Its NOT Impossible!

My integrity is my breath
I rise
And I fall
On its presence
I carry it
Honor it
And vow to keep it
Intact
No matter the
Depression
Mania
Mixed madness
That ensues
Standing tall while Bedridden or
Riddled w anxiety or
Fuming w rage
Sounds impossible
Can be
IMPOSSIBLE
but I refuse to allow my
Moral fortitude
My sincerity
My desire to maintain dignity
In the darkest of times
Be swept away by a
Fury of tears
Manic gibberish
Depressive credence
If there is no light
No relief
No reprieve
There is and
Always will be
Integrity
Even if I am the only one
That knows

Advertisements

Let me apologize in advance

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!

 

Madly….Deeply

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.

Desperate to Forget

A smoke screen of virtue
Strangles her
As she pretends to be
Anyone
Other than herself
Staring through that rear view mirror
Clamoring to leave yesterday
Behind
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
Only
To chase another tomorrow

Just as Scared….

Its the trust, right
Where things are broken
Where the divide starts
Old voices
Scenarios
Play in your head
I see your shoulders
Shrug
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
But
I’m just as scared
To let you in
As
Let you go

Reprise: Maybe I’m *not* Out of Ideas

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.

I Am Out of Ideas

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.

Forgive me for the Dance

After the fire has long been expunged
My ashen feet charred w soot
The spiral smoke infested ceremony
Precariously Rests upon my skin
Paying homage to the damage you’ve done
They say let go of
What you cannot keep
I needed rid of you my love
Your stench hanging in the air
The enmeshment more than a charade
Your lines blurring into mine
Our step becoming too in line
I tried casting you off
With dignity
And grace
You came back w a fever
bungee cords in place
Tethered
Always tethered
My breath becomes yours
Until
I severed the connection
Painfully and slowly
Plotting
Disguised as independence
Disguised as a need to grow
Gasping for air
I lit the fire
Freedom flames erupted
And began to replenish my soul
Forgive me for the dance
Upon your demise
As I swayed
Sashayed
And pranced
To a rhythm all my own

Its So Okay

When we held hands it was electric.
A modern day sparkler extravaganza.
He lit up the night sky in a way I never knew existed.
Later, I came to realize it was all a fantasy.
His grip was just on the verge of being too tight.
Its okay, he’s just strong.
His words came across w a pungent tone.
Its okay, he’s just intense.
His desire sometimes could illicit pain
Its okay, he’s a fierce lover
His lips were sultry and smelled of another
Its okay, he comes home to me
His whispers were full of deceit
Its okay, sometimes lies fill the gaps
His love for me is grandiose
Its okay, i can be anything he needs

As Real as it Gets

Sometimes I wonder if my life is real. Especially when I am feeling up. I question if it’s all a fantasy. Is my perspective really in line with reality?

I am planning to quit my job. I’m sacrificing a bit of security, in that throughout the last 4 years I have had numerous hospitalization and taken countless days off. Twice, since May 2013 I have taken 2 extended leaves lasting 3 months. It might help I have been st my job 17 years and have been a “model” employee. My perfectionism, workaholism, and the fact my identity is wrapped up in my work, probably played a major role.

I have 2 job opportunities in the proverbial hopper. I think they are legit. But, I fear they are not. My anxiety certainly tells me they are not. Paranoia creeps in and I think a new place of work can’t handle my “issues.” Should I be transparent and divulge I have bipolar disorder now? Should I wait? Should I just close my eyes and hope for the best? Everything is uncertain. I don’t do well with that. Its fodder for my restless brain.

I do feel like I know my current work situation is not healthy for me. Its taken me a long time to admit that. I always thought it was my fault I would become overly stressed and symptoms would arise. Turns out with bipolar disorder I am more susceptible to stress, which in turn can trigger either mania or depression. I can attest to both. I’ve reached heights of psychosis that were terrible frightening and lows of depression that were devastating.

I think it’s important to acknowledge I have to do my part. Utilize coping skills, communicate w my treatment team and take my medication. But, there is also a point where raising the white flag makes sense. Self care and self compassion need a place in my life. I can push and push. Pull and pull. Demand I do better. Work harder. Not allow stress to overtake me. But, there’s reality.

I am stressed. I am exhibiting symptoms despite my best efforts. Sure there will always be ups and downs, I’m the first to utter those words…damn roller coaster. But, if I can help myself avoid peaks and valleys, shouldn’t I at least try? If it turns out no matter what I do, this is my lot, this is my coaster..well, that’s for another day.

So, as I envision turning in my resignation letter, its bittersweet. I literally grew up at this agency. It was my first career type job. I was a young, naive 25 with a heart of gold ready to solve the issues that plague social service agencies. I was going to be the best social worker they had ever seen. I’ve made my mark. Its time to move on and put myself first.

The hopper I mentioned is as real as it gets. I’ve put myself out there. Maybe it’s a fantasy I get hired, maybe not. Its a resolution I find a new place for myself in 2017. I listen to my needs. Make time for self care and self compassion. Honor myself in a way I never have before. I’m going to let that unfold as it may. No expectations, just intentions this year.

Dancing with bipolar disorder can be exhilarating, fun, devastating, confusing, uncertain..but it’s definitely real. One step at a time. One day at a time. I’ll keep moving forward down the line.