Att komma ut som bipolär

Jag har kommit ut så många gånger nu, på så många vis och för så många saker – ett utmärkt bevis på vår individualiserade, intersektionella värld, där alla faktiskt har någonting som får dem att sticka ut från massorna. Jag har pratat om mina politiska åsikter, om sexualitet och förhållandeformer, och om mitt liv. Men jag har sällan riktigt gett mig in på mental ohälsa.

Roller coaster

Under mina tonår, med start när jag var runt 14, begravdes jag i en serie djupa depressioner som påverkade mitt skolarbete och mitt sociala liv något enormt. Under den femårsperiod som följde var mitt liv en blandning av fysiskt självskadebeteende och självmordsförsök, vilket jag diskuterade i min bok ”Home”.

Jag lyckades, trots minimal hjälp från sjukvården, ta mig ur den onda cirkeln. Jag började på gymnasiet och sedan universitetet och lärde mig hur jag kunde hantera mina allt mer extrema humörsvängningar. Jag lärde mig att söka hjälp när jag behövde, lärde mig att sätta upp regler för mig själv för att minska skadorna. Allt började gå bra.

Under hösten 2015 besökte jag en vårdcentral efter konstant tjat från bägge mina partners. När jag berättade om mina problem (extrem viktnedgång, minskad aptit, varierande sömnmönster, skakningar, plötslig medvetslöshet utan förvarning) skickades jag nästan genast vidare till en psykiatriker som efter tester diagnoserade mig med bipolär sjukdom, generaliserat ångestsyndrom och helt enkelt stress.

bipolar

Bipolär sjukdom är ganska så förjävligt. Grunden i bipolaritet (tidigare känd som manodepressivitet) är kraftiga humörsvängningar, där patienten pendlar mellan en period av depression och en period av hypomani. Hypomani, som när det är kraftigt nog övergår till mani, är en period då patienten är mer upprymd och rastlös och, om det inte går för långt, mer produktiv och har ett mindre sömnbehov.

På den nivån kan en hypomanisk episod vara fördelaktig och trevlig. Det är skönt att inte behöva sova lika mycket, att vara motiverad, glad och effektiv. Problemet uppstår när det övergår till allvarligare manier, som riskerar att resultera i en total psykos och verklighetsfrånvända vanföreställningar och extrem megalomani att likna med gudskomplex.

Det är vanligt att sjukdomen först visar sig i form av depressioner, för att sedan supplementeras av maniska perioder i tjugoårsåldern – som det varit för mig. Jag har gått från att ha haft kortare depressioner till att det senaste året i princip fullt ut styrts av min sjukdom på ett väldigt obehagligt sätt. Jag lever idag nästan varje dag antingen i en depression eller ett ansträngande maniskt tillstånd, och när det inte räcker kommer dessutom kraftiga och oanmälda panikångestattacker. Det rekommenderas inte.

Det senaste året har jag steg för steg känt hur mitt liv blivit allt svårare att hantera. Mina humörsvängningar har förvärrats, och mina depressioner har blivit något lindrigare mot att mina maniska episoder förvärrats till den graden att jag regelbundet undviker mänsklig kontakt bara för att jag inte litar på mitt beteende. Mina mer extrema manier har lett till att jag fått arbeta extremt mycket under korta perioder för att komma ifatt vad jag missat under sjukdomsperioderna, vilket i sig ökat stressen och lättare utlöst nya sjukdomsperioder.

tl;dr: Det är hemskt.

Men – jag har äntligen kommit så pass långt som att börja få behandling. Tack vare en fantastisk psykiatriker på Uppsalas avdelning för unga vuxna påbörjade jag i veckan behandling med quetiapin, en stämningsstabiliserande substans som mer eller mindre ska ta bort extremerna och, ja, stabilisera humöret någonstans i mitten. Den stora nackdelen är quetiapins sövande effekter, som gör att jag (även om det förhoppningsvis snart går över) nu går runt och känner mig som en zombie. Jag har också börjat ta prometazin för ångest, även om jag inte tycker de påverkar avsevärt.

Saker rör sig framåt, och jag är hoppfull. Jag vill inget hellre än att må bra igen, och det gör ont att veta att det aldrig kommer att bli helt perfekt. Medicin kan lindra, terapi kan lindra, och genom att anpassa livet går det att minska på de negativa konsekvenserna. Men det försvinner aldrig helt och hållet. Det är det som är plågsamt.

My new book ”Home” available on Amazon

Amazon has now started selling my new book Home through their various websites (FranceGermanyIndiaItalySpainUKUSA). Unfortunately it is to expensive to buy it to Sweden due to the shipping costs, but for whoever lives outside of Sweden this is the best and cheapest way to get it at the moment.

Home will start selling in Sweden some time next week, and will cost 75 kr with 29 kr shipping. You can preorder it today by writing an email with your shipping address to aki@quispiam.se.

A story about obsession, hate, jealousy, love, pain, art, life, death, and the search for a never-ending, never-dying home. But most of all a story about Her.

”Home” is the 30-day memoirs of the search for closure, of the search for a home, of the end of something beautiful. A strange mix of poetry, short stories, biography and fiction.

 

Yet another ”Home” update

So it is now all finalised – the second edition of my book ”Home” is proofed to the nth degree, accepted by the printer people and basically all done for sale. I have pushed the magic button, meaning it will begin selling at Amazon (.com, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .whatever) in the next week or so. Shortly thereafter book stores and libraries can start buying it.

I have also ordered my own copies to sell within Sweden, by hand and through mail, and they will arrive at around October 10. In other words, everyone who’s pre-ordered it will get it around October 14.

Starting as soon as I get it, you will be able to order it online at www.quispiam.se.

Update on second edition of ”Home”

I’ve now finalised pretty much everything for the second edition of my book Home, the first wider edition. There’s a great deal of internal changes with approximately 10-15 % brand new content, design changes, and a great new cover design by Louise Qvarfordt.

If all goes as planned I will have the second edition available for sale in at the most two weeks from now.

The book will be sold through this website as well as through Amazon and some other online book stores. The standard price will be at $12.00 / £7.40 / €8.80 / 75 SEK.

I’m already taking pre-orders – if you’re interested, comment below or send me an email at anton@nordenfur.se, and you will get the book as soon as I do.

Ny blogg om skrivande och läsande

Denna blogg har under åren kommit att handla allt mer om politik, trots att jag den senaste tiden (ett år? två år?) satsat allt mer på mitt författande, inklusive att jag just nu försöker släppa min bok Home.

Därför har jag gjort en till blogg, på quispiam.se, för att jag dels ska skriva om hur det är att skriva, och även ha med de bokrescensioner jag tidigare brukat ha med här.

Book release of ”Home”

My new book ”Home” is finally being released. You can get it as an e-book through Quispiam.se, and within a week I will start selling it as paperback.

As described on the website:

A story about obsession, hate, jealousy, love, pain, art, life, death, and the search for a never-ending, never-dying home. But most of all a story about Her.

”Home” is the 30-day memoirs of the search for closure, of the search for a home, of the end of something beautiful. A strange mix of poetry, short stories, biography and fiction.

Visit Quispiam.se where you can also see a bunch of excerpts.

Day n-1: Death

A section from my (hopefully) upcoming book, ”Home”.

 


I have been thinking a lot about Death.

Yes, I guess that’s how this chapter starts after all. I guess it’s the cleanest way. The most honest way. I’ve been thinking a lot about Death.

Always.

When I was about eight or nine, my great grandmother, who I love dearly and who I will always love dearly, was… there was something wrong. I can’t remember the circumstances, being so young, but as I remember it the idea was floating around that it probably was cancer. That she was dying. They were pretty sure.

It was expected. She was old, just around eighty or so. Past her life expectancy.

At the time I was still religious (in some shape or form, read more in whatever chapter I wrote about religion). More than that, I was still a child. I have grown away from the concept of childhood since, I think, even though I might not want to admit it (see, I admitted it). So, I was a child, and, like most children, childish. And, in being childish, I believed, in some shape or form, in magic and miracles.

When I was told (or learned or something, I don’t remember) about my great grandmother’s illness (or whatever it was), I prayed. I prayed for a miracle, I prayed for a cure, I prayed for something to be a mistake. I prayed for her to live. I prayed for her to stay with us. With me.

The day after, I learned that it had been a mistake. She did not have cancer. Something was weird, but it was alright – it just seemed like cancer on the surface and when they looked deeper it was alright. She was going to live. She was going to stay with us. With me.

At that time, as you, dear PR, probably guess, I assumed it was my prayer which helped her. In hindsight, I realised that I was wrong. First of all, it is possible if not even likely that this story is all a figment of my imagination. This is how I remember things going, but it’s likely that it really went very differently. It’s just an anecdotal memory of an eight-year-old brain a dozen years later. Second of all (as I discuss in too much detail in the chapters on Science, God, Superstition and other such topics), there’s no such thing as a miracle. There’s no such thing as a cure. There are aweinspiring advances in medicine made every year, and we should thank the amazing scientists and doctors for what they accomplish with that, but they are only postponing the inevitable –

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

*

I have been thinking a lot about Death.

When I was thirteen, a classmate of mine was killed by a large wave of water crushing his body, killing him instantly. It was the 2005 tsunami, and my friend was in Thailand. I knew he was there when it happened, but only learned that he had been a victim a week or so later. I remember my mother telling me after she had taken the call. I remember not being surprised.

In hindsight, ofcourse I was surprised. My friend had died. But I had no concept of what it meant. I had no idea of what Death was. I was only thirteen, and apart from my paternal grandfather, who I had had absolutely no contact with, I had had absolutely no contact with Death.

After trauma you often go into denial, and only later crash down completely. I did so after learning my father had been in a drunk driving accident. I did so after my most severe break-up, for that matter, not realising what had actually happened until later.

The scary thing is, I don’t remember crashing after my friend died. I can still see his smile and I can still remember him much better than I can remember any other classmates I had at the time. I feel like we are closer now than we were when he was alive. And we were never that close. Death took him away, and I don’t think I ever even realised it. I don’t think I was ready. I think I am now. I am waiting to learn that any of my close friends or my brother or my father or my mother or my great grandmother has died, I am waiting to hear it and to crash. In some sense I want to crash. In some sense I want to feel it. I want it to destroy me.

In some ways I still feel guilty for never crashing after my friend died. Some days I regret not going to his funeral, even though I know he’s gone and don’t mind.

It’s not only strange to imagine he has gone. It’s impossible. I am slowly starting to realise, day by day, that Death is a real thing and not an imaginary monster god in a Lovecraft mythos. I am slowly starting to realise, day by day, that Death is coming, and that Death is eternal.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

Death comes to all of us.

*

When I was maybe five or six, I lay in bed trying to sleep when
I suddenly realised that Death is for all of us.
The concept had never truly struck me before, but now it did.
I started to cry and I ran to my parents’ bedroom.
I told mom what had made me cry.

She embraced me and didn’t let me go. I think she cried too. I think she too realised – even if not for the first time – the horrifying concept in it all.

Even the most religious person must find it hard to one hundred percent believe in an afterlife.

Everyone, everyone, everyone, will be scared to look beyond the veil. It is easy to imagine a paradise.

It is easy to imagine hell.

It is even easy to imagine, like I long did, an emptiness to stand in. I long imagined Death to be an empty hall for me alone, where I could never again talk, or read, or run, or explore

I cried for hours the day I realised how wrong I was.

Death is not only an emptiness to stand in. Death is an emptiness. Death is nothing. Death is an end.

There is an old, possibly aprochyful story about a believer who asks a non-believer where we go when we die, if there is no afterlife. The non-believer (and I have heard many famous names attributed, I have no idea who it really was or if it really took place), is supposed to have said

“When I die,

I go to the same

place where I was

before I was born.”

 

This is truly horrifying in my mind. It is not only a life changing abruptly. It is not a prison camp. It is not eternal sleep. It is nothing. It is a moment of last chance of thought, and then nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

 

For in that sleep of Death, what dreams may come?

I see, I hear, none more, none less, none now.

Forever and always, together in life,

An end to all eternal stuff of dream, of love,

Of legend.

And end to all adventures, thoughts and hopes,

of Her.

 

To love, to dream, to dream no more

To sleep

Ay, there’s the rub.

To dream, to love, to love no more

To Die.

Ay, there’s the

Life, part III: 2013

2013. It always feels weird when facing a new number, every year the same number. I’m enticed to say that the years feel more and more science fiction and futuristic in the 21st century, but I’m sure it felt exactly the same when predicting the near future or facing new years in the 1900s, or for that matter long before that.

2013-01-01 14.12.35

I took a self portrait last year, I have to do another.

Almost exactly one year ago, I made a rather personal post with my hopes and predictions for 2012. I now know the end result. I wrote about being excited for the new Hobbit release, which I have yet to see (but I have bought tickets to see it tomorrow, in HFR and 3D). I wrote about the so-called 2012 Phenomenon, and exposed my worries for a second Heaven’s Gate suicide disaster. I’m glad to know in hindsight that I was wrong, and that the prediction had a small number of true believers.

I wrote about graduating, which I did, and starting a new programme, which I did. But I did not write about changing from an engineering programme to a bachelor one.

I wrote about finalising my first novel, The Tempest, which I did. I wrote about submitting it to publishers, which I did. I did not write about them all refusing it.

I wrote about getting my own apartment, which I did.

I stand by the summary one year ago: ”All in all, it is the year I grow up. Let’s hope I don’t crash and burn while escaping Earth orbit.”

For 2013, I am going to be much more concrete. I like making check lists, so I have decided to make a check list of things to do this year.

  • I will finish all my 2012-2013 school courses.
  • I will finish at least one of the two novels I’m working on (”Home” and ”Loneliness”).
  • I will try at least ten new board games.
  • I will read ten of the best books ever written according to that arbitrary list I found.
  • I will watch ten of the best films ever made according to that arbitrary list I found.
  • I will continue training fitness a little every day, and at least once a week at the gym.

2013. It’s gonna be a good one.

Dream #16

Merely for the thrill, not to really steal anything, I was breaking into an old classmate’s home one night. On the first night, I was just going to prepare through taking out his dog and checking how the house was built. As I was inside (for some reason I was biking), I got lost, and trying to find the exit I got to the back door. I opened and biked out, but on the way I met another old classmate who was to visit my victim, and he saw me. I biked liked hell, finally coming home, fully aware that he had seen me biking out of his house.