Rapid cycling – or simply finding myself?
Moving between depression and hypermania is quick. I stumble into a wine tasting downtown, and since I need my phone charged, paid the entrance fee and tried all the wine. Loud music. Eclectic crowd. Chat to the guy at the door and the guy at the till. Full of beans. I invite everyone to my next event – which I am late for as I need Uber and don’t have a working phone. The electricity had been down at my hotel. Which didn’t bother me then, because I slept for three hours.
Now ready to move on. Just waiting for my phone to finish charging, so decide to sit at the wine tasting and write …. why not. I think I will blog through the rest of my days so that things make sense, I can work through ho-hum life, and record events for when I am 90 and bored with no memory. Make that 60.
I then take an interesting and interrupted trip the rooftop event, where champers is on the house and get chatting to some new friends about our life history. Watch the sunset from the rooftop of the Urban Backpackers Hostel.
Suddenly I fade. My perky and chatty self becomes dull and slow. My head feels heavy, eyes at half mast. Not even two ciggies hold back the slump. I pack it in and head back to my bed, crash early and sleep for 12 hours. The relatively little (for me) booze was not a good idea.
Dr L adjusted my meds a few days ago. Lithium and Epilem (sodium valproate) stays the same. Increased Venlor (Effexor) and added Rivotril (benzodiazepine Clonazepam) for when I need it. Maximum three times a day, however I find I have been feeling like I am on Rivotril without taking it. Rivotril makes me nervous – my kids say I speak slowly and they become anxious about a relapse. And it’s also known to bring on depression. Takes me back to the good old days, when one Rivotril had me propping myself against the hospital walls and missing the toilet. What a virgin.
So now it’s Sunday morning and I have coffee and breakfast at Pata Pata, the funky restaurant on my street downtown. Its feels warm – people warm. Africa is people warm – that’s why I am here, where the warmth is, and not at an exclusive spa or in the wealthy northern suburbs. Where I live, which makes me a counter-snob. I need to see ordinary people going about their days, tourists amazed that one day there is no electricity and the next day, no water. The smiles, with a cautionary tale about what not to carry on the street. And all I see is people walk and talk on cell phones, take pics on cell phones, text on cell phones.
I feel quiet. I think I will come back in two weeks’ time, when my stepson is in my home (carefully worded and so immature). Maboneng and downtown feels normal, I am the person I was before grown-up life began. I can be depressed or deadened or alive, and I can be anonymous.