Wow. It’s been almost a whole year since my last blog post! I’ve really let this part of my slide because so much has been happening. I will try harder in all things, particularly this blog, this coming up year. But we’ll see how successful I am because I’m fairly certain almost all of us say that as it year closes and we sneak closer to January. This is just a check-in, more in-depth nonsenses will come later.
Here comes Mania, here comes Mania,
Right down Bipolar lane
Static and Chaos and all their brethren
Pullin’ on my brain
First I’m laughin’, suddenly cryin’
All is way too bright
Hang your head and say your prayers
‘Cause Mania comes tonight!
I wrote this just now as I was steam cleaning the carpet steps. I don’t know of a better way to spend a late Thursday evening. Now I think I’ll clean some closets. God what I wouldn’t give to be normal.
So far 2017 has been kind of awful. My fiance (yes I am both engaged and recently divorced. Don’t you judge me!) has been hospitalized and diagnosed with MRSA. While he recuperates, I am at home, alone, waiting and spending my time being terrified and tearful. I wonder, is the depression I am feeling a natural low? Is it a side effect of the worry? The numbness I feel and the emptiness. Normal reactions to fear when faced with terrible illness? Or is this just….. Me?
I feel as though my emotions are either too grand or not enough. I am either made of dust or fire, nothing in between.
So it’s been almost a year since my last post and I’ve decided it’s time to revive this blog. Today will just be a quick rundown on how things have been.
My divorce is officially final. The finality of it hit me in such an unexpected way. I was surprisingly unprepared to read the words, “Your divorce is final.” And suddenly, I was crying with such a ferocity that I couldn’t breathe. The overwhelming feeling of the moment was failure. I had failed and was now an OFFICIAL failure. Even though I have moved on in my life and am much happier now that I have ever been, I still feel the crushing weight of this defeat.
An unexpected result of this dissolution has been the change in my daughter. Instead of being withdrawn and distant from me, she has become warm and more empathetic towards me and her peers. She is beginning to understand the impact of her words and actions in a way that I truly didn’t think was possible for her. She still struggles at times, but I’ve really come to understand that we ALL do, and I’m beginning to learn to give her grace and take the good days when they come.
Some thoughts as my ex-husband and I enter into new relationships.
This is hard. So very hard. I am having a harder time with this than I thought I would. As I see my ex give his new girlfriend the love and affection I begged him for, there are so many thoughts I am having. Was I not good enough for it? Was I not worth the fight? The effort? The journey?
Was I ever loved at all?
Yes. I was. But not in the way that I wanted. And not in the way he wanted either. This is why we failed. We were wrong for each other, but due to our desire to not look like failures, we stayed in a marriage that was wrong for us, and wrong for our daughter. We were teaching her that “love” meant sitting on the couch, not speaking, looking at our phones and spending time in separate rooms. We were showing her that love was not hugging or kissing, or holding hands in public, that love was boring and gray. Now we are showing her that love is going out for adventures and holding hands so tightly that sometimes it hurts. It means sitting in a different kind of silence; one that is full of satisfaction and contentedness.
She is seeing that it’s okay to leave if you aren’t happy. That her father and I, and herself in extension, are worth so much more than a mundane life. We all deserve the happiness we are pursuing.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned a very hard lesson. And to be honest, I’m surprised with myself about how long it has taken for me to learn this. For the most part, I’ve always thought that people were kind and trustworthy. Over the past year or so, I’ve become so much more in tune to how easy it is for people talk about the one individual who isn’t in the room. The topic of conversation so easily shifts from the weather to “So did you hear what she said? Oh. My. God.”
I’m amazed that I’ve gone for so long thinking that my secrets were safe with people. That even my NON-secrets were safe with people. But it’s not true. It’s human nature to belittle and destroy and degrade those who are not around you. Especially women. I’m not mad about this revelation. I’m only using it as an opportunity to add one more thin veneer to myself. I’ve often been accused of allowing people access to my heart and granting trust to those who don’t deserve it.
When I was younger, my mom once told me that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I asked her if that was a bad thing, and at the time, she told me “it can be, sometimes.” Now I know that such unequivocal transparency is a terrible way to live. That’s how people get hurt. That’s how I get hurt.
The other day, a friend asked me what they could do to help whenever I am depressed. And it’s a funny question because, WHEN I am actually depressed, I don’t think I am worthy of helping. It’s also a timely question because I’m nose diving into a low after weeks of blissful stability.
My lows are not only sleeping for days, though that is definitely involved. They mostly consist of such a dearth of love for myself that if I saw it in my own family I would be terrified. The things I say to myself go behind playground bullying and hinge more on horror movie. They paralyze me.
So, to answer the question, when I am depressed, when I am in a low; I need to know that I am loved. I need to know that I am worth fighting for. I desperately need to know that people care about me. I also admit that this is a tall order and not for everyone. But if you’re able, even if I push you away while I’m down here, reach down to me until I start to reach up.
Usually, I don’t read the articles on Yahoo because, quite frankly, I’m a snob and I find them to be poorly written or alarmist. But this one was excellent, probably because it is less of an article and really just quotes from my brothers and sisters on the mental health battlefield.
27 Ways to Be an Ally for Someone Who Has a Mental Illness
This one in particular was striking. It amazes me how many people do this.
No, the weather is no bipolar. I AM. The weather is weather. It is controlled by gulf streams, and pressure, and magic and pixie dust. I am controlled by the chemicals in my brain that will not allow me to enjoy my daughter’s birthday party and the demons in my head who are constantly -just- on the verge of breaking free. So the weather, or your non bipolar friend who decided to NOT go to the movies with you today because she’s having a bad day, or your cat who was in your lap and then flipped out and bit you? Again. Not bipolar. But me, in bed for the fourth day in a row, wondering how it is that people can even stand the SIGHT of me, even though six weeks ago, I was the life of the party and handing out my phone number like candy? Yeah. Bipolar. My diagnosis is not slang. Don’t use it as such.
I meant to post this a while back, but this is what my insides look like now.
Aren’t you glad I shared that with you!
What’s interesting about mood disorders, or at least, what’s interesting in my experience, is having the ability to tell when my next high or low is coming. I’ve been feeling this manic episode building for the past couple of days and I know it’s right around the bend. Even as I type this, I’m frequently having to correct mistakes I’ve made because my hands are shaking too much to type with my normal accuracy. I have my next sentence planned before I’ve finished typing this one. Which, reader, has made for some interesting fixes in the proofreading stage. I’m sure I’ll find more edits after I hit publish. I always do.
Anyway. i have no profound update today. No great story to tell. Just my racing heart and thoughts and the knowledge that in the coming days and then for a week or so, it will only get worse. However, until I crash again, I’ll be damned if my kitchen won’t be spotless and maybe I’ll paint another bedroom.