The summer of 1971, the movie Willy Wonka premiered and we met many characters in the film. I am sure we all had favorites and then of course there were a few of the characters that made our skin crawl. One character that stood out was Veruca Salt. She was loud, demanding and bratty. I think the dialogue between her and her father, sums me up accurately when I am dealing with one of the many symptoms of my bipolar: impulsivity…
Impulsivity (or impulsiveness) is defined as a multifactorial construct that involves a tendency to act on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or no forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences.
When she was with the rest of the golden ticket recipients she belted out the following lyrics:
“I want the world … I want the whole world … I want to lock it all up in my pocket … It’s my bar of chocolate … Give it to me … Now!
I want today … I want tomorrow … I want to wear ’em like braids in my hair … And I don’t want to share ’em
I want a party with room fulls of laughter … Ten thousand tons of ice cream … And if I don’t get the things I am after … I’m going to scream!
I want the works … I want the whole works … Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises … Of all shapes and sizes … And now … Don’t care how … I want it now … Don’t care how … I want it now!”
I find myself, at times, acting like Veruca, breaking out in song and dance, belting out a number or two about all the things that I want and how I want it now! When fully engaged in a manic episode, I want what I want when I want it, and I want it now! You know simple things, like chopping my hair off, and dying it blonde. Going on a shopping spree or starting a blog 😊… maybe making a cake and then a dozen cupcakes, and then three dozen doughnuts, and a four-course dinner completely from scratch and painting all the walls in my house new, bright, vivid colors…
If only I wanted to impulsively clean my house, that would be an effective use of the symptoms and productive too, but it is on a rare occasion that I get the impulse to clean. Perhaps I should try and channel that desire a bit more next go around.
And when I mention an impulse, it’s not just a want, like I think I kind of sort of want to look on Pinterest at some hairstyle ideas… it is a need, like feeling it so deep down inside of me, I can feel it all the way down to the very top of my little baby pinkie toe on my left foot. Like, I am going to spend fourteen hours straight looking at every short hairstyle there is on Pinterest , of every person who has the same size face as me, and then could potentially have the same color blonde hair that I think I must have and then call my hairstylist and plead with her to get me in as soon as possible and make up some kind of a lie about why it has to be within the next five days because the world is literally going to come to an end if I don’t get seen and get my hair done! There is this strong, burning desire inside of me that makes it impossible for me to continue to exist unless I get what it is I want or I may end up dying (I am not dramatic or anything). It’s as if I won’t be able to continue to breathe if I don’t act on the impulse, that my brain won’t be able to think on another subject if I don’t do whatever it is, like I will not be able to function or exist at all, that my life may just end. The impulse is such a strong burning fire inside of me and the only way to quench it is to act on the impulse.
For me, the impulsivity and acting out on impulses are not the only things that gets me into trouble. I am swimming in debt like Scrooge McDuck swims on his piles of gold money because of the years I spent struggling with mania and how I coped with a shopping addiction as my vice. But, the thing that has caused me even more trouble would be my mouth… the gift that just keeps on giving.
My mother has said that I have been talking since birth. A reason this blog is named bella’s babbles is because my mother has said that I have been babbling since my origin. She has said that since I was small I would go on and on and on about things and my mom would mumble along with me and every once and a while say “ok” to me, and then clear as day I would say “I can?!?” and I would bolt in the opposite direction and she would have to track me down and find out what she agreed to.
I have always been a person that speaks her mind. It has made me who I am. People either love me for it, or they hate me for it. When you throw in some mania and depression, with a dash of impulsivity, be prepared for your eyes to pop out of your head. The shit that falls out of my mouth is epic! I have managed to lose jobs over the powerfulness of the weapon aka my mouth.
I am that parent that embarrasses her children. I am that partner that makes her spouse blush. I am that friend that makes her friends turn around and shoot arrows out of their eye sockets at you when you run off at the mouth and your timing is not at all perfect. And my go to response is always “You know you were thinking it, I just had the balls to say it!”
There are times when I start talking and I don’t even realize what I am saying is not appropriate, fowl, or crude. I just am prattling on and before I know it everyone around me is white in the face looking like ghosts. I replay what I just said and realize I just made a total ass of myself. Other times I know I maybe walking on thin ice but I just don’t even care. My ability to censor myself is broken and what I say breaks all limits and boundaries.
I’m on medications that is supposed to help with my impulsivity. The shopping addiction has been well under control for over a year and a half now. I have had two manic episodes in the same amount of time. Same goes for periods of major depressive episodes. But no medication seems to have worked it’s magic on my mouth. During my last session with my psychologist we were problem solving on what I can do to try and curtail my verbal assaults. A recommendation was wearing a rubber band on my wrist and each time I feel like I am about to make a total jackass of myself to snap myself with the rubber band. So far, this has worked zero out of 56 times since Thursday. I have a nice welt on my left wrist though, sexy if I may say so myself! Another suggestion was physically removing myself from the situation, going to the bathroom and washing my face. This one has not worked either. Why would I go wash my face and wash away my makeup? That would mean I would have to re-apply my makeup. And what a waste of makeup and my hard-earned money? Obviously, my therapist was not thinking clearly when she made this recommendation. On my own, I have come up with the whole sitting quietly and just not speaking. This HAS worked, well kind of. But then I need to make up for lost time of not talking, so then I go into talking overdrive and then I dig this fucking giant ass hole that I then sit in the day after and feel like total shit for all the things I have said, and have the most amount of remorse ever and fall into a bout of depression. It really IS a vicious cycle.
The biggest down side to impulsivity, whether it is acting out on an impulse or reacting to something that was said, is dealing with the consequences. You can return what you bought during a shopping spree, if you happen to kept the receipt. But you can’t get back the respect that you lost from your friends and your family. You can’t take back the things that you said, when you were drinking or the activities that you engaged it. It’s a dangerous symptom of Bipolar, one with an infinite number of consequences. And after the last few weeks, I think I am a bit overdue for a bit of time spent sitting in time out…
“I want a ball … I want a party … Pink macaroons and a million balloons … And performing baboons and … Give it to me … Rrhh rhhh … Now!”
#bipolar #impulsivity #mania #depression #willywonka #consequences #timeout #medication #shopping #debt #babble