What’s it like when you have several best friends, and literally the best friends a person could ask for; all who know the good, bad and ugly, yet they still love you more than you love yourself?
Your mother would be heartbroken just before she has a heart attack because her heart’s broken from knowing what you’ve seriously contemplated doing with your life—for most of your life…
It gets really ugly sometimes. Self-loathing in our limitations is what my Bipolar Guru explained it to me as. I broke it down in an article about performing like a brand new Lamborghini one day and an old beat-up clunker the next. “The highs aren’t sustainable,” we’ve both concluded through our years of discussion.
How can my motivation and desire be so low one day that it takes hours to get out of bed? Well, if my memory still serves me correctly, my brain may be lacking the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Great. I’ll just call Pizza-Pizza and ask them to sprinkle some on my pizza, and hopefully in 30 minutes when the delivery guy knocks at my door the hormone adrenalin will kick in, and I’ll be up to get the product that’s gonna change my life.
Sometimes pain doesn’t describe it, when you’ve acknowledge beyond a reasonable doubt, that you have so much potential and so many attributes but yet your feelings fall so short of the grandiosity and happiness that you expected to have. How can everything be so over-rated? Well, if my memory still serves me correctly, that may be related to a breakdown in the brain’s reward system involving the neurotransmitter dopamine. As if there’s a big snake running around up there, squeezing the life out of everyone I have up there working for me, trying to make me happy. “Anhedonia the Anaconda,” I’ve named it. Anhedonia is a term used to describe the inability to feel any enjoyment, pleasure or happiness from things you’d usually find enjoyable due to neurological factors in your brain. You can’t think your way out of it. You simply don’t have the ability to feel good at times.
Anhedonia the Anaconda is probably one level more dangerous than the “Peruvian Death Squad” that sometimes seem to have me staked out at different points of the day: fear, doubt, despair, hopelessness, anxiety and a few other guys that mask themselves as regular obstacles of daily life, working together to finally take me out once and for all. And yet, Anhedonia is probably one level less dangerous than a Category 5 Suicidal Depression. Category 5’s are incredibly dangerous because they cause you to desperately want to die in order to remove yourself from feelings that hurt so much that sometimes pain doesn’t describe it.
It hurts more than pain. Yet physical pain is processed in the same part of the brain as emotional pain.
“Cut off my balls but don’t touch my sister…”
Perhaps that’s why when bad news creates a really bad emotional response, it feels like bullets are rifling through me at close range from some sort of machine gun. And while I’m contemplating the reality of the bad situation, it’s like I’m lying there, immobilized by how incapacitated I’ve become, while it feels like I’m literally bleeding out.
Disappointment can feel like a fender bender in bumper to bumper traffic or sudden impact on the Daytona 500. It depends. Are you highly functioning? Where your brain has already created several series of events which you’ve been able to enjoy all the proceeds of, from your vision and feelings associated with it, as if it ALL ACTUALLY HAPPENED? Experiencing all the feel good feelings of one year, in like 10 seconds?!? Only to be spun around so fast and so hard by a collision with reality that your vehicle into the future is blown to smithereens? Or were you barely functioning, dealing with psychomotor retardation? Like hardly being able to process your chiropractor’s simple directions, “Michael, can you please turn onto your left side?” Either way you’ll survive. And sometimes that’s the sad part…
When the funniest man in the world, with a beautiful family, millions in the bank and all the awards, accolades and accomplishments a man can dream of hangs himself because of the lows a bipolar brain is capable of experiencing neurologically, sometimes pain doesn’t describe it.
I had an incredibly lucid dream a couple nights ago. I was in the lead car of a subway train that ran out of track without warning and suddenly plunged 80 meters toward the ground below. I felt every unit of G-force, hearing the screams of all the passengers while I watched in horror as we plummeted to the ground face first. I experienced every single ounce of energy within me explode and implode as we hit the ground. Exiting and emerging into consciousness concurrently, I was surrounded by people who’d died or survived, whether injured or unscathed. I felt guilty about not helping those I could have.
I’ve died in my dreams, yet I live to tell the tale.
Sometimes pain just doesn’t describe it.
About Mickey Von Bron
Mickey Von Bron is a certified personal trainer who specializes in nutrition, supplements and natural methods of improving health and wellness. Having experienced and overcome many obstacles associated with mental health and addiction, he is committed to inspiring people through his own example. His first book, Drug Free June: A Hypomanic Episode, is soon to be published. You can read some of Mickey's other writing about mental health at AliveAndAwake.ca and Light Way of Thinking.