Today was a hard day. Days similar to today have tried to break me and sometimes I think where I find my strength is keeping it all deep inside of me wrapped up tightly with all the other things I bury for the sake of others.
I often write about how being bipolar feels to me. How depression binds me. I tend to shy away from sharing the part of what it is I actually go through to heal, to survive. The experiences themselves I hide only showing the pretty words strung together in a useable quote. To protect myself, to protect other’s maybe. Not today. Today I had to start over with a re-assesment of my mental health and well-being. I have come quite far from when I started my self-care just over five years ago. Yet, I cannot seem to do more than survive.
I walked into the office feeling the same I do most days though it’s hard to describe. I mostly go through the motions of what needs to be done to get to the next day only to repeat the cycle. Lying to my brain that tomorrow, we can breathe, we can relax, we can have a good day and maybe we can do something we want to do without criticism, without guilt, without a time limit as my time has not been my own for such a long time now. So, I walk in and sit down and BamBam the therapy dog climbs up his giant stairs onto my psychiatrist’s desk and sits right in front of my face waiting for his pets.
Isn’t he adorable? So sweet and seemingly concerned of my well being. Throughout the session I would watch this look overtake my doctor filled with sadness, concern and so much empathy for what it is I endure. I was uncomfortable, I didn’t understand why? It seems that look is gone from so many familiar faces it was unrecognizable. Conditioned that what I endure is not as bad as it feels or not as severe because I am strong, because I survive, because I am a talented actress and the best performance of my life, is my life and because I am shown that I am selfish making such an experience feel unworthy. I fought tears during the 90 minute season as if crying was painful, or not allowed but really when I start I often cannot stop. Sure sometimes I want to be held, in silence but mostly I prefer these moments are when I am alone. I feel myself betraying myself by doing such a thing in front of another human being. Every part of my being screams to stop, Stop, STOP! I do temporarily, at least until she pokes another trigger.
I have control issues. Anytime I have “let go,” the consequences have been astronomical and I carry them always. They are as much a part of me as my bones, skin and blood is. The things that break me in session, are the same things that have been slowly killing me, making me sicker physically and mentally. It is part of who I am, to feel everything so intensely or feel nothing at all. I’m not really sure if that is part of my personality at this point or just a combination of Bipolar Disorder and all the other labels slapped on my chart. The main triggers, are naturally things I am not in control of. I drift while she types, watching BamBam now in his tiny dog bed, belly up and snoring louder than something so small should be able to. The third time she mentions how difficult my situation must be due to my son’s autism, I correct her firmly. “He is not a trigger.” My love for him and his for me is unconditional. WE accept each other exactly as we are. No one else does that. Maybe that is why the bond between mother and son or father and daughter seem to be so strong. I explained and she accepted.
After adding another diagnostic issue to my chart she asks cautiously if I would be wiling to see a trauma therapist. (Meanwhile I can still see my regular therapist.) Now of course how far I’ve come seems minuscule at this point. She says something along the lines of, “I know to you, you may not think what you have experienced is trauma but it doesn’t have to be physical to be considered trauma. You show classic sign of PTSD from the trauma you have experienced (specifically these 2 instances, including the sudden seemingly random onset of your disorder almost 18-19 years ago) and you have been in survival mode ever since.” My eyes filled quickly and suddenly. So much truth is, hard. I answer her questions, telling her things I would never tell another soul (but I want to feel better, so I do.) Telling her things I have told other’s but had received no reprieve or true help besides empty words, disinterest, judgment, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
We make a plan of action, the best we can with the hand we are dealt. BamBam wakes and comes over to me to say his goodbyes. I leave physically exhausted, mentally drained. Today was a hard day.
I left to pick my son up from school and we went home. Continued with all the things I am supposed to do, have to do to survive. Did all the things I can muster the strength to do with a smile; so my son is happy, healthy and feels loved for being exactly who he is, every single part of him that makes him who he is and allowing him to exist the way he needs ands wants to. My turn isn’t a real thing. It’s a wish list my doctor has on my chart and on this list there are other things she wants for me that I won’t allow myself to dwell on, to want (when I can help it), knowing there is always a barter to be made for a fraction of what I may want and sometimes a punishment of sorts for thinking about myself. Fighting for things I should have a right to, well I do not have the energy, will power or time for such silly things.
Tomorrow I will feel a little better, until I don’t again. Back and forth. My mental illness is a neurological (and genetic) condition I did nothing to aquire and no longer can tell if I deserve. But don’t worry, in a few days I’ll gather myself and be back to the approved version I have been shown, I am allowed to be.
Today was a hard day.
Day three of my bipolar and mania episode. Sigh. It’s far harder than I anticipated to control my rage and depression these days. Sometimes I feel myself succumbing to the darkness, swallowing me whole. Constantly I’m told how proud and amazed people are that I’m doing so well with the hand I’ve been dealt. Gee thanks. I’m fighting clawing at the walls closing in to break free of this depressing cloud hanging over my head. Fucking rain already. These “episodes” are impossible. Imagine feeling numb no connection to those you care for in your life. Sure you know you love them, you remember feeling it you just can’t feel it most of the time. It’s fucked up is what it is. But that’s not where it ends, everything gets on your nerves and you’re afraid you might deck the snobby bitch in line at the grocery store if she rolls her eyes at you one more time and you are honestly physically restraining yourself. Next add waves of soothing depression. Dark seas of hate, sadness, lust, emptiness and loneliness. Jumping back and fourth at a rapid pace between caring too much and not at all. The consequences of your wake wait patiently for when life turns around. Even if it feels impossible deep down you know it will turn around if only for a little while. Until then you wallow and hope no one strums your triggers, causing a far worse reaction then wallowing in your misery. You’re already kicking yourself for every mistake you’ve ever made, that you can’t remember. Of course your memory has some sort of sad break and moments you’d miss you can’t remember. And what the fuck are you doing with your life? Can you see it? I can but I’m living it. So stop asking me if I’m okay, clearly I’m not fucking okay. I’m hanging on by a thread, trying not to lose it, lose everything and everyone. Remember to pretend to be okay. Is my condition the result of life or was I predestined before I was born?
I can’t even face my past, it’s locked away in some dark corner of my mind. I can hear its laughter though, echoing throughout my ears. Rattling my anxious mind. Knock Knock “Are you all right?” A voice asked through the fog. No, I’m not all right I’m losing my fucking mind. I never say that though. Lost and broken I tread through the filthy waters at my feet. Where does this drive to survive come from? I feel numb and hopeless. Depressed and angry but yet something pushes me onward. My world constantly feels like it’s tumbling down around me and yet I choose life every time. Remarkable. Truth is the pain though unbearable at times is easier to endure than the mental battle i’m having with darkness closing in. Priming its teeth to sink deep into me to feed my sadness and steal my joy. Breathe. I demand attempting to slow my ever beating heart. Everything in me screams life! Love! But why can I only feel anger and loneliness? Wrath builds in my veins, emptiness fill my tear ducts and I begin to melt like snow on a warm spring day. I reach out and feel no one nearby, even if they are there they are only but a ghost haunting the good in me. I cry against my will. The darkness dances triumphantly while I squirm inside my own darkness as it consumes me. Let me go, my mind shouts inside my skull. Barely alive I fight, I win. I’m left in my lonely broken state staring out at those I care for with nothing more than a nod. Unable to express the hell I’ve just endured while missing… What the hell did they just ask me? Labeled, an asshole. Not the survivor I barely am. No one feels my struggles. I wander with no where to release my wrath. Only able to grip a hold of it and hide it from the world. No where to release this depression for the effect it has on others. Bottled up. Ready to explode always. Alone.