Posted by: Harold Knight | 10/04/2009

Yesterday was, I think, a bipolar day.
(When I use that sentence, I hear in memory the line, “Have a Mulberry Day,” from the BBC comedy of the same name. A charming series. Mulberry is a gentle and handsome young man, the son of Death, who is sent by his father to kill the cantakerous and isolated Miss Farnaby. Instead, he pushes her and tricks her into opening her life and experiencing the joys she had always denied herself. OK, don’t panic, but any show in which death is running around being kind and funny has immediate appeal to me.)

The Greatest Escape?

The Greatest Escape?

Back to yesterday. I say it was a bipolar day knowing full well that there is always a chance I am justifying my behavior and feelings by claiming they are caused by a disease of my brain when they are purely manifestations of the seven deadly sins.  In yesterday’s case: sloth, gluttony, lust, and pride. Sloth because I simply did not want to do the work I needed to do (mainly grading papers and practicing the organ). Gluttony because, in my isolation and boredom, I ate way too much junk. Lust because I did a little porn-gazing on this very computer. Pride because I could not bring myself to associate with anyone because I felt pretty worthless and unattractive, and I knew I was floating off into a world of anger at myself and inability to do anything that would change that, and I didn’t want anyone to see me in that state.

I remembered to pay the rent (often it’s ten or twelve days late with the $25 per day late fee charged). While I was in the apartment office, I picked up my mail which the very kind postal delivery person bundled up and gave to the manager for safe-keeping instead of taking it back to the post office because my box was stuffed full. The manager joked that perhaps I should check it at least once a month.

Does this sound like sloth to you? I honestly don’t know. One of the pamplets I have describes one group of depressive symptoms of bipolarity as:

Inability to concentrate
Memory problems
(Of course, one should beware any medical pamphlet published by a company that manufactures  a medication prescribed to cure the illness it’s describing.)

Indecision: “Shall I go over to the other part of the building and get the mail today?” Sloth: “No, I can do it tomorrow.” Disorganized: “I don’t know what to do with that pile of mail when I get it.” Pride: “Why should I, wonderful special I, have to bother with such plebian work?” And the mail piles up—bills, notices from the IRS, and all.

Go figure.

Then I had to go to Kroger. I had no protein in the house to eat, and no leafy greens that I wanted to eat. At least I realized I was hungry and ought to eat something besides the delicious guacamole from the Latino supermarket next door on very fattening corn chips. The cats needed clean litter (they don’t sell our kind at the Latino store). I summoned all my energy and courage to go out for the first time yesterday at about 6:30 PM. The supermarket lights and noise had a worse than usual effect on my poor TLE brain. But I managed to do my shopping (even remembered tooth paste). And then got to the check out and could hardly manage it (I shouldn’t have gone to the self-check line, but I didn’t want to cope with a clerk). I couldn’t lift the kitty litter to scan it because of the pain in my right wrist from where I fell on Friday (such a bruise I never did have). People behind me were pissed. Don’t ask. I know. I finally got it finished and left, and, of course, a deluge had worked itself up so I got drenched going to the car. And I fell onto my sore wrist trying to get the kitty litter onto the seat.

I can't escape.

I can't escape.

I went home and cried and then ate supper and then watched half of “The Great Escape,” but didn’t want to cope with the horrid ending. I want all those beautiful men to make it out. (Did I ever tell you that I once knew one of those men? True, not bipolar grandiosity. Ask Professor Nelsen.)

So you tell me. Was I altogether acting out the sins of my youth yet again, as I do every day, or was I in a condition I might find a way not to let myself fall into?

And why would I give anything not to have to go to church right now, Sunday morning? I just don’t want to, and, besides, I obviously didn’t do laundry yesterday, and the only clean clothes I have make me look even fatter and less attractive than I usually do. Miss Farnaby escapes in every episode. Me? I’m not so sure.


  1. “Lazy” is the word I use to beat myself up with when I look at all the things I need to do, and my brain cringes (and my brow literally furrows) and says “I can’t.” Many times, the only reason necessary things get done is that I have housemates I don’t want disappointed or disgusted by my inaction. Sometimes it’s accompanied by depression, but it’s as likely to be that fact that whatever needs to be done isn’t any fun, and I just don’t want to do it. Of course, then the not doing of it makes me tell myself how lazy I am, and that makes me depressed. Vicious circles, aren’t they?


  2. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time
    choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!


  3. I think it’s called “Ocean mist” from Weblog.



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