Friday, March 24, 2017

"Unholy ghost,/you are certain to come again."

            Reading about hurt and suffering caused by addiction, mental illness, or physical illness, the hurt that radiates out into the family and support community, is heartbreaking. I don’t want to be that person whose condition affects those around her. It is why I try so hard to keep my pain to myself. But it doesn’t work, because eventually the pain gets so bad, so big, that even someone with a high pain tolerance breaks. By then the pain is so much it inundates surrounding lives, like a flash flood. The extent of the suffering is hidden until I am en route to the hospital. Or, if it weren’t for the little outlets I have, until death. Suicide. Which is it’s own kind of inundation.
            The guilt for being the reason my parents, siblings, friends, therapists, and doctors suffer is unavoidable. Sure. They want to be there. But don’t tell me they want to hurt. That’s bullshit. We all want some color of clean. Depression is not clean.
            I don’t want people to suffer with me for as long as I suffer. There is enough suffering in the world without my contributions. But I can’t help it. The pain comes and stays:

“Having it Out with Melancholy”
Jane Kenyon

            . . .
            8  Credo

            Pharmaceutical wonders are at work
            but I believe only in this moment
             of well-being. Unholy ghost,
            you are certain to come again.

            Coarse, mean, you’ll put your feet
            on the coffee table, lean back,
            and turn me into someone who can’t
            take the trouble to speak; someone
            who can’t sleep, or who does nothing
            but sleep; can’t read, or call
            for an appointment for help.

            There is nothing I can do
            against your coming.
            When I awake, I am still with thee.
            . . .

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Identity Crisis

I don’t know what I am, sometimes. I don’t feel hypomanic anymore. I’m not depressed. But I’m not “normal” either. Nor would I call this state “stable.” Perhaps “unstable” is as precise as words come. “Volatile,” maybe? Who knows.

Bipolar moods are best judged in retrospect. “Ah, I was clearly depressed.” Or, “oh yeah, hypomanic as hell.” Or, “hmm, pretty stable for that stretch.” In the midst of the moods I just do things: buy a $2,000 computer; sleep 12 hours, get up for two hours, drink some coffee, then nap for three hours; splurge $50 on books that just “look good”; question with vehemence the necessity of meds; start walking five miles a day as if it were requisite; struggle to recognize and control compulsive behaviors; go mute; hide . . . the moods are forms of madness.

But none of this musing has answered my original query: what am I? Black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Or monochromatic? Oh wait, don’t tell me: bipolar.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Undrugged (or, Wishful Thinking)

What a wonderful thing it would be to be off drugs. Completely. To not have to worry about missing doses or taking them with sufficient calories or filling the prescriptions or whether insurance will cover enough of the cost or traveling with them or . . . or becoming a parent . . . What if I wanted to have kids? I’d have to wean off before trying to get pregnant and then pray like hell that I don’t relapse, that I don’t completely fall apart. And I have always wanted kids.

These drugs have stitched my life back together over the years. With each new tear, a new drug. What would happen if I carefully titrated off? Would the seams begin to rip anew? Can I function unmedicated? I want to know. I want to be normal. Healthy. “Well” is never enough. I want undrugged. I want superb.