It’s no secret that I’m Bipolar. I don’t really do secrets, my life is a fairly open book and it’s also common knowledge that I’ve just been going through the mother and father of a depression that nearly led to me chucking myself in the river with a concrete block strapped to my back.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a misery post. Don’t do them either. I’d just like to explain, clearly and factually what it’s like being like me. As with so many other afflictions, the symptoms are different for each patient but this is how it feels to be me.
I think of it as an out of control elevator. There are buttons in the usual fashion but the bloody machine has a mind of its own. I can hit “top floor” and it starts to plummet. It’s probably in the place where I work. Certainly the building is one I know well – in psychiatry, dream interpretation usually accepts that the building represents the self. The upper floor is a wonderful, pretty suite of offices and an apartment with a lot of views over a city with parks, leading out to the country in the distance. Only people I like very much work on the top floor and the atmosphere is great. Someone puts fresh flowers on my desk every morning and the coffee machine magically refills itself all the time.
The worst part, however, is the subterranean car park. The lights don’t work. It is in complete darkness, the walls drip slime, unidentified creatures crawl and slither through the ooze on the floor. Once down there, the ceiling starts to descend so that you can’t stand up and even if you find your way to the elevator doors, there is no guarantee that they will open.
All I can do when shut in that place is sit with my back to the wall, hoping the doors will open so that I can drag myself back in. Eventually they will and I can press a button and see where I end up next time.
Today the elevator took me back to the Top Floor – somewhere I haven’t been for a long time. It’s good to be back but terrible to look at the phone messages I left on the ansaphone when I was stuck in the underground parking. Wipe the tape. I’m back, the flowers on the desk are pretty and the coffee is hot.
7 thoughts on “The Accursed Elevator”
Thanks for sharing this with us Ailsa, some very interesting points in this too….
Very welcome. It’s not a subject many people feel comfy with but … it helps if people know where you are when you’re “not quite here”.
I’ve only seen this from a professional perspective. And from conversations and research indeed depression is the most damaging and difficult to treat, although the ups and downs must be terrible. Let’s hope some day we find the right control for everybody.
Familiar *insert wry smile*
I don’t need to say much because I get it. When I end up in the basement, I’ve begun to go quiet, maybe leave a note, but stay quiet. I got worried I’d just put out ‘depressed’ vibes (on FB) which got commented on by a ‘real life’ ‘friend’. So I’m more careful about what I put out there, but I’m beginning to think, not only is it my page, but my life too, and I should be accepted for whoever I am at whatever time!
But damn that elevator for not letting us off at the floor we want! x
That’s a fantastic post. I am delighted to hear you’ve hit the top floor. May you be there admiring the view for a long time.
Its wonderful to see you waving from your top floor office!
Thanks everyone – yes, I know I am not the only one but I’m the only one who is stupid enough to bray about it and I don’t mind. I’m glad you appreciated it and a couple of people have contacted me to say that the “elevator” analogy is useful to them too. Just wait, the lift will come back down sometime. Blessings to you all and thanks again.