Each footstep was faster as I walked to therapy. My breath was heavy and on the verge of panic. I could feel all these emotions swirling in my body. Anger, sadness, shame, despair. It wasn’t as if one dominated. They all took up space. I don’t usually walk, but today it was paramount I not drive my car. The call to jump off the bridge was loud and clear. I entertained it for several minutes as I sat in the drivers seat, key in the ignition. My plan was to say goodbye to my therapist, say goodbye to my AA support group and disappear.
Enter thoughts of my husband. I love this man. He can certainly drive me crazy, but ultimately he has been there since day 1. I was just as issue ridden 16 yrs ago, it just looked a little different. It seems like I had a lot more strengths and skills than I do now. Whatever I brought to the table, he could see it.
It has really hit me hard how much I need him. Although I’m not sure in an entirely good way. I understand it’s okay to need people in your life to prop you up sometimes. However, my only reason for existence is him. I can find no inner purpose, no redeeming quality in myself that renders me worthy of taking up space. That’s sad in itself. What’s worse, at least in this moment, is he is out of town. I am crumbling.
I push him and everyone else away. I think I can do this on my own. I think I am strong. I’m not. I’m so very weak.
How is it different when he is home? There is structure. I actually get up and go to work. I actually just get up, regardless of work. These past few days I have slept til 2 in the afternoon. There is a tone, a sort of expectation in the air to carry on. I follow that lead. Of course, if I absolutely can’t, it’s a different story. I shower. I eat 3 meals. Things that are routine to him and general society go out the window. I just stop doing anything. Mostly I cry and believe the world is better off without me.
When he is home there is some sort of distraction from the demons in my head. Right now, the demons are swallowing me whole. Pick up the phone fanatic!! I just cannot seem to do this. I write this over and over. It’s no joke. I can’t. I have tried a few times. At a very desperate time, 2 yrs ago I called and was honest in the moment. It’s agonizing for me. The words just don’t come and then I feel guilt and shame for calling at all.
I am so black and white. So extreme. At work I grind away at being “the best” striving for some mysterious standard I have set. I claw my way toward some elusive top. I can never be on top or measure up because I am simply not good enough. I think ahead of my boss on some projects, over prepare, over organize. Not necessarily looking for accolades from her but to satisfy some inner longing to feel whole, necessary, significant. I beat myself into the ground til I’m crawling the halls refusing to allow myself a break or a day off. Yet, here I am off work this week because I can’t perform melding into my bed. There is no in between. It’s killing me.
The shame I harbor about having bipolar and the limitations it causes me is painful. It’s not okay with me that extreme stress takes me out, while others still show up. It’s not okay with me I have memory loss and it affects my job performance. It’s not okay with me I sometimes have extreme agitation and cannot be in a work environment. These same issues affect my personal life. I can no longer share memories w my husband because they just aren’t there. I try so hard to conjure them up, but to no avail. Sometimes I can’t stand his voice or touch. Sometimes I cry at baseball games for no reason. Poor fucking fanatic!!
Acceptance. Perfectionism. Self compassion. What a long road it’s been. What an even longer road it’s going to be if I don’t work on some things. I’m stuck in a what’s the point loop. I’m cursed. I’m doomed. This is lifelong. No matter which door I choose, bipolar will be with me, as well as alcoholism. That’s a fact. Seems there is so much fiction wrapped up in all this for me, which fuels the loop and closes the door.
How do you find the strength to walk through the door each day with whatever is on your back?