Anxiety sucks

The room has become too big
My anxiety crawling along the walls
calling my fear front and center
Shaking hands
Short of breath.
Sweat down my back
Trying to stand tall when
the weight of the world is pressing
Dishes piled high
Laundry piled high
My bed sheets now hold my tired stains
I can’t get out of this bed
I can’t open that window
My poor kitty beckons in the Hall
No food in his bowl
Curtains curtail the sun and
Usher in the darkness
Weeds grow all around
Outside and
Inside this broken mind

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In too Deep

In deep
And deep within
Depression and my mind
Thick as thieves
The darkness descends
Although it never really leaves
Crawled out of this tired bed
Into the cold blank shower
No scrub can rid me of this filth
Rubbing my face senseless
So a new mug could appear
Happy joyous and free
A smile without fear
As the fog cleared
And the mirror spoke
All I know is
I can’t steer this sinking ship
Rain drops outside
Tear drops inside
The nature of thy mother
Quietly taking shape
Lifeless and Breathless
I sit and wait
For whatever god that may cherish me
To remove this deadly disease
Before It
Decides my fate

 

Here I Go…..tomorrow!

I spent most of the day in bed. Staring at the shadows the bright bright sunshine, filtered through drawn curtains, created.  I cried into the midnight black fur of my kitty.  He nestled into me.  Beating my neck as he likes to sit/lay on my shoulder.  It was 1pm. I set my alarm for 2:30.  Declaring I would get up and do SOMETHING today.  I didn’t really sleep.  I lay semi quietly listening to him breathe.  Petting him.  Loving him.  Feeling like he is my only friend in the world.

Perhaps he is.  I haven’t told him I have bipolar disorder.  But, I think he notices my moods.  He kept pushing his little head into my mine.  Pets can be so comforting.  He is an amazing addition to our household.  I think he is good for me.

Being off work is not good for me.  Having no structure is not good for me.  So…one might suggest I build structure.  I mean, man, to be able to create one’s own structure for the day..how marvelous.  I can paint. I can hike. I can eat. I can watch TV. I can write. I can….but I don’t.  Why its so damn hard for me I do not know.  The sky is the limit right now!  I can go to the beach.  I can drive far and wide.  Yet, retreat to my bedroom under my covers I go.

My husband is not like this.  Not only does he not have bipolar disorder, he doesn’t really have a lazy bone in his body.  He wakes at 5am no matter what day it is. I can hear him unloading the dishwasher by 5:15 if it needs it.  He leaves in the dark and right now comes home in the dark.  Then will make dinner when I haven’t made a plan.  On weekends, he is up with headphones on working on quicken, making sure I don’t have a job doesn’t impact us.  He can’t wait for the sun to come up so he can work in the garden.  He looks around our house and thinks of ways to redecorate.   I…am not like him.

When I was working full time, I had many excuses as to how tired I was.  I couldn’t handle planning taking a shower, planning my work wardrobe, lunch and dinner for the week.  Then I worked part time.  Still, couldn’t pull off all the wifely duties seems I should.  Now. I don’t work.  Laundry in the dryer.  dishes in the sink.  No dinner planned.

I rush to judgement. I rush to shame. What in the world is wrong with me?  I have basically 10 hours from the time my husband leaves to when he gets home from working all damn day to contribute.  I choose to cuddle and shed tears with my kitty.  Maybe not everyday.  But too many days are spent like this.  I do look for jobs over coffee. Diligently. I then tell myself I do not qualify for anything. I am a sham. I fake.  A fraud.  The title that was created for me in my last brief employment is really a lie.  when I resigned, they did not ask why for a reason.  They did not fight for me.  They did not seem to care.

Funny thing, I played tennis on Tuesday after  a very long layoff.  I used to play competitively until..panic attacks, bipolar depression, hospitalizations.  The overall inability to move for much of the time.  I hit very well. I do have to say.  I felt free.  I hit the ball without abandon..or is that with abandon.  I’m not sure.  BUT!  As with me, I have all or nothing thinking.  Black and white thinking.  I played for hours despite my body telling me otherwise.  I kept going to prove I could. To prove..I’m still here.  To prove I exercise for a reason.  To prove bipolar disorder cant ruin everything.

I have a huge blister. probably a right of passage honestly.  But, it just means I can’t play again. I wanted to play today.  Had I taken it slow.  Acknowledged I haven’t played in well over a year, with new shoes to boot, perhaps I could be on the court today.  Not in bed.  Perhaps, my husband wouldn’t have needed to remind me this is what I do.  Self sabotage in a way.  l have to have it all right now.  Right this minute.  Right. This. Fucking. Minute.  I need to feel good right NOW!! and I did.

But, the crash after.  The non movement yesterday sidelined by a blister that could be avoided if only I knew moderation.  The crash still today.  I am at a crossroads of sorts.  I have choices still. I can choose to go to the beach tomorrow.  I’m not so down that I need outpatient or the hospital.  But, its a slippery slope.  One day in bed, leads to two.  Leads to…its not a good path.  I know this.  I have lived this.  I have beaten this mindset before.

My only commitment for tomorrow, for right now, is to go to the gym.  To sweat out this funky funk!  The weather is amazing for February.  I need to find shadows outside under trees, not in my curtain drawn bedroom.  Here I go….tomorrow!

The Minutes Pass

12 minutes until my husband even thinks about coming home to me. 12 minutes to ingest all of the medication I have been harboring. 12 minutes to breath so deep it will fill my toes. 12 minutes to pray, and I don’t pray.
11 minutes to take stock. Love and kiss my kitty. Rub his ears in a way he knows it’s me. Look at his awesome green eyes against a shiny beautiful black fur. Hear his purr reverberate through me one last time.
9 minutes to look around the house. Is. This how I want to leave? On the floor belly full of who knows what medication. If they ask. If they come. I have no answer. No care. Maybe it’s finally done.
8 minutes I look at the clock. Maybe I can go back to school. Maybe I just die right now. Right here. No pulse. No breath. What do I have to offer anymore?
My skin is cold. My thoughts slow.
5 minutes. The bag is in my reach. Swallowing will be hard. But so easy at the same time. Resting. I would love to rest. No more thoughts. No more worry. No more pain. It can end right now.
Wait. My timer. My clock is wrong. It’s an hour. 58 fucking minutes. What’s any of this for? What is this existence about. For who? For what? I have no dreams. No purpose. Just here i guess.
I didn’t go on the hike. Not even close. I let that clock count down and declared I missed the deadline. Which is true. But it didn’t have to be that way. I wasn’t ready.
I so want to be ready. Ready for life. Ready for what comes. New shoes. I played tennis yesterday. Same racket. New balls. Not as comfortable as I used to be, but..felt good in the sunshine. Belting that yellow ball. Breathing out fierce air. Pushing out the darkness. Allowing in the light. Letting my shoulders loose, shrug, relax. Daring to feel that ball.
33 minutes later. I got lost in my words. In the moment. Forgot the pills. Forgot the darkness. Just let my shoes flop over the ottoman. Leaned back into the comfort of my couch. In my spot.
29 minutes. Darkness invades. Breath stinks. Silence is. Stillness is. Holding my breath is. The norm. I stare down at my feet. Can’t look up. Those pills calling. What’s the point? What’s this existence?

But Will I….

How is it I go from hibernation and suicidal thinking to wanting to embark on a 9 mile hike w strangers? It’s the same way I go from feeling so strong in my interview to thinking I’ve been an imposter the last 17 years. Yes..I have something to offer. Are you freaking kidding…I have Nothing to offer! I got by, and succeeded, because it was all in-house. Same agency for 17 years, I knew how to fake a job well done.
My mind absolutely will not stop ruminating. Perseverating on the interview of going on 4 days ago. An interview where, perhaps, i might have performed okay. I answered all the questions. I smiled. I was personable. I walked away thinking I just might have nailed it. As reasonable nails go. I think back and am fairly happy w my answers.
Yet, my bipolar brain..if that’s what this obsession is..keeps replaying it. Over. And over. I wake at 3 am w a “better” answer. Why oh why didn’t I say THIS or THAT. Of course you should have said….
I’m trying to block it out. I’m trying to breathe. What’s done is done. I showed up!
I’ve cleaned the house. I’ve worked out. I’ve taken a nap. I’ve cooked dinner. No distraction helps. No distraction frees me. I can’t take it back. I can’t call and say I’ve got the answer. Why won’t my brain let me rest? I don’t want to replay it. I absolutely do not. But it replays anyway.
So, this hike. I need something big right now. I need a solid accomplishment. I also need to get out of my house, out of myself! I think I have the physical stamina. Do I have the ability to be around others…strangers? Yet folks who are like minded. I’ve done short meet up hikes. I’m getting in my own way. I think I can do it.
But, will I?

Damn Devil of Depression

Depression knows it’s way around my mind like a bee in a hive. Knows exactly where to plant himself, his role, his goal. I set my alarm, but ignore it for almost 2 hours. My kitty wanders in and is my excuse for hiding longer. As he nestles himself on my shoulder I tell myself we are bonding. But, really I’m avoiding.
The days feel excruciatingly long right now. I’m searching for jobs each day, but haven’t applied to anything for 2 weeks. Of the 2 places I applied at the end of December, I have been invited to an interview. This Friday. I rehearse my smile. My enthusiasm. I hope I can muster it when the time comes. I am or was interested in this job prospect. But that damn devil of depression whispers I probably won’t get it. I have no practical experience. Why bother. If I don’t show, who will know. I can always say I thought I did great. That would not be good for my frail psyche!
So, today I have a lunch date and a hair appointment. This means I leave the house. I am without a car this week. My friend agreed to drop me off at my hair appointment and I will walk home. It’s several miles. Music in my ears and the sun on my face will be good medicine, along with exercise.
I have to keep fighting. It’s tiresome. Downright exhausting and daunting. I’ve been through it before. One foot in front of the other today. Reminding myself I’m doing the best I can.

Trying to find my voice

It’s been a long time since I’ve truly written for this blog. I’m not sure how I lost my virtual voice. It’s the one thing I felt I had no matter the bipolar episode I was or wasn’t immersed in. My actual voice often goes missing in depression, points fingers in mixed episodes and is in another world when lost in mania. My fingers always work no matter what, or so history could support. I’m not sure if I feel I have nothing to say or I can’t organize my thoughts enough. I don’t know what it is. I guess it doesn’t matter.
Here i am trying to reach out. Trying to find the words to let you in, know where I’ve been, maybe where I’m going. Maybe that last part is a stretch..anxiety talking. Just about a year ago I made the decision to leave my job of 17 years. Since my bipolar diagnosis in 2013 I had missed a significant amount of time per year to hospitalization. But, that’s not necessarily why I left. It  became clear full time work in a demanding position was too much. I negotiated a part time position with a vendor that seemed almost too perfect. Seven months later, I resigned. Not perfect. What job is? But, verging on toxic. Testing my work ethic and belief in accountability. It’s young, ego driven leadership. That’s all good. Just not the right environment for me. I need teamwork and desire for improvement, willingness to look at systems and…
I quit without a future job. That scares me most. Without structure and purpose, depression nipping at my heels, always wins. Under the covers I think I feel safe and sound. Isolation becomes my best skill.
So…I applied for a job I am over qualified for and applied for a job I think matches me most. Somehow applying just makes me feel better. Like I’m trying. Like, perhaps, this last job wasn’t a failure, but a gateway. I have new skills on my resume. More importantly I honored myself and was willing to walk away from a toxic environment into uncertainty. Uncertainty is my nemesis. Fear. It breeds such fear.
One day I’m dancing to the thought of freedom. The next I’m crying over future bills. The next I hover over my resume the entire day. One day at a time. Maybe even half a day is my ticket I think. Still trying to get to the gym. Might try my hand at art. I would love to learn who I am outside of a job.
I wonder what that would look like?

IF I…

If I had big dreams
what would they be?
If I could say anything to you
What would I say?
If I could hold your hand forever
How hard would I squeeze?
If I cry into your shoulder
Would you lean into me?

If my story were being told
Would you listen?
If my heart was broken
Could you mend it?
If I asked for forgiveness
Would you give it?
If I told you I am bipolar
Would you stay?

Dare to Dream with Me

You politely asked to step into my dream
Even took your shoes off
As a sign of respect
This is my domain
This is my subconscious
Enter at your own risk
The pendulum is often swinging
Of its own accord
Gingerly find your place
Within my fierce space
Sometimes I see the messiah
Sometimes I am him
Other times
I am my own monster
Raging within
If you can dance in darkness
And in light
I welcome you to my dreamscape

The Struggle is Real

I wanted to drive right off the side of the mountain. The idea of flying through the air was so enticing. The ultimate escape. A sense of peace filled the wells of my existence. A sigh of relief almost. My right hand wanting to gently pull the steering wheel. Gently veer into the trees. Float on the air for just a moment. Tears fell. Not of sadness or joy. But of possibility. What if…
I find myself so confused and uncomfortable at home. My husband is trying to find his own footing for the first time. Bipolar disorder has ravaged our relationship. But, neither of us knew it. Call it codependency maybe. Call it the love of a husband trying to stand by his mentally ill wife. Don’t call it anything but a realization on his part. He hasn’t been taking care of himself. Always always worried about me. It takes its toll.
I flopped on the proverbial couch after an ultimatum. But, that’s not fair. What it really followed was a pretty bad manic episode and subsequent suicide attempt that left me hooked up to a machine in the emergency room for 24 hours. Therapy was a must. Something I have avoided for years. Reluctant and pissed off, I agreed. Somewhat selfishly suggesting I wasn’t the only one.
Just over 2 years later, and the most devastating manic episode to uproot our lives, broken he found his place on “the couch.” His sense of self possibly lost as mine is over and over. In any case, as he learns about himself, new coping skills, new whatever…his response to me is changing. For better? It feels worse to me. A discomfort I can’t seem to tolerate. So, I run.
It was a planned escape to Tahoe. My parents had extra room at their timeshare. I absolutely love it up there. Sometimes I feel like I remember to breathe in those mountains. Truly beholding the beauty of the lake. Nature therapy. But, I was also running. I knew it. He didn’t.
The three hour drive leaves lots of room for ruminating, guilt, fear, anxiety. My brain never stops. Ever. On a long drive by myself, which is rare, it could be deadly. Obviously I’m no stranger to suicidal ideation. It felt somewhat intrusive as I turned the radio up. Played songs I knew every word and could sing at the top of my lungs. But still, the thoughts of turning in front of a semi, veering off into a barrier or simply driving off the side of a cliff haunted me. However, then quickly turned into a glorious fantasy. Like Thelma and Louise, solo style. Perhaps just another accident on the overcrowded freeway.
I made my way up towards those mountains. Twists and turns called to me. I drove on through the tears. My parents were waiting for me after all. Tahoe is my chance to reset. Reboot this pained brain. Whispers of..there’s always the drive home too.
I traversed the roads alone. I persevered. Strengthened to face the discomfort as best I can.