Splintering – from the verb to splinter which means “break or cause to break into small sharp fragments” – is pretty much what I feel as though has happened to me.

Every now and then I get to a point where I don’t hit rock bottom but I hit something that makes me realise what manic depression has done to me over the years. I manage it well but it manages me so much better in the long run.

I’m in the dip part of a cycle and, from what I can remember, the original dip started last week so with a bit of luck this is the last few days of yet another cycle. In a way I’ve been lucky because the mood swings have been taking whole days to pass but they’re no less destructive than the whirlwinds of ultradian cycling.

Today is memory loss today. Sometimes I lose a few days of memories and other times I can’t remember what I have to do but today is the kind of day that really pisses me off because I talk to someone and say all I have to say then remember something else I should have said or a question I should have asked and it goes on and on. I am drowning under scraps of paper that will make no sense tomorrow as they’re rather incoherent reminders of things that are probably of no significance.

I’m a mass of pieces where there was once a whole person and when my head puts all the bits back together again it won’t be quite the same. As myself I don’t change but my hard won resilience gets beaten into a pulp and each time I wonder if this will be the last time I’ll be able to cope with an episode, be well enough to recover, to come out of the other side or even survive to live another day.

This is seriously frightening and it scares me far more than you can imagine. It’s why people with manic depression/bipolar disorder die, we just run out of coping and the only option isn’t an option we really want to exercise but one that we have to.

My last consultant was confident that I’ll keep on keeping on and he said on more than one occasion that a lesser person would have died a long time ago. This gives me hope and it’s one of the things that I try to remember. I remember too that I am loved and this pushes me forward. People are that silent and gently guiding hand that I can feel at the small of my back even on those days when I am physically alone. I hope you know who you are.

Today is a tearful day as I’ve realised that my capacity to argue about my passions has diminished. I can take arguments so far and then no further. I lose my words and I lose the capability to explain why I think the way I do. It’s a small casualty though and it may return. I lost the ability to concentrate on reading for a long time but it’s back now and I’m happy about that.

Yes, happy. I’ve not got an ideal life but I have a good one. We all have ups and downs but the point is to keep on going, just keep on going. The essence of manic depression is change and as long as I can go with the changes then I’m okay because I have a future and I’m glad of that.

I’ve been told more than once that I’m too tough to die and I’ve got a feeling that it’s true…