moment I held her hand and for 15 minutes after she had past on I whispered "I love you" and that I would see her soon. My Mum looked so very peaceful, so relaxed and contented. Eventually after an hour I let go of her hand. I knew that the hearing is the last thing to go after we die, so even after her last breath I whispered my love for her and told her to be calm. After a while I kissed my Mum goodbye and walked away knowing that she was now safe in the Lords hands and her suffering had ended. I knew in my heart that I would see her again and that I was there by her side for reasons I will only know when the Lord calls me.
+ A letter from my Mum +
After my Mum had past away I found a letter from my Mum written to me just before she died, it read:
This is the very last letter I shall ever write to you. I hope I've helped you along life's path, I did my best for you. You have been a gem to me, at the time I really needed it. I really do not know what I would of done without you, and for that I thank you. I am with Dad now, no one will ever know how much I've missed him, but I am happy now with the love of my life, so, don't be angry, or sad, no tears, first remember me with love. I'll always love you, and be by beside you always. Love Mum xxxx
I keep this letter close to me in my down days reminding me that I have a protector whom cares for me. I write this in my diary as my greatest fear tonight is dying, but when I read this loving letter it reminds me that death is a part of life and that although the experience of dying is painful, death itself is not the end, it is the beginning. I have had many insights since my Mothers death, insights that I cannot explain in words, but these insights lead me to believe that there is life after death. This is not just a belief, it is an inner knowing, an awareness that a loving hand reaches out to all of us at the last moment of life.
+ Friday 27th AugustRapid Cycling +
Dear Diary. My moods have been so unpredictable over the past days. One moment I have been HIGH and the next LOW and sometimes experiencing HIGHS and LOWS at the same time. There seems to be no end to this endless MD Cycle of emotion. I can't seem to do anything productive, only survive for this moment. I have so much to do, so many things to achieve, so many GREAT ideas that I want to put into action, but my thoughts flash through my mind so fast I can't grasp a thought without the next crashing through my mind. My mind seems paralysed due to the static energy in my mind. I can feel the energy drain from my mind with every thought. As soon as a HIGH takes over my mind it is replaced by a LOW. I smile one moment and the next I cry. This is rapid cycling at its worst. Nothing can be achieved in the rapid cycling cycle, my only hope is to survive, but for what reason? I try to detach myself from this destruction in my mind and pray that God will keep me safe until the storm is past.
+ MD Highs and Lows +
Each day is very much a challenge when you have MD. On my best day I can barely cope with the winds of emotions that crash through my mind. Most days I feel lost in a sea of emotion, praying that the storms and confusion within mind will subside so that I will feel safe and secure. Recently I have experienced sudden bursts of panic, feeling total despair as to how I will cope and survive. One moment I feel total peace, the next total despair, feeling that I have not an ounce of energy for one more thought. Thoughts, million of thoughts, crash through my mind, how many thoughts can my mind hold before it explodes into billions of pieces? During the HIGH, energy, pure energy, takes over my mind. My mind feels ELECTRIC, about to explode with thoughts, fragmented thoughts. My whole personality changes during the high. I move around fast, think fast, speak fast. I have no time to waste, ideas take over my mind that must be put into action before the next idea takes over and so on. Eventually my mind runs out of energy and depression takes over. During this cycle I have no energy, my mind is drained of any logical thoughts. Emotions take over my mind and I feel lifeless, dead. I want to die, feeling that there is no reason to live. I plan my death as if it is the most logical thing to do. The only way I can express how I feel is through a tear, words will not flow from my mouth, words seem pointless, having no meaning at all. Sometimes after the High and Low something MAGIC happens, I feel a moment of peace, a moment of stability. My mind feels calm, the storm of MD has past leaving my mind fresh and alive. I sleep, and sleep. Then after a short time a High will take over my mind. At first the static energy in my mind doesn't feel so bad after a resting period, but then fatigue takes over and I become depressed, lifeless. Then the MD cycle repeats itself. I feel trapped in the never-ending cycle of MD of which there is no escape. The MD Cycle continues without end, and I pray that somehow I will one-day break this cycle of destruction and feel stable and peaceful for just one moment.
+ Tuesday 17th AugustA Test of Courage +
It takes true courage to believe in yourself, to go on with life, when you are absolutely convinced that all hope is lost, feeling there is no point in going on. This week has been a test of courage to be sure. Over the past year I have suffered from a serious back injury and was placed on very strong painkillers which helped me at first but caused serious side affects such as difficulties in breathing, stomach spasms and depression. The painkillers have also reacted with my MD medication causing severe sickness making it impossible to take my MD medication at times. I have constantly informed my GP of these problems, particularly about my depression problems but have had no reaction what so ever. Over the past days I have been reacting to these side affects very badly, being in extreme pain both physically and mentally. Panic and depression has over taken my mind and it is very hard to believe that I will ever feel completely well again. MD amplifies any problem I have, and so the past days have been traumatic indeed. Life can surely beat you into the ground when you are ill, no one really understands the pain of someone else. If I had a broken leg, or an illness that can be seen, I would of received support I'm sure, but suffering from MD, or any physical illness that can't be seen is not easy to understand. I have needed support from my friends but they have not been able to relate to my problem at all. Over past days I lost all hope of recovering from these problems until I recalled a programme on TV about illness. The key theme wasTAKE CONTROL, take CONTROL of your life, of your illness. As I lay in bed in terrible pain I thought how is it possible to take control over something I have no control of ? I have no control over this pain? No control of my physical problems? Then a thought came to mind 'how did I feel before I took the medication?' (This sounds an easy question but when you are ill and on medication it is very easy to confuse the illness with side affects of medication.) Before I took the medication I had pain but not spasms or the breathing problems. I again asked my doctor if these symptoms could be due to the tablets and he said "no". I was absolutely convinced that these terrible physical symptoms were due to the medication and had to decide what to do. My dilemma was that if I stopped the tablets I could be in serious physical pain due to my back injury and I would be going against my doctor's advice who said that I should take the medication. On the other hand if I didn't stop the medication I may continue to have.. what I believed to be side affects, causing me great distress. I decided that I couldn't be any worse off if I stopped the tablets and after two days without the medication my breathing has started to get better and the stomach spasms have almost gone. Since stopping the medication I have tried alternative treatments for my back injury that seem to be working at the moment. The lesson for myself is TAKE CONTROL and BELIEVE IN MYSELF. I know my body, I know how I am feeling. I am the only person that really knows the state of my health and I must learn to make decisions about my health no matter how hard those decisions are. The other powerful lesson I have learned is not to always believe what doctors tell me, I must take advice and trust in his opinion but at the end of the day I have to make the final judgement as to if the treatment recommended is right for me. Medication can cause side affects unknown to the doctor and doctors do not always know how it is affecting my body. From now on my number one rule when taking medication is to remember how I felt before I took the medication so I can keep track of the side affects, and not to confuse the side affects of medication with the illness itself.
+ Sunday 1st AugustThe Darkness of Depression +
Dear Diary. I wish that there were words to describe the sadness I feel at this moment. I feel like a little child lost and frightened. I struggle to survive the darkness of depression, and although I have suffered depression so many times, at this moment it feels like the first time. Like a child I seek comfort, human contact, but there is none. I want to run and hide from the shadows within my mind, but there is no escape, no where to hide. I cannot describe in words the sadness I feel... words are beyond me. My mind feels numb, dead, lifeless. Like a cold winters day my mind feels void of all life. I feel like screaming, but I do not have the energy to express my emotions. The clouds of depression have surrounded me and I sit lifeless, alone waiting, for what I do not know. Maybe I will live, maybe I will die, I care not so long as the pain goes away. I want to cry, but tears will not flow. I feel that I have separated from myself, that I have lost ME in the darkness of my mind. Maybe I am still dreaming, maybe I am not alive at all. Reality seems not to exist. I sleep but I am still awake. Dreams feel more real than life itself and my mind constantly drifts back to memories of my childhood.
+ A Childhood Dream? +
I remember laying in my bed as a child, frightened of the darkness surrounding me, frightened of the darkness within my mind. Even as a child the monster MD haunted me. I lay in my bed to frightened to move in case the monsters within and without found me. I heard a noise in the cupboard in the hallway and lay paralysed with fear. Where were my parents? There was no one in the house but me. Eventually I heard a voice, was it my Mother? It was a soft gentle voice, calling me to the hallway. I lay in bed to frightened to move. I wanted my Mother to hold me, protect me, love me. Eventually I found the courage to walk slowly to the hallway, was I dreaming? Was I awake? I do not know. As my feet touched the cold floor I felt a shiver go through my body. I walked slowly to the hallway, hearing the soft voice calling me. As I entered the hallway I heard the voice again, the voice was coming from inside the cupboard. I stood motionless, to frightened to move. The voice told me not to be frightened and to open the Cupboard door. The voice sounded so gentle, so caring. I reached out my hand and opened the door. I looked into the darkness of the cupboard and I saw the most terrifying and evil looking lady I had ever seen before. The lady was old, very old, and she was sitting in the back of the cupboard with her hands reaching out to me. The ladies face looked so old and evil. She smiled at me and as she opened her mouth I saw evil that I cannot explain. The old lady reached out to me, I screamed and ran back to my bed and buried myself under the covers. After a while I felt the bed covers move and as I looked up I saw my Mother standing over me. I remember my Mother holding me, I felt so secure, safe and loved. My Mother told me not to be frightened and took me to the cupboard. As she opened the door I closed my eyes but eventually I slowly opened them to see nothing at all. The Old lady wasn't there... Was this just a horrible dream? Maybe so? The reason why I recall this memory in my diary is firstly because my past memories are more real today then the reality of NOW, this moment. Secondly because if this was a dream it proves to myself that the mind is capable of playing terrible tricks. At times the mind can produce it own reality independent of the outside word. I do not feel that MD caused me to have such a dream, if it was a dream? Children do have dreams such as this. But MD does produce a change of reality. There are so many emotions, feelings and thoughts going through my mind it is very hard to know what is reality and what isn't. My greatest fear is that I will become lost within MD, lose sight of reality all together. I pray constantly that I will know what is real and what isn't. I pray also that I will be kept safe from the monster MD within my mind who pretends to be my friend, but in reality wants to destroy me.
+ Wednesday 28th JulyPanic, fear, total despair +
There are times when I think that I will die and times when I KNOW that I will die and tonight as I write I KNOW that something terrible is happening to me and that I will die a terrible death. Having had MD for years and suffered from the terrible pain of total depression the fact I KNOW that I'm dying right this moment doesn't mean in reality that I will. But my Mind tells me that death is a step away and that there is nothing to do but pray that I will die with some kind of dignity. You will never read about this total despair in any books about MD. Over the past days I have read books on MD and they talk about depression in a clinical and matter of fact way but no one describes the TOTAL and COMPLETE feelings of despair and sorrow that depression causes. Tonight as I write I feel totally alone, total despair, and there is no one to reach out to comfort me. That is how many sufferers feel. We can be in a crowded room, or with relatives yet feel totally alone, isolated in the prison called MD. Today I will see my Health Worker and I will tell him that I feel near to death and feel total hatred towards myself. I will tell him that I desperately need treatment, help and support. I know that after I have told him these things that I will walk away alone, knowing that like a million times before he will not be able to help me. Here in England the fact that I am talking about MD and have not hurt myself in anyway goes against me. To receive help I have to be one stage ahead, I must of hurt myself before I receive any kind of treatment. What could the medical services do for me anyway? There is nothing really. Tonight no one can help me. The world within my mind is a dark and frightening place, a place where I fear my own thoughts, fear that I will continue to live, fear that I will die. What is this feeling of death within my mind? It is so real so powerful. Just as I know that I am writing in my diary, I know that at this moment I am going to die. I am totally aware of every part of my body, I feel bombarded with thoughts that I feel are not my own. I feel trapped in my mind, trapped with a monster within that has no mercy, no feelings for me. Where do sufferers like myself go for support at 3am in the morning? As I write the world is asleep, the world has no thought for sufferers like me. I reach out but there is no one, only myself. Perhaps I am my best friend, it sounds silly, but maybe if I make friends with myself and not see myself as my own enemy, perhaps then I will survive, perhaps then I will be able to comfort myself. This is MD, a fragmented human being that sees even himself as his own worst enemy. I will pray for all sufferers of despair tonight that we will somehow reach out to ourselves and feel comfort and peace.
+ Thursday 1st JulyCalm and Peaceful Days +
Dear Diary. It feels so good to write to you again my friend. I have felt so very peaceful over the past weeks. My mind feels so alive, calm and relaxed. For the first time in many months I am moving forward with my life. I have great hope for the future, great insights that I would like to share with you.
+ Insight at the Seaside +
I went to the seaside with my dear friend some days ago and walked on the beach. Feeling the sun and the sea air felt so good. I felt free, relaxed and so very happy. During my illness recently I locked myself away for months and so to feel the sea air again was like heaven. I felt a moment of sadness though as I watched children playing in the sand, so many memories of my childhood came to mind. I have lost so much time, so much of my life to MD. I feel MD has stolen my life. Where did my childhood go? Where have all those years gone? As I walked on the beach I promised myself that from that moment I would live every day as if it was my last. I watched children playing and building sandcastles in the sand and I had insights that I would like to share with you. A child was building a castle in the sand taking so much care and pride in his work. He said to his Mother that the walls of the castle would withstand the power of the sea when the tide came in. His Mother smiled at the child, as she knew that the castle would be destroyed by the waves. The child was so innocent, not knowing the power of nature. The tide eventually came in and the child watched with tears as the walls of the castle slowly fell. After a while the child started to build another castle in the hope that next time it would not fall. As I watched the child I thought how innocent the child was and I likened the child building sandcastles to my experience of MD. From childhood I have tried to build my life (the castle) thinking that all of my plans would stay intact when the MD Monster (the sea) took over my mind. MD is so like the sea, its moods can change from calm one moment to monster waves the next. All of my life I have made plans only to be destroyed when MD takes over my mind. Like the child building the sandcastle I believed that I could over come MD, even in my adult life I sometimes believe that I can control MD's moods. Today my innocents have been lost and instead of trying to find a cure for the illness I cope only with its moods. Like a ship in the ocean I plan for the worst and hope for the best, hope that I will survive the storms of MD in my mind. Today the MD Monster within my mind is calm, but maybe tomorrow or sooner the Monster will awake and I will be fighting for my life. All I can hope for when that time comes again is that I will find the means to survive. I must plan for that time, I must know what I should do when the storms of depression and mania strike again. When that time comes there will be no time to think, my only task will be to survive.
+ Monday 7th JuneThoughts on Depression +
I was talking to my friend the other day, my friend suffers from depression like myself. We have spent many dark and sad days talking about how to cope with the affects of depression. My friend was telling me how depressed she was and that she was going to wait until she was completely depressed before she took some medication. I remember saying to my friend "how will you know you are depressed?" which isn't as silly as it sounds. Recently due to my illness Manic Depression I became severely depressed but I wasn't aware that I was depressed, everyone else knew, but I thought that my feelings and moods were normal. There was a stage at the beginning of my depression where I knew that I was depressed and knew that my depression was becoming very bad. I was aware that my thoughts were very destructive, and that my moods were not as they should be. Then I slowly slipped into the depths of severe depression where I became lost in my thoughts, lost in depression, it was like a thick fog was slowly suffocating me. I thought that my moods of depression, thoughts of suicide were normal. I could easily of killed myself thinking that it was a normal thing to do. This is the most dangerous part of depression, and the most frightening for me. My greatest fear is that I will one day become lost in the fog of depression and think that my thoughts of depression and particularly my thoughts of suicide are normal. A further fear is that I will become totally lost in the Mood Swings of MD and think that my actions resulting from these swings of moods are normal. I am very lucky in that I am aware when my moods go either high or low but when I become totally manic or totally depressed I lose this awareness and think that my actions are completely normal. If I am manic for instance I rush around spending money or making plans that I cannot keep. On the other hand if I am totally depressed I think of suicide and make plans to die. Within these two extremes everything is logical, in the HIGH I can justify spending money, in the LOW the only thing to do is to die. I know that maybe all this doesn't make sense at all. My thoughts are so fragmented today and it is so hard to make sense of anything, but really the lesson for me is to keep a check on reality. I must make sure that I know where I am in the MD Cycle and to have a reality check every now and then. The other lesson is to listen sometimes to friends or doctors. I remember the doctor telling me that I was severely depressed and I told him that I wasn't. The fact that I was going to kill myself at the time didn't really prompt me to understand that I was depressed. I resented other people telling me that I was depressed and refused to have any contact with people who said I needed medical treatment. Although I am aware of these things, the question I ask myself is will this information save me from destruction the next time I am depressed? I truly hope so. I pray that God will make me aware of these things, perhaps prompt me to read this part of my diary the next time I feel like ending my life.
+ Monday 30th MayMy Greatest Triumph +
Dear Diary. Over the past months there has been a war-taking place within my mind. My illness, Manic Depression has tried to destroy me, but through it all I have kept myself safe from this Monster within my mind. At times I have suffered the most extreme depression where I have felt totally out of control, and during this time MD has never missed an opportunity to confuse or destroy me. I have come so near to killing myself, actually making plans to die, but somehow I have held onto life and survived. Today I cannot say that I am totally well, the MD Monster is always there waiting for a moment of weakness. But I have learned ways to cope, learned ways to survive. The depression part of MD is for me the most dangerous part of the MD cycle. I recall passing a point of depression where I actually lost sight of reality. It was the most frightening experience of my life. Billions of thoughts invaded my mind and I felt that each thought was not my own and trying to destroy me. At times I lay in bed not having the energy to do anything. Every moment I wanted to die and I prayed more then anything that someone would save me from myself, save me from destruction. I wanted to go into hospital and wished above anything else that I could close my eyes and sleep forever. I remember doctors calling to see me asking if I wanted to go into hospital, but I never gave in. I continued to fight for my life fight to survive. My worse enemy became myself. At times panic, fears, phobias, crashed into my mind. I remember staying awake for days to frightened to sleep. I walked the streets at 3am in the morning thinking of ways to kill myself. My own mind turned in on itself and wanted to die. I felt that I was an observer of my thoughts, watching my mind slowly die from a distance. Can there ever be an end to this sadness and destruction within? I do not think so. MD is part of me, it is part of my mind, and I know that for as long as I live I will experience this destruction and sadness. Maybe I will survive, maybe I will die by my own hand. But whatever happens in the future my creator will know my efforts to survive. I believe that in my moment of despair someone is protecting me, keeping me safe, and I pray tonight that I will be kept safe from my mind in the days to come.
+ Sunday 9th MayMoments of Madness +
Dear Diary. I feel so good today, so calm, so happy to be alive. Only days ago I had no will to survive, but today Mania has started to creep back into my mind and with it energy, hope and the will to survive. I could not even begin to convey my experiences over the past weeks. I believe that I have suffered Madness. I use this word, as there are no other words to describe the feelings and thoughts that I have experienced during the past weeks. I do not use the word Madness lightly or define the word Madness as the world defines it. My world over the past weeks has been dominated by feelings that I have never experienced before. I have been trapped in the depths of depression where my mind no longer felt like my own. My mind was fragmented into billions of pieces where I was convinced that each part was a separate person trying to destroy me. My only wish was to destroy myself and I came very near to taking my own life. How can I describe the pain within my mind, a place where only death was real, a place where there was no hope, where billions of fragmented thoughts crashed through my mind in one moment. I remember talking to a doctor talking logically about dying and explaining that my mind had died and physically there was no reason to live. It was totally logical for me to end my life and I thank God that I was comforted by professionals who helped me through my experience. To me Madness is the inability to think rational thoughts, to be trapped in an unreal world. Today, due to a moment of stability within my mind, I can look back on my recent experience of Madness with total horror as to what I have been doing to myself. I have punished and hurt myself beyond belief, for what reason I do not know. I want to explain what has happened to me, but words do not describe the experience. I have lived in an unreal world within my mind. I believed that other people occupied my mind. I cannot describe the feeling of terror that I felt of being totally out of control. Am I truly mad? Is this madness? How can I be sure of anything ever again? I was completely sure that dying was the right thing to do, the thoughts were real and right, yet today I look back and think how can I have wanted to die so much? The suffering I have felt within my mind has been a wordless kind of pain, how can I explain? How can I do that? I past a point within my mind, past the point of depression, where words and thoughts do not exist, where only feelings and the horror of fear dominates the mind. At this moment I am still one step away from that point. It is so hard to explain. If I could explain in detail then my experience surely would not be real. It is only the fact that I cannot explain the experience that convinces me that my experience is real and something beyond words. I will survive this experience I will survive. I want to live and I will not die, I refuse to give into this world of unreality and I will not only survive I will learn and go on with my life. I believe that we are here for a reason, and this is my lesson, this is the experience that will make me a better person. But I am so afraid, I am afraid of the darkness of my mind. I want to live and want to die at the same time and these two extremes fight to control my mind. I feel that I could be alive physically but dead in my mind. I am so frightened that "IT" that lives in my mind will destroy me. I have to know what "IT" is, I have to know what I am fighting. I fear sleep as when I wake I fear I will not be able to control my thoughts, my moods. It seems that sleep helps the enemy within my mind, it attacks me as I sleep and I feel out of control and unable to defend myself. What will become of me in the days, weeks ahead? I have no control over the future, I can only live each moment as it comes and hope and pray that I survive.
+ Tuesday 27th AprilHospital Treatment +
Dear Diary. For the first time ever I am on the verge of going into hospital as my illness, Manic Depression is so extreme. My depression has taken over my life completely and each second that passes is so very painful. The starvation cycle of my illness has had a profound affect on my body. Although I only stopped eating recently for four days, the affect of not eating over past weeks has affected my body and I feel weak all of the time. I came near to suicide last week, I no longer wished to live and all of my natural desires to survive did not exist. I was going to die, there seemed no hope, but I did survive and live to suffer endless sadness and physical pain due to not eating. My fear of hospital treatment is as high as the fear that I will die soon. When I asked the Doctor as to what will happen to me he said that "I would be medicated and stabilised." I felt that I was non-human when he said that, I felt like an animal. There was no compassion in the Doctors words, just a "matter of fact" way of talking. Perhaps people who suffer from Manic Depression don't deserve to be treated like human that is how I felt when the Doctor spoke to me. Last week, after not eating for days I came to realise that I would die eventually if I didn't eat. It frightened me that my body was starting to die. I then started to feel sick and had the most terrible stomach pains. I started to eat a little food but it would seem that it is not that easy to undo the damage caused by starvation. I understood that even if I desired to eat my body would just reject the food due to the damage caused by starvation. I have always tried to keep my emotions under some control while writing in my diary, but I forgive myself today by expressing my deep and profound sadness. The thought of dying terrifies me, and I know that my physical health is serious and that I may not come through this MD cycle. The sadness I feel today is beyond words, there are no words to describe the total terror and sadness I feel of being completely out of control.
+ Saturday 17th AprilEvery moment feels like my last +
Dear Diary. I cannot tell you how good it feels to write my thoughts and feelings down once again. This week I have been ill and have not been able to find the energy to write. My Manic Depression Illness has made me feel physically ill and the smallest of task is so very painful. The lack of sleep and the starvation cycle that has inflicted me recently is now taking affect and every moment feels like my last. I try to think that there is life ahead but all I see is darkness, death and nothingness. I want to live, but my mind wants to die and the struggle between these two extremes is so difficult. I feel that I have lost contact with the outside world, and that my reality of the world has changed completely. My mind changes so fast from High to Low, Mania and Depression, and with each cycle the reality of myself, and the world changes. In the mania cycle I am confident, ALIVE, happy, I can do ANYTHING, I feel good about myself. But then in a split second I feel completely depressed, I HATE myself, I WANT TO DIE, and I cannot do or cope with anything. Each high and low produces a different reality, a different view of the world. As my mood changes from high to low my personality changes, I become a different person. In the high I am an extrovert, in the lows I am an introvert, my world changes from light to darkness within a moment. Over the years I have devised coping skills to deal with these extremes but the energy to deal with this endless cycle of confusion becomes less and less as time goes by. With each moment of struggle I constantly ask myself why continue with life. Suicide becomes a real option and I plan my departure from life to the smallest of detail. I find relief knowing that I can end my life, end the struggle when the pain of my illness becomes to great. This afternoon I lost all will to live, I had no will to struggle on. I lay on my bed wanting to die, not to exist, and as I fell asleep I prayed with all of my heart that I would not wake, that I would sleep forever. Then I woke knowing that there was no easy way to enter death, and that even finding that peace would cause me pain and confusion. Up until recently I had at least some small hope that I would find a medical solution to my illness. Today I went to see my GP out of panic that I was feeling physically ill due to the starvation cycle of my illness. I felt that the GP listened and understood my confusion, my pain. But on leaving the hospital I knew deep down in my heart that there is no medical cure for MD. I have tried every medication, but there is nothing to help me. I thought where do I go from here? I knew that I had tried everything and that either I cope with the pain or die. Everyday I have to make a decision to live. When I wake in the mornings my depression is so bad I have to decide that I will live for one more day, and everything I do is to survive. Today I tried to work out a way to cope with my suicide feelings. I have a plastic calendar strip with numbers from 1 to 31 representing the days of the month. Each day you move the cover to the next number. I turned this into away to cope. The numbers 1 to 31 became hours, each hour I moved the cover down one number to remind me that I had coped with that hour, that I had survived. I constructed this method in my stable mood and it worked very well. When I panic or have suicide feelings I can only survive for one hour at a time and by physically changing this display I remind myself that it is possible to survive. But then came my depression cycle, complete depression, my suicide feelings were at their worse. The calendar then became a count down to death. Instead of the numbers representing life, survival, it became a count down to the end of my life. I recall reading in a book that the longest anyone has survived starvation is around 30 days, the calendar became a starvation count down. I knew that as each day passed, and I moved the numbers down one day at a time, that by the time I reached day 31 my life would end, or would have already ended. This is how my reality changes, what was a life coping solution became a count down to the end of my life. I had no control over this change from wanting to live to wanting to die. My reality, my moods had changed, and it seems reasonable even now to continue and just starve myself to death. At this moment I am on day three of the starvation cycle, I know even now there are changes in my body and feel completely weak. What will become of me? I panic and fear dying but long for death to release me from this pain. I want to die with all of my heart. I cannot continue to live with this terrible pain. I pray that the end will come soon and that I will die and experience peace.
+ Saturday 10th AprilMy Manic Depression Diary +
Writing in my dairy is always a special time for me. It is a time for reflection, a time to capture my thoughts as I write. Sometimes when I have come to write in my diary my thoughts seem too confused, but as I continue to write my thoughts and feelings down I feel a sense of relief that I have managed to convey all those feelings, express my illness in words. Later when I read my dairy I start to see that in away I have communicated with myself, it is very strange, but by writing all those feelings down I have become more in touch with myself. My diary is a very special place where I can express how I really feel, I can be completely honest with myself, I can be happy and sad, I can express how I really feel and there is no one to judge me. My diary is also therapeutic, by writing everything down I see that there are patterns in my illness, that there is order within chaos, and I can try to make sense of my illness of which affects every part of my life. My diary is my friend, I write as if I was writing to my best friend, and like a friend my diary listens. Strangely by writing in my dairy I become aware that really I am my best friend, that I need to listen to myself, listen to my pain and fears. By writing all those fears down I can read later how very much pain I feel inside. Sometimes when I come to read my dairy its like it was written by someone else, not me, and I start to discover all sorts of things about myself. I discover that I am human, that I feel pain and have fears, and that I cry out for a solution to my illness. Yes, Like my best friend my dairy will be around for me always, helping me through my good and bad days. My diary will always be my special friend, will always be there for me.
+ The Mental Health System +
The past weeks of illness has made me so aware that the Mental Health System is completely inadequate to deal with immediate support for sufferers of Mental Illness. Here in England we have a Mental Health System called Community Care which basically was designed to support sufferers of mental illness in the community. Most of the Mental Health Hospitals were closed, and people who had lived in these hospitals for many years were suddenly placed in the Community where in theory should of been cared for, in reality this is far from the truth. I am lucky that I am able to control my illness 99 per cent of the time, only rarely do I have to depend on the Mental Health System. Most sufferers are not so fortunate and are largely left to their own efforts to cope with mental illness. The Mental Health system should be there to deal with any mental health problem 24 hours per day like any other health service. If I had a physical problem for instance there would be help and support 24 hours a day. If I needed emergency treatment for a physical illness I could expect an ambulance service to attend my injury any time of the day or night. The Mental Health System is completely different. There is no system where a person who suffers from a mental illness can obtain support. Of course a sufferer could go to a hospital or phone the emergency doctor, but in my experience these services do not take mental illness seriously, they often say "go and see your own doctor the next day" and normally it takes a week to obtain an appointment. The GP will then refer patients to a specialist that could take many months, that is if you are lucky. Recently I urgently needed support concerning the medication I was taking, I had been very ill for sometime, I was told by the Health Service that I could see a doctor, have an emergency appointment some three weeks later. During this time I wasn't able to take my medication, my mental illness, manic depression, became extreme, and eventually I ended up at the local hospital with extreme withdrawal symptoms from the medication. By this time my mental illness had turned into a physical illness, extreme stomach problems, so I received urgent medical help, the doctors were so kind as they could see my illness. In this instance my physical problems were attended to but to this day, months later, I still seek support for the route cause of the problem, my medication, the problem that caused me to become physically ill the first place. I feel trapped in a Mental Health System that is fragmented and uncaring. Sufferers are not treated in a human way. There is no urgency concerning mental health problems, if I become ill I cannot expect urgent support. Only if I become physically ill as a result of my mental health problems can I expect help, and even then only the immediate symptoms will be treated. Today I feel total panic that there is nothing to save me from my illness, when I reach the end of the road, when I become so ill that I cannot cope, there is nothing there to support me. The only person that can save me from my illness is myself and that is why I constantly seek solutions to my illness, seek ways to cope and survive. But as time goes by, as I become older, I feel my energy to deal with this complex and confusing illness, Manic Depression, is slowly wasting away, that MD is slowly taking over my mind. I pray constantly that God will help me survive, I pray this with all of my heart
+ Saturday 3rd AprilLost in a sea of Sadness +
Dear Diary. How can I describe the sadness that I feel? I am lost in a sea of nothingness, adrift in a sea of sadness of which words cannot describe. The blackness of depression has completely taken over my mind and there is no hope at all, just an endless feeling of sadness. My illness of Manic Depression has taken over my mind it controls every thought every feeling. Once I had hope that I could control this MD Monster within, but not anymore. I know that whatever I do to control this illness eventually it will take control again and completely destroy any hopes and dreams of a normal life. Where did my life go? I have lost so much time. I look back on my life and know that every moment has been a struggle, that there has been so much pain, so much sadness and confusion. At the moment I am surviving one moment at a time, as to last forever in such a state of sadness is so painful. Today I woke up and my mind was still dreaming, it is a state that I will never be able to explain, It is the state of mind that I fear the most, I cannot tell if I am dreaming or awake and doubt everything I do. I have tried to impose order on my day by making myself keep to a routine, but I am so tied and my mind feels like it will explode with so many thoughts. Every thought is painful. My thoughts come not one at a time but in bursts of energy, my mind feels like it will explode, as there is too much manic energy. Then after a few moment of energy my mind dies, stops, slows down, my mind then feels so tied and needs to rest before the next burst of thoughts come crashing through my mind. I want to sleep, sleep forever, but my mind will not let me, my mind is in overload, my mind cannot rest. I hope that I will sleep soon and sleep forever, I do not want to wake, I do not want to recover again only to become ill and suffer this sadness, I want to sleep forever.
+ Sunday 28th MarchDeath is forever +
Dear Diary. This is the darkest day of my life. My life seems to have come in an end. My mind feels like it has died and I feel like I do not exist, that my whole life has really been a dream. I am surrounded by the darkness of my mind. Of all the times I have written in my diary I have never come so near to the end, so near to death. Suicide, Death, stands in front of me, calling me to take that final step. I have no feelings about dying, no reason not to die. I search my mind for one single reason to live, to carry on this struggle against the monster MD within, but there is no reason, and I stand alone shaking in the face of death. To live I have to struggle and make a decision to carry on, to die there is no struggle, no decision, only to let go of life and not exist. I tremble at what waits in front of me, and fear that there is no one and nothing to save me. There is nothing standing between life and death. In the past I have always kept to the most basic rule that under no circumstances should I take my own life, or harm myself in anyway. I have kept to this rule since childhood where even then I knew that there was no hope and that death was the only real thing in life. But at this moment that rule does not exist, the barrier between life and death has been lifted, I stand alone, frightened and confused as to whether I should cross the line and enter the darkness of death forever. For once in my life I question the reason to struggle on, to continue life at all cost. It frightens me to think that this simple rule has saved me from death for so long, but strangely it angers me that this rule has caused me so much pain. If I had not created this rule as a child I would not of experienced so much pain, so much suffering. I remember as a child having this deep sense of knowing that there was no point in life, not for me, and I knew that one day I would be where I am today, alone, deciding that this was the end and there was no reason to struggle further. Tonight I stand at the crossroad between life and death. I look in either direction and there seems to be no reason to enter death and sleep forever. Death is the end, I know that if I decide to take that route that it is really the end. I cannot return here, wherever here is. I think about God tonight and wonder if he would forgive me, would he really condemn me for seeking relief from all this pain and confusion in my mind? God would know that I have struggled since childhood, he would know how much I love him and need him at this moment. God knows every thought, knows how much I fear but need death, he knows this terrible confusion and pain in my life. He knows all those things and he would not allow me to decide to die if that's not what he wishes, or was meant to be. I pray with every part of my soul tonight that God will help me, comfort me and protect me. I pray that if these thoughts of death were not meant to be that he will save me and hold me close until this frightening turmoil of emotions pass. But if death was meant to be, I pray with every part of my soul that God will comfort me through my journey into ever lasting sleep.
+ Thursday 25th MarchA moment of Peace +
My moods have been so calm over the past days. Recently storms of MD emotions have been raging within my mind. But now, at this moment, my feelings are so calm. This time is so very special for me, it gives me hope for the future, but also a feeling of despair, I know that the MD cycle of destruction will return. It is hard to believe that earlier this week my moods were alternating between totally happiness and total despair. Some moments I have experienced both of these feelings at the same time. I have been confused and suicidal, yet somehow I have survived. My reward for all this sadness has been a moment of stability, a moment of nothingness. I dream that this moment will last forever.
+ A Childhood Memory +I remember as a child being so overwhelmed with MD emotions. I remember before I went to sleep praying that I would not wake in the morning as I knew that I would awaken the next day lost in a bewildering turmoil of emotions. The mornings were the worst time of the day. Some nights I wouldn't go to sleep, staying awake for days, so that I would know where I was in the MD Cycle. But sleep would eventually over take me, and the next day I would wake and feel lost, frightened, lost in a totally different world of emotions, lost in the MD Jungle of the mind. I kept a diary of all of my emotions, seeing these emotions as separate from myself. MD was my enemy, an outside being trying to take over my mind. I would physically shake with fear as to what my mind, MD, would do to me. Of course I didn't know that I had MD, neither did anyone else. I was basically a troubled child to my parents that didn't act like so called normal children. My Mother would make me get ready for school in the mornings, which was my worst nightmare. MD hates being confined in a daily routine. MD is a chaotic illness and hates any order being forced on it. Therefore it was no surprise that I found it hard getting through the daily routine of school. I would enter the school play ground with a feeling of total despair. I could not control the MD emotions in my mind. I stood shaking as the other children played. Other children would make fun of me as I stood confused and frightened. Then, I would have to get through a complete day of schooling. It was impossible for me to sit in a room with other children and concentrate on my school - work. My mind would be bursting with energy one moment, then I would become completely depressed. Other children would know that there was something wrong and make fun of me at every opportunity. Eventually I stopped going to school retreating to my bedroom. The Social Services were called and I was placed in Care. I was sent to homes throughout England as punishment for not attending school. These homes did not understand my illness. Eventually, I was placed in a home where I was physically, mentally and sexually abused by children and staff. Throughout all this time in children's homes I was never assessed medically. I was sent to these homes for punishment for not being able to cope at school, like normal children. I mention this childhood experience because MD in children is so little understood. My illness started at birth, I have always suffered from MD, yet the mental health system didn't even begin to help me until I was in my adult life. MD in children can be recognised and support can be given to that child if only the system will act early. Sadly my experience of the Mental Health System is not a good one, and I know that the Mental Health Service I would like to establish is a dream.
+ Friday 19th MarchA Feeling of Suicide +
The death of a relative today has prompted me to think about my feelings of suicide, which play such a major part in my life. During every part of my illness, whether feeling high or low, or even in a stable mood, the darkness of suicide, the darkness of death, always lingers in the background of my mind. Most days I feel just one step away from death, one step away from suicide. These feelings of death are both frightening and a comfort to me. In my dark days where I am completely depressed, death is like a friend who waits to release me from all of this stress and confusion. When I am well and in a stable mood, I fear how close I have come to suicide. During my good days I fear death, fear dying, fear that one day I will finally take that final step and kill myself. Suicide is not a subject that is easy to discuss with anyone. Even while writing in my diary I feel guilty at even mentioning the subject as the medical profession has instilled that guilt in me since childhood. The logical side of me says that how can anyone suffer from depression, MD, without feeling the wish to die. Suicide, the wish to die, is part of depression. It is like saying that on a cloudy day (depression) it should not rain (suicide). The clouds in the sky produce rain, it is a natural reaction. Therefore, the only reaction that long term depression can cause is a feeling that you wish to end this terrible pain within the mind, end life itself. Suicide feelings are the result of depression, and therefore I should not feel guilty by having such feeling. The Medical Systems point of view is that a person who talks of suicide is in someway trying to manipulate the system, manipulate a reaction. Maybe there is truth in this, but for me the basic reason why I feel the need to discuss my suicide feelings is because I am frightened of those feelings, and that really I do not want to die at all. It has taken me many years to come to terms with my suicide feelings. Today, I know that whenever I want to kill myself, it is not me that I want to kill, it is the illness, MD. The separation of MD's suicide feelings from myself was like a milestone in my life. This discovery that I did not want to die even though I had suicide feelings was a break through in an understanding of these feelings. This is where the death of my relative comes to mind. When I heard of the sad news that my relative had died, even though I was having constant suicide feelings, I knew that with all my heart I did not wish death. I realised that I did not want to be in the same place as my relative. What these suicide feelings are saying to me is that I want this confusion caused by MD to end, to die, but I as a person want to live. By discovering what these suicide feelings are trying say to me, I can have total compassion for myself. I can firstly release myself from the guilt that the Medical Profession has placed in me. Secondly, above all, I can protect myself from death. I know that when these feelings come to mind it is not death that I wish, it is life, a life without MD, a life without this terrible pain and suffering of my mind. I pray for my relative tonight. I pray that she will find comfort and release from the suffering she experienced before she died. I know that she will be with my Mother who sadly died recently, and they will be watching over me and protecting me as I sleep tonight. I pray that one day I will see them both again, I pray this with all my heart.
+ Wednesday 17th MarchMemories +
I woke today feeling full of life. The dark days of depression seemed to be in the distance. Hyper energy mixed with depression have started to take over my mind once again. Although I have only been awake for some hours I am totally exhausted. I feel like I am riding a roller coaster of emotions. Total highs and total lows fill my mind at the same time. Today my mind has been full of memories about the mental health system of which I am forced to associate with. My first memory of the health service was when I was 13 years old. Due to my illness I took an overdose of tablets and was taken to hospital. When I arrived at hospital the Nurse's and Doctors were extremely distant and harsh towards me. The hospital had this standard policy that under no circumstances should they make people who have taken overdoses feel comfortable in hospital. I was taken to a room where the Doctors had two alternatives to remove the tablets from my stomach. They could either use medication to make me feel sick and remove tablets that way, or use the Stomach pump. The Doctors decided to use the stomach pump. This procedure was designed to make the hospital experience as uncomfortable and painful as possible. I was given no emotional support and the doctors made the experience as painful as possible. After the tablets had been removed I was taken to the ward and made to feel that I was a nuisance to the health service. I was made to feel that the hospital bed was for sick people only and that Depression was not a real illness and therefore I had no right to a bed. I remember laying in the bed with a drip in my arm and the Nurses would walk past and ignore me. Later I became sick due to the stomach pump and the medication they had given me, the Nurses came over to my bed and said that I would have to lay in the mess until they had attended to the patients who were really ill. I could not move from the bed as the drip in my arm to give me fluids was connected to the wall, so for some hours I lay in the bed and cried. I remember after treatment leaving the hospital and the Nurse and Doctors turned their heads away from me. I was given no advice or asked any questions as to why I had taken the tablets. From a medical point of view the hospital did not break any rules, they attended to my medical needs to the letter. From a human and emotional point of view the hospital broke every rule. The whole point of refusing to give me any kind of emotional or human support was to give me a clear message, which was, that if I took an overdose don't expect any support or sympathy from the hospital. The Medical Services did not believe that depression, or attempted suicide was an illness and they certainly did not want to take time looking after such people. Today, in my adult life, I have a total fear of hospitals and I cannot walk into a hospital without feeling total panic. My greatest fear is that one day my MD illness will force me to ask for help or support from a hospital. If I did decide to take an overdose again my greatest fear would be that I failed to die, as I know that Doctors at the health service would make my medical care experience as uncomfortable as possible.
+ Saturday 13th MarchFighting my way through the darkness +
Dear Diary. It is so good to write to you again. Over the past day's I have been completely lost in the darkness of depression. Everything has become so complex, even the smallest of daily activities have been beyond me. Most of my days and nights have been spent sleeping, which is in complete contrast to past weeks where the manic cycle kept me awake for days, weeks on end. The depression cycle is one long night where darkness surrounds me. Within the darkness of my mind fear, despair, is all around, trying to take control over my mind. There is no security at all. The one decision I have been able to follow through is the decision to survive, for what reason I do not know, but I must survive somehow. On the days where I have been out of the house my illness has caused such distress for me. While I was in the town yesterday, I became aware of sounds that I had never heard before. It is very hard to explain, but my mind seemed to be aware of everything around me at once. While in the shops I heard every voice, every sound, noticed everything at the same time. My mind could not cope with such awareness and I wanted to run and hide but I couldn't. It seems that the mind, in a stable mood, suppresses awareness, as we could not possibly cope with such a vast amount of information. But in the depression cycle, after the high's manic activities, the brain suffers a kind of hang over affect, a similar affect that is experienced after a nights drinking. The next day after you have been drinking you can hear a pin drop and it echo's around the mind. I suffer this same hangover affect after the manic cycle, of which completely disables me. A thought that comes to my mind as I write is how is it possible for the mind to have so much energy during the manic cycle. I say this because now I am so depressed it seems totally impossible to have any manic energy. The depression cycle is the complete opposite to the manic cycle. During mania my mind is bursting with manic energy, today during the depression phase I suffer a lack of mind energy. I try to answer all these questions in my mind, but today it wouldn't matter if I did discover an answer to such basic questions, the fact is I am ill. Trying to discover reasons why I am ill would have no affect at all. All that my mind wishes to do today is to sleep, and I cannot struggle against it wishes. The mind knows that sleep is away to recover after all the manic energy. Its like running non stop in a marathon, while the race is on the body will respond, but after the race the body shuts down whether we like it or not to recover, that's how my mind is today. In a way the mind knows more then I, some times its like it tells me how to cope, how to recover. While I sleep today, I will dream of a day when I will win the race against MD, and I dream that all those who suffer the same bewildering illness will also win their fight against this terrible illness of the mind.
+ Monday 8th MarchLost in the darkness +
Dear Diary. I am surrounded by the darkness of depression where there is no comfort, just darkness and sadness. I want to scream for someone, or something to save me, but the MD Monster that lives in my mind has taken all hope of survival away from me. Somehow though I still exist in this terrible cycle of depression. I read my diary over the past weeks and look with wonder. I read that once I had hope, once I had dreams, once I had energy to survive. What has happened to my mind? How can my mind change from total happiness to total sadness? How can this change take place? I read my diary and feel that another person must of wrote about happiness, this surely could not of been me. Tonight, I stand alone, totally alone. The MD Monster is very real tonight, it talks to me within my mind, placing doubts about my very existence on this earth. IT, MD, tells me there is no hope, to give up and die, there is no other way, so MD tells me. I am aware of every dark thought, every dark memory within my mind. There is no light at all, not within my mind. I search for a light, but there is none. I stand alone, me and the MD Monster, both wanting to survive, both wanting to destroy each other. I feel like a little child lost in the darkness, who calls for his parents to save him. But of course the darkness of the mind is a very special and lonely place, especially when that darkness is MD. Yet within the darkness I feel protected, as if someone is standing close watching over me. Every so often my screams seem to be heard and just before I fall into complete destruction, a hand reaches out to me from within the darkness and saves me. I pray that this hand of security will save me, comfort me and all those who are also lost in the darkness. We are all lost in the same MD darkness, maybe if we comfort each other we can help save and protect each other.
+ Saturday 6th MarchDepths of Despair +
Dear Diary. I can hardly write at all as my depression has become unbearable over the past days. The hope I gained while on a high recently has been lost, my confidence has been taken away. Any thoughts of control over my illness has been taken away by the MD Monster who lives in my mind. I feel completely lost in my illness and nothing can help me, nothing can save me. I hope that I will sleep forever tonight, but my illness will not let me. I want to close my eyes for one second and find release from this confusion, but the MD Monster refuses to allow me any comfort, I just want to sleep, sleep forever.
+ Tuesday 2nd March Entering the Depression Zone +
Over the past weeks I have been flying high on Mania and I am nearly at the Manic breaking point where I will go crashing down into the depths of despair and enter the depression stage. I know that depression will follow as every high has a low. There is only one way you can go after the high and that's down, mostly because I believe the brain just runs out of energy and closes down to recover. For once I have been able to monitor this part of the Manic Cycle, keeping a record of my daily activities. Firstly, I've noticed that my sleeping patterns have changed dramatically over the past week.. I have hardly slept at all, in fact even when sleeping my mind has been active, my dreams have been so intense. Some days I have woke up actually still dreaming which I could write pages it self. Secondly, my eating habits have changed. I noticed last night that I was drinking cup after cup of coffee to stimulate my brain into activity, to maintain the same energy level as the manic stage produced. As the Manic Stage comes to an end and I enter the depression stage, I lose brain energy of which subconsciously I try to regain by drinking coffee and cola (which has caffeine.) The brain must produce chemicals in my mind to produce the mania, the same affect as caffeine produces. Like drinking lots of coffee and cola though, the brain goes into the withdrawal stage if denied those mania chemicals. Although I have gained insight into these cycles I feel powerless to stop myself falling into the depths of despair and know there will be many dark days ahead.
USING MANIA CREATIVELY.For me the MANIA stage can be very creative as well as destructive at times. During this cycle I am at extremes, sometimes I achieve the greatest things, only to destroy those achievements almost immediately. This time around the Mania stage has been creative and I have achieved things that I could never of achieved while in a stable normal mood. I have had so much energy within my mind during this mania cycle, I have been bursting with new ideas, new insights, new understanding. The problem with the manic cycle is that there is so much energy, and controlling that energy is like trying to contain a mini explosion in my mind. If I could have that energy every day for the rest of my life I could achieve so many things, but that's not how mania works, not for me. I try to control this manic energy, but for me it is impossible to have a daily 24 hour routine. Sleeping becomes impossible and I find myself awake for days, weeks on end. I am active from the time the mania begins until its last drop of energy. During this Mania Cycle I have turned all my energy to projects like computer study which has absorbed all the mania energy within my mind. I have gained insights and understanding never achieved before. I have tapped the manic energy and used that insight to study and that has been my greatest achievement over the past weeks. Whenever my mind has been bursting with energy I have turned to my studies and absorbed that manic energy, turning energy into creativity. Now I am entering the depression stage I look back at this mania cycle with a sense of achievement rather then sadness. For the first time I can look back on this Mania Cycle and say WELL DONE and that gives me so much hope for the future.
+ Saturday 27th FebruaryStable and in Control +
Its not very often I can write in my diary that for once my moods are stable and I am having a good and peaceful day. I don't feel completely well, but I feel in control, and have used all my energy to do creative things throughout the day. To some people writing about having a good day would be a waste of time, but to the MD sufferer it is an event indeed and is well worth shouting about. I ask myself is this stable mood normal? is this the mood that so called normal people feel all of the time? I cannot say because I know that this stable mood is for me one of millions that I feel daily, For me this window of stability will pass, perhaps today, tomorrow, who knows? then this moment where I feel so well and in control will be but a memory, and I will be thrown back into the sea of emotions and feelings that I call Manic Depression. Feeling so stable today, I want to TELL THE WORLD and go around to all my friends and say"THIS IS THE REAL STABLE ME." I feel it so important that friends, family and even doctors see me in my good days because then they will know that when I am ill it is that mood which is abnormal. For instance, whenever I am ill I always go and see my doctor and she sits and looks at me and says "yes, but this is you." The doctor has never seen me in my good days as I don't need medical help during those times. I'm lucky because I have a Nurse who visits me once a month and he sees me in my good and bad days and adjusts medication and treatment accordingly, and that's so very important.
MD THE INTERNAL WEATHER SYSTEM.Today the sun is shining outside and everything is so normal, later though the weather men say that winds up to 45 miles an hour will be Storming across the country.. Its so hard to believe that this stable and sunny day will change within a few hours, but it will. MD is so like a weather system, an internal weather system of my mind, where one second moods and feeling are stable the next frightening storms of emotions crash through my mind without warning. Recently I have been thinking are these storms of MD really me, or am I separate from these storms. Its hard for me to explain but I will try. Over the past weeks I have been meditating which is so hard to do when so much is going on in my mind. But on the days when I could sit still and observe my moods, I discovered that moods are so like internal weather systems. During meditation clouds in the sky were likened to my emotions and MD feelings. I observed these clouds of emotions as if they were separate from ME, as If I was sitting in the garden watching the clouds(MD) pass by. I am confused because I thought up until this moment that MD was ME. But while meditating I separated myself from all these emotions and it was so strange to see these emotions and feeling rush through my mind as if I was an observer. I have written about this discovery before in my diary but today I feel so sure that I have discovered a way to separate myself from this illness. I cannot pretend I can achieve this state of detachment for long periods. Even as I speak the MD illness is returning, my thoughts are becoming fragmented and MD feelings are starting to take over my mind, but I can still recall in my memory that state of detachment I achieved while meditating. Hopefully, one day, those stable detached periods will grow to the point where I can detach myself from the MD illness all together. Is this a dream? is this discover illness itself speaking to me? Am I deluding myself by thinking that I can overcome this illness by will power? I'm sure in my bad days ahead I will feel this, but I have a dream of recovering from my illness, and at least my discover if anything else gives me hope for the future, no matter how slim that hope is. I will remember this peaceful and calm day in my mind like recalling a sunny day in the winter. I will dream that this peaceful day will return again, I dream and pray this with all my heart.
+Sunday 21st February Feeling High +
It seems ages since I wrote in my dairy. I've been ok but today I'm really high and billions of thoughts and ideas have been flooding into my mind all day. I was thinking today about OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This condition really affects me, and it's only recently that I've discovered the illness. I've been aware of the symptoms since childhood but did not know the condition had a name. Its like any illness once you have a label you can go on from there and find ways to cope or even solutions. Its strange that you can be caught up in a never ending circle yet not know it, that is of course what OCD is, a never ending circle. OCD affects me in the sense that when I'm high or low I check thing over and over. I become super aware of EVERYTHING and things become so complicated. I start to doubt that I have say locked the garage or locked the car or have done something, and go around checking that particular thing over and over. The car, for example has so many parts that go wrong and I go around and check tyres, oil and water, everything, then because I'm so super aware I see other things that need to be checked which up to that stage is normal. But then, I say to myself, I will check those things ONE MORE TIME, then I doubt that item is really working ok and check it ONE MORE TIME, then AGAIN, AGAIN and AGAIN. When I'm high I go and check my garage door and there is every reason too, its the right thing to do, but then I feel worried someone will break into the garage and I check the locks AGAIN and Again. I become trapped in an endless circle AND WORRY AND WORRY. I've noticed that there are particular times that OCD is worse, mostly when I am high, but also when I start to go down and have no energy and become tied. During this stage when I'm tied, I become confused, and become trapped in the OSD cycle which is very hard to escape. That is the point really, how do you escape the OCD cycle when you are convinced that checking that item is important, and that checking ONE MORE TIME will solve that worry? ONE MORE TIME leads to another check and so on. My routine now is that I can only check, say locks and the car once, and once only. The way to escape OCD is not to become trapped in the first place. Don't enter the cycle, stay outside. If I do become trapped I have to force myself out of the cycle by saying to myself "ok enough" and leave that particular worry until the next day. That doesn't always work, I've had to jump out of bed at 2am in the morning to check my garage which is half a mile away, to check that I have locked it ok, knowing that I have, but just need to check one more time. I have been working on different methods to cope with my disorder, but my MD changes everyday and what works one day doesn't work another, so it is a constant problem. The secret is knowing that I have this problem and that at times of high stress or illness I will get caught up in the OCD Cycle and there are ways to break free before I get trapped. MD isn't just mood swings, the mood swings create all sorts of side illnesses which need to be controlled and understood. I feel very brave and in control tonight, my MD can't get a hold of me. Today I have used MD to create and understand things and I wish that I could achieve this everyday, but that's not possible, or is it? I ask myself some day's can I cure MD by understanding and controlling all its symptoms, I wonder?
+ Tuesday 16th FebruaryDetermination +
Words do not come easy today. My mind has been devastated by floods of emotions and feelings over the past two days. I have struggled to find a reason to continue my fight against MD. I decided that there is no reason to continue at this moment but decided to continue anyway in the hope that one day I will find one. Today I have made a decision, a major decision. A kind of agreement with myself. I decided that somehow I would turn my experience of MD into something creative, channel all this energy into something positive. How I will do this I cannot say, but somehow with God's help I will do this and have victory of this monster MD that has caused so much pain in my life. I have found that during the manic phase I am very active, I achieve things that would normally be beyond me. It is this energy that I wish to tap to make a better life for myself, how? I don't know, but that is my goal. Writing is one way to channel MD's energy, I have sort for many years to share my MD experience so maybe that will be one way to channel my efforts. Today a memory of the past came flashing into my mind, why this particular memory I don't know but it certainly added to my determination to struggle on. It was a memory of my first doctors visit in my early teens. I didn't know I had MD, in fact I discovered that through self discovery. I remember going to the doctors and saying over and over that I felt depressed and needed advice and support. My then GP said "You have visited me now for 30 times, my advice is that PEOPLE LIKE YOU have this problem and have to cope the best you can." People like me? What did he mean? Anyway that was my first medical label, PEOPLE LIKE ME. That title has stuck in my mind since childhood. It both destroyed me in my teens, but today it gives me determination to continue, fight not only against the illness but the medical profession it self. I've had many experiences with the so-called experts. I struggled on throughout my teens with this first label then met my first psychiatrist. He was a doctor who had worked in the health centre forever it seemed. One day after waiting for 3 months to see him I went to see him for help. I sat in the chair motionless and cried and cried, mania and depression had destroyed my mind and I could not communicate one word. Of course at this time I didn't know I had mania or depression, the medical profession kept that secret to themselves. The psychiatrist asked me to tell him the problem but I remember just sitting speechless, the words were in my head but my mouth could not speak a word. The psychiatrist after five minutes became angry saying that "it was a waste of time me coming to the interview if I REFUSED to speak. Well he ordered me to take my shirt off and took my blood pressure and listened to my heart and said I was fit. He then opened the door and told me to leave. I said three word as I sat in the chair "Please help me" the psychiatrist said "the interview had ended." I Couldn't stand as I sat with head in hands, he then shouted at me to leave. I remember leaving the hospital feeling like a nobody, a reject from society. As time went by I was referred to this person over and over and each time I had the same reaction, but one interview changed my life forever. I was referred back to this psychiatrist on a day where I could at least communicate. To my fortune the psychiatrist had a trainee where I was given more time then usual to speak. The trainee asked me questions, spoke to me like a human being to the anger of the psychiatrist. After about ten minutes the trainee said to the psychiatrist that he thought I should be on Priadel. Well the psychiatrist said he'd give it a try. Within a month of taking the Priadel I was reasonably stable and able to communicate and like NORMAL PEOPLE. I don't know how the trainee doctor got on, but he certainly changed my life of which I thank him. The conclusion to this experience is that even though I was on Priadel I didn't know what my illness was. I only found that out when I searched the library for weeks, then suddenly I found a medical book. Under Priadel came my illness, Manic Depression. After all this time I had a label to my illness and since then I have made discovery after discovery not with the help of the medical profession, but through my own efforts and of course God's help. Anger can do one of two things, it can destroy or move you to go on and survive. Anger has created both reactions in me and I pray that I will channel that anger into something productive, creative. Tonight I will sleep with the same problems and the same illness, but I sleep with a new determination to fight on and on. Night night my diary.
+Sunday 14th February Dreaming +
Confusion, total confusion. I cannot make sense of my moods and feelings, there is no logic or sense at all. I feel lost in total despair and pray that I will not be overtaken by these moods which want to destroy me. Death is more real then Life, I do not feel real at all, nothing feels real. I reach out to touch the world but the world does not exist, has no meaning. Fragments of thoughts and feelings move around my mind, my whole personality is broken into nothingness, pieces, I try frantically to think one thought at a time, but with every thought bursts of emotions and feelings rush through my mind. With all my heart and soul I hope that this is the end, that I will be destroyed and explode into a million pieces and sleep for eternity. There is no purpose or reason to survive, no reason at all. Millions of thoughts and feelings rush through my mind, every thought is panic and destruction. I feel trapped in a dream state where I have no will or energy to escape. Even while I slept last night the monster MD tried to convince me to relax and die, telling me that death is really life. I feel so tied and hope I will sleep forever. It is so strange to dream while you are awake, how can this be, who can I tell that could understand.
+ Saturday 13th FebruaryDay Turned to Night +
It is so hard to find the energy to write anything today. I have no mental energy as I have been awake now for nearly two days. My mind refuses to rest. The little sleep I have managed has been a few hours during the day, but then the mania returns and I'm awake all night long. Words are so hard to find and I'm sure nothing I'm writing makes any sense. I have become paranoid about going out and go out for walks during the night, but even then I find it hard to walk past people. I feel like I'm actually on another planet, so distant from the world. Is there any meaning to life at all? A question I ask myself over and over. I feel as if I am far out to sea, lost in the ocean, crying out for someone, or something, to save me from drowning, but I cannot be saved, I feel I'm sinking into the illness of my mind and nothing can save me. I always find the mixed state, (experiencing mania and depression) so strange and destructive. I feel like I am two people in one mind, I could laugh and cry myself to death at the same time and I feel I'm going crazy. I wish that I could write more today but I have no energy and desperately need to sleep. Good Night my diary, my faithful friend.
+ Thursday 11th FebruaryLost +
Dear Diary. I'm so glad that you are here to listen to me, to listen to my fears and secrets. You know how much I have struggled with my thoughts and feelings recently, you know what a struggle my whole life has been. Something very strange has happened to me today, it's very hard to explain but I will try. I feel that I'm not really here at all, as if I am outside my body watching myself. How can I explain that feeling? Its like I have died and I'm looking down on myself, watching myself struggle from a distance. I feel that I can touch the other side of death itself and strangely I'm not frightened of those feelings at all. I remember when my Mum died and I held her hand as she passed away. We spoke to each other in a wordless way and I knew that I was there with her for a special reason. Today I feel so close to her, as if she is with me, standing right next to me. If I close my eyes I could be in the same place, I feel that I could be with her right now, that she is leading me towards her. I have had so many feelings of death recently and feel all these feeling must be for a reason. Could it be that death is really life and where I am now isn't life at all? I'm so glad you listen to me silently my diary as no one could ever understand as much as you. Death at this moment does not feel frightening at all, so why do I struggle to avoid it. Death is where I came from and will return, and I'm sure in my mind that I will return to a special place, so very sure of this. Strange voices enter my mind telling me to give up this struggle to survive, could it be that those voices are real, how can I explain? I have been watching myself, outside my body all day, feeling like I am floating around in a strange place. I know that I shouldn't be here at all. I could drift into death itself with no effort, with no pain or struggle. While walking tonight I became aware of something deep inside me, but I don't know what that is, or how I can explain. I want to leave this earth so much but I have to be sure and I'm so frightened that maybe I'm dreaming and I cannot find which reality is real. Over the past day's I have continued to starve myself, really it's not me that is causing this damage it is the monster MD which lives in my body. I try to hide my thoughts from this monster but it knows everything that I am thinking and I cannot do anything without IT condemning me. Every time I try to eat voices come into my mind saying "you fool" and "why put off the inevitable, starve now and you will feel peace." I try so hard to do the right thing but perhaps eating is wrong, that really by eating I am avoiding death which will give me release from this conflict. Tonight while I sleep I know that I will visit all the unknown places in my mind, again I cannot explain or describe. I want to explain this place I am in, a place in my mind that I have never experienced before, but words don't describe, don't have meaning. Diary my old friend I will write more tomorrow, please pray for me that whatever happens I will be safe from fear and sadness.
+ Wednesday 10th FebruaryMedication +
One moment UP the next DOWN. I do not believe that there is anyone to listen to my pain in this whole world. Its very strange that there are 5 billion people in this world yet I cannot make contact with one single person today. I have become so isolated over the past weeks and I feel that I am drifting into the abyss, I know that I will never escape. Over the past three weeks now I've had severe stomach problems which has caused sickness. Every time I eat I am sick and I three weeks ago I had to stop my medication, Priadel, because I couldn't keep the tablets down. I keep going to the doctors trying to explain that I can't take my medication and they seem to have no concern at all. The doctors work on the theory that if I'm well enough to walk into the hospital and tell them the same story over and over, that I must be ok. They are waiting for me to drop basically, then they will act and not before. I know that I am becoming ill, but the fact that I can explain that to the doctors goes against me. To me it's better to solve these problems BEFORE I cannot cope, but the doctors won't help me until I am at the bottom of the pit. Today started so positive, I woke at 8am and started my day and felt so good by dinner time. I had something to eat then about an hour later the usual sickness started. I panicked, and suddenly thought how was I going to cope as most of the medication is out of my system now. I phoned the doctor for an emergency appointment and was told that I couldn't see anyone until Monday, in four days time. How will I cope until then, and basically does it matter that I do as I know they will tell me the same thing.. that they can't help. I feel very frightened that I cannot even make contact with the doctor, the very people who are supposed to help. I will survive, I have to, but how, and again WHY, for what reason should I want to survive, I cannot think of one reason at this moment. I had some very positive things to say today but illness and sadness prevents me form writing anything constructive, I hate myself, I hate every part of me and wish with all my heart that I could just not exist, and that this illness would die along with me. How can such a positive day turn out so bad? How can that happen?
+ Tuesday 9th FebruaryRegulation Plan +
For the first time in ages I feel that I am in control of my MD, and today I have been working on ways to improve my chances of coping with the illness by creating a regulation plan. The plan is in the early stages but I think it will make a real difference. My plan is made up of certain things that I need to do each day, things like a proper daily routine for instance where I wake and sleep at certain times. Also a proper diet. These things are so obvious when I am well I don't need to think about them, but when ill everything becomes out of sync if that's the right word and I need to come back down to basics. I'm working on that plan, and will include it on my home page soon. Today I've been working on meditation and relaxation. I woke up at 5am this morning but forced myself to stay in bed until the proper time to wake at 8am, trying to impose order on to the day. While in bed I did some relaxation first and then meditation which made a difference but I have to say it became HELL as time went by as my moods were so extreme. I'm always aware of MD while going about my daily business, but when I try and relax and meditate that's when the symptoms are so very disturbing. While in the manic stage for instance the mania drives me to move around in a physical way, I think the physical activity helps to release the manic energy and so the physical activity is very important. Think then what it is like when laying down with eyes closed and having your mind full of hyper manic energy and not being able to move around in a physical way to release that energy. The energy in my mind becomes so extreme I think I would explode if I couldn't move around. Just a thought, a terrible thought, what would happen if I couldn't move around, if I was paralysed, how do people who are paralysed deal with the energy, I just can't imagine, it must be terrible. I think I'm rambling today but the point of my regulation plan is to impose order on a chaotic illness, MD, but can I do this. The answer is NO not really, I will fail endlessly as MD will not allow me to impose laws on it, but by trying I might be able to improve my life and that's what counts. Hey is this positive? I wonder if this is the turning point? I wonder?
+ Monday 8th FebruaryStable but Frightened +
Dear Diary. It's so nice to talk to you again today. I'm doing ok at the moment. I have tried so hard to improve my health over the past day's. I have been exercising for at least one hour a day just before I go to bed, and I feel much more relaxed and not so depressed. I've been struggling to get back into a regular routine and have been working on a regulation plan. Basically my plan is to regulate all of the most important things that affects my health. Things like sleep, eating, exercise, and a regular daily routine where I get up in the morning and go to bed at a set time. MD causes so much disruption. I find that everything becomes chaotic. I stay awake for days on end, I forget to eat, and then eat too much. Everything becomes a mess when I become really ill so I hope I can force myself into a regulated routine. Today has been strange, a mixture of stability followed by total panic. Throughout today bursts of panic has entered my mind, panic as to whether I can cope with all these destructive feelings. While walking tonight I felt that I was wining the battle then voices came into my mind, telling me that all these plans were useless and I would die in the end. My moods also have been so unstable at times, one second total depression, the next so much energy I could explode. Two days ago I forced myself to eat but now I'm back in the starvation mode. Through all this chaos I feel at least I am still alive, and therefore I must be doing something right. Still I seek a reason to live, and it frightens me that I cannot find any reason all. I find no reason to stay on this earth but something keeps me here. I wish I could explain these feelings, maybe one day I will. I feel that I am already dead, that my mind has died, yet my body is still alive, how can I explain this contradiction. Well Diary I will write again tomorrow, I know you will be waiting for me, you have been here forever, thank you for listening my old friend.
+ Saturday 6th FebruaryFragmented +
I woke today feeling tied but peaceful. My starvation and suicide feelings seemed to be very distant in my mind, but the MD monster tricked me and within an hour of being awake it was there taunting me with destructive thoughts. I decided to force myself to eat, I have to eat to live, so I try and convince myself. As soon as I started to eat I felt sick, every piece of food I placed in my mouth was obscene, eating was wrong. Every mouthful of food was keeping this monster, MD, alive. I want to destroy these destructive thoughts. Food, or the lack of food, seems to be the answer, starving myself is the right thing to do. If only I could keep moving in one direction, either LIVE completely or DIE, either way would release me from this confusion. While I was out today I saw so much detail I couldn't function at all. The manic stage is strange indeed. It produces all sorts of side affects. My mind becomes a powerful microscope during this stage, becoming super aware. As I was driving I saw and heard so much detail, heard so many noises. I became confused due to the volume of information in my mind, and just had to stop the car and close my eyes. I need to sleep although I have only been awake for a few hours. My thoughts are so fragmented I can hardly write anything meaningful.
+ Friday 5th FebruaryStarvation Cycle +
Dear Diary. This has been a stressful day for sure. Again today, I had to make a decision as to whether I should live or die. Suicide feelings have dominated every waking moment, but somehow I have survived another day, but for what reason? There has to be a reason for all this confusion and pain? If there is no reason life is very cruel indeed. Constant feelings of suicide came into my mind from the moment I opened my eyes this morning. I dreamed that I had already died while I slept, and when I woke there seemed to be no difference between my dream of death and being awake. Death and life were the same. I have walked around today in a dream state, perhaps I am still dreaming, perhaps I am not awake at all? Can it be that even when I die this monster within my mind will still haunt me? I compromised with the MD monster today, it seemed I have a choice between dying immediately, or starvation, I decided to starve, as I believe at least I will stand a chance to live. The Starvation period is a thinking and deciding stage. Its like a count down stage to death where each day brings me closer to the end. It seems to satisfy the need to punish myself, but it is also a gap between life and death. When I was a child I had constant feelings of suicide and I took tablets and tried to kill myself on a number of occasions. During this time I made rules, that if I really wanted to die I had to stop eating for so many days. If at the end of that time I still wanted to die I could do so. I made silly rules like starving for 30 days. I knew that if I lasted that time I would be really serious about death, and I would be so close to death anyway I really wouldn't have to decide, my body would decide for me. Starvation is really my friend, it protects me from death itself, an in between stage, a stage between life and death. I smile tonight at the monster within my mind, IT DID NOT DESTROY ME, I survived. But the MD monster within knows that each day I survive I become weaker, which will give it more and more control over my mind. Strangely as I become weaker during starvation, the monster although punishes me, eventually becomes my friend. The MD monster needs my mind as much as I and knows if I die, IT dies as well. I go to sleep tonight in a state of sadness. I dream I will not wake, I dream this with all my heart and soul.
+ Thursday 4th FebruaryConfusion +
Today I feel so confused and so very tied. I cannot find my way back to any kind of normality, and feel lost, confused, and so very lonely. If only I could describe the loneliness I feel. I see people around me, I talk to friends, but I feel so distant. Inside I crave for contact with the world, but my mind refuses to allow me any kind of comfort, keeping me prisoner in a mind full of emotion and fragmented thoughts. I feel trapped in a cycle of destruction and there seems to be no escape. At 2am last night my mind was so full of manic, hyper energy, I walked for miles alone in the darkness to seek solutions, ideas to survive. The MD monster walked beside me every step of the way, talking softly to me like a friend, suggesting that I had struggled for too long and it was time to give up the fight and end my life. The monster within tried to convince me that death is a real option to this pain and confusion. I refuse to give into such thoughts but I cannot stop these thoughts from entering my mind. While walking I felt fear that there was no one to protect me or stop this monster from harming me. I was alone, completely alone, trapped with the MD monster in my mind. What would happen if I lost control for one moment? What would happen if I listened to the monster that pretended to be my friend? I tried to reason these thoughts, thinking that these thoughts are my own and that I have control over them. But in reality I have no control. MD is like a machine, it has no need to rest. MD's only wish is to destroy, confuse. Like a lion it waits until I am at my most vulnerable, then pounces and destroys. I tried to think of ways to compromise with the MD monster. I remember as a child I would actually talk to this other side of me, it had so much control over my mind, it would suggest all sorts of things, telling me to hurt myself, STARVE myself of food. I remember as a teenager not eating for days, as punishing myself seemed to satisfy MD. Today I still starve myself, knowing that MD will not punish me further if I punish myself by not eating. The longest I have gone without food is 15 day's and at the end of that time I became extremely ill. It is a very strange thing that when I come anywhere near to total destruction the MD monster stays silent, as if it knows that if I destroy myself, I destroy IT. When however I start to recover again, the MD voice is heard in the distance of my mind, placing doubt and fear in my mind, then the cycle starts over again. I constantly asked myself, is MD a separate part of my mind, an individual in its own right, or is MD me, a part of the self I call MYSELF. It certainly feels that MD is a separate being living within my mind when I am fighting to survive. I pray tonight that I will be protected from this monster while I sleep, and that others who suffer the same pain are also protected.
+ Wednesday 3rd FebruaryFighting Back +
I woke this morning feeling peace within my mind. My mind is still full of confusion and hatred towards myself, but somehow I feel more peaceful. I decided to seek medical advice today as I have not eaten for some days now. The doctor seemed to feel some concern and I have been given some medical advice and support to help me through this destructive time. Last night while on the net I by mistake came across a site on how to commit suicide which shocked me somewhat. I have come across these sites before but this one gave so much detail I could not believe my eyes. I have banned myself from looking at this site further as I am so depressed and cannot control my suicide thoughts. I found this site by mistake when I placed DEPRESSION into a search engine. I was looking for any information that may help me through this depression cycle. When the results came through lots of good practical sites came up which have been a great help to me. But between all these positive sites came a site saying HOW TO COMIT SUCIDE, YOU KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO LIVE. My mind went to this site like a magnet, although the other side of me said NO. I was truly shocked at the detail, and decided that death was not what I was seeking. I was seeking more of a release from this destruction within my mind, practical information on how to survive. Anyone who is depressed and seeks advice over the net must show great care. The other thing that shocked me about the site was that it even had an E MAIL address to send a letter to the site manager just before suicide took place.. to say goodbye. NO WAY site manager, my body is my own and until my last days I will fight this illness with EVERYTHING I have. I WANT TO LIVE, I truly want to live, but will MD and its army of emotions let me?
+ Tuesday 2nd February +
Tonight I feel total and complete panic that I may never recover from this depression cycle. I feel that I am slowly sinking into a black hole and fear that I may never escape. I tried to exercise today walking for miles, to remove some of the stress, but when I returned home my depression returned and seems even worse then ever. The depression part of the cycle is very hard to explain. It is not the normal depression where you feel just sad, more a black hole in your mind where it is impossible to have any logical thought. Destructive and suicide thoughts dominate my mind and I feel total hatred toward myself. My body has become disgusting to me. I hate every part of myself and want to escape from this body of which I feel trapped. I want to destroy this monster within my mind that causes so much pain, but there is no escape, if I kill the monster (MD), I kill myself, the monster is ME. Tonight I pray with all my heart that I may go to sleep forever and never wake up.
+ Sunday 31st January +
Throughout today my emotions have been alternating between mania and depression. One moment my mind is full of manic energy, the next total depression. My feelings feel like a storm within my mind of which I have no control. I can only try and shelter from the destruction, and hope that I will survive another day. My suicide feelings are very much in control, but I refuse to hurt myself in anyway, the temptation though is always there, and fear grows within my mind as to what this monster (MD) will do to me. I woke this morning feeling total hatred towards myself. My body feels that it is not my own and I refuse to eat, as I do not wish to live in this body one more second then I have to. Starvation is very attractive to me tonight, I want to starve the illness out of my body, destroy this monster within my mind. This morning I had a debate within my mind as to whether I should live or die, having to make such decisions of life and death is extremely demanding. I decided that I could not decide, and that I must try and place all my suicide feeling behind me, but the suicide monster continues to try and destroy me, and I have no energy to run or hide from those feelings. Tonight I will sleep knowing that although MD has tried to destroy me, I have survived another day. But the battle will continue again tomorrow, and the next day and forever, and I pray that I will continue to make the right decisions, and that I will not allow my illness to destroy me, I pray that from my heart and soul.
+ Saturday 30th January +
Over the past day's I have been suffocated with destructive thoughts, every moment suicide thoughts come into my mind and I cannot see a glimpse of hope anywhere. I pray that I will survive this depressive storm, but my will to survive becomes less as each moment passes. I see death all around me, and it looks so appealing to know that taking that final step would release me from all this turmoil and pain within my mind. Death is like a friend, that could release me from this destruction and confusion, it's like a magnet drawing me closer and closer, and I see no reason to struggle one moment longer against its powerful influence over me. I try to find one reason why I should stay in this world, just one reason, but at this moment there is no reason only the uncertainty of the unknown. I cannot remember when I last slept, my mind has given up trying to rest, and seems to be on a course of total destruction. I have no control over my mind, it will not obey me, I try to convince my mind to sleep, but it will not. Although I am in the depressed stage, mania is breaking my mind into fragments and I find it hard to think logical thoughts. Emotions are raging through my mind like a violent thunderstorm, I try to protect myself by seeking shelter within my mind, but there is no protection. I have given up trying to explain to doctors, friends, how my mind is destroying me, they have no interest, and I for one have no energy to convince them. Today, I have to make rules to survive. I have a code, survival code, a rule book that I must obey when I become this depressed. I wrote these rules down when I was well, and the first rule is that... I must not harm myself in anyway. It is a rule that I have obeyed since the first suicide thought came into my mind during childhood. This rule is law, I cannot do ANYTHING to harm myself in anyway. I have to survive even if there seems no reason to at this moment. I struggle through the fog within my mind to stop my thoughts destroying me. I hear voices telling me to let go of this silly attempt to survive, and I repeat this rule over and over, but the voice laughs at me, saying I will die eventually, so why not NOW. These are dangerous times, and I pray every moment that I will survive, but how? and WHY?
+ Monday 25th January +
Darkness and sadness. How can I describe how I feel today. Does it really matter that I do? Life is just pointless and I find just one reason to live. I am in the depths of depression and I can see no light at all just darkness all around me. I feel like I am being eaten alive by the darkness in my mind, I try to find a reason to struggle on. I want to live but my mind wants to die, to sleep, just sleep. When did I really sleep last? I can't remember. I feel as if I have been awake forever and there is no energy in my mind to think, feel, to do anything. I want to close my eyes and live no more, but even asleep my mind plays tricks on me by dreaming terrible dreams. There is no reason at all to live, but I struggle in the darkness, one step at a time. I will survive, but why?
+ Sunday 24th January 1999 +
Over the past day's I have been deeply depressed, being overwhelmed with so many destructive thoughts and feelings. My mind wanders back to my childhood and I think what a struggle life has been since childhood. Suicide thoughts are in my mind constantly, and although I cannot carry the thoughts out they are deeply disturbing. I remember as a child being overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings, I believed there was a monster (IT) (now defined in my adult life as MD) which was trying to destroy me. I would constantly tell my parents that IT was trying to kill me, but I couldn't explain what IT was. Even at the age of 5 years old I didn't want to live, and used to cut and hurt myself to that end. How could I have concentrated on schoolwork with so many destructive thoughts and feelings? Even today in my adult life I am only just beginning to understand the illness, but even now I cannot control IT, the monster within my mind. The childhood monster, (MD) was like an individual person, and it would constantly try to control my thoughts and feelings. It was a fight against ME and IT (MD) and I remember talking to IT, trying to understand IT, and constantly try to destroy IT. I have decided to try and define some of the symptoms of MD on my homepage, but there are so many. Most people who have never experienced MD believe that MD just includes highs and lows, not aware that it includes many side illnesses resulting from these extremes of mood swings.
I constantly ask my self WHY do I try to define and understand MD? One reason is because I need to understand my illness to survive. I remember searching though the library hoping to find a book on how to survive MD but sadly although there are many books written by experts, outlining the illness, there are very few written by sufferers themselves. I liken books written by experts like people who climb mountains, experts LOOK at the mountain but have never climbed the mountain themselves. Sure experts can see and define at a distance, but the true expert is the one that has actually climbed the mountain of MD in their minds, and know all of the problems and dangers that exist, and have lived to tell others about their experience. In order to survive my illness I need to understand all of the conditions of MD within my mind. It is like the captain of a ship who sales the ocean, he knows the sea and weather conditions and can plan for all of the conditions that may arise. WEATHER SYSTEMS are so like MD, it may be a sunny day one moment, but then in a second the weather conditions (MD)can change, and at it's extremes can cause winds of destruction within our minds. I remember talking to an EXPERT when I first tried to define my illness, telling him of my symptoms, and he said YOU CAN'T EXPERIENCE these emotions because he, the doctor, had never heard of those symptoms. Now, many years later, I look back with anger at this doctor, and say HOW can he call himself a doctor if he couldn't at least listen to my discoveries. After all I am actually here in my mind, within the MD storm, so how can he tell me that I can't experience these things. Today, I feel angry at the medical system whom have professed to be EXPERTS but know so little. But like a favourite saying goes " Turn that anger into something construction" and that's what I intend to do until the last storm of MD destroys my mind.
+ Friday 15th January +
Today has been a STATIC day. I have achieved so much. It's an example to me as to how to use the manic stage to my advantage. It's like a surfer who rides the waves on the ocean. In order for a surfer to ride those waves he must have practice and know how to manipulate the waves to his advantage. So must the sufferer of MD, he must know his moods, how to surf those emotional waves and ride the storms within his mind. The MD surfer firstly must decide if he is going to use that MANIC or DEPRESSION mood for or against himself. Today I decided to benefit from my hyper mood and thoughts and channel that energy into something productive. I repaired my car, worked on my computer and achieved lots of other positive things, including starting a home computer course, which will help me towards a positive future. My memory was fully in MY control and it was like I accessed a part of my brain of which I've never had control. The decision to use these moods to my advantage isn't always so easy. Sometimes when I'm so depressed the decision is made for me. With no energy and a combination of mental illness we can't always have control over the decision to do anything. But today, I had control mostly because this is part of the MD cycle, but hopefully I will learn to control MD and not let it control me.
+ Tuesday 12th January +
Today has been a flat and useless day. There is hardly enough energy to cope with my thoughts and I seek reasons to live one second longer. I have no interest in anything and wonder why I have been placed on this earth. I have so much to say but little energy to perform any task other then survive.
+ Monday 11th January 1999 +
Today has been so confusing. I woke after a restless night feeling drained of all energy. I'm sure my body slept but my mind feels as if it's been awake forever and drained of all energy. I'm on a high at the moment, feelings, thoughts, ideas, GREAT IDEAS, flood through my mind. My mind seems to be going so fast today, I hardly have time to grasp a thought before the next thought rushes through my mind. My mind feels full of energy, bursting with so many thoughts and ideas. I feel super sensitive to my thoughts, feelings, and sounds. I feel super sensitive to everything around me, hearing sounds that I have never heard before. While driving my car I notice every sound the car makes, every bump, every vibration, nothing escapes my super sensitive mind. Being so aware is disturbing and energy draining. I become paranoid as I drive my car, my mind is like a powerful microscope, as my mind homes into the environment around me I become confused, I have never seen so much detail before, a world within a world, a mind within a mind. The car becomes millions of pieces that can go wrong, I panic at every sound, normally I don't hear these sounds but today I am super aware of every movement, every vibration, which after a while drives me crazy. I want to turn my brain off but I have no control, the noises that I am now aware of floods my mind, there is no resting place, no where to hide. Tonight I wonder how I can channel so much mental energy into something constructive. If only I could use the power of the MANIC stage to my advantage. I read a book at manic speed learning things at hyper speed, but sadly I know that although I may retain some of that learning, after the manic stage.. I will lose that memory, then have to relearn over again. Sometimes my mind is bursting with so much energy I wonder how a mind can cope with such forces. In the manic stage I discover things about my mind that I could never discover in a stable mood, becoming super aware. I must try to retain at least some of the insight I gain from the manic phase, I'm sure there is a wealth of insight to be gained if only I can cope with its extreme hyper energy.