Broken once again

The rapid mod swings over the past week have culminated in tears streaming down my face for 2 days. Interspersed are some all out sobs. I feel broken.  But I’m not even sure what broke me.  I just sit and stare. Tears flow. I’m not thinking. It’s as if I’m not even here.  I can hear my husbands voice, but it takes a minute to process the words.  In return, I have no words. I shrug my shoulders when he asks what’s wrong or if I’m okay. I shake my head no when he offers food. I curl up as tight as I can when the waves of despair come. They was over me and it’s so painful. Sometimes I can’t breathe.  I’m too tired to look for reasons.

Lost in my silent hell I loaded up on sleep medication to escape. Even staring at the wall was beginning to hurt. I see no purpose in my existence.  Drenched in bipolar depression I crawl into bed at 7pm.  It’s still light out. I used to love longer days. Many a time I would enjoy summer sunsets over my back fence. I would breathe the beauty into my being.  Pinks, reds, occasional orange hues fanning across the sky.  But today I just see and feel darkness. Dragging my body towards my bedroom as my husband watches tv.  Begging the medication to kick in, wondering if I took enough to quell the usual insomnia.

Day #2 I watch my husband from the couch. He is cooking and cleaning while I feel like stone. I can barely move and the guilt weighs that much more.  I can muster yes and no answers, but that’s about it. Tears fall. I do not even wipe them away.  He comes over to sit with me and I just burrow into his chest and begin to sob. He tells me I’m going to be okay.  I don’t respond as my mind has settled on the best way to end this miserable existence.  He falls asleep to the hum of the tv. I stare right through it.

Day#3 I force myself to write this. My husband tells me he needs/wants me to be happy.  As if I don’t. He has left for the day.  I am now alone with my thoughts and plans. The demons of my mind are coming out to play uninvited.  I really don’t have the energy for games.  If I could disappear from this couch I would.  I am desperate to end this emotional pain.

while I’m no stranger to this bipolar merry go round it never seems to get easier, at least for me.  I can try to be a hero and just push right on through, which is what I often do. Hunker down and try that much harder at work.  I can’t miss work now as a project I have been working on for months is coming together. They are relying on me. My boss is relying on me to meet the deadline.  But, it’s not heroic to neglect myself, my symptoms. Eventually it turns disastrous.  This is the hardest part for me. Wanting to be a responsible, productive employee that follows through and gets things done and wanting to be a responsible person with bipolar disorder to get help before the crisis.

Whats it going to be!?!





Do labels help or hinder

I’m really struggling. I’ve been feeling immense agitation and anger. I am not a mean person by any regards. Truthfully I don’t really know how to be mean.  It’s just not in me.  Now, get some alcohol in this alcoholic and its Jekyll and Hyde. But I digress.

Yesterday I was so full of hate. Evil darkness had taken over my body and mind. I could literally feel it. A violent rumbling storm reverberating through my insides. I was being bombarded with intrusive thoughts of harming other people. Visions of these violent acts were parading before my eyes. My fists clenched. Just Angry!! This is not an emotion I handle well.  I was never really taught how to handle many emotions in my younger days.

I am diagnosed bipolar I w psychotic features. Have been since May 2013. My psychiatrist deftly slipped in the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in an email after I was questioning some of my reactions/behavior. I haven’t agreed w her in regards to the anxiety being anything but a symptom of my BP.  I misunderstood all of what anxiety entails. It’s much bigger than I ever knew. For me, I mostly experienced it as physical symptoms such as “butterflies” in my stomach or full on panic attacks. These feelings didn’t happen all that often. But, what was happening was obsessing over scenarios past and present.

For example the morning of my evening therapy appointment began a furry of thoughts on what I should talk about, what I shouldn’t, in what order, how I was going to say I would script my portion and then assume what her response would be. This would go on all day leading up to the appointment. I would get there and have no idea what to say. I thought these were racing thoughts attributed to bipolar. Now, I’m being told its obsessive thinking related to anxiety. My therapist doesn’t make me nervous! I don’t understand. But it’s what happens.

So, back to my violent thoughts.  My boss, who I love, gave notice. She has been so understanding and flexible with my issues. I felt safe and protected under her watch. If I needed to go home because I couldn’t regulate my emotions that day, she said no problem. On days I forced myself into the office and maybe shouldn’t have, she took notice and kindly & compassionately sent me home. When I had to take a 3 month leave of absence she welcomed me back w a smile, no judgement.  She is a great person and this is a big loss.  When a colleague said something disrespectful about her leaving, I immediately envisioned setting her on fire. Whoa!

Obviously bothered by this, I checked in w my doctor. She said it was anxiety. I thought, why does she keep pushing that on me. No way are violent thoughts associated w anxiety.  Sure enough an Internet search yielded info as such, mostly with folks who have OCD.  I don’t have rituals, but I can admit I have obsessive thinking.

So, I guess I have Bipolar I and General Anxiety Disorder now.  Not sure how I feel about this.  I still don’t think I’ve truly accepted the BIpolar part. I guess it is what it is.

Dancing her heart out

She reached into the darkness of her closet. Fumbled as she searched the back wall. Finally, her fingers found the laces. Through the cobwebs she fetched her shoes. They are well worn, but not for a long time. Still snug as she slips her right foot in, then the left. If in this order she feels safer.
The hand bag she prefers to use for these trips is torn and tattered. Amber pays no mind to this kind of detail. Getting through the trip unscathed is really all that matters. Once she walks through that door she is prey. Falling victim to expectation over and over she returns home heart broken.
The funny part is she abandoned the mask just a few short years ago. Feeling short changed she thought perhaps if she showed her true self things would be different. The sad truth is, unconsciously, she traded the mask for the tap shoes.
Obligation of Mother’s Day called for her to leave the comfort of home. Her home. Flowers? Candy? Wouldn’t make a difference, they still wouldn’t notice her. She laughs when they laugh. Listens intently to their stories of vacation and frivolous detail. If they were to ask about her, the things she is doing or facing, she had a safe yet savvy response. But like most other times, the questions never come.
Instead she stands on point, in her tired tap shoes. She dances around and smiles. Twirls in the delight of their stories. Side steps any awkward silences. Digging in her heels she wonders if they care how hard life is for her sometimes. Klickety klack in the kitchen where they talk of wine and beer. Libations she cannot partake in for her sanity.
A backbend into the living room. No it’s okay, she is fine. No need to ask about her career, her health. Much easier to talk about her brother. Dancing to their beat, their rhythm she moves in and out of conversation. Being talked at, almost like drums just to fill the space. No room for comment. Amber tried to insert herself, have a say, but was rolled over. Politely I’d admit. As if nothing was said at all. The gluttonous dialogue continued. Root step root step shuffle, Amber tapped her way to the silence of the bathroom.
A momentary pause to wonder how people become so selfish. In direct result, others get their feelings hurt. Though none of these words will be uttered. More dancing. After all, it’s Mother’s Day.

The best prescription for agitation

When the agitation gets this high I seek destruction. I drive faster, I eat more, I kick things, I yell, scream, storm out. Ultimately I think I want to die. Crawling in my skin, crawling out of my skin. Sharp tongue. Raised voice. Constantly rubbing and pulling at the back of my neck..where the tension lies.
Tears roll and I scorn them. How could I be so weak and pathetic? What is this even about? Pacing around the house like a caged animal. The answer has to be somewhere. Although I’m not really looking, I just can’t sit still. I can’t find my breath. I don’t even want to breathe. Ultimately I think I want to die.
Pouring the medication into my hand last night I wanted to add more. If 3 is supposed to be the magic number, maybe 6 is even better. Perhaps it’s 9. Electric currents of impulsivity fueling my decision making. Each buzz hits my hand and jostles the bottle, one more pill fell into my hand. One more than is prescribed. And again. As I cup them in my hand I wonder if I find the right combo, maybe this time I won’t wake up. I won’t have to fight this intense agitation. Feel like some out of control monster that has to hide away from work, from society. The noise is too loud. The light is too bright. I am too raw to be in the world today. Yet I feel too broken to be alone.
I turn to social media for help, reassurance, something to tell me I’m okay. I’ve pushed friends away long ago. Some just not capable of understanding and some just lost patience as rapid cycling bipolar throws me up then throws me down. I am guilty of not picking up that phone. On days like today I am convinced no one would want to be around me. Hell, I don’t want to be around me.
My house is small. An echo chamber. Just like my mind. If I yell and scream into this space it just comes back at me. I feel trapped. Alone. My neck hurts, my head hurts, my heart hurts. I wouldn’t wish these feelings onto my worst enemy. How ironic because in reality I am my own worst enemy. The skill of self compassion is missing from my tool box. Truth is I kicked that box out of sight. So here I am. In pain. Raw.
Constantly fighting myself, my symptoms I forget I have tools. Calming techniques for agitation, or at the very least dispelling the negative energy. I think I am beyond sitting quietly for art. I need to blast some music and get this knotted up body moving. Quickly I make my way to the treadmill. Luckily the prescription for exercise is unlimited.