When the evil is inside your own head and you know it’s time to kill it …..
The evil head of bipolar has decided to surface this week and it has forced me to my knees in brokenness. I spent the past 2 days curled up in the fetal position in my bed, a dog on either side of me keeping me warm. I am a walking zombie, experiencing waves of emotion that leave me crumpled over in tears. I’m so detached that I have no awareness of what’s happening around me, often not even hearing David say my name. Buddy has taken to lying on top of my chest and I welcome his weight and warmth as it’s the only thing reminding me I’m still alive.
Bipolar disorder is hard.
I’ve gone a while without having an episode but when I do, each one is truly a battle of life and death. Yesterday I took a handful of pills. Not enough to stop my heart but enough to induce a 19 hour semi coma. My husband came to find me in a very deep sleep, curled up in the fetal position, and drooling and he wasn’t able to wake me. After a while he pulled me to a sitting position and got me to drink water. In a fit of rage he flushed all of the medication, leaving me without any for the next 2 weeks, until I can get it filled again. I’m screwed.
Then he sat up all night. My husband sat up the entire night, watching over me, afraid that I was going to stop breathing. But I didn’t. I made it through the night and he left me in bed and went to work at 6am with zero sleep. And that’s where I stayed until 4pm today. My only accomplishment has been a shower which I cried the whole way through.
If you have a god that you pray to, I ask from the bottom of my heart that you would whisper a prayer for me. I’m not doing so good …. and I’m really scared. I don’t know how much I can handle.
1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental health issue in any given year, but ALL Canadians have #MentalHealth.
Get ready to #GetLoud for CMHA #MentalHealthWeek May 7-13!
I desperately want to be able to work, but I can’t. Here’s why:
1. My illness is unpredictable.
Some days, I can function reasonably well. Other days, not so much and some days, not at all.
2. I am unable to maintain stability for long enough to work.
I have rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
3. Stress and tiredness make my illness worse. I might be able to work two or three shifts. However, this would impact my health and I would spend days or even weeks recovering.
4. I am unreliable due to my illness.
I cannot maintain consistency as my moods fluctuate so much.
5. I have anxiety and panic attacks.
Some days, I can’t even leave my house because of this. I’m worse in public, especially if I don’t have someone with me.
6. I often need to be somewhere familiar and with someone I trust.
I need this to manage my anxiety and to help keep myself safe.
7. I have problems eating.
If I’m not at home to eat, I need to be with someone who I trust. Otherwise, I panic and am often unable to eat at all.
8. My medication has bad side effects, including a tremor and extreme tiredness.
I have to sleep a lot more than normal, including during the day to function. My medication and my illness often prevent me from driving too, which is very restrictive.
9. I must keep regular appointments with my mental health professionals.
This helps to help to maintain my mental health and/or to prevent further deterioration if I am unwell. This is vital. A missed appointment can at worst lead to a hospital admission.
Which brings me on to one of the main reasons I can’t hold a job down:
10. I have to sometimes be admitted to hospital and crisis units.
These inpatient admissions have been and are sometimes necessary when I become unwell either with mania, depression, or eating issues (whether I like it or not and sometimes whether I cooperate or not.)
So despite very much wanting to work, I hope I have been able to explain some of the reasons why I can’t. Oh and before anyone judges me for not trying, can I just mention I have tried being in employment many, many times. I have worked on and off since the age of 16 in various jobs.
I also managed to do half of my psychology degree before having to drop out due to my illness. Clearly, I’m not totally unqualified and obviously, I’m always trying. I do what I can when I can.
So next time please, don’t be so quick to judge someone who isn’t working. There may be many good reasons. It certainly doesn’t mean they don’t want to.
I wish someone would come clean my House because quite frankly, I’m sick of it. And I’m too depressed. I’m tired and have no energy whatsoever. I have lost all desire to do anything that requires me to move. Things need to be picked up and put away and wiped off and folded and organized and freshened.
Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t overly dirty. It’s just … untidy. I’d like to have it dusted right through and then the floors mopped. You could also clean the windows in my porch door because it’s full of my dogs’ nose prints and slobber. Oh and my toilet needs to be cleaned and the dishwasher unloaded. I think my plants need to be watered as well.
Being an amputee has never stopped me from doing my house work. Every day I do a bit. Some days more than others. But the past couple of days I’ve had to sit, cry, then lecture myself, cry some more and then encourage myself the whole way through. It takes me a long time to get simple tasks done because every five minutes I end up sitting down just so I can breathe through the anxiety.
Living with bipolar disorder is hard. Especially when I find myself on the low end like I am right now. When I go through periods of stability I don’t have a problem with being bipolar. If I am stable and not experiencing any symptoms then sure, I’m OK with being bipolar. Why wouldn’t I be? But put me in a place like this and I have to change my mind.
It’s almost impossible to live a productive life like this. I mean, I can’t even unload the dishwasher without having to plan for it. When I wake up in the morning I have to figure out what needs to be done that day and right now if I tell myself that I have to unload the dishwasher then all of a sudden everything just becomes too much.
It’s a five minute job for gods sake. Why on earth is it so hard for me to take a few plates and put them up in the cupboard??? And why do I have to cry over it??
I cry because that’s how badly I don’t want to do it. And this goes for
that I have to do in the run of a day.
Even breathing is too much …
My dearest Body,
Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.
Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.
Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.
Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.
My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.
With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.
The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.
Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!
You give me so much hope!
Thank you, Body.
Submitted by Ashley Godwin
I am good for a while.
I'll talk more, laugh more, sleep and eat normally. But then something happens. It's like a switch turns off somewhere and all I am left with is a darkness of my mind.
But each time it seems like I just sink deeper and deeper. And it's scary.
I'm terrified that one Day I won't make it back up. I
feel like I am gasping for air, screaming for help. But everyone just looks at me with confused faces, wondering what I am struggling over, When they're all doing just fine.
And it makes me feel nothing but crazy.