F*ing Anxiety

To surrender
Close my eyes
Let go
Hear my breath
Feel my body respond
Give in
But not give up
Some fights are not
Meant to be won
But a lesson learned
Anxiety and I
Are at war
A battle for what feels like
My sanity
It fancies itself powerful
But lest I forget
I too have power
True not every time
But this time
This time
I wield my sword of
Gratitude
And make myself bigger
Than this fucking
Monster of anxiety

If Only for Today

Beautiful morning ushers my eyes open.  Sun shining bright. Heater running full blast to keep me warm and safe. Not to mention the big strong man sleeping next to me. My husband holds me near, keeping monsters away.  The depression of yesterday crept long into the night. The little clock reads 7:57. We slept in and it felt so good. Rest. Restoration was much needed. Yesterday was a rough day, but now a new day dawns.  Well, I missed the dawn.  But, I embrace it just the same.

We listened for the coffee to brew. The signal to officially wake.  The last spit of water and air was heard and we jumped up as if it were Christmas morning.  Energy filled my body and a smile graced my face. A real honest to goodness smile.  I love the man I share my life with! He makes me laugh, allows me to cry. Talks me through the darkness and the light. I am blessed to have such a loving soul to hold hands with.

We raced to the coffee pot. One grabbing creamer, one grabbing mugs. Its not too often gratitude comes into my mind of its own accord, but this moment was an exception.  Warm coffee made its way to my belly. Perfect.

He played my favorite record of late, Chris Stapleton The Traveller. His gravel(y) voice just reaches into me. We looked at pictures from our 2 day excursion to the beach. Memories were made and we were reliving them. Each push of the button reminded us of another moment in time. Surfers. Sea Lions. Waves. Portraits. Vast open space of the Pacific Ocean. Beauty. Our tv transformed us back in time as I captured the journey with the click of technology. I could almost smell the ocean air. Feel the pebbles on my feet. Feel the sun warming my face.  Behold the magic of water.

Steam was spiraling from my coffee, cats sleeping on the couch, music coming from the corner of the room. Couldn’t be more perfect.  Hard to believe yesterday I had thoughts of jumping off a bridge. Just yesterday I wanted to give up.  I felt I had no more fight in me. No more resilience. No more energy to carry on. Less than 24 hours has passed and I feel like a new person. Its amazing. I tend to curse Bipolar disorder. It has caused so much chaos and havoc on my life.  But today, it allows me to be grateful for the change in mood. For the time spent with my best friend home and away. For the little things like favorite records, hot cups of coffee, kitties on couches.

When you are lost in an inner world of voices and visuals, or steeped in a depression so low you can taste  the ground, or racing thoughts carry you from room to room, or agitation wraps itself around your body and mind, genuine smiles and appreciations are hard to come by. I am no stranger to sudden changes in mood. But, I am not going to stand in my own way this morning. I am going to let the day unfold as it will.  Worry will not keep me from visiting a friend later. Fear will not keep me from expressing myself. I promise myself to take hold and enjoy the grace that has been given to me, if only for today.

 

 

Gratitude

I noticed the beauty and glory of Autumn today. Driving down the road of all places.  The battery in my Ipod died, so I sat in silence as I drove to my outpatient program. I think I was even breathing. I tend to hold my breath a lot. I noticed an even, unforced cadence to my breath. I felt myself nonchalantly enjoying the essence of fall leaves glistening in the sun, the collision of red, orange and gold being supported by roots deep below the ground. Taking it all in as I sat side by side with strangers on a long road. Perhaps the folks I was sharing space with were also in recovery. Perhaps not.  Perhaps just trying to make it through the day as I do so much of the time. Rhythmic breaths are coming easily as I moved patiently through the commute.

The morning air felt fresh, slightly crisp on my face. November in Northern California right now is grandiose. The sunsets blazing the open sky inviting awe and wonder from all who take notice. The promise of frost to grace the tips of the lavender or forgotten blades of grass yet only moisture on your windshield is found.  Threats of rain, which would actually be a gift, are empty.  There is still time to sip  coffee or tea on the patio in mid afternoon. I forget how lucky I am to live in this valley. I forget how lucky I am to experience emotion, though sometimes painful.  I forget how I can set myself free sharing the truth of my struggle.

I do not wish to walk in fear. One more time for good measure..I do not wish to walk in fear.  Each morning I awaken in darkness. I throw back the covers and attempt to cherish the day. I can only hope I am filled with strength to handle whatever comes my way. For me, hallucinations are unpredictable.  Morning, midday, midnight. I could be in a constant state of terror, awaiting their arrival. I am choosing to carry on with my day as if I were symptom free.  I think I can maintain this attitude because there truly are days I am free.  However, there are also days where the voices are demanding and crucifying my character. Days where I see destruction before my eyes as if a prisoner being made to watch atrocities. I never know which day it will be when I wake. Unpredictability leaves me feeling thrust upon the roller coaster without permission.  I do not enjoy this aspect of bipolar disorder. I would consider myself a go with the flow kinda girl, except in this arena.

As I felt the murmur of my car, I wondered when was the last time I considered what I can be grateful for?  My husband has been suggesting to me the longer I allow myself to get lost in a hallucination the more power I give away.  If I really set an intention to gratitude, can I change the trajectory of my episode. Right now I feel I am running in circles. Some improvement yes, but not enough to warrant going back to work or exiting the program. I’m chasing medication as the miracle for what ails me at this point in time.  I am being told that is the best course by those who deal drugs for a living. I have to trust they know best. I am on my knees and holding my hands open to receive. I concede I cannot control this on my own, though I try.  Diet, exercise, acupuncture, therapy, writing, and honest communication are my tools. They do not hold the fire to where my illness is taking me.  As I acknowledge that fact, I also want to acknowledge I am doing the best I can. If only for me. I am going to introduce gratitude into my arsenal. Really give it some credence. Allow it to have a place in my recovery. I am grateful the looming and blooming fall colors caught my eye today and led me to where I needed to go.