Sometimes it feels like the Bipolar is destroying me. Sometimes it feels like I'm losing all control. Today is one of those days. I'm on medication, which has been (literally) lifesaving. I've gone from sleepless nights and long manic trips followed by debilitating bouts with depression to a more mellow, more leveled out kind of me. Lately, however, it feels like the Bipolar is winning. I think it may be time to adjust my medication again, because the insomnia's getting worse, and I feel like I'm losing myself, losing the good parts of me under all the tension, the anxiety, the frustration and the roller coaster moods. When things are stable, when I feel more in control, I'm not so angry and irritable, not so mad at life, not so jealous of people who aren't Bipolar I, people who don't have to fight the demons I have to. I want to be able to be both stable and passionate, both emotional and in control. What I don't know is if that is even possible. I heard somewhere that living with Bipolar I requires a lifetime of tweaking the medication, of going to therapy, of avoiding triggers and trying to be healthy. I suppose, for me, that's been true. I was diagnosed years ago, and I've been going to therapy religiously, taking my medication mostly non-sporadically, seeing my psych on a regular basis and refraining from indulging in any number of things that trigger episodes-- things like casual sex or drinking. I suppose I just needed to get some of this gunk out of my mind. I needed to put down in words that I'm irritated, that I'm frustrated, that I struggle to feel like I'm an okay person when the moods make me feel like I'm failing, like I'm always on the edge about to fall off. Today is a coping skills kinda day, a day when I screen my phone calls and order out, a day when I try my damnedest to be gentle with myself. It's going to be okay. I'm not suicidal. That's always a plus. I'll pull it together, and go back to my usual zany self. But right now? Right now I am going to curl up with some music and lock myself away from the world for a while.
This evening I want to do something grand. I want this evening to be special. I want to remember it. I don’t want it to be just another mundane Sunday night. I suppose that it probably will fall into the mundane, but oh how I wish for something more.
I want to go out for a walk like I used to do, after dark, when the fireflies light up the fields and the trees that lean over my one lane country road. I want to once again feel free. I want to stop feeling like like my life has stopped or like my entire body is on pause. I want to feel alive again.
I read somewhere once that the cage isn’t locked. If not, why does it feel locked? When I rattle the bars, the iron door doesn’t creak open. Am I really the one holding it locked tight?
I know I can be somebody. I know I am somebody. I just don’t know who that somebody is. I feel like a stranger’s living my life while I wait inside me for the time when I get to live. Does anyone else ever feel that way? Surely I’m not alone.
All I know is that there’s passion in me somewhere. It’s just that it’s been trapped. I’ve been afraid of the consequences of letting it out. I have tried to pour myself into the socially acceptable roles of daughter, sister, wife. The thing is that those roles are not enough. It is not enough for me to identify only with who I am to other people. What about who I am to me? What about my own identity simply for the sake of identity? What about my creativity, my dreams, the wildflowers and weeds that grow like crazy in my mixed up mind?
I want to go through my mind and pick a bouquet of all of these shoots and sprays of zaniness. I want to place them where I can see them, where they are prominent, place them where I see them first thing upon waking, not hide them in a corner of my closet and pretend that, ever since I became someone’s spouse, I stopped dreaming and gave up myself. I don’t want to give up on any more of me than I’ve already given up on. I’m tired of pretending that who I am and what I want don’t matter, that all that matters is making my husband happy. I’m tired of settling for less than my authentic self.
I can do this. I can open up again. I can be me again. I can be free again. I can speak my mind without fear again. Not just one day. Not just someday. Today. I’m starting today.
Yes, this is an anonymous blog. Yes, I am not sharing this with my husband. Yes, I am also not sharing it with my friends and family, but I am taking the first step to becoming strong and free and independent. I’m getting these words out, even if it has to be in a cloak and dagger way.