Salted Lithium Year Two First Post: Feeling Sucks

Bobcaygeon“; Tragically Hip
Let me know if the YouTube isn’t available.



Feeling sucks. Feeling hurts, it’s a pain in the ass. Feeling gets in the way. Feeling makes my TV too loud even when the volume’s down. Feeling makes the random music selections fed to me by my computer too grating. Feeling makes me feel two or more emotions at the same time. Feeling makes me doubt what I write. Feeling makes candlelight hurt. Feeling makes me want to cry. Feeling makes me forget there will be more after this moment. Feeling makes my apartment too hot. Feeling is making my eyes itch like I’ve been up too long. Feeling is making my chest tight. Feeling is making my heart pound. Feeling is making it very hard to write. Feeling is making it hard to stop watching television. Feeling is making it hard to eat. Feeling makes everything too much. Feeling makes me forget the next sentence. Feeling is something I thought I did before. Feeling is making me inactive. Feeling is one of the main reasons we stop treatment because feeling sucks. Feeling makes my voice crack when I sing out loud. Feeling turns me mute during Sunday dinner. Feeling is turning me into someone else. Feeling used to be easy. Feeling is hard. Feeling is making it hard for me to like the people I surrounded myself with. Feeling good stuff makes me want more. Feeling like I’ve been betrayed makes me want to stop feeling. Feeling like I’ve betrayed someone makes me want to drop to my knees. Feeling makes me want to stay inside. Feeling is making me hate my grandfather because he’s old and now he wants to be friends. Feeling is something I need counsel on. Feeling is making me react. Feeling is turning my comfortable life uncomfortable. Feeling makes me nervous. Feeling is scary. Feeling is something I’m not comfortable with. Feeling is one of the main reasons we stop treatment because feeling sucks. Feeling is making me resent my friend because he let me be an ass to him for a long time and only now has he worked up the courage to tell me. Feeling is something I’ve felt before but only between fake depressions and false highs. Feeling was something between. Feeling was something I only did through a cloud. Feeling was the In Between moment. Feeling was the crackle and hiss of the limited space between songs on a wax record. Feeling used to be about my limitations. Feeling was about being mediocre. Feeling was as fulfilling as a fast food dinner. Feeling was all about the middle. Feeling was all about waiting for something more. Feeling was all about waiting for something more. Feeling was all about waiting for something more than what I was feeling. Feeling was all about taking a breath and waiting for something more than what I was feeling. Feeling was all about waiting. Feeling had no clarity. Feeling gave no reason. Feeling was fleeting. Feeling was a twelve-year olds summer vacation. Feeling was the two months between end and start and during. Feeling sucks because it doesn’t end. Feeling sucks because there are always more. Feeling sucks because I can’t stop it with pills. Feeling sucks because it’s new. Feeling sucks because it’s not binary. Feeling makes me feel what we’re all meant to feel and there are no extremes to hide in. Feeling is making me apprehensive about what’s coming.




…since november fourteenth, 2006.

“You burn things when there’s no going back. How much of
yourself have you had to burn away to be
the person you are today? Because baby, my body
is ash and my mind is still smoking.”






About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Classic, crazy people with no pants, Depression, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, YouTube and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Salted Lithium Year Two First Post: Feeling Sucks

  1. Wowzah. And here I like feeling… :-\

  2. Gabriel... says:

    I don’t know what it’s all about but for the past few months it really feels like something is… growing. Or something. It really feels like now that the manic depression is somewhat under control, like there’s a gate that’s opening. Like I’m having to deal with stuff I was incapable of dealing with while I was untreated.

    At least four or five times a week now I’m coming really close to breaking down… I think if crying is something I had done with some regularity in the past I’d be crying or downright weeping a few times a week. But because I’ve basically trained myself to hold it back I think it’s getting worse each time I stop myself… just singing along to ‘Bobcaygeon’ makes me want to sob uncontrollably. And it’s not the song, it’s the sentiment behind the lyrics. About leaving someone you love and going off to protect a crowd of Urban Hippies from Hugh Dillon and his band of neo-Nazi’s. But then I stop singing and I can push the feeling away… I feel like if I was to keep singing, even after choking up, there might be a rainbow or some kind of benefit to letting go after I was finished. But I haven’t been able to start.

  3. darkentries says:

    I think I know what you’re erm, feeling.
    Its possible its a process that everyone goes through when the medication starts to really make you more stable. To make you more, you, rather than a rollercoaster of brainjuices firing wildly all over the place.
    I have periods where I will cry randomly for no good reason. It does actually help. Practice.
    Think of it as Stage Three of Recovery: Learning how to Feel.

  4. nursemyra says:

    I hate feeling too. I would love to be numb to all the pain.

    this is not really related but do you know anything about the trialling of ketamine as an anti-depressant?

  5. Gabriel... says:

    Personally Nurse Myra I thought Special-K as an anti-depressant was an urban legend, but I just Googled it and it appears to be actually in preliminary trials in low doses. Wiki’s got a page on it — actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m pretty sure I had a conversation with someone this year about it… maybe Patient Anonymous, ExChimp or Aikaterine.

    That “love to be numb” thing is actually one of the top three reasons people with manic depression stop taking their/our meds… the other two being “running out of them” and “sitting through thirteen showing’s of Battlefi3ld Earth”.

    Dark Entries‘ three stages, I think, run like this:
    1) finding help / getting treatment;
    2) getting control over the manic depression, and;
    3) dealing with the shit that added up while untreated.

    It’s something I’ve been writing about for a few months now in the few spaces between No Post Days. I brought it up with my doctor late last Spring… basically now that the manic depression is under control I have the clarity to see the clinical depressions for the first time. There were all the ones which came before the manic depression — the father issues; the abandonment issues; the betrayal issues; the domineering mother stuff, and; the constant moving. Then there are the clinical depressions which accumulated while I was untreated and really unable to react properly to any given situation — the girlfriend stuff; the living as a transient semi-homeless dude; the poverty; job-related garbage. So, basically, there are 37-years worth of Issues which have never been dealt with because either I was too young to understand, or later too sick to see clearly. And now that I’m better, and getting treatment, I get to experience them all at once… mostly for the first time. It’s definitely an overload… I think some of my not being able to weep/cry comes from not knowing where to start. Or thinking stopping will be much, much harder.

  6. exactscience says:

    Manic depression hasn’t taught me to live, I have been taught to survive by accident but sometimes I need to take refresher courses.

    Too much time spent in any particular way will stagnate the brain, I suppose it makes sense that when you are no longer in that particular way that things will swirl up and be tumultuous and disorder. Learn how to make sense of that will take time and be scary and tough and all manner of other trite adjectives, but you’ll learn. We all will in time – one hopes

  7. thordora says:

    I’m there with you. All sorts of unpleasant crap is beginning to bubble it’s way to the surface, stuff I figured I had long ago dealt with.

    Turns out I hadn’t.

    It’s been fascinating to me, feeling things, feeling the crystal edges that burn and cut, crying for that one thing, not because the sky is falling and I want to die.

    You’ll start crying soon enough. Watch some sappy movies. That always kick starts me.

  8. Gabriel... says:

    Sappy movies… Christ, I nearly lost it watching True Romance the other night. I was watching The Devil’s Rejects a couple of weeks ago and tearing up as Captain Spaulding, Otis and Baby Firefly were making their last charge into the Texas Rangers hail of bullets — but that might have been either the Free Bird or the Terry Reid. I’m pretty sure Tora! Tora! Tora! could start The Crying…

    Be careful with this shit Thor… not wanting to kill myself is still a nice change of pace, but Not wanting to feel anymore can be a siren’s song.

  9. bine says:

    maybe you have to catch up on some serious sobbing and weeping.
    i can’t imagine half of what you and thor are going through at the moment, but i think i can imagine how hard it is to deal with feeling if it has always been something “in between”, through a cloud.
    on a smaller scale i cycle through this every couple of months it seems, maybe it’s seasonal. every now and then the pressure, the demands of my friends and surroundings, the misunderstandings, the disappointments, the self-loathing at my inability to get my life in order just get too much … and i wish myself numb. and it works. it’s like part of me blanks out and i live on autopilot. but i hate the person i become then, and after a few weeks of cocooning in numbness, i kick myself free and life continues. and i actually enjoy the rawness, the hurt, the confusion every time, because at least i can feel again.
    i think it defines us.

  10. thordora says:

    I dunno Gabe. I kinda like actually FEELING things, instead of just feeling like shit. It’s so strange-it’s been so long that I haven’t felt things properly. I can’t explain it-it’s like the difference between a clear clean glass window and a dirty obscured one. I LIKE being able to see. After so many emotional jumps for no reason, feeling something is sweet torture.

    True Romance always gets me. I find it terribly romantic and sweet-I should watch that tonight. Or Gladiator. That always gets me going.

  11. Pingback: Because I am sick and annoyed « Spin Me I Pulsate

  12. giannakali says:

    wow! I tried to stop feeling with the drugs and they made me feel worse. Now almost off drugs I’m feeling still, oh yeah, but it’s so much more real and I have access to joy and love that I didn’t before. But it’s an evolution and I’m not in a place I would call good yet…no not by any means.

    But FEELING—we can’t want to be numb. We are human—it is what makes us human. The challenge is to feel and understand and to respond to the cries of our bodies. To follow our hearts and to take care of our bodies as the temples they are.

    Peace to you Gabriel. I seek the same you seek. As you said in your post the other day.

  13. darkentries says:

    I thought getting onto the ‘right’ meds would make life a whole lot easier. It did, in a way, but mostly it just changed it, made it less miserable and more,…lots of other things. The range of emotions I have now is so vast in comparison, and intense, that often I don’t quite know how to deal with. My issues are of the depression/anxiety/stressmanagement/social anxiety and agoraphobia spectrums though, so I don’t understand much of what bipolar is like (although I am learning a fair bit now)

    My reaction to intensity of any kind now can tend towards fear and stress, simply because I have been conditioned to react that way, even though that reaction is more a habit than a strictly chemical reaction.
    I have a hard time understanding now what are learned behaviours that I developed as coping mechanisms to protect me from my various issues, and what are, well, other things, from natural instincts, normal behavour through to downright laziness, selfishness or just negative thinking. Much to my dismay I have discovered a tendency to make less effort and blame it on my inability to deal with things, even though that may not be the case any more, I have just got into the habit of assuming this.
    So, life kind of got harder with the drugs, but thats mainly because I am now in the driving seat more often than not, and not my illness. Responsibility is a hard thing to learn, and takes a whole lot of effort and time. The process is rewarding at times, painful at others. I do feel like I am going in some kind of direction now though, and thats what was lacking in my life before. Its enough for me. One thing I learned from depression is to have fairly simple goals.

  14. damewiggy says:

    i feel ya, mister.

  15. Extrememo0 says:

    I haven’t cried since I took medications too. Last time I cried was when I was in psychosis. I feel that maybe its pointless. Even when I want to cry all I get is sobby eyes. Perhaps my therapist has a trick up her sleeve. 🙂

  16. giannakali says:

    I didn’t cry for many years. It felt awful. I would feel doom and gloom and wish I could cry and nothing would come. Now that I’m close to off my meds I cry all the time. Total opposite reaction. But I’m loving it….really. It feels so good to feel that particular kind of pain and joy again, because yes, I cry for both sadness and joy now—I have had a few embarrassing moments, but from what I understand the sensitivity passes.

  17. You know, when I was first diagnosed I had the most wonderful psychotherapist in the world, Lisa. Lisa taught me that as my brain levels out and lets me re-enter the human race, I will be flooded with the emotions of things supposedly long past. Issues I hadn’t been capable of dealing with at the time, pains that were to much to process while I was still fubar-brained.

    Sure enough, after my medications settled some of my brain, out came years of grief and emotional baggage I had thought was long over. My parents divorce when I was 4. Suicide attempts from my preteen years. Molestation suspicions. Neglect and heartbreak and a handful of years my mother and I never spoke. But I dealt… and now I’m okay, living in the present, feeling what is current instead of only what was. But give yourself time to go through all of it – ALL of it – just remember to feel it and know that after all the insanity the bipolar has put you through, this too will pass and you will thrive after it does.

    Then just breathe. Deeply.

  18. I never have wild emotional roler coaster rides, but I was involved with a woman that was bi-polar. She would be smiling one minute, and then crying the next. I spent a lot of time holding her. Then, all of a sudden, she would be ok for weeks. I surely wish I knew the answers!

  19. Pingback: Salted Lithium Year Two First Post Coda: Feeling Sucks « …salted lithium.

  20. Gabriel... says:

    I was writing a response to the general theme when it kind of turned into a post… I’m blaming the switch from Diet Pepsi to Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale. If you’re up for it… “Salted Lithium Year Two First Post Coda: Feeling Sucks

  21. thordora says:

    Try Diet Dr. Pepper. HEAVENLY.

  22. Gabriel... says:

    Try finding Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream… actually don’t, you’ll probably need at least one hand free so you can pick up your kids again.

  23. sueorkin says:

    Feeling made you write something great. – Sue Orkin

  24. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Sue, and thanks for coming through.

    Eric: love the nickname. One of the fun things about dating someone with manic depression are the unbelievable swings. If you want to know about some of what your ex-girlfriend was going through these would be two good blogs to start with… Wonderful Thoughts and Patient Anonymous.

    Mercurial: thanks… there are time during the now where I would actually describe myself as being frantic. At least on the lower end of the frantic scale anyway. I’m not running around, just kind of paralysed because there are too many things to think about… it’s almost like a low level manic phase, but with Reasons.

    Gianna: I’m really, REALLY, hoping my inevitable crying jag doesn’t start in a restaurant. At least it feels inevitable… I’m not even sure how I cry. That’s almost too weird. Like, will I just kind of stoically stand there and let the tears fall, or am I the cryer who makes large inhaling sounds… right now I’m guessing I’ll be more the latter than the former.

    Extrememo0: give the meds/treatment a little time, I think you and I are somewhat in the same boat.

    Bine: that’s something I do… it’s like the only way I can move is to get angry at the things which have piled on, like someone has been piling stones on my back and either I get crushed or fight back… I can very much relate to that autopilot feeling and numbness.

    Dark Entries and Thor, the thing I wrote that turned into a separate post was basically written in response to your comments…

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