Permeates the air
Heart beats of anger
Its not a soft beating
Trapped in this cage
Of childhood assaults
Broken brain chemistry
The crashing of our bodies
Clashing of our minds
Staunch ego and
Thrash around the room
Your sheer man power
Not at all chivalrous
Yet the weight of my own burden
Unabashedly I beg for more
In the dirty warehouse of unworthy
I’m really trying to be more open, honest and communicative w my husband. I start a new job in 58 days. My mind is almost constantly hurling obsessions and worries around on spin cycle. You see I have been at my current job for 17 years. 4 years ago I made the decision to switch positions within my same company..a promotion. I started in my new role on February 1st 2013. I was hospitalized April 5th after I stood on a bridge for several hours on the verge of jumping. By May, I was experiencing psychosis for the first time in my life and another round in the hospital. By June, I had a diagnosis of Bipolar I w psychotic features. To be fair, I was already being treated for major depression for several years. Delusions, hallucinations, serious suicide attempt, severe manic episode, and probably 7-8 hospitalizations later, here I am, getting ready to start a brand new job at a brand new company.
I can’t stop thinking about this tragic timeline. The safety net in that scenario was my 13 years of being a pretty damn good employee and a union. But now, I arrive w no years of service, on probation, no union. My anxiety is having a field day.
So, yesterday I unveiled my concerns. Recounted my initial descent into bipolar disorder. My husband suggested he has also been thinking about this. To which I was glad because my memory is terrible. Reaching back into history is difficult for me, especially if trying to attach it to a date. He remembered me to be drinking at this time. Did I mention I’m also an alcoholic? I didn’t think I was, but have a few relapses under my belt since my rehab stint in 2007. I honestly can’t keep it all straight. I went w his assumption alcohol was involved and therefore I was unstable and susceptible to such a breakdown. It was highly likely.
I agonized much of the night. Pushed my brain to walk back in time to 2013. I recalled going to depression in sobriety meetings. I was positive I was not imbibing at this time. I could also remember being present and able to learn things. A sign I wasn’t hungover. While this is good news, not only being able to remember something, that I was sober, but maybe it’s not. That “instability” my husband was referring to wasn’t there. Does that mean it was the stress of the new job alone was the culprit?
The wheels on this bus are going to begin to fall off if I don’t get ahold of my mind. Its a new day. Its a new year. I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I’m trying to be more open, honest and communicative…with myself…and others. Awareness is good. Reality checks are helpful. But, having some FAITH IN MYSELF is paramount.
I look down to see where my feet are. Right here. Right now. Not in 2013 and not 58 days from now.
Its true. I have a mental illness. To be exact: bipolar disorder. When we first met I was euphoric. Invincible. Insatiable. We ate. We drank. Drank some more. The sex was amazing. In the park. In an elevator. In the backseat. My entire high school and college career I never exhibited this kind of behavior. Maybe I had finally found myself. Maybe I had never been in love. Maybe I never realized I was manic. Actually, I didn’t know that was even a symptom.
I remember our first “fight.” You threw my keys down the street in frustration. I was drunk. Very drunk and emotional. Okay, distraught and out of control. You had to call the police, despite my tearful pleas. Only 4 months in, we were still getting to know each other. Im still shocked you visited me in the hospital. You must have chosen me at this point.
We found freedom and further love when they let me loose nearly two weeks later. Music festivals. Sleeping in your van by the ocean. You had no money to spare. Lucky for us I had a savings account. I gladly, so gladly, swiped my first ATM card. Lucky in love.
Time passed. My moods alternated from love to hate to pack your bags to move in. My red hair and freckles swayed you every time. Something about me made you choose me. I was loyal. Free spirited. Rather innocent. Quite adventurous.
But riddled with issues. Some in the forefront: bulimia and depression. Others later to be revealed: bipolar and anxiety. Still you chose me.
We’re married now. Sometimes I sink into the couch. Sometimes I roar from the rooftops. Sometimes you bring me extra clothes in the hospital. You carry me more than I carry you. I do my absolute best when I can. You are a torch. I’m sure I don’t say that enough. You are a torch. My tether. When it’s dark you are crawling to find me. Even when I don’t want to be found. You still choose me.
Truth be told I always chose you. You understood me like no one else. Had patience for me like no one else. Reached into me and saw beyond the “issues.” Sat patiently as they checked me out of rehab or out of the hospital. There you were, in the waiting room, choosing me.
Gosh, its only 18 years later. You didn’t waiver as my anxiety over a new job prospect reared its ugly head. Panic attacks. Nightmares. Bursts of tears. Or my intermittent friend insomnia. The loop of obsessions fueling my extreme self doubt and fear. You sat patiently and listened, reminding me I’ll be okay. It will all be okay.
We chose this life together. When we met, I had no idea I would later be diagnosed w bipolar disorder. Experience psychosis and have multiple hospitalizations. I didn’t know how much pain and fear I would cause you. I, we, didn’t know a lot things about a lot of things. But, somehow you knew you wanted to be with me. Through it all. You are still here. We are still here.
Some days I battle this illness alone. Withdrawn. Isolating. But always, you let me know you are still here. Willing to battle with me.
Tomorrow I am going to walk into my place of employment for 17 years and give notice. I’ve been negotiating a position w a vendor for a month or so. I have the opportunity to work part time for a little while. I’m hoping this will help my mental health. I received the job offer on Friday. I’m in a bit of a depressive spiral and can’t find the joy in the news. Thank goodness I get some time off between jobs.
My marriage feels off. Sometimes it’s like we are best friends holding hands while walking on air. Other times it feels like we are two razors nipping at each other. Each little cut stings. I think for me, it’s ten times worse. I can’t sleep. I worry I’m a burden. Then I begin to think he is much better off without me.
Ive been unable to write lately. I stare at my blinking cursor on the empty page. I got nothing. I have lost all motivation and interest. I just sit on the couch and stare. My only real desire is to sleep. I’m not exercising. I’m not eating healthy. I feel like a sloth.
Blah blah blah
My integrity is my breath
And I fall
On its presence
I carry it
And vow to keep it
No matter the
Standing tall while Bedridden or
Riddled w anxiety or
Fuming w rage
but I refuse to allow my
My desire to maintain dignity
In the darkest of times
Be swept away by a
Fury of tears
If there is no light
There is and
Always will be
Even if I am the only one
I am wrestling with myself. So agitated. Every noise and every light grating on me. Every email I read sets off rage. I hate everyone. In the next moment I am cowering in the bathroom crying. Uncomfortable. Disgruntled. But then just overwhelmed and sad. A lovely mixed episode according to my doc. What did I do to deserve this?
I think this started last night. I was wanting to peel my skin off out of disgust. I have just let myself go. Any semblance of a workout routine gone. I used to be so fit and dedicated. Now I’m a sloth. I curse myself, but do nothing about it. I set my alarm last night to exercise this morning before work. I got my out of shape butt on the treadmill by 6 am.
In addition, I am having trouble w my supervisor at work. I’m trying to get a new job. The environment is making me unhealthy. I’m frustrated and confused about her responses to me. I came home upset last night and as a result could not sleep. My mind was in overdrive and I began obsessing. Catastrophizing. Creating immense anxiety. Then my mind was scripting interactions and exactly what I should say, what they would say…on and on. Agonizing. I had to take an additional medication to make it stop.
This post is nothing but a rant. No substance. Sorry. I have nowhere else to go!! well except the bathroom to cry some more. Pitiful!
Chocolate and flowers are not the way into this girls heart. Don’t get me wrong, some decadent dark chocolate and fiery red roses are welcome, but no substitute for deep sincere love.
I’ve experienced “puppy love.” In college I was sure I met the (young)man of my dreams. He was smart, handsome and innocent. He was driven. Broke as hell. Determined to become a doctor. He was so many things I simply wasn’t. My yang. Best of all, he didn’t drink, which left all the alcohol for me and a guaranteed designated driver. Its the little things.
I’ve experienced “unrequited love.” After my puppy love suddenly, out of nowhere, moved out I was broken. Messy. Probably desperate. I latched onto more than a few men but they couldn’t carry my weight. I fell and they watched in dismay. Often saying, “but we just met…” For some reason, these particular men seemed not to appreciate my quick affinity. My ability to throw everything aside. Afford loyalty before trust. As each one walked away, I was more and more confused. Doesn’t everyone want love?
Looking back, I slowly discovered I didn’t really know what love meant. In my formative years, love wasn’t free or forthcoming. It was earned. Straight A’s, for example, gained high favor. Loss of a high school tennis match led to shame. Expression of teenage angst got a wagging of the finger. If I pleased you, the payoff was love. But, then again, not really. Doesn’t everyone deserve love?
Today, I am “madly, deeply loved” by my best friend and husband. I believe I “deeply, madly love” him in return. Its messy. Ugly. Beautiful. Meaningful. Paramount. And above all else, sincere. Nothing is off limits. I yell. Slam doors. Cook dinner. Check the mail. Bring laughter. Be of good cheer. Have anxiety attacks. Have manic moments, depressive weeks and the love can still carry me. This intimacy is immense and binds us in a way I have never known. The warmth and tenderness that permeates the air we breathe no matter what, brings new meaning. Ushers in a whole new understanding of what love truly is. At least for me.
A smoke screen of virtue
As she pretends to be
Other than herself
Staring through that rear view mirror
Clamoring to leave yesterday
As a matter of fact
All the yesterdays she can remember
Luckily the booze and pills
Helps just enough
Allowing moments to fade to black
Til she wakes
Full of regret
To chase another tomorrow
Its the trust, right
Where things are broken
Where the divide starts
Play in your head
I see your shoulders
Your face contort
Doubt in your eyes
I want to set you free
Scream and promise
There are no more illusions
This is me
Breaking down walls
Removal of masks
Taking off tap shoes
No more silhouette
I’m just as scared
To let you in
Let you go
On days like these I don’t know what to do. Noise is too much. I mean the lowest setting on the ceiling fan in the next room is too much. The light is too much. I mean the alarm clock in the farthest corner of the room is too much. I am sooo cold. But my head. My mind is burning up. I put my cold hands to my forehead over and over for relief. But none comes. I close all the shades. Put on noise cancelling headphones. Sit. Breathe in and out to a count of five. But I can’t sit. I can’t breathe.
So I pace. But I’m so tired. Yet, so agitated and restless. I send a desperate text as the tears begin to fall. I don’t know what to do. Terrible discomfort. I want to fall into bed. Escape with sleep. Rest. But I cannot. Neither my body nor my mind can fend off this intense desire to jump out of my skin or through a window.
I bounce around the room from couch, to kitchen stool, to the floor and back round again. Massage my neck. Put on loose clothing. Wrap myself in a blanket. I tried the ice in a bowl. Taking notice of my senses. Drinking hot tea. I am out of ideas.
I rush around my small house. Thoughts crash into me. Some big. Some small. Some disturbing. Some just silly. I pass by my “art box” in a frenzy. Back and forth until I think to pick up my paint brush. I pour some paint onto an already used canvas. Swoosh the color around. Aggressive at first. Then rhythmic. My body begins to sway as I see my brush dance. My breathing begins to soften as the paint collides into beautiful choreography. My story in the moment.
I never used to believe in “that rhetoric:” Feelings pass. Tomorrow is another day. Ride the wave. Blah blah blah. But, as I give myself a chance more and more. Let myself FEEL the moment more and more. Accept. I see the possibility in this language. The possibility in me.
I may not always have a canvas available. Paint at my disposal. But, luckily today my toolbox afforded me this option. Each toolbox is different. At home or on the go. The value of even the smallest hint of a tool box is evident. It, like me, can always be a work in progress.