Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.
I am the eldest of three children, I have a brother and a sister. Our dad died when I was just turning into a teenager and it almost annihilated all of us. The consequences of this event are too multitudinous and extreme to do justice to in a single post here and not all of them have any impact on what I’m writing about anyway.
During depression my dad’s death has very obvious and significant ramifications. The consequence of this tragedy that stands proudest in the context of this post is that my siblings, my mother and I have an extremely close relationship. Closer indeed than any family I’ve ever met can boast. We had to have, as all of my dad’s side of the family (eleven people, uncles or aunties) disengaged from us completely. My immediate family are sacred to me.
When manic, like now, if I hear certain songs or engage in an activity that prompts clear and vivid memories of my family, I am overcome with an ecstatic, hot, aching sensation that floods upwards from my diaphragm. My breath catches in my throat and I well up with tears. I love my family so much that it almost hurts, and during mania my awareness of this pillar of my existence comes on furore with startling clarity. One of the best aspects of my mania is the weight of my appreciation of beauty and my love for people. I am completely overcome by the solid joy at having the family I do. My love for them dwarfs everything.
I would NEVER be cured of this to get rid of depression. My greatest fear of my medication was that it would rob me of moments such as these, and I just felt like celebrating the fact that it hasn’t with you all. If this was a bit saccharine for you – fear not. I don’t intend to wax lyrical very often. If you are dubious about medication in the way that I was, and you fear it taking something away from you – Don’t. Part of finding the right medication is finding the one that sits best with you and leaves you with the life you want. There ARE medications out there that will work in the way you need them to.
Get through the downs and throw yourself into the ups!
All the best