I am bipolar. This means that I have more bad days than I have good days. This means that I can take an arsenal of medications and nothing will change. I can work. I can eat healthy. I can do everything and anything and these bad days are going to come.
Being a mother this is especially concerning. I sit here typing and holding myself back. Every ounce of me wants to yell and be pissy at my children. I want to yell at them for not doing what I told them to do. I want to yell at them for being inconsiderate. I want to yell at them for not thinking things through. And while I have no desire to hit or harm them in anyway, each and every thing they even desire to do today is just making me angry. Is it fair? No. Are they just children? Yes. But just because logic can be applied doesn’t mean that I have the wherewithal right now to find it. It isn’t in my repertoire. It isn’t in my bag of tricks today. And it doesn’t matter how far I work to keep my distance or how much I love them, on the bad days, they simply can’t escape the madness of their own mother.
My husband at work won’t be spared. And my husband being my husband, he will try to push me, to pull me, to move me in another direction so that I can find my way back to the goodness. It won’t work and I most likely will go to sleep tonight with tears soaking my pillow, but he, in his own way, tries.
Despite the fact that I hate myself on my bad days, when there isn’t a soul or a living thing on this earth that scares me, I still can’t seem to move around it. It’s like the world sitting on my shoulders and I have no way to knock it off. It’s like the good parts of my life, the really good parts just aren’t good today. That plum I expect to be sweet is simply sour. That rainbow I see in the sky is a pipe dreams of children and the foolish.
And I can hear it coming out of my mouth. And I can see it all in my mind. And I can feel it as if has taken on the wind surrounding me and moving so quickly through me. I know that what I am feeling is a disease, but knowledge, the excuse of a disease, doesn’t make the monster go back in hiding. The knowledge doesn’t help me to remember that yesterday I was a different person and the knowledge doesn’t guarantee that tomorrow I will be different.
I should admit that there isn’t room for empathy, or regret, or even sorrow for the person that I am at this moment. Whiskey isn’t going to change my very need to be this person today because it is the only person I know how to be today. These are the days when the acceptance of ending one’s life is easy; the knowledge that the monster that I am should not live makes the very sharp knife looking so tempting.
These feelings aren’t the comfort of darkness. That world where the quiet is so pervasive that the only sound heard is the whispering of my own ghosts. These feelings aren’t the mania of trying to find some reality in a world that revolves without the brake ever being applied. These feelings aren’t the middle ground of normalcy that while often vague and colorless, are still a programmed goal that one is supposed to strive for. These feelings are the brutality of a disease that I didn’t ask for and somehow have to live with day in and day out.
I hate this person as much as I imagine my kids, my husband hate this person. But it isn’t a persona that can be shed in a bottle of liquor or even in the typing of this little post. This persona is one of a thousand that are mine, and while I may cry out in absolute pain and fear, the monster that encapsulates this persona doesn’t easily leave. It stays here even with the acknowledgment; something so many other things about this disease that won’t or can’t apply. I can look into the mirror and see this monster and she will live within my skin until my brain changes the playing field.
If you are looking for advice about this part of any disease; I can’t help you. I struggle with it to the point that pain, with a capital P, is preferable to my inability to treat the two greatest things in my life with the kindness and respect that they deserve.
It’s been awhile since I have fallen this hard. I even have an idea of what I did to create this monster or at least give this monster free reign to roam within me one more time. Maybe it was my turn. Maybe life, with it’s horrible falling wishes, has decided it is time again for me to go off those rails and take the world that I know with it. I truly wish I could say something positive about this monster that resides in my breast but there isn’t anything there.
There are times in mental illness when you are on a solitary road, with the desert and the desolation of a lost earth surrounding you. There are times in mental illness when there is no where to turn. There are times in mental illness when there is no savior. There are times in mental illness when all you can do is wait for the next sunrise and hope there is already coffee waiting. There are times in mental illness when there is nothing you can do but wait for numbers to change for you. There are times in mental illness when the spotlight is bright and shiny and times when you can’t find the even the shadows to guide you.
May you remember that mental illness is a multi volume piece of work that you won’t finish, but every once in awhile you are given the ability to at least change the page. This is not one of those days.