My friend JP is lovingly badgering me about my non-compliance at the moment, this was his reply to a twitter chat we had when I admitted I had wagged therapy, was self-medicating and not spoken to my doctor:
“What is it you are self medicating with? What’s hubby think about all this? Is there something else that is keeping you from contacting your med doc? I’m gonna keep asking questions until we can trigger your rational mind to take the driver’s seat. I’ll be thinking of you.”
Today is a better day, I have achieved quite a few things on my to do list this morning, I am feeling more rational and able to write more effectively so I was just going to reply to him, but then I thought I would do a blog post about it and let you all know what is going on at the moment too. (Hope that’s okay JP!)
So basically, I wagged my Fiona (therapist) appointment on Tuesday for a few reasons, partly because hubby got the day off and suggested we go to IKEA (that NEVER happens!) but mostly because I had promised my therapist at the beginning of last week that I would try and see my psychiatrist, or at least my GP ASAP, and I didn’t.
She is on placement and new at this whole therapy lark and so I try to play down my suicidal ideation issues a little bit so that she doesn’t freak out and do the ‘duty of care’ thing and dob on me to my GP – my GP is an “err on the side of caution” type and I really, really don’t want to get thrown into hospital against my will. On the bright side my psychiatrist understands me quite well and has previously stated that if I was hospitalised every time I was suicidal I would never leave, so I could possibly get some support there, it’s just that she seems to be kind of uncontactable right now.
So basically, I was high as a kite when I saw Fiona and while she reacted very professionally she was obviously a little startled by my “unusual presentation”, she commented that I couldn’t sit still, kept getting distracted and I was talking really fast, I guess she hasn’t seen a manic person with blue hair before.
So Fiona was concerned about my impulsivity being coupled with sudden suicidal impulses that I stupidly admitted having, she also knows that I have “means” to act on them available, but as I felt a million bucks at that time she agreed not to speak to my GP directly that day on condition I made an appointment with my GP to discuss what was going on and rang my psychiatrist.
But you see the stars simply didn’t line up, my psychiatrist still hasn’t replied to my e-mail and I feel supremely awkward about that whole thing because I just know she is just going to tell me to consistently take the meds at the full dose that I already have and they are the ones I don’t want to take, so essentially contacting her is just a waste of her time.
I genuinely did try to make an appointment with my GP but it turned out she was away last week so I decided it wasn’t meant to be and I didn’t end up pursuing either of them any further.
So, I am doing what you probably shouldn’t do in my position and mildly self-medicating, or self-dosing anyway, I am letting my high get to the point where it is dysphoric, impulsive and causing me stress and then popping a full dose of my antipsychotic, if I take it at 5pm this allows me to sleep and be just barely sober enough to drive the kids the 10km to the school bus & back in the morning, but it renders me about as useful as tits on a bull until approximately 9am, I have stuff to do, places to be and it’s simply not practical!
I will admit that it does kill the dysphoria and suicidal ideation quite effectively without completely wiping out the high and by midday I am usually happily hypomanic and then by the evening/ night time I am fairly euphorically pumped.
If I don’t take anything that night I probably won’t sleep much but if I take more of the antipsychotic I am scared I won’t be able to keep my buzz the next day (as per the aforementioned addictive properties of hypomania in my previous post) so I attempt to self -sleep, sometimes if I have somewhere to be the next day and I have it available I will smoke a joint because I don’t drink (calories) and it helps me sleep and doesn’t give me any hangover in the morning so I am still able to function, I just tend to wake up around 4am raring to go.
When I don’t sleep more than about 4 hours a night for two or three nights my euphoric highs reach a crescendo and become dysphoric, for example the other night, while Hubby snored beside me I was pumped and couldn’t sleep because I swear it was as though I had channeled Marshall Mathers himself, yep, Eminem was narrating my life!
All my thoughts were interlinked beautifully with the next and in perfect rhyme, I was constantly scrambling to write down bits and bobs of what felt like the most amazing gift ever to use as lyrics in a rap song. It felt brilliant and wonderful, I woke up in the morning and I was still high but by the time yesterday afternoon hit it was in a dysphoric, depressed kind of way, I was irritable, snappy, crying at the drop of a hat, thoughts racing but no longer in rhyme (nor reason) and desperately wanting to end my life.
I skipped dinner and went to bed, Hubby held me while I ugly cried for no particular reason and attempted to cheer me up, I took an antipsychotic and fell asleep, today I am feeling fine, probably still “elevated” even though I don’t feel particularly so because since the foggy feeling wore off around 9am I have cleaned the fish tanks, the guinea pig, the chook pen, vacuumed, re dyed the underneath of my hair blue (it had faded out) and written this nearly two page blogpost and put up half a dozen more that I hadn’t been able to post because I had no data left… and its only 11:30… Yeah, probably still elevated.
Fast, furious, upside down and around in circles, it’s the ultimate adrenaline rush.
The whole time you violently zigzag around in your ill-fitting seatbelt, your insides are screaming to get outside, you desperately want to get off the ride that you just know is going to kill you but as soon as it stops, you realise that a miracle has occurred, you have in fact survived certain doom and you find yourself begging for more; we always want more.
My mind has been on a carnival ride for weeks.
I’m like a little kid at a fairground, I’ve been playing all day and it’s starting to get dark but I am surrounded by flashing lights, enticing music and exotic smells, the potential for fun is still slightly outweighing the fact that I don’t know where my Mummy & Daddy have gone.
By the time the evil clown shows its face I suddenly find myself well and truly lost, cold and alone in a dark and scary nightmare. You see, addiction isn’t always a substance, sometimes it’s a state of being.
Being elevated is addictive. I am told it is akin to the rush from cocaine, only it’s free, legal and for me, available right now. The difference is you don’t choose to pop a pill to become elevated, you can only choose to take a pill to no longer be elevated.
What goes up must indeed come down and like any drug there are consequences, the longer you are up and the higher your high, the lower your low will seem in comparison and your depression will tend to last longer too.
The cliff edge of hypomania can crumble without warning, you grab on and scramble back up over and over again deep down knowing that eventually your arms will tire from the weight of yourself and you will fall into the dark chasm below.
The depth of the chasm is unknown and that is the scariest part, I slipped off the top again yesterday and free fell for a while but managed to catch myself, I’m hanging on to the edge right now, trying to pull myself back up again but also trying to find the balance, I am not afraid of heights but I am so scared of falling.
When I am up, I see, hear, think and feel so. Much. More. Things seem comparatively dull right now. I put on my rose coloured glasses and watch the microns of energy flow in and out of the colourful world around them trying to re capture the feelings of euphoria and stay there for a while rather than climbing to high and slipping again, but my thoughts are racing on ahead of my emotions, they don’t care about feelings, they just want to run. Wild and free.
Coping is a funny thing, you just do and you do until suddenly you can’t, so you don’t and then everything crumbles around you, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
My mind is teetering on the edge of reason and I am fluctuating between euphoric exuberance and utter devastation leaving little room for the middle man.
I’m not handling it.
I saw my psychiatrist ages ago, I’m supposed to be taking my meds now, but I’m not. I told her I didn’t want to, she tried to reason with me for a little while before writing something on her note pad. “Are you labeling me as non-compliant?” I queried, she smiled, “no, no, just ‘reluctant’”.
I’m a little bit frightened, because although this feels like being stuck in quicksand, it still feels honest, the ‘me on tablets’ suddenly feels like an imposter that I need to run away from and I simply don’t want to ‘fake life’ anymore. That being said my surges of impulsivity are getting more extreme, more dangerous and I am catastrophizing ridiculously.
For example I had a great morning catching up with a friend and seeing a movie and then spoke to hubby on the phone, he sounded a little short with me so in my mind I decided that he was angry, somehow I must have failed him again and I just couldn’t handle that. I am sick of being the cause of conflict or concern. So I went from a 10 to a 1 and naturally I started planning the particulars of my impending suicide, making arrangements to give away the fish, deleting all traces of my blog/twitter/online life from my phone, updating suicide notes, preparing my hidden suicide tools ‘incase I get admitted to hospital before I get the chance’.
Hubby got home, he wasn’t actually upset at me at all. The whole thing was concocted by my twisted mind, I’m not normally this reactive and I know this is the mood episode talking, I am aware of the possibility that I will over react to something silly and find a permanent solution to a ‘temporary’ problem, as they say.
Not that there is ever an ideal time, but I keep forgetting the reasons that I really shouldn’t kill myself right now, like because I need to help Mum out with Dad, it would also suck for my grieving mother to have to keep telling Dad over and over again that I was dead. Alzheimer’s is shitty enough without throwing a dead daughter into the mix.
But there are a bunch of things I am trying to finish off just in case it once again stops mattering for too many moments and I do end up taking the easy way out, for example I’m writing a story/photo book for my nephew for Christmas and I desperately want to finish it and get it printed.
Sleep is fleeting, although according to my fit bit I am technically still averaging nearly 6hrs a day (all be it massively interrupted) over the week so I know that could be a lot worse. When I do sleep I am dreaming of birds, huge great flocks of them, they are always taking off. Maybe I am yearning for some sort of freedom…
I am having frequent bouts of shakiness between mood swings that feel like things crawling inside of me that make me want to tear my insides out and at this point I think the bags under my eyes could also be used for grocery shopping. I guess all that new makeup I bought on a whim the other day will come in handy after all.
Upside: I keep forgetting to eat so I am losing weight.
There are moments when I really don’t know if I am going to get out of this one alive, I don’t trust myself at all right now and despite the few things I want to finish off I don’t know that I care enough to keep living. I still don’t want to fix this feeling enough to take my meds, it feels too late for that in some ways. I don’t want this to progress to psychosis, I REALLY don’t want the depression that will follow, why can’t I just have the ‘up’ and let it pitter out, why can’t I get off the damn roller coaster at the top?
I want my calorie free cake and I want to eat it too!
Apparently I wasn’t hiding it all as well as I thought because Hubby looked at me this morning and said, “I love you Hun, but you’re really unwell right now. Your legs were shaking all night, even when you were sleeping. I know you’re scared to, but please think about taking your meds.”
I said I’d think about it. I am thinking about it. Ugh.
I had another one of those ‘random run in’s’ the other week. This time with an older woman at the hair salon. She was waiting in a chair as my hair was being painted Smurfette-Blue, her equally as blue eyes were twinkly and darting wildly around the room until they eventually met up with mine. She was about my height with a kind round face, she smiled widely and asked me about my hair and I asked her about hers and she said she was having a wig fitted for presentations as she had been doing a speaking course to progress herself as she was a writer, my hairdresser is also my good friend so she smiled and commented “Oh so we have two writers in the room today”.
Naturally the “what do you write about” conversation followed and she was extremely positive as she encouraged me to publish my book as an e-book just ‘to get it out there.’ I asked her about herself and soon she was telling me how she was in her 70’s but decades ago, when she was 32 and had 4 children she had come to an amazing realisation and chosen to live in an alternate reality of her own making. Her world was very scientifically based (her father was a scientist, like mine) over time she had figured out how everything worked, the way energy reformed, God the universe, everything. She had cracked the code and planned on doing a TED talk about her discoveries in the near future.
My first thought was that she looks and sounds like me when I am manic. I have cracked the God Theory, I have it written down, it still sort of makes sense when I am not manic but it becomes too hard to think about, so I try not to.
Curiosity got to me and I pressed her for details, she supplied them and the trouble was in that moment as the old lady divulged her crazy to me, a complete stranger, her stranger than fiction truths? Well they made as much sense to me as gravity and I wanted to tell this old woman that I could see it too, all of it!
She knew the same things I knew or had perhaps once known, and I wanted to talk to her for hours, ask her things figure it all out together. How could we both be wrong? Maybe we are more in tune than other people, maybe we do know the truth, maybe the doctors are wrong and we aren’t crazy after all. How do you know? How can you know? The only reality and truth is the one you are experiencing, for me that’s the one I am experiencing. For her it’s the one she has chosen to experience.
Part of me also wondered for a moment, okay many moments, if she WAS me, future me, sent back to tell me my manic delusions are reality after all. The other part of me knew that made no sense. But I’m blue eyed, round faced, 32yrs old with 4 children, is this my moment of realisation, her realisation, OUR realisation???
This was of course in the presence of my friend/hairdresser so for fear of looking loopier than I already did I couldn’t say and ask all that I wanted to, couldn’t ask how to contact her. Probably good that I didn’t, as when the woman left my friend commented how delusional she was and that she hoped this wig wasn’t actually going to financially cripple her.
I knew it deep down too, yeah, delusions of grandeur as well as the general kind, it was text book, whatever. But what if it wasn’t?
But that part of you, that part of you that wants to believe? It can be strong too… Sometimes it can be stronger.
They were the best of times, they were the worst of times…
I totally feel that statement right now, I guess it’s a classic sentence for a good reason.
The closest thing I have to ‘stable’ right now is what my horse’s call their bedroom. I suppose I have been mostly flying high, circling around the upper part of the mountain trying not to reach the summit or jump off the edge but too terrified to start heading down again as it seems so far down and I think perhaps the frostbite has already started to set in and I don’t particularly want to live a life without my fingers and toes so staying up here forever or jumping to my doom feels like the better alternative.
Tried to contact my psychiatrist five days ago via e-mail but she didn’t respond, she always responds, not that I e-mail her all the time or anything, like three times in the whole time I have been seeing her. I didn’t think I was being annoying? I tried not to phrase it annoyingly. Maybe I am? Maybe I have become THAT client? Fuck, I really don’t want to be THAT client. Am I overthinking this? I whine my fears at my friend jamoalki, he says to call her, that I’m not being annoying. I know I should, but I am scared. I have been catastrophising so much lately that I don’t know what is real anymore, tiny things, nothing things, become huge things, massive, giant exploding balls of fire, usually without warning.
I just wanted to ask for a script for a lower dose of the meds I previously refused to take, because when the shaking and scattered thoughts intensified I started taking them at night and worked out if I took them in the early evening I was able to function enough in the morning to still take the children to school and then have my hypomanic buzz carry through the day but now the day buzz is getting too pointy, too hard to handle too, oh I don’t know, too much? I don’t even want to buy things anymore, my cupboards overflow with my latest purchases and I stare at them wondering if they will ever be worn or used or if they will end up part of a garage sale, unused belongings of the deceased, scars of a final mania.
I can’t take this rollercoaster, I try to call my GP but she is away until next week, I am nauseous, why won’t somebody let me off? If there is a God, he/she obviously wants me stuck here, in this place. The roses are so excruciatingly vibrant I want to smother myself in their beauty but these unexpected thorns that keep pricking me are so fucking sharp that they have started stabbing me right through the centre of my heart and watching me bleed out on the floor while all the little aphids just stand by laughing maniacally. I pretend not to care, pretend not to be secretly dying in front of everybody.
The meds turn me into a zombie and I can’t live like that, I can’t take on the droll walk of the undead manic depressive and still live, thrive. But I also know that I need something, just to take off this razor-sharp edge that is slowly killing me with 1000 paper cuts. This is why I want the lower dose tablets, for daytime, so I can still do things and be a human, or at least pretend to. Mr 13 is receiving an award today and there is a fancy morning tea presentation this morning, I have to be there, I always let him down and I need to be there one last time.
But I also want, need, to hold onto the high, just a little bit, oh God just let me cling to that feeling of nirvana don’t care, free-ness for a moment longer. Can’t I live forever within a reality of my own making? Just like old lady me from the future? Happiness is rapidly melting from my grip but I just can’t slip down into the bowels of depression hell that beckon so seductively, I fear that it is already too late, the runaway train can’t be stopped, it has to crash.
I’m stressing out and overthinking absolutely everything, I have a sense of impending doom and I can’t shake it, I dropped the kids off to the bus this morning and the radio just said there was an accident on the road near my house that hubby takes to work and now I can’t get a hold of him, therefor in my mind he must be dead. It’s also his birthday, which reiterates the fact that he must be dead because, how poetic. To die on your birthday, the amount of times I have thought of killing myself on my birthday.
I think he was shitty with me when he left, or sad or something, I don’t know, the goodbye felt weird and I’ve had a sinking feeling in my heart ever since, now I heard that news snippit and I am reading too much into it. He’s still not answering, he should have been at work by now? Realistically he’s probably left his phone in the car or he’s on a machine at work and didn’t hear it or he’s stuck in traffic or any number of reasons why he wouldn’t respond.
I want to grab him by the head and yell, “Fuck hun, I am absolutely terrified that you are dead, and it’s for all the wrong reasons as well as the right ones, Fuck I just want to jump up and down and scream and yell because I can’t be left here like this, I can’t raise the children on my own, I can’t raise myself on my own, I already don’t even know how I can make it to the end of your birthday without killing myself but I am trying SO FUCKING HARD and if I can’t die on your birthday then nor can you! You can’t leave me here, leave me like this, I don’t want to be here I already can’t fucking do this anymore, if you are gone then I am forced to be here, captive, I can’t be cornered, I need an escape route, don’t take that from me, PLEASE don’t fucking take that from me!”
I desperately want to write to my shrink and say the words “I can’t do this anymore, HELP ME!!!” But I CAN’T because there are things that I am meant to do, have to do, promised to do today, tomorrow and on the weekend, from a practical perspective I can’t die or beg for help until Monday, but help is really just a hindrance in disguise and I am too busy, yes I can’t be saved one way or another until at least Monday but amidst the raining fire of misconstrued intentions, misjudged actions and mole hills the size of Himalayan mountain ranges, I sure as hell don’t know HOW I can live until Monday.
I rang hubby again. He answered. He’s fine. He was on a machine and didn’t hear the phone. He apologized, even though he was doing nothing at all wrong. I cried, loudly, because I have run out of the ability to control my emotions, to fake a conversation and only cry afterwards. He told me to call him later, probably because he doesn’t want me to die on his birthday either and he knows I am holding on by the very tips of my fingertips even though I haven’t actually told him that, he just knows, just how he knew I was about to give birth before the midwives ever did, because he knows me so well. I hate doing this to him, burdening him, not that he says that I am but it’s not fair on him, not fair on the kids, they don’t deserve to live with this bullshit.
I put a happy birthday post to him on Facebook, full of emoji’s, to declare my undying love and wonder if it will be my last post. Wonder if this will be my last post here, wonder how much money I would have if I had a dollar for each time I have thought that…
Now I have written this I feel like I can breathe again for a moment, writing is my soul food even though I don’t even know if I can post it because my internet speed has been dropped to dial up because we went over our shitty data plan (again) and it takes 6 months to load the google home page, but I will try anyway. I will try to post this, try to breathe, try to live until Monday. I can only try.
So, what do you do when you are feeling like an impulsive, rebellious teenager?
Answer: Whatever the hell you want.
So I bought a stack of new clothes and dyed my hair.
Going ‘bright’ is something I have toyed with over the years, but also something I could never bring myself to actually go ahead with. But it seems like I’ve hit a bit of a “fuck everyone” stage and so I decided to take a leaf out of Nike’s book and just do it!
Platinum Blonde and Smurfette-Blue.
My kids HATE it, actually nobody likes it, well except for my polite twitter friends and a few random retailers that have commented positively but they are trying to sell me things… Honestly though, for the first time in my life I truly don’t care what people think, I like it.
Maybe it’s a control thing, I chose this, it wasn’t thrust upon me so it’s ok. I also purposely didn’t go with bright pink because it is so socially acceptable, there is the possibility of a breast cancer related motive and people don’t question it. I think deep down I wanted to be questioned.
Old ladies look at me now with the same disdain they did when I was a pregnant teenager. A raised eyebrow and low muttering, judgement written all over their wrinkled faces. I used to run to the bathroom and cry when that happened, 17yrs old and scared, the doubt of my own abilities confirmed and amplified by those elderly stares and tut tuts.
Now even in my fragile state of mind those stares don’t hurt me, in fact they almost make me feel powerful. These people know nothing about my life or my morals. I didn’t choose to be an overweight 8yr old, I didn’t choose teenage pregnancy, I sure as hell didn’t choose bipolar, but I chose this. I decided.
So rather than hide away sobbing like my former self, I make direct eye contact, smile at them warmly and say, “what a beautiful brooch you are wearing” of “isn’t it a beautiful day outside”. Some seem threatened by the strange blue haired women suddenly talking to them or complimenting them, surely there must be an ulterior motive, will she steal my brooch? Others seem pleasantly surprised and even reply, “yes, it is lovely today”. It feels like I am daring them to step outside of their comfort zones by challenging their expectations.
Opening minds, or making a fool of myself? Who really cares? Let ME live MY life.
My husband commented that I am giving away my anonymity as society assumes the average woman in her mid-thirties who dyes her hair bright colours is probably crazy. I wanted to argue at him for being generally rude and perpetuating the stigma, but honestly, perhaps he has a point. I hate to admit it, but everyone I have known that has randomly dyed their hair bright colours has been going through something.
So yes, perhaps I am ‘crazy’ but maybe I am just so sick of hiding it, if you don’t like me for who I am, bipolar and all then feel free to go, you don’t have to know me. So, for now I will wear my heart on my sleeve and the colour of my madness on the top of my head, and I will wear them with pride.
Do you like outlandish hair colours?
In the past, I have been less than compliant with the medication regimes and advice of psychiatrists, but I listen to Meredith. I have always complied with her, I have always been a good girl. I have a ‘cancellation’ appointment today with the wonderful Meredith.
I will have to admit that she’s wasting her time with me as nothing much has really changed from the brief emergency session I had with her last week after e-mailing her in a moment of weakness begging for help.
Nothing has changed because I changed nothing; I ignored her advice.
I can’t do it right now, medication, the side effects are too bad. I need to be there for people, I need to be able to take the kids to school and my parents to appointments and do the shopping and clean the house and generally do all the shit that doesn’t do itself if I stop to spend two weeks in bed gaga as I get used to the meds again.
The euphoric mania side of this weird mixed episode is so fleeting but so good, it’s costing me a lot of money and that’s affecting my relationship but when it’s warmth embraces me I don’t even care about those trivial ‘life’ things, because the trees are so fucking green and the sky is so fucking blue and I never want to see the faded colours of reality again, I much prefer surrounding myself instead, with the colours of madness.
Beauty reins superior until the tide finally turns and I tremble for an hour, lost between two alternative realities, or sometimes I just wake up and the worlds has returned to winter, life is black and white, the colours of madness all but a memory hidden by a blanket of the thickest fog. Nothing matters.
But the knowledge that mania’s vivid hues lie just below the surface are still enough to stop me swallowing the bitter pill that will augment my reality to someone else’s ideal, if I can just grasp it again for a second I can hold on and never let go, I can run forever with its colourful kite tails flying behind me. Free.
I would rather die here with my demons than live in a world of another’s making, a world where I have to live with the knowledge of what I have lost.
And I don’t remember how to care about what I leave behind.
My reflection shows the reality of several sleepless nights spent choosing creating, wishing and building over nurturing my body and yet my mind chooses to ignore it, my thoughts are too busy rushing and tingling, alive with promise and expectation. So much to do and it’s all achievable!
I hold out some small hope that if I can alter the outside image I will fool the world and ultimately myself. If I can change the appearance I can change the facts, then this doesn’t ever have to end. I put on a dress, headed to town to have my eyebrows tended to and nails painted in sparkly blue glitter. I plan to tackle the hair later in the week, bimbo blonde with a hint of bright blue, fun and light.
Stopping first for breakfast at my favourite café as I haven’t eaten in a while, then taking a walk through the town park, it was so beautiful, garden beds in full bloom. Poppies are always such happy flowers and the light was illuminating their many colours in just the right way. It made me forget everything else for just a moment, sitting there on the stone bench, birds calling from the towering willow trees above and the warmth of the sun radiating onto my face and filling my soul with purity. For a short time, we were all connected, the earth, nature and me. One.
The man in the grocery shop was looking at me filling my trolley, judging. I want to scream that it’s not all for me, that I have a big family but I could feel his thoughts – “tsk, tsk, this is why she’s so fat…”
On the way home I stop off to check out the new Pet Store on the old highway. I have never been in there and I am pleasantly surprised by how extremely nice it is, has all the stuffs at reasonable prices, nice staff and it’s super clean! I express my impressed-ness to the girl cleaning the fish tanks and ask if they hire new staff very often.
She says in fact they have a casual weekday position available at the moment and I know the stars have lined up, it’s perfect! I am told the boss is away for a week but to bring in a resume when he returns. I leave walking on air, with three new fish and the chance of a new job that I might actually be able to do!
I return home, eyebrows defined, nails gleaming, car full of goodies. I pop the fish in the tank and check out my reflection, it has definately improved, I add makeup. Perfect.
Time to run, it’s been so long but it finally feels right. Step, step, step. Music fills my ears and my heart, I am unable to believe just how well these lyrics define me, I suddenly know I am not alone; words are everything and here I am flying straight through them, surrounded by their descriptive beauty, safe.
Later my body is demanding sleep while my mind sings, dances and flits from idea to idea like a restless butterfly. I am chasing the ghosts and shadows around the room through the corners of my tired eyes, up down and sideways, closer, farther, in out and round again but when I try to look at them they disappear into the abyss.
The family have returned, the house is full of noise again. The shadow ghosts have run away, I would like to be a shadow ghost, disappearing at will into that mass of micro pixels that make up our world, separating, reforming. Invisible.
Nobody else likes my sparkly nails or the hole my latest shopping endeavour has put in the bank account. We go to bed, he rolls away from me, angry or worse, dissapointed. Lying in the darkness I glance at the outline of my pillbox and once again choose to ignore them. I know I should take them but I am afraid. There is too much to do and I am frightened that if and when I do eventually sleep the remnants of happiness will be taken from me, I can’t go back to the darkness again…
But it’s too late anyway, after several days awake I have crossed the line of hypomanic exhaustion, tears roll down my cheeks, my brain finally calls a ceasefire with my body and I am asleep.
I wake again 8 hours later, I’m so tired and it seems like all my fears have come true.
Drained of energy, self-worth and the will to care about trying to fix it anymore. The happiness has gone and I can’t even seem to remember what it feels like anymore. I deliver the children to school and frantically look around the house for something I can connect with.
Writing. Writing fixes everything. I place my fingers on the keyboard of my shiny new much wanted but totally unnecessary iMac, my nails sparkle up at me but I look away, they are now a source of conflict, simply a reminder that all the times I try to make myself feel better turn out to be pointless because I always go about it the wrong way, I am selfish and just end up hurting the people I love and I am sick of it, they are sick of it.
I hate myself for being like this, I have hated myself for as long as I can remember and I am so desperately sorry that it cuts into my core like a knife, but my apologies will never be good enough because I am still the same person delivering them, over and over again. I say I’ll try harder to change and I want to, but it doesn’t work.
I don’t know how not to be me and still exist in this world.
And I don’t know if I want to.
I am lucky enough to have the lovely ‘Depressed Not Dead’ pod caster extraordinaire jamoalki come on here today (and hopefully again in the future) to share some of his story with you! I will also give a quick *Trigger Warning* here as the topic of suicide is discussed in detail. Without further ado, over to jamoalki! – Kate
Hi, I’m jamoalki. That’s not a typo, jamoalki is my handle on the internet. It’s a word I created using the first two letters from each of my girl’s first names. It’s all lowercase because I love them all and JaMoAlKi looks funny and JAMOALKI looks like I’m yelling. So hello.
Kate and I met…well I’m not sure. A major symptom of my mental illness is that my memory is out the window. Maybe we crossed paths on Twitter or maybe we chatted with each other in #SickNotWeak’s defunct set of chat rooms. (As an aside, I hope they’re able to get them back up and running.) What matters is that we met and I think she’s wonderful.
How wonderful? Well she’s agreed to cross blog with each other. I’m so excited to get her thoughts and way of thinking on my page www.jamoalki.info. Often, when I’m reading her blog I swear she’s reached inside my head and pulled the words straight from me.
Think she’s buttered up enough? On with the introduction.
I have major depressive disorder, dysthymia and avoidant personality disorder. I suspect I’ve been dysthymic since the beginning, which brought around the AvPD as I grew up. Somewhere along the way I picked up the MDD, and that’s the one that scares me the most. That’s the one which many times brought me to the edge of and a couple of times to follow through and try to die by suicide.
The last time was a little over two and a half years ago, January 21, 2015. I tried to overdose on my prescription medication. It should have worked. It probably would have worked had I gone somewhere secluded. Three months later I spent a weekend figuring out where I went wrong. I worked out how to do it better “next time”.
That next time hasn’t come, yet. I’ve been close in other ways. As close as a few seconds to half a day of planning away from executing a plan.
I’m the dumbest smart person I know. I can do the physics to know the impact from jumping off a cliff at the Grand Canyon, USA or drive into a semi, head on, with a combined speed of 180 mph (290 kmh). I know to make sure to buy the cable with the proper working strength for the height of the “High Bridge” here in St Paul, USA. But I’m not smart enough to know that suicide is not the best way to go.
I have, in the rafters in my basement, a large Rx bottle filled to the brim with months worth of Wellbutrin and Trazadone crushed up into fine powder. There it sits, waiting for me to retrieve it, someday. I don’t have a plan for it. Not yet anyway.
For now, it’s simply reassuring knowing it’s there. Understanding that a way out is only two floors below me. Sealed tight. Like a baby blanket or teddy bear it doesn’t ask anything of me, it only sits and waits for me to need it, when the world gets scary and nothing else will make me feel safe. It’s my secret safety blanket from the world.
It’s with that bottle in mind that I asked Kate to cross-blog with me. Another low-pressure form of accountability and distraction to keep that bottle downstairs tucked away in silence.
Thank you so much jamoalki!
Website: www.jamoalki.info Follow on Twitter: @jamoalki
Podcast: ‘Depressed Not Dead’ – available on iTunes and all good podcast mediums and don’t forget to leave a 5 star rating!
This week has been hard. I’m not coping, not like a proper person. I can’t even pin point the exactness of my fuckedupedness right now. But things seem to have escalated quickly and I think I might actually be having a mixed manic episode rather than the depression I felt I was being slowly choked by just a few short days ago.
I don’t really feel sad at the moment, yet I feel like at any moment something could send me into a sobbing, heaving mess. I’m certainly not happy. My chest is buzzing with adrenaline but it’s different to normal anxiety, I want to run, run fast and far, and awaay from the world and be surrounded by all of it at the same time. I just want to drive fast, TOO FAST, I want to watch the speedo hit 200 and feel the rush in my body as I fly down a hill and decide at the last minute whether or not to just keep flying, into the trees by the side of the road, racing into oblivion; flying forever.
Everything in the world is linking with all the other stuff, old lives are colliding with new ones and all my memories are fighting like dogs for poll position. I am utterly consumed with my thoughts but they are racing through my mind so quickly that I am getting confused when I just want to write and write and write but when I reflect it all looks like nonsense, last hours thoughts were thinking one thing and now I’m thinking different things and I can’t remember…
I know I should take something, pills, something to slow my mind down, take the edge off, but I don’t want to slow down. I am teetering on the edge of the matrix and I want to immerse myself in its intensity, hide in the plain sight of a nightclub in a big city somewhere feeling the beat of the bass throbbing through my soul. I want to rob a bank and set fire to the pile of cash on the sidewalk while yelling at people about the evils of money, I want to run from the cops and feel the exhilaration of nearly being caught. I want to feel myself explode into a million pieces.
I know I’m not coping because I haven’t made dinner in over a week, I forgot to feed and water the chickens for 3 days, I forgot to give the kids I was babysitting lunch yesterday because I was too busy trying to convert my shit to WordPress, hyper focused, pity about responsibilities.
I have been avoiding The Hubby’s family like the plague and that includes skipping out on Facebook. I prefer Twitter, I can say what I want and nobody gives a fuck and besides nobody there knows how to contact my relatives so I feel like I really can say whatever I want. The chick down at the servo asked if I was alright in a concerned manner the other day and the shoe shop lady told me to ‘just breath’ so I’m clearly not covering up my feelings as well as I thought I was.
My in law side of the family are sharp as tacks and like blood hounds always sniffing me for the first sign of distress so I’m sticking to short texts and smiley face emoji’s. My mum & dad are thankfully less observant.
Because of the avoidance I’m sucking particularly hard at Auntying. I forgot to post one nieces birthday present, I completely forgot my baby niece’s birthday which was yesterday and I forgot all about my other big nieces 18th birthday party tomorrow until 5 minutes ago. It’s a bad time to be my niece. The 18th is a two-hour drive away, it’s a family affair and I am expected to go, to interact, to bring my children, to be a mother, to discuss my children, to discuss the weather and the normal facets of life. But how can I possibly talk to people when I am so consumed with this intense internal urge to run and thoughts racing through my mind like a fucking freight train? Yes I can hear you, and your right, drinking would be the obvious answer but I suspect that would be a very bad idea.
I’m sane enough to know I can’t tell them how I’m feeling, but if I get drunk I might just do that. I can’t articulate my big talk thoughts into small talk ones. There is no small talk going on in my mind right now, nothing is small, everything is massive, even the weather – have you noticed the weather? Mother nature is just like me, all or nothing, everything is life and death.
Small talk is inevitable, commitments are inevitable, family ones I mean, not psychiatric ones, though perhaps both statements would be accurate for somebody like me particularly the latter if I was to fuck up the former. I fear commitment, psychiatric I mean, been there done that, got the scars to prove it. They would likely strip search me and lock me straight in acute if I got sectioned again, after last time. Nobody trusts me, which is probably fair enough. But I’m not ready to be committed again, I’m not prepared like last time, don’t have options, choices, wouldn’t have control. I need control They would just drug me, bring me down, I don’t want to be brought down, too many questions, too many consequences. No, I am free now and free I shall stay, until my final dying day.