Frustration is the great trigger for madness. Just getting to start a blog after you haven’t done it in a while is enough to make you go screaming from the room. Now I am Ok. I have found the right place to click and I have calmed down enough to write about this subject, which drives me mad. I confront frustration all the time and have through out my life. My favorite recollection is from college when I was typing a term paper. I was trying to type the word THE. Each time I typed it, it came out HTE. I would stop take out the white out, and correct the mistake. (This was in the days before computers). I would start again and type HTE. Out with the white out again. Correct the mistake and begin again. This act repeated itself again and again until there was so much goop on this point on the page, the typewriter letters were sticking in the mess and I was tearing my hair out. At last in a fit of rage I picked up the typewriter and tossed it out the window. I lived on the fourth floor of my dormitory. I watched it sail out into the college courtyard and land a long distance from my building. In my anger I had given the machine a mighty hurl. Several students looked up at me in my window and laughed as they passed on toward the library on that windy fall evening. My act had relieved my stress momentarily, but now I would have to retrieve my machine. I descended the stairs and walked out into the courtyard to find my typewriter jammed into the earth on one corner. It’s carriage was bent. I bent it back more or less straight and went back to my room, where I found the machine still worked, except the h would not strike. I didn’t have to worry anymore about typing THE because all I could get was T E or more likely TE.
Today with computers I don’t have that problem anymore, but there are thousands of other frustrations that can make a bipolar person go off his rocker. All people deal with frustration, I just think we are more sensitive to it, and react less sensibly to it. The other day, just before New Years, I was taking a package which needed to go overnight to an editor for a project I am doing. I had the copy made and proceeded to place it in a FEDX box, when I noticed that FEDX does not deliver to a Post Office Box. Frustration overwhelmed me. This was just one last thing in a whole string of small issues standing in my way to finishing my project. I started to curse and drive like a maniac to the US Post Office to get there before they closed for the day and the New Years Holiday. I dodge in and out of traffic. Ran yellow lights turning red. Pushed vehicles out of the way. Screamed and gave the finger to those I thought too slow. I made it, but realized I had acted in a fashion I hadn’t acted like in a long time. I had taken risks I shouldn’t have. I had put others at risk. These were the behaviors of a manic personality, a personality drunk on adrelin for whom payback would be depression.
Dealing with frustration requires taking a step back from the source of the frustration. Not an easy thing to do. Too often we are knotted into the situation that creates the upset and can’t let go. The more the frustrations pile up on one another the more difficult it is too let go. If I can I try to walk away early from a circumstance that looks like it is going in a bad direction, take some deep breaths and come back to it later, it is always better. To often I am not wise enough to do this.