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?

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.

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.