And then there was ONE

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?

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I Am the Storm

I feel so lost. So confused. Unraveling. Tears and more tears fall unanswered.  Just hours before I was sitting tall espousing on how I was going to really help turn the agency I’m going to work for around.  With my working knowledge of both systems, I was just the right person for the job. Yet, hours later I’m pacing around hysterical. Yelling at my husband..I really don’t remember about what.  Feeling so out of control.

Thoughts of suicide careen around in my mind.  Pure chaos takes over. Demands that I take a PRN to help calm down feel like daggers. I don’t know why. Its the right suggestion. Its a good idea. But I kick, yell and scream about how unfair this all is.  Poor poor me.

Our frustrations hang in the air and wrestle with our unspoken words.  Everything hurts. What you say. What you don’t say.  The darkness I can see coming for me.  The relentless noise in my head.  What am I doing wrong I shout! I’m a good person I insist! Apologies fly out of my mouth laced with fear.  Please don’t give up on me. I’m so sorry. I know you deserve better. I want to give you better but I’m all tied up.  Bipolar disorder has me in knots. Angry knots.  If only I could untangle myself.  Then. Then I could just end it all.  Now, that’s a good idea.

Finally, red faced and ashamed I slink off to bed.  The tornado of emotions has passed.   I didn’t see it coming. Seems lately I never do.  No capacity for self awareness.  I lay my head on my pillow and ask for forgiveness.  I do not wish to be a storm in our lives. I really don’t!

Emotional Upheaval

Feels like it all happened in slow motion. He was in the kitchen asking me a question about the day ahead. He says it was a simple question. I heard something entirely different. My body filled with heat and anger. I leaned forward on the couch and unloaded words of hatred. They shot across the room w venom. This is not who I am. I then rose to my feet and vile came spewing out of my mouth. This is not who I am. Shame surrounded me. I felt trapped. The only thing I knew to do was run. Out of control and desperate I fled the scene.
This emotional upheaval actually began the night before. My sponsor always told me we are as sick as our secrets. It’s not a new phenomenon that I withhold information. This time, I chose not to tell my husband I quit taking my meds. The funny part is, and this is the honest truth, I was cleaning the bathroom and declaring to myself I MUST tell him. I would absolutely find “the right time” this very weekend. I didn’t know the phone rang and I certainly didn’t know it was my psychiatrist calling at 6pm on a Friday night. Shit hit the fan fast.
She was in my ear saying how worried she was I am not taking any medication at all. He was in my sight worried I was receiving this phone call knowing something wasn’t right. I just wanted to yell at everyone to leave me alone. How very selfish of me to want people to not care about me. How very selfish of me to make an important decision about meds and not include my husband. It’s called keeping a secret. I need to get honest and real.
I am not a malicious person. My attempt to keep information secret was not meant to hurt him. Although, that’s exactly what it did.
Back against the wall I came clean. Stopped all meds cold turkey about a month ago. Ups and downs continue. Suicidal thoughts continue but I am making it through so far. I did not share that I had agonized all night about jumping off a bridge on my return home from my business trip. In my mind, no reason to take meds. If I die, I die. I am still selective in what I want to share.
Catching you back up..morning comes and we are both harboring feelings from last night. I yell and scream, grab my keys and bail. So many emotions fill my car..guilt, shame, fear, sadness. I drive around aimlessly for a while alone with my thoughts. Its time I take responsibility for this illness. For my one sided decisions. For my over reactions. The road laid ahead of me. My future in front of me. I know this much: this is not who I want to be. I drove until all those emotions no longer took up space.
I didn’t rush home to make amends, but I did eventually return. I’ll spare you all the details of what ensued upon my arrival home as it was not pretty. I am hopeful that it was productive. I shed many tears as I listened to how hurt he felt, how he wonders if at the root of all this disease is my unhappiness w him, how he worries everyday I am going to hurt myself. I was able to tell him I don’t know how to let him into my darkness. I told him I didn’t want him to know what I think, the places my mind goes.
After many minutes of intense silence, he said this is the most honest conversation we have had for months.
i think we have come to an unconscious don’t ask don’t tell mentality. We are both scared and dancing around each other. I do think I do much more dancing and juggling than he does.
There isn’t a lack of deep love between us. Darkness effects the family as a whole. While I’m in my pit trying hard to cover up my fall in an effort to “protect” him from me, all I’m doing is creating more space between us. That for sure is NOT productive.
I still have to figure out if medication is going to play a role in my recovery. What I learned today is that not including my husband in the equation is not an option. He wants to support me. But he simply can’t if I won’t let him. My task is to learn how to let him.

Consumed by the Darkness

I feel so empty
So alone
Yet so full
Of shame
And disgrace
Down by the river
I shed silent tears
No one understands
Please help me escape
This cumbersome pain
It’s not in solace
I find comfort
It’s not even in holding your hand
Depression whispers to me
Taunts me
Haunts me
Not worthy of spirit
Or space
Not worthy of love
Or embrace
Guilty of weakness
Creating wreckage in my wake
Quietly I slip away
As I’ve had all I can take
I can no longer hold this despair
I can no longer hold this fear
The whispers entice me and promise
It’s selfless to just disappear
The burden no longer heavy
My soul no longer lost
The battle no longer need waging
My tattered white flag barely waving
Please forgive me
As it’s best I don’t say goodbye
I love you dear one
Please try not to cry
Out the back door I slip
Consumed by the darkness
I have lost my grip
Its true I’ve let go
It’s me
No will to keep on
Your fire is still bright
Mine has long grown tired
Keep warm dear one
Keep fighting the good fight

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.

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

Where is the Welcome Mat?

I hear them laughing
Whispering
connecting
Sharing
It could be stories
Secrets
Dreams
Fears
Where once I felt
I belonged
Could take part
Mattered
Now
So far removed
Alone
Broken
Unworthy
They carry on
Without me

I have been feeling this overwhelmingly painful sense of loneliness. Like the veil of darkness has wrapped itself around me so tight I cannot see the love or the light in my life. I don’t believe its actually there, but others tell me it is. Yesterday was a perfect metaphor for how I’m feeling. I was at a work event, more like a fair, when vendors have booths showcasing the accomplishments of their agency. As i walked around and saw comrarderie among people, laughing, touching, w genuine like for one another, it struck me I no longer have that. I’m the girl who gets asked to take the group photo. I’m on the outside capturing memories for others. I’m not in the memories, in the circle of laughter, in the circle at all. I am the lone aloof individual on the outside. So unsure of myself. I just feel unwelcome in this world right now. Its only getting darker.

Fallen

Fallen into utter sadness
Deep searing pain
Reaches every part of me
Ravaging my insides
Damaging my soul
Perpetuating loss of self
A catastrophic heart ache
No echo of hope
Silence fills the room
While chaos fills my mind
The treasure of sunshine unseen
As I dig deeper into darkness
Chapters of my life
Written and unwritten
Suppressed and forgotten
Spill onto the floor
The truth of my demons revealed
No rhyme or reason
Why memories collide
Shame pulls the trigger
Salty water skims my eye
Shackled and alone
My threshold long surpassed
I simply desire to die

Good Morning Depression

Depression knocked me around like a rag doll this morning. I got up. I cried. I sat and cried for an hour or so. I went back to bed. I couldn’t curl up tight enough to ward off the darkness. My hands were so cold. I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t find the comfort and safety I was craving. I just laid there. For. Hours. Eyes open. Eyes closed. It was all the same. The sigh that came from my body is long and desperate. I cannot stand the silent killer. The rolling fog of depression takes its sweet time before it fully consumes you. Its subtle. A little less energy yesterday. A little less pep in my step the day before.  A few extra tears today. Before I know it I am knee deep in mud. I cannot move. The worst part is, I don’t really care.

My mind just circles. Reminds me of all things unworthy about me. Berates me for being in bed, but doesn’t entice me to rise up.   A barrage of intrusive thoughts almost like on a movie screen fills the room.  Options, I have options. This is the message. Though a very sad and disturbing one.  Much like the hallucinations, always detailed and disturbing.  Why can’t it be a reel of me walking through a patch of sunflowers, as I just love them.  We grow them and I watch them and critique them every day. I look at the position they take when the sun is out versus when the sun has gone down for the day. I watch how quickly or how slowly the face of the flower opens to full bloom.  The thoughts and voices that plague me are nowhere near that beautiful. I wish they were.

It was a text and a phone call at noon that got me out of bed. I had no plans to sleep the day away, it was just happening. I knew for sure I had to get up by 2pm as I had an acupuncture appointment. I unraveled from the covers.  I picked myself up and threw me over the side of the bed. I had to get out of that insidious chamber of self hatred.  But, once I left the bedroom I was subject to reality. I had to figure out what I was going to do to pass the time til my appointment. I settled on going out to get some soup. Maybe that would comfort me.  I of course bought some chocolate to help soothe me as well. I think I am gaining some weight and I turn to food for solace a little more than I should. I sat in the sun. As I ate my soup, tears just rolled down my cheeks. I do not know why. My husband called and it was like a rain storm falling from my eyes.  I was wearing a hat and I was trying so hard to hide right up underneath it, as if to disappear.  He was trying to offer support and love. I wanted to hear nothing of it.  I all the sudden feeling like a big burden. I told him there was nothing he could do in this moment. I hung up the phone at a loss. I do not want to push him away, but I do not want to overwhelm him either.

I drove over to acupuncture, which is only 5 minutes away. I thought I had more than a few minutes to spare but turns out I was running late. I had to wipe the tears from my eyes once again. This is a community clinic so more than once person is being treated at a time. The most important component of the setup is that its affordable.  I found my spot and got settled. She came over to check in and treat me. As she felt my pulse her first statement was, wow I sense  a lot of fear. Are you feeling fear? I only shook my head. She asked me if my neck hurt? I replied no.  She told me my lungs were very active.  She placed a needle in my left forearm to address this. She waited 30 seconds and tried my pulse again. She said it was much better. She put the needles in various places, head, wrists, knees, feet.  She leaned me back in the chair and told me to have a nice rest.  At about 50 minutes she came over and removed the needles.  She had remembered very active lungs can also mean grief.  Tears just streaked my face

I made it back to my car. I just started sobbing. I was feeling grief much of the day.  Grief about bipolar disorder and how it disrupts my life in such a big way. Grief I’m in no shape to work right now. Grief that I have pushed friends away and feel so lonely.  Grief that I feel like I am not doing my share by bringing home a paycheck right now.  Also, I have fear that these symptoms will never subside. They are going to be around and I truly have to find a way to live with them.  I fear I am a burden to my husband. I could hear in his tone of voice he is tired.

As I drove home, I took stock of my situation. I can feel this depression coming for me.  I have to fight it off. I have no energy to fight more darkness.  I need a plan. I have an appointment with my pdoc in 12 days to be reassessed for work and discuss this new medication.  That is a long way off. I need to find some structure. My morning outpatient program ends tomorrow and there will be groups in the evening suggested. I need to be willing to commit.  Sleeping and or staring into space just isn’t going to cut it. If my goal is to return to work, assuming the psychosis is under control, I can’t let depression catch me.  Plus, in reality, my benefits run out at the end of the month.  I better get cracking on a plan for myself. I think it starts with a workout.  See ya later…..