An October Conversation with Bipolar Disorder…


Bipolar Disorder: Trick Or Treat!

Iris: Halloween isn’t until the end of the month. You’re a few weeks early.

Bipolar Disorder: But I want candy!

Iris: It’s not time for handing out candy yet. And, you’re a mood disorder; not a costumed child.

Bipolar Disorder: GIVE me some candy!

Iris: I don’t think we’re really understanding each other very well.

Bipolar Disorder: You think I’m misunderstanding you?

Iris: It does appear that way. Since you keep asking for candy.

Bipolar Disorder: Yeah, well I’m bored!

Iris: And you want this to be my problem, why?

Bipolar Disorder: I’m bored with all the self-care you do. I’m bored with your stability. Mood stability is BORING!!

Iris: I rather like my mood being stable.

Bipolar Disorder: Yeah, and you’re boring. I want to liven things up a little this month!

Iris: Yes, I know you have been trying to do that, haven’t you?

Bipolar Disorder: Wasn’t it fun the other week? Getting only a little bit of sleep that one night, and then waking up with that new short story ready to write?

Iris: Well, yes. That was fairly pleasant.

Bipolar Disorder: And you did a great job catching the whole thing before it faded from your dream.

Iris: Er, thanks.

Bipolar Disorder: You don’t seem very convinced you should be thanking me.

Iris: I don’t believe you have my best interest at heart. No offense.

Bipolar Disorder: Sure I do! Expansive thoughts! Flights of ideas! I can give you all that! If you just give me some more candy!

Iris: More candy? I don’t eat candy.

Bipolar Disorder: That coconut drink you had yesterday was just the stuff. I want more of that!

Iris: I didn’t sleep well last night after drinking that sugary thing.

Bipolar Disorder: Yeah, isn’t it great?!

Iris: No. I would like to return to my usual good sleep hygiene, thank you very much.

Bipolar Disorder: You’re not very cooperative.

Iris: I don’t see that it would benefit me much to be very cooperative with you.

Bipolar Disorder: But what about that short story? Don’t I deserve some thanks for that?

Iris: You can’t take all the credit for my short story.

Bipolar Disorder: But, you don’t dream like that when you’re properly medicated. You said that yourself.

Iris: That’s right. I don’t.

Bipolar Disorder: Don’t you feel more creative and more productive when you’re a little bit Hypomanic? Or even a little bit depressed? I’m great at giving you ideas for gloomy poetry, aren’t I?

Iris: I do feel more creative and productive at those times, yes. But, what you’re offering isn’t all good. You know that.

Bipolar Disorder: Well, yeah. Of course it’s not. Why else would they¬† call it *trick* or treat? I gave you a treat. I gave you that short story. Now it’s time for my trick.

Iris: I’m not interested in your trick.

Bipolar Disorder: Ugh! Do you know how boring it is? Being in your brain when you take such good care of yourself that I hardly ever get to have any fun?

Iris: That sounds like your problem, not mine. I’m much happier when I’m not having to manage your symptoms very often.

Bipolar Disorder: I want candy! I want candy this month! This month is Halloween!

Iris: You’re behaving like a spoiled toddler. Your temper tantrum isn’t going to change my mind.

Bipolar Disorder: This is the month for candy! If I don’t get some candy, some fun, in your brain this month I’ll… Well, I’ll…. I’ll pout! That’s what I’ll do.

Iris: See? What did I say? Just like a spoiled toddler.

Bipolar Disorder: So, you’re going to deny me any more sugar? And you’re going to deny me more nights of broken sleep too?

Iris: Yes. You get to come along with me this month. I don’t have any choice in that. But you are not in charge of me. I am the one making decisions here. Not you. Understood?

Bipolar Disorder: Fine. Have it your way. Be boring!

Iris: Good. But, I’m not bored, by the way.

Bipolar Disorder: What do you mean?

Iris: I’ve been transcribing out conversation.¬† Every word. I’m saving it, and I’m sure it will become very useful for me as a reminder.

Bipolar Disorder: What reminder? For what?

Iris: For when you try this again next month. Though I’m sure you’ll be demanding Thanksgiving candy next time. Thanks for your input!

Bipolar Disorder: What?! No way! You tricked ME!

Iris: Happy Halloween!


Every Day Realities of Freaky Friday

This blog is part of my website, and as such it is linked to that main site. However, unlike the blog you would find should you visit my main site, this blog is not about playwriting. In this blog I intend to focus on the very personal journey my mother and I are taking together as we live with our life roles permanently reversed.

Being my mother’s caregiver as she lives the rest of her life with Alzheimer’s Disease has effectively made the mother and daughter body swap plot of the old film Freaky Friday our every day reality. In many ways, I have become her mother, and she has become my daughter. These days I have put my creative writing projects on the back burner while I focus on making this final chapter of my mother’s life as pleasant, as fulfilling, and as full of happy memories for me, as it can possibly be.

In addition to being a playwright and a caregiver, I am a Highly Sensitive Person. Due to my heightened sensitivity it can be particularly excruciating having to watch my mother slowly disappearing before my eyes a little more each and every day. Alzheimer’s Disease is a truly horrifying illness. Being an HSP caregiver makes the realities of Alzheimer’s Disease even more unpleasant to me as they would be to a person who is less emotionally sensitive.

Before I began working as my mother’s caregiver here in my home I managed my highly sensitive nature by meditating regularly, eating six small meals per day, exercising regularly doing Zumba dance workouts, monitoring and managing my intense emotions through the application of the skills I learned in three years of intensive online Dialectical Behavior Modification Therapy (DBT) classes, and I also utilized talents I have in writing, singing, and in the visual arts, to help me maintain a life worth living in this often insensitive world.

In this blog I hope to be able to share the stories that my mother and I are living together as I help her make her way along treacherous and tragic road that is Alzheimer’s Disease. I hope to ease her journey, and mine, through the mindful seeking of silver linings, creativity, and the use of my DBT skills. And I hope, that through sharing our journey here I may be able to help someone else’s journey through a similar life story with their loved one a little bit easier.

An important element of self-care for Highly Sensitive People, and for anyone living the emotionally and physically exhausting life of an Alzheimer’s caregiver, is maintaining a regular sleep routine. So, with that as a goal, I will end this post here and return to my bed.

Thank you for reading!