Blistered and Broken

There is no stain
No varnish
No mountain blue paint
That can cover these wounds
Polish the pain
A good ol cleanin
Cleansing with bleach
Of my soul
Washing away the fear
The shame
That taints my destiny
Is a welcoming reprieve
These slow drawn out breaths
Of peace
Allow for space
Within the complete unrest
In this splatter scatter mind
The ripples and bubbles of soap
As I wring my hands
Of the past
Caress my fevered face
Splashes of water
Wake me from
This blistered and broken
Place

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?

This Jumbled Mind

It’s in the stillness
As I try to catch my breath
Be at ease
In this jumbled mind
My heart aches the most
Cries out for who I used to be
Covets the self assurances
I once carried so deep
Vies for the belief
I am off essence
I am of substance
There is more than
Mere madness that defines me
As the pain lingers
And the tears fall
I beg for mercy
To end this insanity

Insidious Chains

What happens
when you don’t care enough
to hold your own hand?
When your very own mind
Turns on you
When the waters below
promise to cradle you
When The devil himself
promises to free you
When thoughts of the future
Only hold more pain
When in the present
You barely maintain
When secrets begin
To morph into lies
When you close the bathroom door
To put on your disguise
When you choose a shade darker
To manipulate a smile
When the laughter
Simply disappears
When 3 am comes again and again
Rendering you broken and in tears
When joy was once felt
But no longer seems to exist
When shared experiences of love
Are cast down by shame
I can tell you what happens
Hope is lost to ferocious fears
Life is not worth living
In these insidious chains

Dirty Warehouse of Unworthy

The passion
Sweat
And subsequent
Shame
Permeates the air
Heart beats of anger
Internal rage
Its not a soft beating
Trapped in this cage
Of childhood assaults
Broken brain chemistry
Utter Despair
The crashing of our bodies
Clashing of our minds
Misdirected pain
Staunch ego and
Unclaimed trauma
Thrash around the room
Your sheer man power
Not at all chivalrous
Crushes me
Yet the weight of my own burden
Collapses me
Unabashedly I beg for more
In the dirty warehouse of unworthy

Desperate to Forget

A smoke screen of virtue
Strangles her
As she pretends to be
Anyone
Other than herself
Staring through that rear view mirror
Clamoring to leave yesterday
Behind
As a matter of fact
All the yesterdays she can remember
Luckily the booze and pills
Helps just enough
Allowing moments to fade to black
Til she wakes
Full of regret
Only
To chase another tomorrow

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

So Painfully Aware

There are many things i am painfully aware of, but have finally allowed to rest in the background. Until of course…a trigger. Its no secret I am an introvert. Masterful isolationist. Harbor secrets. Harbor despair. Have great difficulty opening up sooner rather than later. Sure, there are times I can’t fulfill my commitments. There are times that I don’t answer my phone. Long moments that crash into even longer moments where I lose my voice. Silent I sit and stare into nothingness, all the while the voice in my head is tearing me to shreds. No need to plead the fifth here. I am guilty of all the above.
i try so hard to forge friendships. I am thoughtful and kind. I’m attentive as much as I can be. I send texts just to say..thinking about you. If you had a bad day yesterday, most likely i will check to see how you are today. I try to make you laugh on any given day. I can be quite funny sometimes. I listen. I empathize. I encourage you to lean on me. So, what’s wrong with me that I have no friends? Seriously. Honestly. I have co-workers that I really like, and seem to like me inside the hours of 9-5. But, past that, I am alone. Before the point is made that my husband cares for me and is of invaluable support, i’ll just agree wholeheartedly. Without him, i wouldn’t still be here to write this.
So, today I am once again painfully aware. My husband leaves for his annual east coast trip to New York in just about 2 weeks. I gently stated to him his family causes me too much stress and I would prefer to stay home. I would be dishonest in this context not to admit that staying home alone for a week is also quite stressful for me. The obvious solution is to gather up my support network. Make plans to stay busy. Not completely isolate the entire week and either turn to booze, sleep the time away, or the worst case..swallow all my pills to just end all matters. You have to have friends to form a support network. If i understood what fatal flaw keeps me from bridging this gap, I would fix it. Are some people just meant for more of a lonely life?
My younger self had a consistent, yet small, circle of people I could call upon. I had a short stint in AA in my mid 30’s and had a sponsor and a few key characters that helped me stay sober. However, once I slipped into the land of bipolar and several subsequent hospitalizations, those people lost interest. Granted, my ability to be consistent in anyone’s life was diminished. Whatever the reason, I am no longer in touch with them. I was alone when I drank. Now I’m alone in sobriety with a cruel mental illness.
These are not new revelations. Its the truth of the situation. I care about people. I want connections. Even better if they could be meaningful. Here I sit writing anonymously to the cyber universe. Sharing what i have been unable to share thus far. Like I said, generally I can push it aside, its just that today I am painfully aware.

Crash and Burn

Hypomania had its wicked fangs in me for 3 days. I ran, skipped and jumped into conversations, meetings and projects to which I did not belong. I laughed and carried on as I fumbled, stumbled and pretty much lost sight of the English language. Words and ideas flew around my mind so fast I could not utter them coherently. No big deal really, because they were simply brilliant. My husband begged me to slow down. I shook my head. My finger. Told him he was jealous. The truth was, I couldn’t. Around 4 hours of sleep per night even w heavy sleep medications I furiously agreed to take. Klonopin in my pocket. In my purse. At my desk. Didn’t do a thing to deconstruct the madness.
I twirled around the city streets. Swiped credit cards. Dazzled strangers. Chatted up acquaintances. Bought 20 candles, set them up in a circle. Lit each one as if I were a fire princess in the Amazon. I stepped into the circle and was transformed and gifted w unseen powers. The heat from the flames sizzled my skin and I felt ecstasy not pain. I conducted a personal ceremony pardoning myself of all my sins.
It was glorious and meaningful. I had arrived. Until that next morning when darkness was blacker than black. I had no words. No thoughts. I could barely move my body. Rolling over was a heroic feat. The noise of the neighborhood, of birds chirping was piercing my brain cells. Sunshine ushered itself through my blinds threatening my insides. The light stabbed my eyeballs and I remembered what pain was. But I couldn’t move. It felt like my mind had been shattered.

Dear Devoted Husband

Dear devoted husband,

I had forgotten the fear that is instilled in you once I drink. You micromanage and follow me around the house terrified there are still secrets. I have battled this disease of alcoholism for a very long time. I do it for me, but I also do it for you. I don’t want you to have to endure me as a monster. Ungrateful. Bitter. Hateful. Throwing daggers of rage directly at you when it truly has nothing to do w you. My demons are big. I’m so sorry it impacts you this way. You feel unsafe in your own home because of the wreckage I cause. It feels unfair. Why should you? Why would you continue to support me after all I have put us through?
I appealed to you in my collapse. If only you could understand my chaos. My self loathing. The roller coaster of bipolar. I reveal the suicidal thoughts. The desire to escape. The uncertainty I can carry on like this. You could probably never understand the way I want you to. But you stay by my side always, through it all. As the alcohol collided with my intense anger I said many things I did not mean. I sincerely regret. You laid in bed with me as I cried it out. Stuttered and stammered to get my painful words across. I couldn’t bring myself to announce the plan I have been mulling over for the past week. The incessant suicidal chatter that is intrusive, never stops and is convincing. I instead rest on your shoulder. I let the tears run wild down my cheeks. While there is a sense of freedom in an emotional explosion, picking up the pieces is another story.
I try to contain my defensiveness as you ask me where I’m going in our 1200 square ft house. I stand up and you flinch wondering if I’m going to sneak a drink. I put my hand on the doorknob and you say..are you really going to get coffee or are you going to drink. Please don’t drink. My self loathing increases w each question. What a fool I am giving in to the false promise of alcohol. What a fool I am to continually test the limits. If you said you couldn’t love me anymore I wouldn’t blame you. Sometimes I hope you do, so I can release this guilt. So I can jump and end this nightmare. But no. Over and over you profess your love for me. All of me.
I must contend with the guilt. With the roller coaster. With the fear. Because you do.