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I first became different from everyone when I was at primary school. I was about 7 or 8 and really needed to use the toilet in assembly and thought that the teachers wouldn’t let me go and very nearly had an accident. Ever since then I’ve had this phobia that I might have an accident in public and have always avoided situations without toilets and nearly always had panic attacks in those situations. That has cause a lot of bother in my life and has really restricted what I’ve been able to do in life too – no car journeys, holidays, even walking down a street with no toilet along it. I saw a therapist at 18 but he was an amateur and kept messing up and I got annoyed and stopped going.
I failed my A-Levels because I lost motivation and when I did eventually get into university I failed the first year because of a bit of a breakdown and then failed the second year for basically the same reason. I go through a phase of having no motivation at all and a real empty sort of depression where I feel unmotivated, unworthy and I have no interest in anything or anybody and become quite reclusive. My attendance was bad at Uni. mainly because I had a phobia of being in a lecture and needing the toilet and not being able to go and once I missed one I missed the whole lot and sunk right down.
It was my first year of Uni. that I became a bit obsessed with a girl. She wasn’t interested in me but I couldn’t take no for an answer and all I could think about was this girl. It went on for a month or two and became quite annoying for some people, mainly her. When I wasn’t depressed about it I thought it was humorous and used to make jokes about it and didn’t take the thing seriously at all. One day I had a sort of revelation and decided to turn my life around and made my sleeping patterns return to normal, stopped drinking so much, became more sociable, completely ignored the girl (I never did forget her) and was able to exist without her again. I took a great interest in my guitar and went to the gym. I got a girlfriend and was happy for a bit.
I changed course and re-started the first year of Uni. again but soon became unmotivated, lost interest in the course, and went back into myself again. I still kept up a social life and still managed to hand in some very good piece of work, regularly achieving firsts and other good grades but it was a real struggle. I still played guitar but didn’t practice much at all. I did get a band together with the aim of singing (I’d never sung publicly in my life) and playing guitar (I couldn’t play that well). That idea failed due to no real genuinity in it.
I then worked for a boat company on the River Thames and life was great again. The social life was great and I was good at my job and seriously considered a career in that profession but was sacked after 6 months or so due to “laziness”. I’m very laid-back and mostly don’t talk to anyone I don’t think I have reason to. I got a name for being lazy and went along with it as a joke but it backfired. It was also this time that I discovered I failed my second year of university and the two combined sent me into the darkest depression of my life so far. The only thing keeping me going was a beautiful girlfriend who eventually had enough of a depressed and unmotivated boyfriend and left me too, compounding my depression.
I then got a job in an office and for 4 years was just a shadow. I took no interest girls other than thinking about nice ones as I masturbated as much as 5 times a day. I swung from not being remotely interested in my friends to meeting them and being the most conversive and entertaining person they’d ever met (in my eyes anyway), the life and soul as they say. 4 months ago I quit that job with no job to go to with enough savings to live for 4 months independently but nothing more. In those 4 months I haven’t even applied for one job. I haven’t even looked for a job. Now I have to move back in with my family. I don’t feel like I can do any job that exists out there but at the same time feel that I can do anything I want as long as I put my mind to it.
As I said before, I am quite laid-back, patient and good natured but I can experience these real big angry mood swings when things don’t go my way which has got me into trouble in the past. I’m rude to people and sometimes destroy things. For example I was having trouble a few days ago with the photocopier in the library that time and time again was jamming and taking more of my money and just walked out with credit in the machine and the job half-done as I came so close to smashing the thing up and verbally attacking the library assistant. Rudeness and dismissiveness really angers me too. Sometimes, mainly when I was young and in my teens, I have been violent to people then felt really bad about it after.
Another thing I do is suddenly become as if I have had a revelation and try to change my life around in one fell swoop, as they say. I make lists, try to give structure to my life, leave life-affirming quotes and messages for myself, write pages and pages of things to do and learn and really dive head-first into my hobbies like I’m going to become the greatest in the world at that thing (guitar, songwriting, speaking French or Dutch, becoming a genius, creating art, philosophy, learning etc) and do really well in these things until I lose interest, start to question it all (not suicidal, I’d never do that), and go back to staying in bed all day, not washing, not brushing my teeth, smoking weed, smoking tobacco, not wanting anything to do with my friends, being annoyed by their ways and attitudes and stupidity, masturbating and looking at porn.
When I’m on what I think is an up phase I think I’m great. I think I’m handsome and am better than everyone else and have more of a right to things than other people. I get caught up in a hobby and amaze myself at the dedication I give it and construct a great plan to become the best the world has ever seen at that hobby. I’m constantly looking out for things that might help me get to that level including spending money on books and things like that. I don’t go on massive shopping sprees that cost a fortune but always go to charity shops and buy 4 or 5 books that I think will get me to that level but never read them. I’ve got hundreds of books I’ll never read, even if I did have time. I’ve never had any money so that sort of spending spree is quite bad even though it might amount to only £10 or something similar. That moment has passed. I’m rarely interested in something when the moment’s passed. Quite often I get depressed from failing at one of my grand plans.
One of the worst things I do is try to reach such a high that it will eclipse that previous record. I got to the stage where I was smoking weed, drinking alcohol, sniffing poppers and masturbating over internet porn to get that high and was all I did night after night for weeks.
I’ve never got on well with alcohol. If I’m depressed it makes me more depressed and if I’m feeling good it makes me feel very good and I used to ring people in the middle of the night looking for conversation, until my list of friends diminished. The next day even if I’m not hung-over I feel rotten. I feel really guilty and cringe-worthy even if I haven’t done anything to be guilty or cringe-worthy about. I feel let down by my behaviour in a way. It’s a feeling I find hard to express. When I smoked that just made me feel lethargic, down, drained and sh*t. No-one I’ve spoke to will admit to feeling like that with smoking.
I’ve never felt inclined to commit suicide (I’ve thought about it rationally and rejected it as a viable solution) and my depression manifests itself more in amotivation than anything else. Having no motivation is the story of my life. I think because when I’m feeling good I no what’s its like to really feel alive and see how much opportunity there is in life. I’ve always been quite level-headed and intelligent so have rarely done anything foolish or burnt my bridges. I haven’t really spoken to a doctor about any of this and have only just really started reading into bipolar disorder. I don’t like doctors and see them as self-interested amateurs and my experience of them seems to back this up. I’ve used anti-depressants in the past for my anxiety but only for a week or two as they interfered to much with my all-important sex-life by making me unable to orgasm.
Socially I’ve never really been able to keep up. No sooner to I meet people and get a good crowd of friends but I start rejecting them and either looking elsewhere for more stimulating interaction or sink into myself. Being up and down shares similarities with each other for me. When I’m down I don’t want to interact with people and when I’m up I can’t be bothered with them. They don’t do enough for me. When I’m down I masturbate a lot. When I’m up I masturbate a lot. When I’m up and down I’m very insular and mainly exist within.
I’m always being told I’m extremely intelligent and I agree. They tell me I should be doing more than I do and I’m holding myself back but that makes me feel bad because I know that but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve tried and failed many times. I can’t hold educational course down and really abhor authority. I’m not shy and I’m not outgoing. I seem to be both depending on how I feel that day. I’ve never really understood how you can be one and not the other all your life.
Another thing is I’m really into ideas (History of Ideas and Philosophy was my Uni. course) and once I get started on a subject I know about (quite a few) I can talk for hours but most of the time I think people aren’t worth wasting my time on so I seem rude and arrogant. I seem to have a head-full of ideas, solutions and explanations that I need to do something with them.
I started myself on St John’s Wort a few weeks ago and the same day I started I started feeling much better and quite high and determined. Since then I’ve been studying song-writing, sight-reading and playing guitar like its going out of fashion and have been a lot more sociable and positive. All I want to do is succeed and create something to be proud of. My appetite has basically vanished or at least is well bellow the point when I’m down and eat too much and put on weight.
So hopefully you’ve made it through all that. Its long but I’ve had some beers, I’m feeling good and its 3 in the morning and I want to get it all down while I feel like I can. The basic question is – does this sound like someone who has bipolar disorder or someone with long-term depression or what? Or am I looking too much into it after having read about bipolar disorder? Maybe I’ve subconsciously made it sound more like its bipolar than it is. Also has anyone else experienced similar things to what I’ve just written about? If you want to reply to this message please feel free to do so or email me at gig88888 hotmail com
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