Bipolar 1: THE MANIC INTRO
“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” -Hunter S. Thompson
Bipolar Blues & Manic-Depressive Madness.
Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t want to see me angry.
I reached for the glass of water and swallowed the pill. I try to remember to take it the same time every day, but I’m not always successful. I take pills in the morning. I take a pill in the afternoon. And I take pills in the evening. I have the option of taking an additional pill at bed time to shut my brain off, but it’s highly addictive, so it scares me. The lithium has ruined my thyroid, so I take another pill for that. If I’m not careful, it can also can ruin my liver, brain and kidneys. That’s just ONE of the harmful drugs I’m on. You might wonder why I’d take something that could kill me? It’s because that without it, I will destroy everyone around me.
I am so fucking fucked, it’s fucked up.
There. That’s about my entire story in a nutshell. I am broken. Completely broken, And like shattered shards of glass, anyone who comes near me walks away bleeding. So, I have become more and more of a recluse, afraid to have friends or relationships, because I know I’ll just end up destroying the people I care about, which kills me inside and makes me—once again—want to kill myself.
It’s a fantastic pattern, isn’t it?
And that’s what being bipolar is.
What’s so frustrating is that I’m a good and decent person. Mostly. And hurting others is NOT what I want to do, but it IS what I do. My heart breaks all the time for what I’ve done. Living with myself is a form of torture some days. I’m tugged back and forth between wanting to love people and wanting to protect them from me.
I’m a humanist. I believe in equality for all and treating people like you want to be treated. When I turn into the Hulk and can’t abide by this – then I have to live with the results of the disaster I’ve caused that I can barely remember…but the damage is all around me – it makes me want to curl up and die. Hurting others whom I love and having no control over it makes me want to kill myself because that’s the only way I can make it stop.
The truth is something I’ve had a hard time putting down on paper. The reason is because when I’ve gone back and read what I’ve written, I think I sound like an asshole. I tend to glamorize my stories if they’re for the public unless I’m writing under a different name or anonymously. I’ve realized I sound like a jerk for thinking some of the thoughts I’ve had. If I were on a reality show with some of the things I’ve done, I’d have been voted off first. But regardless of how I may come across, I promise to tell only the truth on this page. Clearly, from my chosen career path, I’ve never been much to give a shit what people think. If I didn’t have a thick skin, I’d have crumpled up and cried myself out of the business ages ago. As I’m getting older, I care even less.
I know there are more out there just like me. What I DO care about: helping others. So here I am, naked once again. Except this time, I’m really stripped down to nothing.
“My pain is self chosen. At least I believe it to be. I could either drown. Or pull off my skin and swim to shore. Now I can grow a beautiful shell for all to see. The River of Deceit pulls down…” –Mad Season
I think that anyone who is bipolar has considered suicide at some point. Living with this illness can be just too much to bear at times. Bipolar disorder has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Some studies have determined that as high as 50% of people with bipolar attempt suicide, and 25% are successful. I don’t think even most types of cancer carry that much risk.
It’s a good indication of just how difficult this disease can be.
A common misconception is that you can “become” bipolar, or something can turn you that way. No. You can’t. It’s strictly genetic. You either were born with it, or you aren’t. End of story.
My friends are pretty clueless as to what bipolar disorder is or how bad it can be. Sure, people know the term. But they have no idea what it IS. I’m going to tell you…no matter how fucking embarrassing this is. Because people should know, instead of saying, “This weather is so bipolar!” without having a clue as to what it actually means.
If I meet someone who is familiar with it, they usually tell me someone they knew had it while rolling their eyes and saying, “They broke up. He was bipolar.”
It’s staggering to me that people have to wonder why we kill ourselves. They know nothing about the disorder, have no clue how to respond to episodes, don’t bother to educate themselves, just dump people on the side of the road who have it and then tell all their friends why it’s not their fault. Well, if you don’t know how to deal with it then maybe it IS partly your fault.
Would we tolerate this with Autism, which is also a highly difficult disorder? Or is there a push for education and awareness? People who have bipolar disorder severely enough can qualify for disability because it can be impossible to hold a job, so it’s something the world should know more about.
That said, I will fully admit that those who love us and stick by us are saints. We are not easy to live with and it takes a certain type of person or an awareness and knowledge how to deal with it and how not to take things personally. To those who hang in there, I applaud you because there are so few of you. The majority of the world walks away and washes their hands clean. You pretty much have to go into “silent mode” when an episode (that’s the official term for it) happens and just refuse to take it personally no matter what horrible things are said or what expletives are screamed at you. It’s not you. It never is.
Like Autism has its wide spectrum, so does bipolar disorder in a sense. Manic episodes can range, as can the severity and types of bipolar disorder. I am Bipolar 1, which is extremely manic with crazy episodes. I have a more severe rapid cycling version of bipolar disorder. Insane stuff that makes Silver Linings Playbook look exceedingly tame. When left untreated, these episodes happen more frequently and can scar the brain and cause tissue loss. I was up to several a day at one point. Mine are deranged, yet no one sees them except the people who are absolutely the closest to me. Even semi-close friends can’t see me being bipolar. Many don’t even believe it when I tell them, because outwardly, I can be so friendly, outgoing and sweet. That’s my other side. And it IS genuine. When the very few people in my life don’t give up on me, it’s always the same reason when I ask why they don’t piss off for their own self-preservation: “Because you have a good heart. You’re a really sweet person most of the time.”
Most of the time.
This is part of the reason I’ve always had pets who are much more than just an animal to me. They’re Therapy Service Animals. Without them, I’d be lost. They are there licking the tears and ready to curl up against my leg when everyone else leaves.
I can’t stand the fact that my illness can dictate every aspect my life, but I do not want to be a ‘victim’ to it. I’ve decided that the question is this: Am I bipolar? Or do I HAVE bipolar?
As soon as I got on medication, my family relationships improved drastically. Every person in my family has stopped speaking to me for a length of time at some point in my life. Friends, too. I thought it was them, of course. But the common link was always me.
This was my mother’s last mission when she was diagnosed with cancer – to get her unstable, uninsured daughter to the doctors and have her mental health sorted out. And she did. She looked me in the eye and said, “This is why I’m still alive after three years when they gave me six months. God has given me this purpose, because I need to take care of you.”
My father was bipolar. It was called manic-depressive then. He had multiple suicide attempts and reckless behavior until he finally succeeded in 1997. After retiring from the Army as a flight instructor, he became a firefighter in California and battled wildfires by plane. One day, he flew his OV-10 Bronco into a Hollister mountain. “Pilot Error”. Sure. He called everyone to say goodbye the day before. There wasn’t enough of him left to fill a large envelope. He once said to me, “I’ll never be happy.” Dad was the most honest, fair person I’ve ever met. He was such a good person that despite being a massive fuck up, he had two funerals; a west coast memorial where he’d lived for a few years and an east coast one where he grew up, and all three of his ex-wives attended. He also self-medicated with alcohol to the point of being an alcoholic, which is why I’ve mostly been afraid to touch the stuff. To me, it’s all a drug. Meth or liquor…it’s all the same. If it alters you to where you’ll kill or hurt someone else, it’s a drug.
One time, in full mania, because my mom kept arguing instead of knowing how to shut down in order to dismantle it, he grabbed a BB gun and shot her in the hip at close range while she was doing the dishes. It broke the skin and had to be dug out. My little brother ran under the kitchen table, curled into a ball and started screaming. I ran into the laundry room. We all ended up there and my dad grabbed a hunting rifle. He aimed it at my brother and I. My mother shoved us behind her. Last minute, he lowered it and shot through the floor. My brother and I would look up through that bullet hole into our house from the basement until we moved. Another time, I slammed the bathroom door. I was about eight or nine. I can’t remember why. He broke the door open and I was behind it. The bottom of the door wedged up over my foot, breaking all bones on top. They never took me to the hospital. My uncle said this was a regular Friday night. It’s no wonder I grew up always ready to fight or defend myself. As awful as those stories sound, when my dad was being good, he was great. Really great. But when he wasn’t, he was scary as fuck. I realize now that I never knew if he was going to snap and kill us or himself, and that’s the environment where I grew up,
Their fights were legendary. Eventually, he left. My mom would have stayed with him forever. She was one of the loyal ones. He took me, my mother got my brother.
My step-mother and I had been squabbling non-stop. He called us into the dining room, loaded a pistol with one bullet, spun the chamber, pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger. I left after that. Russian roulette was the last straw. He’d been raising me since the age of twelve off a military base in Alabama, but my senior year of high school, I moved back to Philadelphia. Living with someone who is bipolar – it was a challenge.
Those with bipolar disorder are much more affected by environment and energy than most. Colors, sounds, arguments, negativity, the news, room decor…you name it. They’re very in tune with what’s around them and will react. That’s why all of these things need to be considered and controlled.
Not one person around me had ever figured me out. My mom and grandma had always known something was wrong, but they’d taken me to therapy only to have me misdiagnosed as clinically depressed or with anger issues.
You know how you feel there’s something wrong with you your entire life, but you just don’t know what it is? No? Well, that’s what I’ve felt like since I was a young kid. Is it cancer? Am I dying? Why do I feel so horrible and tired when I do everything right? Why do I get sick so easily? Why do I have bronchitis all the time? I eat well, I get enough sleep, I don’t do drugs or alcohol, I work out and do plenty of cardio. I was exhausted to the bone. The doctors were telling me I was perfectly healthy other than asthma. So I began to think I was a hypochondriac and everyone around me agreed and began teasing me about it. But I still knew deep down that something was integrally wrong.
Ever since I was a teen, there were always thoughts & plans of suicide. Cutting my arms up and down with knives and blades just to see how deep I could go. When I’m not tanned, you can still see those silvery scars. Depression so exhausting, I just can’t seem to sleep it off. Being self-employed with a strong work ethic, I never missed a booking. I would drag myself out of bed, cry until the very moment I got on stage or to a shoot, clean up my makeup, paste on a dazzling smile and get through it. Not one person ever knew. I was a professional to the core…and it made me hate myself even more at times. Why couldn’t I just be myself and be left alone to heal? Not have to go out there and expend energy I had to pull out of my ass because there was none to begin with.
I was also misdiagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is why I walked away from WCW and never pushed for WWE. I was too exhausted to travel like that. The non-stop, all hours, always delayed traveling is what kills you with WWE and WCW. It’s brutal. When I got off the road with WCW, it was so bad; I was tested for Lupus multiple times and told I had an auto-immune deficiency. I was offered a contract with WWE and had to politely turn down, too afraid I’d never be able to keep up or stay healthy. They gave me two more tryouts after that and I took them, but knew I’d never be able to work for them. People who are in great health who can get by on four or five hours of sleep suffer tremendously. I’d probably have been hospitalized after a few months…and I know that about myself.
I was misdiagnosed again as clinically depressed and given an anti-depressant. That’s the absolute worst thing you can do to someone with bipolar disorder. It swings them severely manic. Things got worse. Whereas I was occasionally alienating people beforehand, I was now ripping everyone’s heads off in my life over things so small and unimportant, I couldn’t even remember it was that made them stop talking to me in the first place.
You hurt everyone around you. You hurt yourself. And for the longest time, you have NO idea what’s wrong with you, just that you don’t feel in control and you don’t feel “right”. With bipolar, your mind speeds, thoughts come faster than you can compute at times. I always carry a notebook so I can write things down. My brain never shuts off, so sleeping is extremely difficult. When I do, I don’t feel like I did. Then there was uncontrollable anger.
Jordan finally figured it a year and a half ago. In 2009, he said he was leaving, that he couldn’t live like this…then Mom was diagnosed with stage-four cancer a week later. He bit the bullet and decided that going at that time wouldn’t be the right thing to do. But he gave me an ultimatum while we got “separated while living together”: That my violent behavior and impatience was unacceptable, so get fixed or else. Out of desperation to not have another failed relationship, let alone one with one of the nicest people I’d ever met – and to not be my father – I started seeing a therapist with him who casually mentioned that I should get a brain scan and perhaps the behavior was being caused by bipolar disorder. He started researching it while I traveled back and forth to Philadelphia to take care of Gram and Mom. The more he researched, the more it all clicked together. I took two tests and scored off the charts and was finally correctly diagnosed.
It was a huge relief to finally know what was wrong after all these years. Dealing with it mentally…that’s been a whole ‘nother issue. There is no cure. This will never go away. I will be on medications until the day I die. Which could be sooner than later thanks to a host of issues that come along with this like respiratory problems, severe sleep disorders (due to racing thoughts and lack of being able to actually shut off and “rest”) B-12 deficiencies and the aforementioned torture of living. I’ve been seeking as much information as possible and have become a bit of an expert on this topic. I’ve also been searching for others who are going through the same thing. I read other bipolar blogs-what these people are doing to themselves and others, saying, thinking…and for once in my life, I feel a little bit normal. Not normal, NORMAL…but normal in that there are others that are like me out there. Good people with a shit disorder that turns them from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. My only real choice in this matter is to elect to live as healthy as possible, eliminate as much negativity from my life as I can and watch my surroundings. Plus be on point for when something is coming on.
The medications have been an ongoing chemical experiment. For someone who is holistic and doesn’t subscribe to western Big Pharma policies of “a pill to cure everything” it was a real slap in the face. I resisted at first. Admittedly, they have helped tremendously. At a cost, of course. The main medication is an anti-seizure which doubles as an anti-psychotic. This acts as a mood stabilizer and its main side effects are moderate to severe back, neck and joint pain. To a beat up wrestler with back, neck and joint pain, this is not fun. But it’s a lifesaver. However, I’m even more drained now. I have an inbox full of emails I don’t have the energy or drive to answer. Half the time I don’t feel like talking to anyone. I have to force myself to see friends. And those awesome manic highs I used to have where I’d write all night? Gone. I’m on so many prescriptions, it freaks me (and my wallet) out. However, I feel clear. For the first time in my life, I can think clearly instead of emotionally. There isn’t any more ridiculous fighting.
When I get my medications refilled, I affectionately call them my “crazy pills”. For once, I can choose to flip out if I want to. Or not. But I have choices, which is a first for me. Despite the damage already having been done, things around me are more peaceful and I’ve spent a lot of time this year apologizing to people in my life that I’ve hurt. Some have accepted it. Others never answered. I’m OK with that. I just wanted them to know how sorry I was for any hurt I caused.
While most of humanity can only access a small portion of their brains, there’s a valid theory that those who are bipolar can access much, much more. This is why they’re usually of quite a higher intelligence and extremely creative. This is also what causes the racing thoughts…and the irritation and impatience with others for not being able to keep up. In my case, I can sometimes do complicated math in my head in a split second without thinking about it, or while the girl at the cash register is still struggling to figure out how much change to give me. If I’m not exhausted from not sleeping, that is.
There’s a positive flip side to being manic, too. Being able to stay up all night and work very creatively and productively. Arguing efficiently. Most bipolar engage in a lot of risk taking, which can be a good thing, because we don’t have the fear others have to keep us from experiencing life. Like a nude photo shoot on the roof of Caesar’s Casino in Vegas, or leaving everything behind to jet off to Japan for a few months with absolutely no capability of speaking Japanese. We also don’t take shit. As much as this can work against you, if you can control it, it can certainly work in your favor.
As with anything, there’s always a silver lining.
However, if you can’t control your inner Incredible Hulk, it will control you. You’ll ruin yourself and others like an IED explosion. Bipolar people not only have health issues and often die young, but they also tend to have issues such gambling, promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, debt, spending, violence, making (often bad) decisions that are purely emotional, on top of the fact that we perceive things differently…the list can go on. You can destroy everything you are in a single weekend.
Worst of all is that you black out. Much of it you don’t or can’t remember. All you know is that there’s a huge fucking mess around you…and you’re not quite sure how it got that way…but you have a terrible gut feeling it had to do with YOU. The flip side of THAT is the depression that sets in afterwards, which is another story.
Bipolar Trivia: The symbol for this disorder is the ‘comedy/tragedy’ theater masks.
How fucked up am I? Well, it goes beyond smashing coffee mugs, although there’s been plenty of that. I’ve gotten into more fist fights than I can recall. With both females and males. I’ve kicked out not one, but two car windshields in fits of rage. I pulled a guy out a car at a stop and pepper sprayed him and his friend in the face (and myself in the process). I jumped on stage at a huge live rock concert and threatened to beat the shit out of the mic check guy because he was being rude. (He really was.) I’ve ripped a car door off its hinges, punched holes in walls, thrown tables and sofas over. I’m strong anyway, but I become scary, super-human strong when I’m manic. I wreck shit. I’ve spent a lot of money fixing and replacing things.
Ever since I was around eleven or twelve years old, Mom used to call me Jekyll and Hyde. My family went through buckets of Spackle I told my mom that she was the “worst fucking mother ever” while she was dying from cancer. Yeah. I did that. I’ve said the horrible things to the people I love, the ones who love me. I’ve driven many away for good. I almost killed my dog when she was a puppy. By accident.
There’s more, but these are a few of the stories I’ll tell you about.
This has been my entire life for as long as I can remember. Don’t make me angry.
There is a saying that life isn’t black and white – it’s shades of gray. And this is generally true except for bipolar disorder. It’s always black or white.
I have soft spot for The Incredible Hulk. I get him. He’s smart. He does what he feels is right at the time, despite the destruction. And he can’t remember it afterwards. Then, dejected, he retreats away from everyone to be left alone. He is classically bipolar.
In The Avengers, there was a scene where Dr. Bruce Banner was entering into the battle as himself and the others were worried that he needed to turn into The Hulk first. The insinuation was that he needed to get angry first to make the transformation. Dr. Banner smiled back at them and said that the secret to his control is that he is always angry.
There is no cure for bipolar disorder. People are delusional if they think there is a way to fix it. But learning control – that’s the key.
This started out a blog just for me, for my sanity-if I have any of that left. Then I told a few people about it and they kept pushing me to write and publish it. Some were also bipolar.
This blog got VERY long, very fast. This is just part of it.
There’s more. Much more.
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NEXT:: BIPOLAR 2: THE DARK SIDE – https://aprilhunterblog.com/2013/11/05/chapter-15-bipolar-2-the-dark-side/
36 thoughts on “Chapter 14: Bipolar Blues and Manic-Depressive Madness. The Intro.”
THANK YOU for this.
My lord, April, as one who has bipolar ism in his family (and maybe in himself too), this was a completely spell-binding read. Your candor and complete honesty was so refreshing, and I admittedly learned some things. My mother is a rapid cycler, as well as my brother, and the mania bouts looked so familiar, as did the depression.
All I wanted to do is reach through the screen and give you a hug and tell you that you ARE okay. God bless you for writing about this terrible condition in such a humanistic way.
Then you’re familiar with it all…and I think a big part of WHY I put it out is because so few people really ARE…you know? And, thank you.
all too familiar with it….it touches our whole family.
Wow April..this is very very heavy, much respect for you to put it all out there and make yourself that vulnerable, can only imagine how difficult this had to be to write. It kinda hits home for me too cause if I am to be truthful I see a lot of myself in it……..I too have a lack of a filter……a short fuse a lot, can be very brutally honest to where I push people away, as well as closing up and getting depressive very easily. Makes me wonder……..maybe I have this too, I can kinda see it in my dad as well really……..
If you don’t mind me asking btw, have you looked into other alternatives much to treat all this beyond medications? I’m probably being a little overly optimistic(and partly don’t wanna think this is the only way to deal honestly, like you me thinks), but I’d think there has to be another way to handle this. I’d have to assume you have but just asking. I might suggest also in terms of the B-12 thing to maybe get some supplements or something if you can, would help to address the deficiency there so you could better be at your best physically going forward.
I wish you the best as you go forward regardless though….as I said at the top have a lot of respect for you putting this out there. Takes a very strong person to make themselves naked like this as you put it.
Maybe take a few tests? Oh, I def tried a bunch of natural alternatives. Even my therapist is homeopathic…but she says the only thing for bipolar is the hard stuff. It’s the only time she advocates medicine. Nothing else worked, and I REALLY wanted it to. From big doses of niacin on up. But, thanks. I appreciate your reading it and the comment, too.
I read most of this and hit home. I also been deal with being bipoler. Having a hard time excepting it
I think it’s easier just to accept it. You can’t change it…right? You can only shift your own reaction to it. So accepting it, then sorting it out in your own way is a solid approach. Stabilizing yourself so you can be clear, make good decisions, treat the ones you care about well, feel healthy. Do what you have to do to get yourself to THAT place instead of sticking in that shitty 4 way stop of not accepting or dealing. I found that it was actually a total relief to be diagnosed. Then I could finally go about tackling it head on instead of wondering what the fuck was wrong with me.
Well, I’ll say this… Having known you and been a fan for lots and lots of years, You hid it well from a lot of folks. I always knew there was something at the heart of you that was “an issue” but never knew what it was. To do what you do with this as your life-partner is amazing. I have even more respect (if that is possible) than I did before reading this. I have been type I diabetic for 40 years; wasn’t supposed to live…. But I have been an athlete and run a business for all of my adult life. Being diabetic is for life; BP is for life and beyond that the similarity ends. You can’t beat either but you have to learn to live with them or its over. And I hope you find a way to coexist with this as I coexist with being diabetic. Thanks for this beautiful piece of writing. Best wishes.
Reblogged this on MELISSATRAYNORSWORLD and commented:
All I can say is beautiful 🙂 So many “labels” you or I should say, I don’t even know, but I understand a lot of this. I chose to not be on meds years ago as I’ve found other ways to cope with whatever it is. Maybe it’s a genetic thing or maybe just all of the shit from my life. Who really knows but I really do understand a lot of this brave babes post. Maybe my way to deal with certain “issues” is not the best but it gets me by for now until I find a better fit 🙂 Sometimes it’s hard to just be compassionate without making someone feel broken or weaj (bc ppl hate that for the most part…just saying) but the more ppl share maybe themore we can learn that ccompassion. 🙂
You verbalize what so many can’t! I happen to love somebody that suffers from this! It’s hard to even deal with what people say about the situation. They don’t understand how I can put up with it and say the most hurtful things. I want to share a poem with you.
There’s a difference between
Loving a memory
In loving memory
Living your dreams
Struggles in life
Struggling to live
Screaming at me
Screaming my name
Running out of time
Being broken beyond repair
Being out of control
I said to her
There is a difference between
Loving that I know her
Knowing I love her
I absolutely love this poem. And, thank you. 🙂
Hey, April, I spent six years with a young woman who was diagnosed bipolar in high school & was very much like the description here. The Incredible Hulk. I’d bare the brunt of most rages then a few minutes later she’d be snap slowly out of it & feel horrible. This probably another reason I’ve found myself very drawn to your conversations, opinions, political view, & over all work career.
Other than being an extended colleague keeping up by helping local wrestling organizations.& filling in with what every position they need help with. Now I know why you weren’t on the national scene for long & am glad you considered your over all health more important that a career that could’ve essentially cost you your health.
Anyways, this will help other people who have to deal with these inner struggles & it takes a very strong individual to publish this type personal material that deals with the life you have. Have a great day!
I was married for 5 years to a woman who was bipolar. I had no idea what it was or how this person could be so loving and in a heartbeat be the meanest, nasty person I ever met. We got help and for a long time things were good, then she decided she didn’t need the pills and I was the problem. I stuck it out almost 6 years, then after I woke up with a 12ga shotgun on my cheek, that was the last straw. I had to worry about my own sanity. I’m 6’3″ 215lbs and she was 5’2″ 119lbs and I was scared of her. Scared because she would come unglued and just come at me, sometimes with fits, knives, hammers, she bit me more than once. but it was when she just talked that it was the worst. I’ve never heard such hate come from a person. Our last fight she bit my arm and wouldn’t let go, I couldn’t get her to let go and I freaked. I just started hitting her in the top of the head. She finally let go, but I ended up giving her a concussion. That was what scared me the most, was that she was able to get me to lose control and hurt her. I have no ill will towards her now she has moved on and got remarried, I have as well. Time is a great healer, I wish you all the peace you can find and know that some people won’t forgive or forget, but those who truly love you and want you in their lives will.
Thanks for sharing, Troy
Thanks for the comment. Yep, that sounds about right. The meds are everything, generally. I tell others around me to NEVER get off them no matter how ok you feel. It’s sad that here in America, we are a country that doesn’t really have much for healthcare…we have a terrible stigma towards mental disorders AND our meds for these disorders are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. Who can afford doctors, meds AND therapy…then constant blood tests for lithium monitoring? It’s insane. Literally.
Anyway…I salute you for hanging in there as long as you did. It’s not easy.
You’re a very strong, intelligent person. What you’ve been inflicted with is not your doing. I can’t say that I understand what you are going through and have gone through your entire life. What I can say is that, for what it’s worth, you do have support from us, your fans. You don’t deserve to hurt and be alone, though, you’ve explained why it is necessary.
April. I’ve been a fan of yours since you were in WCW. I’ve always admired your wrestling ability. Now I love you even more. THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this. I have close friends and relatives who are Bi-Polar. I think it helps others to know that A) they’re not alone and B) it CAN be treated.
By the way. You are NOT “Broken”, you’re just different. I love you and always will. 🙂
Wow April……had no idea that you suffered from being bipolar……would really like to talk with you about this in more detail……my wife is bipolar….Would like another perspective
I found out about your blog from Mick Foley’s FB post. I thank you for taking the time and the courage to write about something that is so personal. I have Bipolar as well and am 46 and am just writing about my experiences.
I agree that people that have Bipolar tend to be more on the creative side and more intelligent. I have found peace within my world from proper eating and exercise. Not everyday is a good day but I don’t dwell on the bad days. I write. I am currently in college and I graduate in November.
Because I just found out about your blog, I’ll be reading it daily from now on, thank you for being an inspiration!!
HI Janice! Love Mick…he’s such a good guy. Thank you, too! It bothers me that society doesn’t know enough about BP, that the info is twisted and that there is virtually zero focus on the positive aspects of having it. Would you really want to see the world through normal eyes? I’m not so sure I would…even with all the struggles.
Thanks for stopping by…I appreciate it! -April
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I never knew that you had bipolar disorder. I know a few people who have that, and I always tell them that I’m here to listen and console you.
Thank you…I appreciate that. 🙂
I’m always here for you too April
I get a deeper understanding and appreciation for you with every blog you post. As a fellow writer (and teacher of writing), I can see the skill and the person at the same time. BTW, I’m a big Hunter Thompson fan and I use him as an example in one of my classes.
I also get the emotional roller coaster. I’m not on the same E ticket ride that you are but I get frequent flier miles at CVS pharmacy. Hell, every morning, I take four different “may cause drowsiness/do not operate motor vehicles” and drive from Daytona to Orlando. Then, at night, I lie there at 3 a.m. and wonder why I can’t be drowsy now…
Clearly, I need a dog … and a few friends that really get it.
My kitchen is overrun with free coffee mugs. If you ever want to work on your fastball, I’ll measure off 60’6″ in the backyard.
I really treasure your openness and friendship. When you write through your feelings, it’s as good for the reader as the writer.
Ron “The Nighthawk” Thomas
P.s. I’m coming over to Tampa for WWE on 2/14 and you can always be my guest for an NXT show here in Orlando.
You’re an incredible writer. You should submit your article about bi-polar disorder to every health magazine out there. It would be a boon not only to those currently suffering alone, but also to those who love people with this disorder.
Although he dealt with it throughout his life, my Dad’s bi-polar disorder didn’t really manifest itself until he was in his 30s. Actually, I should say, that’s when it really started causing problems. When he was manic, he wasn’t angry… he was the crazy, laugh-out-loud life of the party. Everyone loved to be around him… women hung all over him, men wanted to be him. Of course, all those people were able to pull themselves together the next day and go to work, while my dad lost job after job for not showing up.
As a teenager, my dad got angry when his big brother was killed by the Germans in WWII. He lied about his age and joined the Marines. He was wounded on Guadalcanal and contracted malaria while in recovery. The rest of his unit went back into the fight and all were killed. He never really recovered from that, either… certain his inner Hulk could have saved them had he been at their side.
Many years later, the VA diagnosed him, paid for his medication and, when he fell into severe depression, treated him for that, too. Eventually, they buried him. I think he wound up breaking even on whole military issue… the military was responsible for horrors he could never forget, but they also treated emotional and physical wounds that had nothing to do with war.
My dad used alcohol to help bring on manic episodes, which he enjoyed because while in a manic episode, he didn’t have to face his failure failures. I was a teenager living with my mom (She divorced him after 24 years of marriage. It took a few more years before he was finally diagnosed.)
When the VA finally began his course of lithium, they had to give him enough to override the six-to-twelve pack of beer he drank every single day. Episodes in his later years were almost always depression. I was never close to him and resented him for not being normal. He never wrote and only came to visit once (unannounced and while in a manic episode)
He lived to be 72 and died of pancreatic cancer. In his meager, one-room apartment, I found every single picture, card, letter and personal gift I ever gave him. If I had known they mattered to him, I would have sent more.
BonSue…I only JUST saw this comment. Not sure why. My inbox is a travesty, so I tend to avoid it. THANK YOU. I’ve been thinking about doing an ebook on this stuff, but haven’t had the push to get it going, especially with school. I didn’t realize university would consume SO MUCH time and energy.
You have my complete empathy with your dad. Mine wasn’t too far off, so I understand. We didn’t get close until I was an adult. Then, I understood. I had about a year or so with him before he died. I think that’s part of why I chose not to have kids…I didn’t want to take that chance. It’s no fun to live with, as you know.
It’s a shame. I’m sorry to read your story. People are ‘lost’ to bipolar disorder long before they die…and they take others down with them. It’s fucked.
Anyway, I appreciate your commment and miss coming out to the group. I have no life now…but only for one more year. 🙂
very good read