The demon has been awakened with a fury. I am on my knees. Not as a victim, but as a lost soul who doesn’t know what to do. As a human being who feels, cares, loves, bleeds and denies. I keep holding on one more day with the false sense this depression is going to lift. With the false sense that I am not truly bipolar and do not need these medications to survive. I deny to my family and friends how much pain I am in right now. I do this song and dance to the outside world. Very few know what is happening for me on the inside. True, this is my fault. Its my responsibility to let others in. Believe me I wish I could. To do this alone is to die. Yet, there is the rub for me.
Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I think I deserve to die. The voices taunt me and repeat: “If you can’t take care of yourself enough to take medication and at least attempt to get better, do what you can to help yourself…then you don’t deserve help from others, from God. How can you stand before your higher power and ask for forgiveness, help and guidance when you do nothing for yourself. You are worthless. Better off dead.”
I am somewhat of an intelligent person. I have some insight into psychology. I have counseled others. Yet, I cannot win this battle. When these voices come, I feel like I have no defenses. When I picture it, its as if these voices come at me through a loud speaker, an overwhelming booming sound. So much so, it knocks me off my feet. I see myself putting my hands up to protect myself, ward off this evil inside me. Stumbling backwards I fall into the rabbit hole.
I am scared. Left alone to my own devices I harm myself. I went to the river yesterday afternoon. I tend to do this when I am in despair. When I don’t think there is any other way than to end it all. When the emotional pain feels too great. When I am not sure I can carry on. I am not proud of my next action. Its been a long, very long time since I had the impulse to choose physical pain over emotional pain. I found a piece of broken glass along the trail and picked it up. I have a spot that I go to that is isolated and off the trail. I can cry freely here. I can unload the weight of emotion that I carry around hoping you don’t figure me out. Hoping my poker face, my sheer willpower to hold back tears is enough to keep you from seeing me as weak, flawed, broken. Glass upon skin releases pent up shame and guilt. But, physical pain, in that moment, supersedes emotional pain. And somehow this is fleeting relief.
I used to strive for so much more than relief. I feel robbed. My emotional dis-ease has robbed me of my self worth, my self respect, my sense of stability, my sense of self. It has robbed me of the ability to communicate and connect with others. It has seeped into my relationship with my husband and he no longer looks at me the same way he used to. He no longer reacts to me the same way. He is constantly on high alert looking for hidden clues and meanings as to my mental state. Where once we shared sarcastic anecdotes, silly vignettes we would make up for a laugh, now jokes are misinterpreted. What once was farfetched, hits too close to home. I am left feeling misunderstood. I am left feeling like this is all my fault. I don’t want to feel these things.
I have yet to find the answer to what ails me. I’m not even sure I truly understand what it is that ails me. I am the type of person that always wants to know why. WHY do I…..? I think at this stage of the game I need worry less about why. I need to focus on how. How can I give myself loving kindness? How can I take better care of myself? How can I communicate my pain in a way that doesn’t harm me further? How can I convince myself I need not die? How can I accept myself and my dis-ease in this journey of life?
123. Forgiveness is an act of love, permission is a need from fear