It Never Stops

It seems like it never ends. I’m over here trying desperately to get my stuff together and bipolar disorder is over there conjuring up the opposite plan.  I begged my doc to give me the okay to dive back into work full time starting next week. I’m currently working 20 hrs.  I’m not doing swimmingly well, but I’m hanging there. I dutifully sat on my therapists couch on Monday and talked it all through.  I thought we had a brilliant plan. I was going to ask my podoc to write two work notes. One for a full return and one for increase to 30 hrs per week. I could then see how my week went and decide on Sunday what I thought was best for me. Now if you know me at all, you know I am going to give the full return status to HR no matter what. I’m the fanatic. It’s all or nothing.
What I neglected to consider was that she has worked with me for 10+ years and just might have learned a thing or two about me, and how I operate.  She told me 30 hours makes the most sense. Giving me 2 notes would put a lot of undo pressure on me to have to decide last minute.  So there it is 30 hrs per week for the remaining two weeks in January.  I told her I would just shut up and oblige. I could beat this to death in my head. Play it over and over til blood spills.
So, i’m showing up at work. Trying to get my workouts in. Keep the house somewhat clean. The note request was on Monday. Moving through the week, so unsure of myself. Writing to do lists with no real understanding of the tasks. Then Thursday morning comes. This is a “big” all important day. Lots to do and I need to work 8 full hours.  I was walking around my office lost within a 10 foot space.  The floor was moving under my feet. The box full of proposals I didn’t read was expanding. The To do list was blinking. My breath was shortening. The room was going black. I was sweating.  PANIC ATTACK.
Okay. Okay. What to do. Priority is to slow my breath.  In and out. Count 4. One more time.  I slumped in my office chair wanting to cry. But not. Luckily I had something stashed in my purse for emergencies and I think this qualified.  It was early. My office mate was not working. I had the ability to close my door and take a few moments. So I did.  Oh there is something else. Intrusive thoughts. I hate them. Bombarding me. Suggesting I should just take all my medications at once. Avoid this kinda thing, or anything, in the future.
I tell ya.  It just never stops. The battles in my mind. Bipolar disorder always nipping at my heels.  Some days it’s treacherous terrain. Some days, with some extra armor, it’s manageable.  Other days the grip is too much, too hard.  How I’m still here I don’t really know.  I just am. That too hasn’t stopped.

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.



I am not myself

I rise and fall
On the anticipation of fear
There can be no perfect moment
Darkness into light
Sentient beings rise
Clamoring for answers
Faith on the hill
Fortune found in a cookie
Secrets of the past
Unlocked w a gold key
Moral compass shattered
Dangling from a wire of
Compromise and lost virtue
I am not myself
Staring back in horror
The mirror does not lie
And naked
Red blood spills on
White porcelain
Mental anguish
Gives way to the physical
I am reborn in this pain