Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year

Photo: Diane Arbus ~ Hand Grenade

Next month marks this little blog's six month anniversary. That is about the same time I began therapy on a regular basis again and six months also marks the time I have been in line for my disability hearing; I probably have another six to go before I know anything. My feelings are heavy as I turn this corner and head off into a new year. I am disappointed in my overall progress...the therapy is achingly slow, the blog feels aimless and I remain unemployed or otherwise gainfully  productive. I am dreadfully stuck.

I am stronger than I was this time last year. I am recovering from the divorce (which I still have yet to get, hmmm...resolution #1.) After a little over seven years, I seem to be on the right medication cocktail with about 60% of my symptoms under control-the depression is not as crippling, I no longer fear suicide when I am alone. I am still fighting my bed/avoidance issues, still trying to find my way out. 

All in all though, my life is good. There is a sweetness to it that has not been present for some time. Safety. Security, many t's crossed and i's dotted. Simplicity and economy of movement. I meditate daily on something positive. I'm trying. I swear! I'm grateful, chronically depressed, but grateful. 

For this next year I hope to be more of myself. I need to be okay with that- myself, that is. I am deep into my wait, deep into winter and I better just hang on for another six months, or else. I need for my horizon to be bigger, like it used to be. I hope for more peace than we had last year, more healing, an end to the war. Recovery and continued progress. Blessings, Love and Light....


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm dreaming of white sandy beaches and sunshine. ~sm
So, what I thought was a bipolar remission turned out to be more layers of awareness. Between the bipolar illness and the DID and the borderline crap I can hardly tell at times what is what. I saw my doctor today and we both agree that becoming more aware is progress, all the same. Like I told her this morning, "The bad news is that I am in a mixed state (depressed and hypo-manic). The good news is that I am aware that I am hypo-manic." 

There is an art to everything if you look long enough and being mentally ill is no exception. If I know what my patterns are then I can begin to work on embracing or changing them. Bipolar, I'm embracing. The other stuff, I'm changing bit by bit. It can be overwhelming if I let it.

Writing and sharing is really helping me to see patterns in my moods and behaviors, so if you have been following along- Thank-you! Making depression an interesting topic can be an impossible task at times. there are many moments when I doubt the validity of sharing my thoughts in a public forum, but days like today-when I am made aware of  progress- I know are partly due to this process of shining light where there is darkness. The blog helps me do that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am reaching for my inner Joan D'Arc -reaching for courage. I am knee deep in therapy, closely examining motives and methods. I have remembered a few more scenes from my childhood; I remember an angry mother and being afraid all the time.

 The work is slow. It is a daily struggle to shake off body aches and crippling anxiety. It is better to sleep or rest with my TV friends, avoiding light and interaction with others. I am ashamed of the amount of time I spend in bed. It's as though life, itself, has become my plan B.

A small but not insignificant improvement: I am spending less time in bed between bouts of depression. My goal,  for awhile has been just to get out of bed and now the focus has shifted to staying out of bed once I am up.  I tire easily though, and I still need naps.

I am working on a plan of action for those good days and I am having more of them. I guess what I am missing is purpose. I have become weirdly hung up on that word. My therapy homework has, for the last few sessions, been to do something just for fun. I can't do it.

I have been watching Season One of  Intervention on Netflix and I think that I look and act just like a drug addict. We are motivated by the same need to be numb. The biggest difference is that no one can keep me from the torrent of raw emotion and memories that my illness feeds on, no one can take away my crack. There is no rehab for the broken and emotionally damaged, not one that I could afford anyway.

This feels like a confession. This is as close to a description of my inner world as I have come to. I don't think I nailed it and I can tell that I go in and out of different voices, still. I feel like I have two sides: one that seeks answers and one that knows the answers but won't share.

 I hate being this crazy.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Forget-Me-Nots and Other Wishes

A friend I had not seen in nine years surprised me with a visit. He was home for the holidays from California and he phoned from the road saying that he was three hours away and would be spending the night. The personal inner turmoil following that conversation soon revealed how much mental illness (and let's face it, a bit of old age) has changed me over the years and this discomfort proved to be the overall tone of the visit  that followed.

It frustrated me that I was unable to set aside my illness even for a day to enjoy my friend's visit. The ebb and flow of my daily struggles leave no room for surprises or spontaneity; nothing could have made it more apparent. I watched in horror as I simply shut down.

David took care of my guest making sure that he was fed and occupied; I slept. It did not matter that I had not seen him in so many years, it did not matter that I might not see him for many more-the fact that the visit was unplanned sent me into a tail spin that would not be deterred.

I am not usually tested in such an obvious manner. I have no daily schedule or job, no children, no real responsibilities outside making sure the cats are fed (and they even remind me to do so.) There is usually nothing around that tests my flexibility. I keep it that way so that I do not have to deal with all the emotional fall-out. I keep it that way at all costs because I am mentally fragile, mentally ill.

 Back in the day, the girl my friend remembers, invited homeless men to sleep on her floor! My door was always open. However, I think that, that too was a symptom of my mental illness. I could not be alone, I hated silence. Now, I have bounced far off in the opposite direction and must have silence and routine or I go berserk.

Bouncing between extremes- this, "mental illness" is who I am, who I have always been. I wish that I was further along in my recovery. I can see that I am still wrapped tight into the weird little world that my illness affords. I can step back from the me that is napping while her guest is in the other room and say that I wish I was not her.  I wish that I was hosting and entertaining; moving and shaking instead of worrying and sleeping. This is who I am.

In nine years I suppose what I have come to value is my sanity. This means accepting a certain amount of insanity. This means I accept my limits and abide or collide.