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stress demons?


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Ok, I've been lurking for awhile and lately have been having a problem running through my head that I thought I might get some advice on from here. This takes some backstory to get context so bare with me. I'm bipolar, mainly depressive but manic episodes aren't uncommon. Last year I had a very good relationship crumble before my eyes. My girlfriend and I had been together for 2 years when she suddenly stopped wanting to be around me and then a month later abruptly left me. I was crushed and just kinda retreated from her and everybody for awhile. 2 weeks later I hear she has a new boyfriend by way of him sending me threatening messages to never speak to her again, even though I hadn't since the break up. So this snaps me and I go confront her about it. I launch into a gigantic verbal attack at her, slinging every grievance I felt along with all the shit I let slide when we were together. I reduced her to a sobbing mess and would've kept going til I got ahold of myself and got away. I didn't talk to her for 7 months after that. This is absolutely the worst thing I've ever done in my life and I still feel extremely guilty. But that isn't the point of this post. The point is that what I remember most about this confrontation was that while I was on this tirade I didn't feel wrong or like I was doing something I knew wasn't right. I felt good. I felt free, free from all the self control I've drilled into myself to stop manic episodes from turning out like this. I ENJOYED absolutely losing control and unleashing all the dark feelings I fight against. And the thing is now I'm having alot of stress building due to college work (I'm a student with alot of work needed for my degree). So now this stress keeps making me look back into those feelings. I'm doing my best to handle it all, but I know they're there and that they're dangerous and scare the hell out of me. I just want some advice and maybe someone to tell me I'm not the only one who gets like this under stress.

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You are far from the only one who gets short fused with stress and that goes for everyone, not just those with bipolar. The trick is to not let it build up. You need to find a constructive outlet for the stress. Exercise and sports help some. Others go for walking or talking it out with someone. Putting things into a realistic perspective helps a lot, too.

Working this thru with a good therapist would be a really good idea. As you say, blowing a gasket comes with a pretty big price to pay.

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yes... blowing a gasket is expensive

i guess taking a self assessment of where you are now will help you decide what to do next.

are you sorry and remorseful? (even tho it still feels like it was justified?) maybe send her a letter of apology. Just don't expect forgiveness - unleashing rage at anyone is rarely a positive end to a problem. Think of how useful it is to get enraged out on the road - for example, what good does it to to sling insults at some stranger who wrongs you on the road. you may never even see that person the rest of your life.

you have your whole life ahead of you, finding a way to deal with anger in a more calm and collected fashion will be one of those life-long lessons that can bring you peace under times of otherwise rage. Enter side-right - a therapist ;)

i'm no angel, i don't generally have screaming rage at anyone, mine's more like snippy, dismissive and insulting passive aggressive - and towards my hubby who has cancer, that is bad. Tdoc says, whether you whisper, "fuck off" or scream "fuck off" , it's the same thing

best of luck

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I do that too. And for me, moving on and learning from the stress works. If I go back and apologize or something it can lead to another big blow up.

It does feel good to let it all out you just have to find ways that don't hurt others ;)

Good Luck

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Thanks for the sympathy. Probably should've clarified a bit. I am in therapy, have been for awhile. She's forgiven me mostly and we're on speaking terms but basically not in eachother's lives anymore. What my concern is what I said about feeling good when I lost it. It wasn't because I felt justified, I knew it was wrong. It was just enjoying the anger and freedom to let go of myself. Primal rage, evil tastes good, that kind of thing. It scares me to know I can have the much rage and sadism, even if it was only momentary. I just wanted to see if anyone else has felt like that.

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I have absolutely felt like that, also when dealing with an ex. I think I know what you mean about trying so hard all the time to keep it together and be some semblance of normal being just exhausting, and not doing that for once feeling kind of fabulous, in a really fucked up way.

In addition to meds that mostly work, meditation is the thing that most helps me stay away from that place, but, as Stacia said, different things work for different people.

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Thanks for the sympathy. Probably should've clarified a bit. I am in therapy, have been for awhile. She's forgiven me mostly and we're on speaking terms but basically not in eachother's lives anymore. What my concern is what I said about feeling good when I lost it. It wasn't because I felt justified, I knew it was wrong. It was just enjoying the anger and freedom to let go of myself. Primal rage, evil tastes good, that kind of thing. It scares me to know I can have the much rage and sadism, even if it was only momentary. I just wanted to see if anyone else has felt like that.

I forgot to say that, yes, I know that place. I've experienced both as part of hypomania where it feels somehow exhilerating as well as angry, and also when euthymic where it somehow feels cathartic as well as angry. In either case, I feel pretty horrible and guilty later. It always includes saying something or things that I don't mean or don't mean to say the way said. It's always follows frustration and anger buildup. I try hard to not go there and now rarely do. Instead, when the frustration or annoyance starts I take a time out either with exercise or talking to someone who has a knack at offering different perspectives instead of siding with me and whipping things up. This is a place I do not like to go regardless of how it feels in the moment. There always are consequences and they usually extend beyond feeling bad. Besides, no one likes a hot head. You never know when they are going to fire off at you. And, you always wonder why they can't control themselves. Because, really, that's what it comes down to, self-control. That and the ability to deal with problems and frustrations more constructively.

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In my experience, there are a lot of things that I get irritable (one step from angry for me) about, but I have learned over many years and many fights to just keep it shut. Sometimes we feel emotion that is partially or primarily MI driven. And our feelings get hurt easier, we get angrier easier, we get impatient more quickly.

Try keeping it to yourself, or better yet, a blog. That way, you get the feelings out of you, and don't direct them a some person who is most likely only partially responsible for the way you feel. Remember, it is easier to talk to the person again to clarify your feelings, but it's impossible to take hurtful words away.

There are a million times in which I want to get frustrated at the kids, or yell at my husband for something stupid. But my #1 rule is to never give in. I don't say something unless it will help the conversation, even if I'm mad.

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Ahhh.. the wrath of God. Yep, can sympathize with you. Medication has helped me with a lot of this stuff actually. I am officially totally converted to Lithium. It's definitely an ego thing when you get that angry and it points to you not getting your needs met emotionally, though that's kind of a shot in the dark from my own experience. Take it for what its worth.

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I've been hitting the weights since this actually. About 2 weeks after it happened I decided to channel the anger into working out. Actually lost 30 pounds since then. I don't know about the idea of this stemming from not being emotionally fulfilled. She really did make me happy, she's probably the reason I lived through my first depressive episode. It was 6 months of constant self hatred and withdrawal until I got with her and finally had light in my life. What the anger probably comes from is when I was a kid. One day in elementary school everyone suddenly decided it would be cool to make my life hell. This went on from about 2nd grade till the start of sophomore year. It gave me an extreme vicious streak towards anything I feel wrongs me. But it isn't something atall controlled or rational. The medication helps along with therapy to combat it

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Man! I've been there,tick tick tick....I've been put through some nasty stress machines in the last few years and I struggle with myself control.I will just take it let it what ever the problem,and when I feel someone I've been helping selfishly takes me for granted,uses me, or just takes a big steaming pile on me I just lose it.I will rant and rave,saying the cruelest things and start to relish what I'm doing as my mania kicks into over drive.Then depending how amped up I've become I receive a visit from regret,and deep self lothing.My pdoc says to me,when you feel these intense moments coming on take another tab of lithium or take your prn zyprexa.I found over the years that these things can't always be predicted,so I try to defuse the situation now by walking away.I may end up walking half the day usually through the woods.After awhile of walking I reflect looking at the frustration through a wider lens.Eventually I get out of my head and can see much clearer,It also helps to relate to someone close to me.Walk the talk.I hope you find some peace

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