I went on a business trip for 3 days to our corporate office in So. cal. I live in N. Cal. Thankfully a short and sweet plane ride. However, much longer working days than I’m used to as well as having to “perform” in a way. The role at my current job is a bit of a solo gig. Our office is quite small.
The office down south is much busier. A bustling HR department with lots of would be candidates for direct care staff coming and going. Interviews. Applications. Phones ringing off the hook. I can be quite bubbly and gregarious when I need to be. I know my game and can speak well when the time comes. I have over 20 years of experience in my field. I carry myself well. But, really. Truly. I’m an introvert. Perfectionist is also in my resume.
So each morning I arrived earlier than needed. Stayed longer than needed. Smiled bigger than needed. I can only work part time these days. 24 hours. My first day with travel was 12 hours and my last day with travel was 12 hours. The in between day was a solid 8 hours. I was buzzing. Running on adrenaline and expectation. On the inside. On the outside I wore my badge. Took notes. Shared information, both personal and professional. Smiled some more.
Today I am home. I slept fairly well last night. Got a great workout in. Cleaned the house a bit. But….about 3pm I crashed. I sent my husband off to a baseball game thinking I needed “me” time. But within me, myself and I, sometimes, is not the place to be. Racing thoughts I didnt present well. Intrusive thoughts of self harm. Some visions. Some voices.
Ya know. I ask myself if I’m trying to be more than I can be? Should I have known it would be too much? Was the trip truly too much? Maybe I just need more rest, less expectations for a few days. Recovery. Allow myself the idea of recovery.
Its okay. I know I did the best that I could. I may have even done better!
I walk through the motions
I smile when it seems appropriate
Yet, i feel nothing
The atmosphere in my mind is complete chaos
Critics in an uproar
Yet, i walk softly
Slow and soft
No footprints can be seen
I don’t feel like i exist
Perhaps I’m just a ghost roaming about
I watched my feet walk a labyrinth today
Weaving in and out of the stone path
Wandering but not lost
An entrance and an exit
Leading me not to salvation
But reminders to breathe
Each conscious step
Filling my lungs
Not of expectation
But forgiveness and grace
Home in my pajamas on a Sunday morning. Steam spiraling from my favorite coffee mug. A kitty purring on my lap. Sunshine trickling into our cozy living space. I guarantee you I could neither see nor cherish such simple things last week. My mind was so muddled. My paranoia and fear so high. I was mostly convinced the voices inside the walls were plotting against me. So full of angst and so uncomfortable I could not sit for a cup of joe or hear the sounds coming from the record player.
I had to take a time out. Sign myself into a psych facility. The voices, chanting and taunting were threatening my well being. My safety. Blood shot eyes from lack of sleep, combined with a steady stream of tears made for a picture of madness. I gingerly walked into the therapists office at my outpatient program and revealed I had a plan. I could no longer tolerate the noise, the incessant chatter, anymore. If I didn’t go to the hospital today I was prepared to follow through. Of course, please sit down, let’s talk a minute she said. The rest is a blur. I waited 12 hours before being admitted.
While there, I slept a lot! Attended some groups, did some art, some exercise. The expectations were low. Which was helpful. We haggled over a medication change. For me, just the containment helps calms the voices. Take away the possibility of hurting myself and take away their power as well. The chants. The demands have no sway because there is no option.
Today, back home, I can sit in a bit of gratitude. Its never fun to go to the hospital, but it’s sometimes necessary. That was the case for me. I couldn’t think clearly, much less rationally. I couldn’t hear suggestions from my husband or therapist. All I heard was chanting from the demon that sometimes taunts me. But no more. Certainly not today. I see some hope. I felt a belly laugh or 2 in the last few days. Unconscious words of positivity gracing my lips. I walked through the city with open arms, open eyes and an open heart. I allowed the sunshine to penetrate and recharge my insides. Spent a little money. Ate a lot of food. My belly swelled w wholesomeness, not typically found in the hospital. Free from tainted recycled air I took each breath and filled it with love for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.
I made a conscious contact w a higher power. I don’t really know what that means or what it’s supposed to look like. I’m just going with it. No need to analyze. Keeping the anxiety about such things as low as possible. There is no right or wrong. Right? Just kidding. I feel good for a change. Not slogging out of bed full of dread. Is this what “living” life feels like? Not just merely existing. I’ll take another cup of that please!
Depression is beating me down. I’m not sure I can get up. I’m not even sure I want to if I could. The cold tile floor is somehow soothing to my broken skin. I laid in bed for hours, exhausted. Beyond exhausted and sleep would not come. I tried to make a cup of tea and It slipped through my hands. Instant breakdown landed me face to face with earl grey. No more energy to spare to pull myself up I lingered, drenched from wicked emotional unrecognizable sobs. Thats a lie. Bipolar depression is no stranger.
As the clocks fell back so did my stamina, interest, desire, and purpose. Just a little more lifeless each day. Put my husband on a plane last night. Out from under my mask, I thought I could breathe easier. Take a load off. My body is so heavy. My breath shallow and forced. Voices echo from the corner of the room. I don’t want to be here anymore.
I can’t do this again. I can’t face another winter like this. I shout its not fair, but the words dissipate before they can be heard. No matter. No one is here to witness my disintegration. To stop it. To help me stop it. Earl and I on the floor alone. Again and again.
Raw ugly feelings being pounded into my head and now into the keyboard. Incessant and I repeat incessant thoughts bombard my mind. One thought begets another and begets another. I’m dizzy. I think I could throw up. I’m not chasing these thoughts like when I’m manic. I’m trying to shield myself as they are intruding upon My psyche. I cringe as if I have a migraine. Tears fall which you’d think would be a release. Instead I feel like a prisoner. I carry klonopin in my pocket hoping to bolster my defense.
The chaos is nothing more than suggestive ways to end my life. Ways for home, ways awAy from home, down by the river. Even at the hospital where maybe I should be. Am I just weak when the voices insist upon insist I gather all my old medications and I do. I couldn’t know longer tolerate the round and round word play. I gave in. Impulsively shoving them into a bag. The bag covertly in the backseat of my car. Fueling the fire of “options.” An escape plan of sorts.
Looking up from the bottom of the rabbit hole. It feels to hard and to far to climb. I am by no means comfortable. I’m incredibly tired. I’m inching towards rapid cycling. I just came out of a 3 month psychotic episode. I had about 4 weeks of feeling back in the world on somewhat stable ground. That gave way to bipolar depression w some suicidal ideation for shits and giggles. I have to tell you I do not feel like I belong in the world. If bipolar is my lot and it leads me to destruction, perhaps that is just destiny.
Places I once felt comfortable are no more. Any hint of foundation I could rely upon disintegrated. Enter the big B word..Burden. This is a huge weight. I know I know. Just shut it down. Don’t believe it. What tools do you have? I’ve tried to shut down the thoughts and voices. They plague me, fuck w me. I’m so tired and just not wanting to fight anymore. Bipolar first wrote an awesome post Bipolar destroys you..fight anyway. Check it out. It’s powerful. I read her words more than a few days ago. Since I have fallen farther.
While I do understand this is bipolar…UP. dOWN. sWINGS. I don’t particularly like it. Only a 4 week reprieve after 3 months of hell. I just don’t know that I want to carry on this way, or if I have the strength.
This is raw, unedited and really no read through. I had to get it out for better or worse.