“I just don’t know what to do with myself…”

I don’t remember ever being this bad.  Ever. This is the scariest episode of my life. I have dealt with a major manic episode before, I have dealt with a major depressive episode before but never a mixed state; not to this extent.

I have been so fucking high and nothing is working.  Nothing.  So last night I made myself watch ‘102 minutes that changed the world.’  I forced myself to watch it because no matter how many times I watch it, the horror never decreases.  I knew that I would have an emotional reaction to it.  And I did.

I have just finished reading ‘All the Bright Places’ – I was asked to read it for reasons that I won’t go into here.  However, I bought & received the book simultaneously knowing nothing about it.  I have been reading it for months.  It has been a breath of fresh air – the content is harrowing but for once I finally feel like the reality of this disorder has been captured outside the realms of a textbook.  If you want to understand the reality of living with this C**t of a disease, read it and focus on the character of ‘Finch’ from the very beginning.

There is only one other person in my life who understands what living with this fucking asshole of a disorder is like.  Someone else who knows how it feels to wake up and fight the same battle, day in, day out. To open your mouth and feel nothing but shame, disgust and regret surrounding your existence. But to not be able to shut up anyway.  That person lives 4 thousand miles away from me.  But we speak regularly and our emails keep each other afloat. Mostly.  There is zero romantic involvement.  It is more of a Thomas J – Vada kinda thing.

I have never felt this aspect of guilt and self-loathing that the textbooks speak of, before.  I have experienced worthlessness, lack of focus/drive, suicidal ideation and all that other shit.  But never guilt.  Why guilt?  Do you know how it feels to be ashamed of your entire being, yet can’t quite pinpoint just why you feel that way?

I am terrified.  I know that over the years, these episodes will become more frequent and more intense.  I don’t know if I am cut out for this.  All I want is contact.  Just someone other than my husband to sit with me and say, “I can see you’re in trouble right now.  It’s ok.  I don’t understand how it feels to experience what you are going through but I am here by your side…” That’s all I need.  That is what will get me through.  That and this blog.

Except no-one has noticed.  Not even my ‘best’ girlfriends.  It is too icky to get involved in.  Far better to wait for the storm to pass.  But what if it doesn’t pass?  What if I’m caught up in it and this is my fate.  What if there’s no one to shove their arm into the gloom and say, “Hey! I’m here, grab my hand, I’ll pull you out.”

The quickest ‘fix’ for me is contact.  It helps to pull me out of my head and distract from the pain.

Today I had popped into town to get some bits from the shops.  Despite it being an autumnal day, I had to wear sunglasses as the pressure of the last few months built up and I found myself sobbing in a locked cubicle of the women’s toilets.  I never cry.  I think my husband and previous boss are the only people who have ever seen me in tears, apart from my mum, of course.

I slipped my glasses down over my eyes and strolled towards the shop I needed, determined not to cry in public.  I spotted a homeless guy sat next to the shop I wanted to go in.  He was counting out the change in his hands – it amounted to nothing.  I sat down next to him, introduced myself and asked his name.  His name is Michael.  I asked if he’d like a tea, coffee and something to eat.

For those 5 minutes I was able to get outside of my head and focus on addressing Michael’s needs.  God knows when the last time he ate was.  Momentarily that human contact helped not just him, but me too.  To connect with others, reminds me that we are all part of a tribe but when people start forgetting to remember, I start to sink.

I am not an attention-seeking person.  I am not the sort to post suicide/depression memes on Facebook.  That helps nobody and probably only triggers others.  I have deactivated my account.  I haven’t done a ‘I’m leaving Facebook status’ because I don’t want the shallow ‘inbox me’ hun messages.  They stand for shit.  Anyone who truly knows me will know that I post regularly, they also know that I wouldn’t have blocked them.  But sometimes people are so locked in their little ‘me’ bubbles that they don’t even notice a crisis when it’s staring them in the face.

It is times like this when you notice who really cares.  Who really picks up on those subtle changes?  If I were to leave this life, it would become, “There were so many signs, how did we not see it coming?”  But it shouldn’t have to take that for someone to genuinely notice what is wrong.

I am not going to kill myself.  Not right now anyway. You never know how bad you’ll become in the future and I have seen the devastation suicide causes (see post ‘I will try to fix you’) but this illness is a bitch.  It lies to you and it tells you things that aren’t real.  I just hope that I can remember that in the darkest of times.

Let’s make that clear.  But am I glad to be existing right now?

No.

It hurts. It hurts so much.  And what hurts even more is pretending to be fine for the comfort and convenience of others.  My daughter needs me.  She is my entire world. She doesn’t know it but she has saved my life over and over again.

I have to collect my daughter from school in just over an hour.  I need to cry this out of my system and then get my ‘game face’ on.

Bipolar Disorder, go fuck yourself.

 

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I can’t come down…

I’m scared. I’m really scared. For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like my normal management strategy is working. I usually pop a Lorazepam and I drift back down. But it’s not working.

I’ve had Lorazepam every night for the last 12 nights and because it’s a controlled drug in England, I’m almost out. There’s no way my GP will write me another prescription this soon. I usually get through a pack a year; not a pack a fortnight.

Yesterday I hit my husband. That’s how I know how bad it’s become. I never lose my temper – I have hit him once before and that was when I originally sought help and ended up with a bipolar diagnosis. Once is too much. Twice is unforgivable.

For me to lose control is out of character; I don’t even shout when I’m mad. I don’t cry. I don’t yell. I have never once raised my child at my daughter. I do not appear stressed to most who meet me. I am calm and contained by nature.

But we were arguing in the car and I was scared of my mind and I had nowhere to escape to. When we argue, I remove myself from the situation. I was scared that I would crash the car with all the yelling he was doing. And then he called me “Psycho” and I flipped. I swung and punched him with all my might in the chest.

I feel disgusted with myself. It is never ok to display violence to someone you love. Never. And that is how I know that I’m not coming down anytime soon.

I’m scared. I’m lonely. No-one in my ‘real’ life understands. All of my girlfriends have run for the hills because they don’t/can’t understand the mania aspect of my illness. It hurts so much. It is times like this that I need them the most.

I just need time. Time to take a break from being me. Time to take a break from this life. I just need it to stop.

Contain yourself…

I’m hating myself right now. Self-loathing is paramount.

I can see the eye rolls, the awkward glances between people.

I am high. Too high. But I can’t get down. I want to leave. Leave me behind. Shed myself of this loathsome individual that’s been rejected for the past 36 years.

I tell myself to “Just shut up!” inside my head.

Just make yourself invisible. Then they’ll forget what an embarrassment you are. Except I don’t shut up. I talk. I blurt. I blabber and the eye rolls escalate.

And in turn, so does the self-loathing…