Slow Suffocation

That moment you sit in group therapy with a bunch of strangers and admit you are hearing voices. You further admit there is a chanting of “join me in hell” “you are not welcome here anymore” that permeates the air you breathe. Nothing seems real, yet its all so overwhelming. The breaking point is near. I need to go to the hospital is lingering on my tongue. The badgering of ideas on ways to end my existence overfills the space between my ears. There are no more tears. Only tunnels. I feel like I’m crawling through a tunnel devoid of sound, touch, light. Is this what true darkness feels like. Perhaps just enough air, but not really. Its not easy, Peaceful breathing. Nor hard labored. My lungs aren’t expanding. New oxygen isn’t being received. Perhaps I am slowly suffocating. Makes sense. my world is so smal. yet my pain so big. And yet again..no big loss or tragedy has befallen me. Its my mere existence that causes the pain. My husband had the audacity to question my motives. Suggest maybe I am manipulating him. Holy fuck. To think I would righteously and purposely put my mental health in harms way to…to..what? Disrupt his life. If only he knew how much I feel relieving him of the stress&burden that is me plagues me everyday. One fatal shot. One tree. One belt. Bottle of pills.
The amount of IM SO SORRY that I carry is phenomenal. He loves me. God knows he does. I know he does. I wish it weren’t so and I need more love at the same time. Miss independent I walk around. I don’t need you or anyone else for that matter. Not true. So not true. I’m desperate for friends for connection. I just can’t seem to find it or maintain it.
As I admit the reality that I need the hospital. As I write these words. Hug someone close today. Tell that friend who struggles they matter. Important words everyone needs to hear.

Welcome to the Show

This is a retred…I find myself wearing a mask often around the holidays.

Welcome to the masquerade ball
Where all are dressed to a tee
Lace and leather
Satin and feather
An invitation to mockery
Grand fall from grace
Faces upon faces sache
Empty emotion locked in place
Bittersweet madness captured
I search and
I search
For a sense of reality
Lost in the maze of duality
Frozen and Contorted smiles
Bright colored sadness
In a fit of desperation
I dash from mask to mask
Begging for guidance
One hand wipes away my tear
One turns a cold shoulder
I falter, scramble
Into the devil himself
Red cape smooth as silk
White gloves of evil
His finger to my lips
My Muffled screams do not echo
The picture perfect persona
Melded to my face
I am left to dance with inner turmoil
Only I can see
Round and round
The room devoid of humanity
An air of confused dignity
Heads held high in reform
It’s a new way of living
Behind the glitter and shine
One step two
Your existence but a matter
Of show
Of fools gold
Shattered pieces of self
Fall away under the fancy guise
Red stiletto heels stomping on real faces
Emotions masked
But not dulled
Pain will reign
There shall the devil be
Preying on your fragility

You & I

The ties that bind
Unravel before my eyes
Your ring now rests
In some side drawer
Our once love swelled dialogue
Reduced to matter of fact
You keep later hours
Always briefcase in tow
Exhausted from office politics
No desire for in house drama
I keep earlier hours
The need for sleep paramount
Box of tissues in tow
Exhausted from the dance
Of mental illness and
Relationships

Home in my Cocoon

I hide away in a cocoon of blankets under the guise of a headache. But its depression that lures me here in the light of day. Depression snuggles next to me at first. Gives me time to get comfortable. Flipping and flopping. I’ve only been awake for 4 hours of the day. I guess I’m tired. I mean I feel exhausted but doubt sleep will afford me any true rest. Isolation is likely what I crave. No forced smiles or laughs.
Yesterday it took everything I had to leave the house to see one of my favorite bands. I have been waiting to see them for months. Over dinner my husband tried to pry out of me what’s wrong. The only answer I have is, I don’t know. Sometimes there isn’t a reason. I mumbled I think I have to take time off work. He asked me if I was going to hurt myself. Again my answer I don’t know. We ate in silence for a while as those words loomed over our table. I excused myself and took several moments in the restroom to let the tears run free.
We made our way to the music. The band said “this is the last night of the tour so we are going to let it all out and leave it all here. After several songs passed me by, I finally let the music take me as if I too was letting it all out. Stomping my feet, shaking my hips, singing the words. I felt like I was there. In the moment. Relishing the sounds and what it was doing to my body. No thoughts. No anxiety. One with crowd. Just another fan full of delight. But, then I burst into tears out of nowhere. A flood of forsaken anguish about what..I don’t know. I was dizzy and couldn’t breathe. I fell backwards into my husband who held me up. He took my hand and led me to a chair. He gave me as much time as I needed. I covered my face. Then my ears. Looked at him w eyes brimming with tears.
I felt betrayed. Heartbroken. I thought I was doing all the right things. Staring bipolar disorder in the face. I guess he got the last laugh because I had to leave. Get fresh air. Get home to my cocoon.

Devil Has Taken up Court

Tyranny run amok
In the recesses of my mind
The devil has taken up court
And he is most unkind
Thoughts don’t feel like my mine
Reverberations of self hate
Confusion and guilt
Influenced by his lordship
He pushes me as I begin to slip
Into the darkness of his hell
His fire and brimstone
Manipulate my soul
Heavy handed he baits me
Presenting me the rope
As if in grand ceremony
He shall awash me of pain
My body heaving for breath
Soon lay 6 feet under
Cold, damp dark soil
Surrounding me
Protecting me
As his dubious demands at first
Caused ripples of recoil
They snaked their way into my psyche
Feverishly adding oil
Aiding my descent
Into unknown charters of the deceased

Should I just cut My Losses

Clutching the pillow tightly and wiping away tears w my sleeve, I sat on my therapists couch revealing I am contemplating suicide. I have two solid plans. They are the same plans I have had for a few years. One plan I “practiced” in the past. I don’t want to fail. I need to be sure it will work. My previous full blown attempt landed me in the emergency room for over 24 hours hooked up to monitors and IV’s. FAILURE. After the psych hospital I went to the Intensive Outpatient Program for several weeks. I was angry. Truly angry I was still alive. That was a few years ago.
I was crying insisting if I took my life over the past week while my husband was out of town, only he would only know cuz I would not answer the numerous texts and phone calls throughout the day. As I laid in bed for the 4th day I believed no one cared and I wouldn’t really be missed. Very few know of my diagnosis and I tend not to let them in anyway. No loss.
I awaited the question: what kept you from following through? I think partly lack of energy, but mostly I didn’t want my husband, who was 3000 miles away, to have figure out how to handle the situation. Plus, he was already immersed in stress with his ailing mother. I couldn’t do it to him, not like this. I have to wonder would it be better for him if it happened while at work. A mere 40 miles away? Of course not. I absolutely do not want to hurt my husband near or far. But somehow the thought of the distance made some sort of difference.
So, as any mood disordered brain might, It focused on how to proceed once he returned. Which is now. It saddens me that I am thrilled about his return, but my broken spirit keeps me from showing it. Shrouded in guilt always. Guilty I wasn’t being honest while he was away as I didn’t want to cause him extra stress. Guilty that he is home and I probably appear like I don’t care. Once again that voice inside, and sometimes outside, is on auto repeat…burden, you don’t belong here. And still another voice baits me and tells me if I take time for myself I am letting my job down, burdening my coworkers w my undone projects. I am so conflicted. Ultimately I just want to be done.
The plan my therapist and I made was that I would call IOP and ask to come in on Monday. I requested they help me assess where I’m at, what I need. Should I push through and go to work. Should I be proactive and get some more intensive help. Should I cut my losses and end the burden.

Grim Reaper is Lurking

I’m trying to be strong. If that means immersing myself in breakfast burritos,television and booze i am superwoman. Curtains closed. Pajamas on. No shower for 4 days. Didn’t leave the house for 4 days. Calling in sick. Believing I am sick. Tissues not for a cold but the steady stream of unwanted tears.
But,then I look in that mirror while brushing my teeth, trying to rid myself of depression stench, I am broken. Red swollen eyes peering back at me. I want to avert my eyes and embrace the pain at the same time. The darkness is here. Taken over. I am swept downstream into the proverbial pit in a matter of days. Maybe it was hours. I don’t even know. Does it really matter? I have come to rest in the mud and mire. Couldn’t move if I wanted to. Muffled screams, cries for help. No one can hear you down here. Devil got my tongue and pride.
Denial is like a tattoo, etched into my being. Its okay. I’m alright. Just breathe. Shake it off. Nothing to see here. I’m only drowning in my own fears. My own half truths. Depression whispers in my ear. You don’t belong. Burden. Weakness oozing from your pores. Look at you, pathetic sole rippling in agony. Why? For what? You’ve got a car. House. Job. Husband. Please. Many other people have it hard. Are struggling. If you killed yourself the world would carry on without a doubt. These whispers become roars. I cower in the corner.
Half truths. I do feel like a burden. I do worry I am too much. My weakness bleeds into my job, my marriage. I’m not present. Always battling that devil. He’s got not only my tongue, but my ear. Nonsense filtering into my heart. Adrenaline of hate seeps into my psyche. I could pull the trigger so easily in these moments. I picture it. I embody it.
But, I don’t. The television roars. The doorbell sings of pizza. Distraction. Pleasant or unpleasant somehow keeps me here. The good guys on tv prevail. Maybe, so can I. Trivial, yes. But I takes what it takes. The grim reaper may be lurking, but I might just be stronger than I think.

Instant Breakdown

Depression is beating me down. I’m not sure I can get up. I’m not even sure I want to if I could. The cold tile floor is somehow soothing to my broken skin. I laid in bed for hours, exhausted. Beyond exhausted and sleep would not come. I tried to make a cup of tea and It slipped through my hands. Instant breakdown landed me face to face with earl grey. No more energy to spare to pull myself up I lingered, drenched from wicked emotional unrecognizable sobs. Thats a lie. Bipolar depression is no stranger.
As the clocks fell back so did my stamina, interest, desire, and purpose. Just a little more lifeless each day. Put my husband on a plane last night. Out from under my mask, I thought I could breathe easier. Take a load off. My body is so heavy. My breath shallow and forced. Voices echo from the corner of the room. I don’t want to be here anymore.
I can’t do this again. I can’t face another winter like this. I shout its not fair, but the words dissipate before they can be heard. No matter. No one is here to witness my disintegration. To stop it. To help me stop it. Earl and I on the floor alone. Again and again.

A Year of Chronicles

WordPress sent me an anniversary note. Wow! One year of blogging. On my very own blog! I started out writing for my friends blog because at the time I was pretty ill and couldn’t fathom managing a blog myself. It seemed too big. Too overwhelming. Too much responsibility. Of course I had no idea what I was talking about. It was just fear standing in my way. When my friend said he was done with his site I had to make a decision. Write and share w no one or enter the blogosphere. I also had to lower my expectations.
I often think my blog should be fancier. Post pictures or have a better theme. Be more eye catching. Glamorous. Amazing. But, really it’s my words that I want to stand out. That’s my soul purpose here…written expression. Keeping it simple is more my style. I’m not really fancy in any other area of my life. Or graceful for that matter. I’ve considered maybe my writing is too dark. Too disturbing. I don’t tread lightly in choosing my words. I lay it out in my terms, terms that really speak to this roller coaster. From the demons of depression to the heightened senses of mania, I tell it like I feel it. When I don’t know what I’m feeling, equate to being lost…confused, I try to put a voice to it as best I know how.
I first wrote in 2013 following a trip to the bridge w a plan to jump. I agonized on that day. A flood of disillusionment. Spinning in circles. Then looking down upon frigid open waters I was convinced would bring me peace. All I wanted was inner peace from the all consuming chaos. I spinned some more. Ultimately I reached out to my friend and landed in the hospital. He asked me what that day was like. When I stammered to tell him, welling up with tears and oozing anxiety, he suggested I write it down. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
I often locked myself away in my room during high school years writing poems of despair. I grew up in an emotionally unavailable household. I took to pen and paper to express myself because my verbal communication was never heard. When I was about 14 or 15 I was shutdown completely by my mother. In desperate teenage angst, I reached out to her and she slapped my hand away. Up went the wall. Out came the paper.
So, really I have been writing for quite some time. But, my words, thoughts and feelings were never shared. Never allowed much less accepted. In the tumultuous dance of life with bipolar disorder, I need somewhere to go. To express. To feel unconditionally. I suppose I could do that in my therapist’s office. There is just something to the freedom of this blog. Its open 24 hours a day and free. It allows me to be me in any context. Footloose and fancy free.
Happy anniversary to me!

If Only I knew…

I turn the music up. I turn it down. Turn it off. Turn it on. Change the station. Maybe I should focus on a task, so I set out to clean the house. I don’t know where to start. I roam around armed w cleanser and a towel. Eventually I just sit on the couch and stare out the window. I don’t know if I am actually looking at anything. My gaze is steady, but nothing registers. Perhaps I should take a shower. Perhaps I should take a nap. I SHOULD exercise. But, I do none of these things. I have no energy. No desire.
I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what I need. My husband makes a suggestion but I cannot hear him. I see his lips move, his eyes impassioned. His words fall short. Don’t reach me. I miss his message. I’ve gone inward. I can only seem to hear the echo of the voice in my head, which is stunningly mean and decisive. But, also makes perfect sense.
I put on my trusted headphones to drown out the barrage in my mind. Meditation? Classical? Nature? I can’t make the simplest of decisions right now. I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what I need. Am i in a void? An abyss? Time is standing still. The lovely purple sage bush out my window is awash in the fog. The minutes creep by. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Its only 3 o’clock? How in the hell can it be 3 o’clock!
If only I knew how I felt. What I need. Maybe you could help me through this invisible pain.