31 days of bipolar: 8

Here be the full meme.

The trigger du jour is self harm. With a side of bitching and whining.


8. What do you dislike most about the disorder?

Mixed episodes/states. I am very grateful to have been diagnosed, I’ve always had ’em and ye gods I am relieved to know it isn’t a personality defect. Turns out I’m a nice person with involuntarily crappy moods.

What they’re like now, is revolting, but at least I can do stuff about it once I know that’s where I’m at. Before, those would be the times I got angry and agitated and did fucking stupid things (like punching my head and throat). Bad decisions made under the influence of a mixed episode became even worse decisions, with worse consequences.


I mostly get the agitated depression version of mixed states, but not always, I do agitated mania too. Go me. Suddenly it feels as though my skin got so uncomfortable that it keeps trying to crawl right off my flesh. I expect it just wants a quiet life. Meanwhile, my brain tortures me with the mistakes I’ve made, shitty things that have been done to me and enormous (literally abysmal) despair about the negative stuff in my life. It’s when I feel the least like myself and it’s when I like myself least. In many ways, it’s like having a supersized, extra strength and turbo boosted form of a PMS mood at its worst. No. Fun. At. All. Not even a little bit.

There are times when I can’t stop my teeth grinding (I can never keep my jaw from clenching). I get so irritable I want to freak out at anyone who disagrees with anything I think. It feels as though there are a lot of knives in my skull, slashing my brain. They are thrash metal and jagged edges. They are the proverbial things that end in tears.


So far I have worked out that during the day during the episode, I have to get some physical exercise and stay busy. When there’s anyone with time and patience around to talk to, that helps chill me out too. At night, when it all feels even more stupidly extreme, I take a sleeping pill if I’ve got one. My life is so slow and calm here and that helps a lot too. If I’m not seeing people, I can’t cause damage. It’s also one of the main reasons I gave up alcohol and cut down on caffeine. Girldog and Hyaenadog help a lot by being their sweet, fierce, funny and unconditionally loving selves.

But it’s not like they can be cured, so when they arrive, they’re on fire and roaring and they take no prisoners. They are angry, despairing, volatile, unreliable and unpredictable. For the decades before diagnosis, they made me ashamed to be me.


My friend and fellow blogger roughghosts suggested that what I was going through some months back might be a mixed episode. I chatted to my psychiatrist, she agreed. Phew. Apparently I’m not a total asshole. I can live with partial asshole (well, as long as it’s not literal).


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

10 thoughts on “31 days of bipolar: 8”

  1. My god I hear you on the mixed state, it is a rough ride. I ride to the up side (not in a good way) and even though I feel better than a few months back I still sense that I am performing a delicate balancing act. My worst fear is that this is the new normal but I sure hope not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, yes. This!

    Mixed episodes are the literal worst. For me, I don’t know if the more rational ones (when I know I’m being a flaming ass and doing stupid crap and can’t stop myself) are worse, or the irrational ones (when I’m so far out there that I don’t even know I’m crazy, and then later I have to live with the consequences of what Irrational Me did ._.).

    Physical exercise really helps for me, too. Ballet seems to work better than anything else I’ve tried, though even ballet isn’t 100% effective for correcting the flight-path of one of those states (works a treat for vanilla depression, though).

    I also find that sleeping pills are pretty necessary in those states — I tend to identify the more stable moments in my life by realizing that, “Hey, I haven’t had to take a sleeping pill in a while.” It’s disturbing how persistent an agitated brain can be.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’ve got my mixed episodes down pretty damn well. I’m a clencher/grinder too. Actually ground so much that my teeth started chipping away & I now have dentures. :(( When I feel that crawling skin I have to do some kind of exercise or I do something really nasty. It is somewhat of a relief to find out what it is (that you’re not a bad person) but holey crap I could do without them!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I hate mixed episodes, and how long they can last. You get so exhausted, but your brain doesn’t get tired. During one of mine, I was off my antipsychotic (car was in the shop and I wouldn’t ask for a ride because I was ashamed of being on drugs). I ultimately had to go to the ER because my brain was screaming at me to jump off my balcony. When I got to the ER though, I had that strange calm thing that Marya talks about in Manic. But you KNOW you have to be admitted. So I just made sure the nurse knew I wasn’t safe if I left. I did not at the time know what a mixed state was. So thanks for educating your followers!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A huge thank you from me as well! I learn so much from your posts. I’m certain it’s not an easy thing to share, and I’m even more certain that you have helped more people than you can even begin to imagine. G-uno

    Liked by 1 person

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