In this penultimate post in the series ‘Living with Bipolar Affective Disorder’, Kevin E. Cranston shares his profound observations in a telling way. Awakening from dreams has a whole new slant when recounted by Kevin.
What is it like being Bipolar and waking to face the world each day? Is it the same for you? I’ll let you be the judge.
Each morning I awake with a short gasp immediately surfacing from my dreams, with their aura permeating my brain. They are a complete thought, a complete feeling, vivid from start to end. This is the judgement my dreams bring each and every day. Dreams that find every little crack and cranny in the mental protection we have built within ourselves over the years.
How could you proceed to your day with a sword stuck in your heart and mind, blood dripping fresh from the open wounds? Fighting for consciousness is the only way to fight the pain of the discovery of weakness. All the locks that protect our souls have to be rediscovered every day. These are the first seconds that fill my waking brain. Consciousness rises until I’m whole again. This is where the trouble begins!
Go Back to Sleep
Things inside do not feel right. There is this immediate need to run and hide back into the realm of dreams as harsh as they may be. Anxiety and fear now lead the way. There are evil things just outside my door waiting to tear at my emotions. If I wake up I will see them and they will see me. It is the crazy feeling of dread that binds me to my bed. I wish to hide from what is in store. Tragedy lies just beyond the door. This is the anxiety that builds as the dreams are washed away. Then the fear begins to dim and
something new sets in.
The new feeling is depression and is a very old friend. It tells me there are no battles I could ever win. I am defeated before I even had a chance to begin. Its darkness overlies my cloak of fear and shoves me once again into the sheets. Depression holds me down and removes the strength from my body. The world at once becomes a darker place and I remember why I have spent so much time in bed. Desperate now the fight for sleep, take me back to the realm of only tortuous dreams. With regret, this can never be – I must relent to the bodily needs. It’s a pain I can no longer take and with covers brushed aside I place the first foot on the floor and I look at that horrible door.
Solace in Cats
Liberating myself from pain and in order to return to bed, I plot the fastest way to meet the morning obligations. The feeding of my friends, making sure they are whole and safe inside.
These cats that bring me out of my depressions. The friends I can truly depend upon. I have to make sure they are free from the travesty that lies outside my doors. Beyond this, there is only one drive, to get back into bed and try to hide from the anxiety and dread, to lie down against the tyranny of depression and to seek solace in my mind.
The sleep never comes and anxiety nibbles away.
There is nowhere to turn. There is nowhere to run. This is when I reach for the comfort of my medications, just to put things in a place where I can handle them. This is now the time to face the day!
These are the battles, lost or won; that I must face as each day breaks and life has begun. The feelings of depression and anxiety never really leave, but now at least I can push them down to a point I can handle the world.
Is this how you arise or with only sleep within your eyes?
This I leave you to judge.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).