Aren’t we all, at some point or another, left standing in the rain…? Metaphorical or actual, we all find ourselves in that puddle of despair and aimless emotion eventually. I am there now, standing in the rain.
Sometimes I wish I had the cleansing power of the rain; that clean smell of earth and nature that comes after a long-awaited fall of rain is like wiping the slate clean – it leaves the air smelling of new beginnings and life, I wish a good dose of rain would do that for me. Perhaps instead of viewing my personal black cloud of emotion and misery as a negative thing I should look upon it as a sort of cleansing in its own right; maybe these feelings are better out than in and when the grey clouds clear and the sun comes out everything will be better than it was before, brighter, more worthwhile.
I am not myself at the moment, I am in that awkward and rather disturbing period, that many Bipolar sufferers will have experienced, of being a walking, talking pharmaceutical lab rat while my psychiatrist makes good use of the trial and error method of finding me the correct medication. We’re up to three medications now and the side effects are not a whole barrel of laughs but I’m told by various professionals that they are bearable… I feel like an extra in a low-budget zombie movie, I am exhausted and I look it… if my mouth gets any drier we may have to declare a drought, I am acting differently and people don’t like it – I don’t like it, I feel as though I am hurting the people around me, like I have them all standing on tenterhooks but I suppose what really brings them to those feelings are not the things I say or do but that, in this state, my crazy is showing; I can’t hide behind my carefully crafted façade and battle the effects of heavy-duty medications at the same time and so those around me are getting a rare glimpse into what I have always known is there – and it isn’t pleasant, it is frightening.
The irrational voice in my head is back with a vengeance and so paranoia is running rampant through every facet of my miserable life… I am lifeless, listless, empty…
For the first time since my psychotic episode, almost 5 years ago, I actually considered suicide as an option (not to fear; I spoke with my psychiatrist and I have the help I need) It scares me that history is repeating, 5 years have passed and yet very little has changed… my attitude and knowledge of my illness has undergone massive development and matured greatly but the illness itself is just the same vicious bastard it always was. So what has the point of the last 5 years of my life been, what good did it do if I am back here again? and what is the point of fighting it once more only to end up back here in another 5 years?
I had very little aspirations for myself growing up, what I wanted more than anything was for someone to look after me and only me. All I ever wanted was to be a little housewife to some self-important misogynist of a man (essentially the man my Dad was) and a mother to my 2.4 children, we’d live in a little house and we’d be gloriously happy and content. Ha! I never wanted to be anybody, I didn’t have any of my own views on anything, I didn’t seek knowledge of anything or have any further ambition for myself. I set about creating my idyllic life, forcing the things I wanted to come together; creating what seemed to be the perfect life, I find it laughable now… Needless to say I did not end up as a sweet little housewife (I abhor housework!!) I did get a glimpse of the life I so ferociously sought though, I married, I had a house and we had a car and a dog, two children and even some chickens in the back garden… I stayed at home and he worked, it was all I had aspired to achieve and when I got there I realised there was no joy in that life for me or anyone else involved for that matter!
So what now? All I seem capable of aspiring to these days is being mentally sound and in this moment in time that seems a long way off. virtually impossible… and is it enough to just want to be well? Is it okay that I only aim for that and forgo the usual ambitions of a career or making myself into a somebody and just focus on finding my sanity?
I feel as though I am marring the lives of the people around me. My poor children are too young to understand but one day they will need to be told about me… I feel as though they are older than their years because of my illness, because of my constant inability to complete mundane and domestic tasks, to socialise like the mothers of other children do, to function in a normal way; am I damaging their lives…? My very few friends suffer, all in the past have eventually distanced themselves from me and I can hardly blame them, if I could put some distance between myself and Bipolar I surely would! My family try to support me but what can they do when even I have no idea of what will help and everything they say is misconstrued and twisted by my warped mind.
I will survive, I have no doubt of this, but what is left of me and who will stand with me on the other side is yet to be discovered.