Today it’s too hard to navigate my marriage, my job, my cat, my house, my bills, and bipolar disorder. Thoughts flash: run! End it! Just cry it out! I start to plan all those things-pack a bag, grab all my medication & head to the bridge, snot all over myself. All this planning started from under the covers well past the time I was supposed to be at work. As I begged for continuous sleep far into the day, I found myself on the couch too soon. I have so many bottles of medication I haven’t taken. Kept promising myself I would turn them into my therapist or my psychiatrist, but secretly wanting the option for days like this.
My marriage is vulnerable right now. I’ve become too much. I no longer enhance this relationship. The words my husband is using today are sharp. Truth behind his pain. Pushed up against the wall he spouts them. Not to hurt me necessarily, but release himself. The burden that I am is heavy. He is strong. Maybe too strong for 18 years. He often tells me that I have no idea how all these episodes of depression, mania, suicide attempts, battles w the bottle affect him. Truly tear at him. Not only because it hurts to see a loved one in pain, but the insurmountable amount of powerlessness that follows for him. Sometimes feeling betrayed as I reach for the liquid courage instead of him. Sometimes confused why I fall into the dark abyss with no warning. Sometimes because emotions are simply too damn hard.
Its funny because on the inside I am proud of myself when I can be “normal” what I think of as a good wife. I wonder if he notices I’m doing well. I just keep on showing him, at least in my mind, how I’m trying to rise. But, its that day my smile isn’t as big. My silence is stronger. My demeanor changed that he notices. Yesterday he asked if I was feel down. At first I denied it and said I was just tired. After all we had a great start to the weekend. He asked me again a little while later and I decided to shake my head yes. His response reminds me how hard the roller coaster is from any seat. He said we will cancel plans for tomorrow because he doesn’t want to get me “started.” Tears. Instant tears. Started? Does this mean he truly doesn’t get me?
As the sun sparkled I went back to bed under the guise of a headache. Physical pain is easier to accept and has a cure in ibuprofen. I laid me down to sleep to escape. Escape disappointment. Escape depression. Escape having to perform.
The evening didn’t end so well. More truth hit the fan and sent daggers around the room. I yelled. He tried to ask me not to yell and I yelled more. Poor poor communication and coping skills. This is not the picture of a good wife. I excused myself back to bed at 7:45 pm hurt feelings in tow.
I think the trigger to all this is loneliness. I have no support system.i have no friends. More truth to pierce my soul. And where am I now? Alone on my couch in the middle of a Tuesday when I should be at work. It fills the room and I cannot breathe. But dammit I will not cancel those plans. Red eyed. Tired. Full of self hatred. I will smile and carry on.
I feel like I am a party of one dancing around the bigger party. I don’t know how to get in. Do I deserve to be in? Can I, we, lay the burden down?
Watching tv. Trying to write. This has been the pattern for weeks. So much on my mind yet I can’t seem to catch my thoughts. I feel like a drifter. Its been just about 3 months since I left my full time job of 17 years. I was leaving many great working relationships behind in pursuit of a less stressful environment. The hope was in doing so I would have less depressive and manic episodes. I was averaging 2 hospitalizations a year. I guess i always forget even with “good” stress, such as a job change, the risk of an episode is high. I added to that statistic w a devastating manic episode.
On to greener pastures I am now in a part time position. A little slower pace. A smaller office. The only person I really talk to is my supervisor. I drift in and out of the office. Sit at my desk. I miss conversations w my old coworkers where I sat in a unit of 8 people, I the veteran. I the one most people came to for assistance. My cubbie mate and I on the verge of a real budding friendship-something I don’t seem to be good at. But, that world is gone. It seems out of sight out of mind.
I know. I know. Everyone is sooo busy. I don’t always reach out as often as I should. But I try. I think of other people daily and wonder how they are. I don’t just forget people. I feel confused when folks I thought were my friends don’t respond. When these same folks seemed so concerned after hearing about my possible suicide attempt (long story wrapped up in my mixed manic episode). Shared my business with others without my permission. I let go of all of that, as I thought they truly cared. Thought they were my friends..or at least more than acquaintances at this point.
Is it me that falls off the map or them? If anything, I keep in contact, albeit hiding, through texts. When they don’t get returned what am I to think? I am lonely. I feel so alone. I have very few friends. Can’t maintain the ones I *may* have. Lost some along the way.
At the same time I don’t want to beg people to be my friend. Surely it’s me, right? You know why I was unable to write this..because the truth hurts. The pain of isolation is grand. To be fair, I do have a husband. He is most certainly my friend. But, 2 people don’t make a circle. A circle of support is always shoved down my throat. If only I had one. If only I knew how to rally one.
I just drift along to and from work. Drift in and out of the grocery store. Drift from my bed to the couch. Drowning in loneliness and isolation. I think people like me. But that’s as far as it goes. I really don’t understand why it stops there. Surely it’s me, right?
Day after day I get out of bed, reluctantly. Sometimes requested by my husband as the day begins to carry on without me. But…eventually I just go back to bed. Shades drawn. Hiding under the covers. Heavy. Isolating. Bipolar depression….fuck you!
Its so hard to explain the obsessive loop I get into. My brain just cannot rest. You would think creative ideas are a good thing. And they are, until they interrupt what’s supposed to be a casual stress free night of watching tv. I couldn’t stop until what was in my head was on the canvass. Sounds like a luxury problem, but it’s actually uncomfortable. Instead of hearing voices, I see images of what I should try to create over and over. Is this part of mental illness too? I really don’t know.
I am a writing fool. I know I’m stressed when I begin to think in posts. Words and thoughts splattered on my ceiling. Ideas. Thoughts. All careening together. If I do not hurry I might miss one. Probably already have as its too fast. As I write them I think they are amazing and weave a poetic masterpiece. I don’t read or edit. Just type as fast as possible and capture the fire within. Perhaps they make no sense. Perhaps they are full of wonderment and awe. When words come at me, speak to me, begin to tell a story I didn’t know was coming I find that fascinating. i give in to the word show that graces my ceiling as sleep escapes me. Not quite fireworks. I guess a literary explosion.
The tantalizing taste of sunshine
the tease of wind through my hair
My pale freckled skin threatens to burn
under this warm umbrella
of glistening sun
The vast blue ocean is a temptress
Throwing stark cold waters at my feet
only to then take the frigid relief away
As if playing a game of hide and seek
My footprints scattered
And disappearing in the raw rough sand
Small translucent pebbles
Tickle my toes
Salty fragrance and wave spatter
Tingle my nose and lips
Seagulls light up the expanse
And forage in droves
Crashing yet cradling
The brilliant crystal Aqua
Unsuspecting prey plucked
From the dark depths
Then floating on thin air
Humanity invokes privilege
Stepping on the sacred blue beauty
To test balance
And live out a fantasy
Carried by brute strength
Of mother natures grandiosity
To the soft billowy froth
Lining the shore
So many souls saved
By the sheer incandescence
Of this illustrious creation
The bounty of gratitude
Emanating from free radicles
In the space between
The calming sea and glorious sky
You have been on this earth longer than me
Your shoes are most likely bigger than mine
The distance you have travelled is farther than mine
The journey you have faced is longer than mine
But, incredibly, here we are on the same path
You are there
I am here
Yet I know your anger at waking up, a failed attempt
As mine failed too
I understand the allure of peace
At the rivers edge I believed it too
We are beyond sadness
Lost in a world of pain like no other
Minutes turn to hours turn to days
All the while the curtains closed
Letters form words sent through the atmosphere
Are you there??
My heart filled response shot right back
Lest we forget the people on the outskirts
People like me
Where an instant bond was formed
I don’t know your full story
But I’m proud to be in it.
Sweet Steve from Sacramento
I care for you more than you know
To tell you to hang on feels wrong
As I truly know the suffering
But to not share how your being over there means to me
Also feels wrong
I am not in your shoes
And don’t pretend to be
But our paths have crossed for a reason
We are battling this fucking disease you and me
I have nothing but respect for you
Trudging through each minute
Hiding from demons
Free fall into bed
I’ll just be over here caring
Carrying you in my heart
Remembering to breathe
If the earth moved even a billionth of a centimeter I would feel it. I am that sensitive and tuned in right now. More accurately I’m in overdrive. Bustling and bumbling through my day like I’m the man about town with some serious shit to tackle. Deadlines are obliterated. Paperwork stacked and restocked. Calendar bursting w meetings and agendas I know nothing about. However, the start of my day is a wrestling match as I fight myself to get out of bed. I cry into the mirror as I curse my face, my hair, my being. Then I gather my things and skip to my car. Off to work I go. On the drive, tears stream. The overwhelm of existence and the expectation I participate in life hit me like a rolling thunder. The mind races as if to catch a tornado ravaging through towns. At the stop light I am forced to take a pause. Take a moment. Take stock. A few days this week I have contemplated running right through that red light and straight to the bridge that taunts me. The bridge that promises me free fall into the abyss. No more wrestling. No more crying. No more desperate need to show I am normal and do not harbor a mental illness. The light turns green. I turn left towards my office. I park wiping confused and tired tears from my eyes. This inner battle can’t be seen. My freshly pressed blouse and slacks wreak of secrets and botched professionalism. Yesterday I couldn’t utter the word bipolar to my officemate. Instead I used the term chronic illness. I have never used that terminology before in reference to myself. There are huge gaps in my memory due to me beating out “sick” for months at a time coupled with the usual memory issues of bipolar disorder. The gaps filled the room as she and I were cleaning out cabinets for our impending move. She is new and looking to me for guidance on various documents. My anxiety and frustration rose at the same time. My ego being poked. I finally looked at her and briefly explained my gaps. Soon after, I slammed my computer shut, grabbed my stuff and scurried away. Gave no notice to anyone I was leaving. Once again in my car at that red light. The bridge less than 15 minutes away. I turned in that direction. But, you know what there are probably 7-8 red lights down that path. One of those intersections leads me to my mental health clinic. I checked in the for he afternoon and freshened up on some DBT skills as well as attended a process group. There are so many ways I can go w my bipolar and lots of times I’m just spinning. Today. Somehow, I got myself where I really needed to be.
Raw ugly feelings being pounded into my head and now into the keyboard. Incessant and I repeat incessant thoughts bombard my mind. One thought begets another and begets another. I’m dizzy. I think I could throw up. I’m not chasing these thoughts like when I’m manic. I’m trying to shield myself as they are intruding upon My psyche. I cringe as if I have a migraine. Tears fall which you’d think would be a release. Instead I feel like a prisoner. I carry klonopin in my pocket hoping to bolster my defense.
The chaos is nothing more than suggestive ways to end my life. Ways for home, ways awAy from home, down by the river. Even at the hospital where maybe I should be. Am I just weak when the voices insist upon insist I gather all my old medications and I do. I couldn’t know longer tolerate the round and round word play. I gave in. Impulsively shoving them into a bag. The bag covertly in the backseat of my car. Fueling the fire of “options.” An escape plan of sorts.
Looking up from the bottom of the rabbit hole. It feels to hard and to far to climb. I am by no means comfortable. I’m incredibly tired. I’m inching towards rapid cycling. I just came out of a 3 month psychotic episode. I had about 4 weeks of feeling back in the world on somewhat stable ground. That gave way to bipolar depression w some suicidal ideation for shits and giggles. I have to tell you I do not feel like I belong in the world. If bipolar is my lot and it leads me to destruction, perhaps that is just destiny.
Places I once felt comfortable are no more. Any hint of foundation I could rely upon disintegrated. Enter the big B word..Burden. This is a huge weight. I know I know. Just shut it down. Don’t believe it. What tools do you have? I’ve tried to shut down the thoughts and voices. They plague me, fuck w me. I’m so tired and just not wanting to fight anymore. Bipolar first wrote an awesome post Bipolar destroys you..fight anyway. Check it out. It’s powerful. I read her words more than a few days ago. Since I have fallen farther.
While I do understand this is bipolar…UP. dOWN. sWINGS. I don’t particularly like it. Only a 4 week reprieve after 3 months of hell. I just don’t know that I want to carry on this way, or if I have the strength.
This is raw, unedited and really no read through. I had to get it out for better or worse.
Somewhere along this journey of life I was faced w emotional challenges. It was undiagnosed for a long time in my late teens to early 20’s. I had found alcohol and I was away at college. But my inability to communicate my emotional instability, fears and feeling different was washed down with booze. My only way of communication was in written form. I wrote a note to my dorm supervisor hinting I was suicidal. I signed it anonymously but he knew it was me. I want to say this is the first time I experienced ideation.
Ironically, in my senior year of high school a friend of mine was hospitalized for psychiatric issues. I knew nothing about this world. I went to visit her and felt so comfortable there. The idea people were there to listen to me w out judgement, w out telling me what I should be doing, there was room for me just to be me..pressure free was so appealing. Many years later I would wind up in such a place several different times. I am lucky I have had positive experiences for the most part.
There is a point of desperation I hit. Or maybe it hits me. I’m not entirely sure. I am digging my heels in, keeping my nose to the grindstone, convincing myself how detrimental it would be to my agency to concede I need help. I work so hard in my place of work to look productive which means I am still functional, which means I still have my integrity in tack. I struggle w the thought of someone else needing to pick up my slack. I have convinced myself my role is so important that to take time off now would be disastrous. Never mind in the work world there will never be a good time.
All the effort and energy it takes to get up and get to work, follow through on projects, take phone calls from disgruntled parents and vendors, not cry, not get bowled over w anxiety, not freeze in fear, and keep secrets from my husband comes pouring out at some point. Then I quickly become the person I am trying to avoid. This occurred just yesterday. I am truly dumbfounded by my behavior.
I awoke after my husband and we always meet for coffee in the office to start the day. The sun was bright as I got up and felt grateful for it, so much so I was going to sing a little song to him. However, as I fed the cats and got my coffee I forgot about the song. I was working on my computer and he on his. Everything was as it always is. We had talked about plans last night for today. He mentioned an email he received from a mutual friend, well rather my friend. I apparently had some reaction on my face, I don’t personally know what it was, but I was off to the races. I still think he had a part but he doesn’t agree so much. Regardless the events that unfolded, specifically my behavior is irrational and out of control. I ran the gam met..yelling, screaming, throwing things, crying, sobbing, attempting to leave the house, went back to bed twice. I am still confused how it all happened. What in me set off a fire storm. I could not calm down for hours. Completely out of control. Unable to pull back or pull out.
The day was ruined. My husband at a loss and concerned for our marriage, as well as completely confused. He is stressed constantly and walking on egg shells each day. Guilt upon more guilt weighs me down. Shame already crushing me. Anger seething in me. Hatred of myself and hatred of bipolar disorder engulfing me. What is left? Discouraged, alone, scared, and hopeless. Why should a person like me exist to cause immense pain in others. This kills me as I love this man. I am a compassionate patient loving person, at least I was. I am different now.
I can be impulsive. Which is dangerous. He knows this and refused to let me leave the house. I just needed out. Needed to be alone. Truthfully I didn’t know what I needed. I was pacing so full of angst and disgust w myself. My memory is so poor that I can’t recall the events of the morning so I can point some fingers at him. Regardless the monster that was unleashed is not someone I want to be for even a minute. That person is my father. He is angry and has no compassion for others. He has a short fuse and points fingers at others first. I own the unacceptable way I handled things. It hurts me. It hurts my husband.
I feel like I lost my mind yesterday and another piece of my fragile self. I barely know who I am on the cusp of turning 42 years old. I can’t decipher myself from my illness. Is this who I have truly become? Was this outburst due to bipolar disorder? Does it even matter?