I miss me…

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I am no stranger to the wonders of this illness during the times of hypomania – everything more vibrant, exciting, feeling so fucking alive as the blood pulses through my veins.

But right now, I am pissed at this disorder. I look in the mirror and barely recognise myself.  My hair perpetually scraped up into a fresh-from-the-shower messy bun and my eyes void of my staple ‘cat’s eyes eyeliner.’  As I look down at my slipper-socked feet and cosy North Carolina hoodie, I have to ask myself, “Where did I go?”

The countdown has begun to my return to work.  My GP suggests that Friday would be an ideal day to return to work, as only having one day to get through before the weekend will help me to gain confidence in social situations.  That gives me approximately 3 days to ‘find myself’ again.

I am not suicidal, I have not fallen that far.  I have been far worse than this in the past but I am blank with the exception of the overwhelming anxiety that crashes over me every time I attempt to leave my house.  I feel like such a pussy.  What am I so afraid of?  What is the worst that can happen? Why is the thought of leaving these 4 walls so terrifying?

On the rare few occasions that I have managed to leave, I felt so awkward and uncomfortable within my own skin that I wanted to run and hide.  Making eye-contact is almost painful and I feel that as well-meaning people look into my eyes, they can spy my deceit as I ‘smile’ with the standard, “I’m fine!” response.

The only place I find peace and solace is within a drug-induced sleep, or within the pages of a book.  Within those pages I experience none of my own emotions; I merely escape into the lives of the fictions characters who whisk me away from the depths of my mind.

Despite feeling so alone, I have zero desire to socialise.  On days weeks like these, just the thought of looking at my phone makes me feel sick to the stomach.  What the fuck am I so afraid of?  I guess it’s because finding a stack of messages from people assumes that a response is required.  However, I am not the sort of person to ask for help, I am not the sort of person who spills negativity in the direction of others.  I am not their problem, whether they want me to be or not.

And so I come here, spilling the thoughts of my mind on this pristine white page.

 

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What lies beneath…

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I gingerly take another step forward casting a wistful glance over my shoulder.  In the far-flung distance I see vivid hues of my former life vibrant against the setting sun.

I turn my head and sigh, my breath fogging in front of me and hanging densely in the frigid air.  With reluctance I take another step, lightly placing my feet with care and trepidation.

A deafening crack fills the crevice of my mind, as I plunge into the icy blackness below.  I gasp for breath and kick, kick with my legs but they are heavy and uncoordinated.  Again I am dragged below the surface, the blinding light of my former life rushes away from me in a rapid backwards motion.

My point of entry is gone.  I am overcome with panic as terror claws at my throat, crushing my chest and enveloping my senses. As I flail helplessly, my leaden limbs propel me to an icy ceiling.  This crystal partition, so beautiful upon first sight, prevents my escape.

I squint and in the distance through the ice I can see the life that I once knew.  My loved ones wave in recognition as they glance me in their periphary – their distance prevents them from seeing the panic and terror within my eyes.  “Just relax!” I tell myself, “this isn’t real.” Those I love carry on with the lives in blissful ignorance.  I watch in silence with resignation, as my limbs cease their fight with the current that is persistent with my inevitable descent.

Do they even know that I have slipped away?