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About Tarquin

  • Birthday May 18

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  1. Make The Pain Go Away, I'm relieved and deeply saddened by your post at the same time. Knowing I'm not alone in this struggle always takes a little of the loneliness out of my heart. At the same time, it hurts me to my core knowing that others have to experience it. Reach out when you need to. There are things that have helped me come out and enjoy the sunshine more often than before. I'd be willing to share, and believe we can truly encourage each other since our level of understanding is much more than those without this disability.
  2. Anxiety, I feel very similar to you when the depression hits me like that. I'm sorry for your pain. It sounds like we swim in the same dark waters at times. You have value. We all do. Stay in this life and you will eventually see it.
  3. Epictetus, Thank you for the kind words. I've often found that kind gesture like yours makes a big difference. Thank you for reaching out.
  4. Kvolm, Thank you for your powerful insights. When the depression is taking over I can't seem to ever remember feeling better. It's all consuming as I'm sure you know. That was the state I was in when I wrote that. I'm much better now and hoping for a longer break before it returns again. Recently, I learned from my psychologist that happiness is a soft feeling. Being bipolar for 30 years, and only having been diagnosed with it 5 years ago, I had believed that happiness was euphoria. The flood of powerful positive emotions that make everything hum with unmitigated elation. I've come to understand those feelings aren't happiness. It's the peace and contentment you speak of. Having learned this, I'm recognizing those moments of peace and contentment. I recently had lunch with my 2 best friends and their parents who took care of me while I was a teenager when my life at home was untenable. Being with them felt like home. It was simple, peaceful, and enjoyable. My struggle is bracing for the next bout. I don't know how to enjoy the moment when the horizon is so uncertain. I understand that while we draw breath on this earth everyone's horizon is uncertain. I'm trying to learn how to have the struggles of this life not be amplified to the point where everything feels like a catastrophe. I know there aren't any answers that will take this away. We all have our struggles and I'm sure everyone tires of the burden they have been given. I'm just trying to figure out how to enjoy an hour in the shade knowing how hot the sun will be when I leave it.
  5. No one really understands the darkness of bipolar depression. At least that’s what depression tells you. When you’re in a severely depressed state all you can hear, think, or feel is the darkness. I don’t know what’s worse, the pain or the numbness. You get to a point where you shut down emotionally. The numbness is my only defense and the last line of retreat. I’m tired. So very tired. Tired of people telling me to hang in there. Tired of having to go through day after day of pretending that everything is okay. I’m angry at the people who say they’re so depressed that they can’t get out of bed. For me that would be a luxury. Unfortunately, it’s one I can’t afford. I have a family to support. I have to pretend to be okay for my wife. She gets frustrated with me when I withdraw. She says she’s lonely because I don’t open up to her, but when the darkness envelopes me my silence is the best thing for her. She doesn’t want to be exposed to the poison I would spew out if I didn’t keep my mouth shut. It’s all anger, negativity, hate and resentment. It feeds on itself. In frustration with her inability to help, she has called me selfish and has said that I like being this way, that I don’t want to get better. I see a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and I take my medication as prescribed. I am trying to get better. Eventually the languid pool of anger and despair gives way to light. It’s never long lasting. I can’t enjoy it because I know eventually night will fall on me. Either through the guise of depression or mania. A lot of people with my condition like mania. For me it’s anger and irritation that make me want to explode. Sometimes it comes in different forms. I’m excited, impulsive, creative, euphoric, desiring lots of sex etc. I hide that just like I hide the depression. Although the non-irritable form of mania is easy to hide. When you’re acting happy and energetic it’s seen as normal.  I have no answers. I don’t want to cause my family grief. The darkness tells me if I left that they will be sad for a little while and move on. Especially my wife. I can only imagine the relief it would bring her for me to be gone. She could find someone without my problems to make her truly happy. That thought hurts. I know it’s a lie the darkness tells me. She has always stood by me. What do I do? Make the darkness my friend? Embrace it? Self-medicate myself with drugs, alcohol, all the sex with strangers I can handle? It’s tempting. I could distract myself with all of the tawdry pleasures this world has to offer. They’re fleeting, but so is the light outside of the darkness. At least I would occasionally have a good time. I’m taught that those pleasures don’t bring happiness. I believe it. However, nothing brings lasting happiness in my life. It feels like I can’t get anything right. When I express my emotions, I’m told that I’m feeling sorry for myself, being unreasonable, selfish, and hurtful. I’m told to replace bad thoughts with good ones. I need to believe. I need to hang in there. It’s true, but it doesn’t always chase the darkness away. This is darkness. This is where I live. This is what I seek relief from. This is why I look sad when you see me. Even when I’m pretending to be happy. I don’t want to pretend any more. I don’t want to fight. I want something lasting. I want to start enjoying life and quit enduring it. I want to believe that lasting peace is even possible.
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