When people with addictions go through rehabilitation they always seem to be warned of the inevitability of a relapse, a collapse of the will power so carefully constructed against their specific compulsion and though Bipolar disorder is not an addiction it does hold the same crushing likelihood of a relapse into illness. These past couple of weeks have been my relapse, not my first, just one of many and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The Easter holiday plan that I had hoped so fervently would serve as my salvation from the hellish routine free holidays was left by the way-side, I did not look at it, nor did I follow my scheduled wake up time or bed time and so not only is my Bipolar disorder swinging like a cat in a rather large room but my body clock is also way out of sync culminating in a whole lot of crazy, irritability, anxiety and very little function!
There are excuses I could give you as to why I did not follow my plan, there are reasons I could dish out for my relapse; there were a lot of big family events to attend, I had a psychological assessment, my psychiatrist and I didn’t see eye to eye, I forgot to take my meds one day, my landlord has been attempting to contact me but I am too anxious to answer the phone at the moment, my paranoia led me to believe that my very close friend didn’t like me anymore for a great portion of time… but in all honesty despite all of these events and feelings I don’t know why I have crumbled so fully. The events of the past two weeks have been stressful but that’s just life, isn’t it? I need to learn to cope with these things, will I ever learn to cope with these things?
I know my moods will even out when the kids go back to school tomorrow and I am forced back into a routine but I am furious at myself for this lapse in control and also petrified of being on this edge once again because, however dramatic it may sound, I know that should I fall into the deep blackness of a psychotic episode once again then I most assuredly would never be coming back.
It is painfully difficult to manage this bitch of an illness every time I feel as though I have made some progress and I’m ready to congratulate myself for some accomplishment I seem to let something else slip and everything smashes around my feet. All of the people around me keep saying it will get better in time, it’ll be easier to manage, it’ll be like second nature one day and they’re probably right but that doesn’t make me feel any better now and it doesn’t make this battle seem worthwhile. I feel as though I am fighting a war that will never be won… There should be protests in my head about the futile nature of this war! This will never go away, I will never conquer this illness yet should I ever stop fighting this endless war and embrace it; I will lose, as so many have done before me. I’m tired of working for acceptance, of striving to convince others of what I have problems believing myself, of accepting a piece of my nature only to realise it is a symptom of my illness, I’m tired of fighting an invisible beast… I’m just tired. Don’t tell me I’m strong – I’m not strong, I’m so tired…
Who am I, if not my illness? Every moment of every day is consumed with the management of this illness, maybe there is nothing of me left.