So, I have a friend who is in a damaging relationship. He doesn’t talk about it because others would judge. But, he wants to die more often than he should over things that others say don’t matter, but clearly cause damage. Words said, ugly comments, innuendos, and silence. What he does know is that somehow, any way possible, IT HAS TO STOP! Death would make everything stop, and that seems to be the conclusion he come to the most. Exiting the relationship would seem to be a better solution, but much stickier. His partner knows he battles with bi-polar, as I do; however, his partner fails to see all the ways which their behavior contributes to his crisis.
Sailors had a few nemeses, but one that was feared most was the inescapable maelstrom. Like the swirling vortex of a kitchen sink drain, the MAELSTROM WOULD SWIRL AND CYCLE its victim until they too were sucked into the vertices and destroyed. Every comment makes the swirling tunnel of death spin faster. Every post, every snide remark, all the hunting behind his back to find proof that he had cheated. Spins him faster and faster and faster.
My friend is exhausted. No one understands his struggle because he has been warned about talking to others about it. He must devote all his time and attention to his partner and their family. Every new friend is an accusation, each new venture a way to escape the marriage, new meetings are new questions, unanswered texts are matches setting every log ablaze in the fire of a betrayal that never happened. He swims exhausted, through the waters, barely keeping his head afloat. Should he swim or should he let the waters overtake him and it all be over?
As if being bi-polar isn’t enough of a burden, others seem to add more to the load. I love my friend, but sometimes his burden is greater than I can carry. It weighs me down. I relate to his circumstances and wish him well. I an uncertain of his future. Will he swim or will he drown. Bi-polar cycling is heavy and with each rotation it picks up more debris like a tornado. It sucks up all the negative as it churns, making each thought and word darker.
You can take any circling analogy and see it mirrored as racing thoughts. Merry-go-round, tornado, maelstrom, hurricane, cyclone, or waterspout. All are damaging. Not all are deadly, but if they spin you around long enough you will leave disoriented. You may make bad choices and deal with reactive impulses. You may self harm or terminate. No matter what you are caught in, you must find a way out. Racing thoughts are not your friend.