My Bubble Burst Again!

My granddaughter Nerys, has a wonderful way of making me smile when I least expect it.

Just recently, when she visited my place, she was talking about some of the things that had happened at school and how she was having fun with some of her friends when, in her own words, “My bubble just burst, Granddad and I fell over and skinned my knee!”

She has this knack of saying or doing things with wonderful timing that has me rolling in the aisles laughing, even when I am feeling down, and yet she also as hit on a real truth about this rotten thing called bipolar.

Aren’t our roller coaster lives like that – one moment we are doing really well and things are looking up for us and then; bang, our bubble bursts and we are down into the depths of despair or up in the clouds of mania!

My bubble burst recently in a big way and I have been struggling more than I have for a long time.  I have no idea what the causes are, nothing comes to mind as being significant, and that is the most frustrating for me.  If I could see a cause or a trigger point some times, I wouldn’t mind as much.

I retreated into my ‘don’t tell anyone’ mode because I didn’t want to worry my wife and family and tried to handle it myself.

Big mistake as usual!

One of the symptoms that I have suffered for a long time is auditory hallucinations when I am really down, although until this time my psychiatrist hasn’t really taken this into account, and I have this very persuasive voice telling me what an evil, terrible person I really am, and how my family and even the world, would be if I wasn’t around and how easy it would be to do something about it.

Well, I think you get the picture.  Some days while driving to work very early in the morning, he has been almost impossible to shut out and ignore.

My wife and I went to see our family doctor a couple of weeks ago and although I didn’t want to talk about it, the dam burst and amidst the flood of tears – I told him about my voice and what he was telling me to do.  Finally, some one took me seriously!

When he said did I hear him in my mind or outside my mind – I replied, “How the dickens do you tell at times – all I know is that he or it, is real”. 

I really felt that I had enough – I wanted it to all go away and leave me alone!

My wife was a bit upset too that I hadn’t told her – but I really didn’t want to burden her any more, she has enough to worry about with her own health at times.  But talking on the way home I now understand better that she would rather know so we can work on it together.

Last week I saw my psychiatrist and again dissolved in a flood of tears.  This time though, he listened more carefully about the voice and said that my family doctor had also been giving him some feedback with my permission, and now was the time to consider a medication change owing to the auditory hallucinations.

So my mood stabilizer has been increased and an anti-psychotic, Seroquel, has been added to my daily cocktail and I will be seeing him in a couple of weeks time to give the med change time to get into my system and we will review it from there as to which way we will go.

My bubble is slowly starting to inflate again so I guess it doesn’t matter how many times we all have a ‘bursting’ moment – as long as we re-inflate and keep going.

A special word of thanks to those readers who have been kind enough to email me with their comments about my articles.  You may never know how much they have helped me this time.

Graham Brown

22 August 2004

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