I tell myself this every day

I tell myself this every day

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nothing more and nothing less

I spent the morning, this being the 3rd day of summer, playing with my dogs in the creek by our house. The recent heavy rain has washed away most of the garbage that would normally deter any concerning Lakeside citizen from wading around in what could otherwise be uncapped sharps, used condoms, and a fine layer of jagged beer bottle glass everywhere. It was absolutely gorgeous out. The cruelly bright sun that I hadn't been familiar with for months now burned my shoulders, but was a welcome change from the blocked out windows of my bedroom where I had retreated to for the past 10 weeks. The heat had helped dry up enough of the creek bed that a fair amount of large flat rocks to relax on were available. The water had been undisturbed by fishers and usual drunks, enough to see the algae covered bottom of the creek as clear as glass. It was a beautiful sight and I found myself enjoying the moment. I assessed my emotional state and realized I felt happy, not ecstatic by any means, but a relaxing form of content.

I spent an hour tossing tennis balls into the deeper parts of the creek, watching the short legs on my dogs frantically tearing at the water in a sloppy race to get to the ball first. I loved knowing I'm doing something fun for them since they had to endure me not leaving the bed or house for a couple of months. I was also enjoying the fact that Dovah is the only one fast enough to get the ball, yet Annie diligently struggled and swam after it every time, her hope about getting to the prize first never waning. I soaked up the beauty and innocence knowing that just a few weeks ago I was living the antithesis of this moment. I had about a 10 percent chance of surviving yet here I was, feet stuck 6 inches into a soft sandy creek bed, laughing hysterically at my 2 dogs in life jackets desperately trying to stay afloat with their solid pit bull torpedo bodies. There's nothing buoyant about a compact 45 lbs dog that's pure muscle.

Every morning, before the past week or so, I would wake up and spend my day assessing what my chances of survival were. It was like being tucked into hospice care, with everyday the doctor being asked the inevitable "what are the chances she'll make it through today?" I felt like a body that was still functioning through the power of machinery and pulling the plug on myself was inevitable. Each day felt like a new diagnosis with a new survival rate. Some days I felt like I was given a few weeks to live out while other days I felt my diagnosis was more terminal and I that I had mere days. Either way, I started everyday feeling that there was an expiration date not too far off in my future.

I knew the depression was getting the best of me but what could I do? You're best bet to get away from someone who's beyond reason and trying to kill you is to run, but what if you're tied down and can't move? I was trying to kill me, how can you escape yourself?

Every morning my chances of survival were decreasing. I caught myself counting my sleeping medication and other sedatives to see how much of what it would take to do me in. I was writing all sorts of numbers down in order to find the equation of body weight to milligrams of what combination of pills, liquids, and powders would take me out the easiest and the cleanest. Most people who seriously contemplate and plan out their death will tell you that one of the important variables on your mind while you're plotting your own demise is how you can avoid making your loved ones clean up a large mess. Nevermind that you're taking yourself out of existence, you just don't want to ruin the bed sheets with your decaying fluids, or make them squeegee your brain matter off the TV in the living room. Depression is a queer beast.

I wish I could tell you that my friends, family, or pets pulled me out of it but that would be a farce. An hour or two after I had my pills sorted and counted out I just sort of lost interest. There wasn't a defining moment, no revelation, no divine intervention. I just decided to go do something else and by the next day my 2 or 3 month long funk was gone. I confessed to my husband how close he had been to being a widower with the same demeanor as if I was expressing the mail came late that day. When I'm no longer in crisis I tend to no longer speak about grave issues in such a way. We discussed what we wanted for dinner and I casually mentioned my pill counting and internet search history on destroying myself in the same manner.

You become accustomed to coming close to death. It no longer becomes scary after a while. You know you should be frightened but its familiarity no longer sets off a warning signal in your brain.

When you live with bipolar disorder, and many other similar illnesses, you live with a constant self destruct button. You never really want to push it but sometimes you wake up to find your hand over it and one slight change in pressure will send you off to the next world. I survived this bout just by pure luck. If my moods hadn't of changed later that afternoon then I know for certain that this blog would have been all that's left of me to give my friends, family, and children in hopes of them finding some kind of peace about what I had done. There wouldn't be any cryptic answers or warnings, but they would swear that were silent calls for help and that they could have done something.

The truth is simpler than that. I would have been gone because the disorder wanted me gone. Nothing more and nothing less.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

If I could catch my breath just to exhale

I've spent the past 2 weeks holed up in my bedroom and in bed. My depression and the accompanying anxiety are my constant companions. Whenever those emotions become too much and I can no longer hold the mental waste in, I grab onto my dog Annie and just cry. I wrap my arms around her thick and compliant neck and bury my tears into her fur, wishing she would turn to me and say "everything will be alright." I feel mostly sadness these days with many of my daily routines having gone out the window, I feel like I have very little remnants of what could be described as a life. I don't venture out, I don't go to the store, and I'm finding it harder and harder to accomplish simple tasks like bathe or brush my teeth. I lay in a heap of my own misery and if it wasn't for the 12 hours a night I sleep, I wouldn't have any reprieve from it.

The job at the SPCA didn't work out but I found another event coordination job that was holding me over to help me slowly get back on my feet. I was behind financially but if I played my cards right, I could slowly get caught up. Then the company suddenly went under and now I'm left in the dark again. For the past 2 weeks I've been filling out applications online, as much as I'm able to do in a day while fighting against a barrage of discarnate voices telling me how worthless I am. I only have my past work experience and my high school diploma to navigate me through this world of employment and they're producing more closed doors than opportunities. I see openings for hundreds of jobs I'm not qualified for, I have to scroll through pages and pages of job descriptions that require much more than I have to offer.

This feeds the depression monster. It loves to look at each job summary and point out that I am inadequate. It revels in the moments when I become discouraged, lapping up the ineffectiveness of my search. I have 34 years on this earth and very little to show for it. Or as least that's what my mind tells me. I have a hard time separating what my actual thoughts are, the things I would normally say and feel, and the involuntary thoughts of the depression monster. I constantly feel devoid of value as a human and a failure as someone who's constantly only tried to do better for themselves and those around them. I am flawed. I am flawed at a chemical level and while it isn't my fault, it makes for really poor coping mechanisms naturally. I have to fight bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder at the same time and I currently feel like I'm losing.

Jobs that I am qualified for don't pay a wage that I can survive on and a lot of them are hard labor and/or mind numbing. I see the jobs I'm qualified for, or that basically anyone would be, and I think to myself that I've come all this way in life just to appear to be starting from the bottom. I fear my car being repossessed the most. If I lose that then my options become disparaging limited. I am buried in anxiety most of my waking hours, worried about my finances. My youngest daughter wanted to get ice cream the other day and I had to explain that I couldn't. I'm the other parent, the fun one they get to visit so when I had to tell her that I couldn't afford it, I broke down inside. They're good kids, they understand, she didn't protest, she didn't ask why, she just went back to what she was doing before.

It breaks my heart because I don't know if I'll be able to buy food for them for the next time they come over. I don't want to cancel any of these precious visits I get with them because I can't afford simple items like cereal or mac n cheese. I have celiacs so everything has to be gluten free in the house, which makes these items more expensive than normal, which makes me feel guilty for having another medical condition I have no control over. I always want to look at them and apologize. I always want to say I'm sorry for having these disorders. I want to tell them that one day it will all be ok and mommy will overcome her biological setbacks. But I don't know if I will.

My medication is working. My depression is currently situational, which means I am able to work. But so far I haven't had anything promising and it's eroding my ability to cope.

I just hold my dog and just cry in between filling out job applications. That's my only option for now. Maybe one day she'll be able to turn to me and tell me everything will be ok.