Broken Thoughts About the Most Recent Visit to See Mom

Sat June 21

4:30 this morning I composed the start to this but it has all faded by now. I felt like I said to myself exactly what I wanted to say about caring for her, about what life in this house has become but I was also very tired and folded tight between the wall and the dog waiting for her to stop vomiting long enough to come back to bed where she had asked me to stay with her. I say “asked” as if it were like any other question, one with a variety of answers freely available but “would you” is truly twisted into “you will” in this relationship and “no” is not going to happen without a fight.

I was thinking last night … this morning… about informed consent and how I wouldn’t truly be able to give it, not really. I could say “no”, but what would I be in for if I did? The sorrowful pull of her thinning lips into that expression that makes me cold in my stomach for days? A dismissive “fine” and shutting down of all other emotion? A breezy “OK” that makes me wonder how many years from now I will hear about my unwillingness to help or the worst– a re-statement of need stretching out from this moment to some point of pain decades ago. I know I am playing along, I know I am choosing to be here but my choices are not all things being equal. Nothing is equal.
I find myself accidentally blaming her for her symptoms – she is nauseated at 4:30 in the morning “what was she doing?” I wonder. I know this is a way for me to feel like there is some answer, some method by which this situation can be avoided in the future. I am protecting myself from a chaotic world by blaming the victim. And she is a victim right now (always?) of so many things – pain and pain medication, hypomania or mania, uppers downers and inbetweeners and all the various twists of past and now and mind.

I try to pull up some sympathy from somewhere, some feeling I can connect to about the sorrows of the body that made mine and I can’t. It has been gone for so long. The cycle of hope and excitement for the new remedy that will get her back to “Where she was before” has gone on so long there really is no “before” anymore. There is no woman without the pain, the ice packs, the restlessness without the physical ability to back it. There is only worse or better – hostile or maudlin –  depressed or elevated.

I watch her reactions to her interpretation of my reactions cause counter reactions in her and move her to apologize or become defensive or angry. She seeks out my acknowledgement that my fathers tone of voice betrays the ___ he is trying to hide and truly it doesn’t matter what I say. She reacts to some expression of mine with an apology and I have to figure out the right words to say to even get to what it was that she decided I was thinking. Every interaction is new again, all old pains are new and living moments. Our relationship is in a state of constant second dates- some history but no lasting trust, all nerves and wondering and anxiety.  At the same time everything is saturated with history, a  situation now is the same for her as a situation then, all situations are the same, they are living and they are now even when they are past. But it has all gotten jumbled up. She is a victim of her own victimization of herself. I am a casualty of her war for justice for herself in a world increasingly hostile to her. Email and web ads violate her like when she was mugged in Boston, falling to the street and kicked and kicked and kicked by trying to sell her things she doesn’t want. Doctors ,so many doctors and all of them haughty, and rude, treating her like an addict (isn’t she?). I would fear dementia if it hadn’t always been this, if there hadn’t always been a straight line for her between the time the priest groped her when she was 23 and the way the clerk at the CVS violated her with a comment at 45. If the past wasn’t always redefining the present and predicting the future.

A story last night over dinner – a pharmacy asked her to stop bringing her business to them. She uses heavy narcotics for pain and though she and my father both can’t remember why they denied her, the outcome (in her mind) was that she was “treated like a criminal”.

“That was the second time”, she tells me, “that I was treated like a criminal. The first was in the mid 90’s, when I was studying in that Motel 6 for my Master’s exam. You take these tests and if you pass, they give you your master’s degree. In grad school. So I was studying and on the way out the clerk gave me the dirtiest look. They thought I stole the bed spread and accused me of stealing it.” She explains the simple things to me- over and over, but never explains what I really need to know. I know what a Master’s exam is, I don’t know how you manage to retain so many hurts and lose sight of everything else.

A hurt 5 years ago at a pharmacy is truly the same for her as an accusation by an unknown hotel clerk over 20 years ago. But can she remember that her son hates chicken or her daughter loves the ballet? Sometimes. Sometimes. The past is a patchwork of how she has decided others have categorized and labeled her. The unfair conclusions she has concluded others have concluded about her. They all relate together in a crime show collage of maps and pins and red string linking this to that to that. That is the only continuity I have come to know in her company. She will tell the stories of her victimization each time as if they are fresh and new and relevant. Hurts from strangers making offhand comments are as deep and profound as being hit by her parents. All insult is injury. All injury insult. She will ask me if it is “okay” that she is telling me this and be so relieved to be able to talk about these things as if I haven’t been hearing them since I was a small child. I remember. It isn’t new to me.

When she is elevated she says “Is this what it is like for you?” just out there, at the table while eating. I used to try to explain what it was like for me, choosing my words carefully so as not to cast shadows on her. Now I claim ignorance because there is no need for me to tell – she won’t remember and it won’t make a difference. All I can do is say that I understand, because I am the one who understands. Hasn’t it been so since I was old enough to speak? My illness comes from her, she believes, she apologized once for giving birth to me. It isn’t quite the same as “I wish you had never been born” but it is a fascinating way of making my mental illness about her. I am sorry I did this to you, please comfort me.

I don’t feel guilty when I think that I wish she would die. It seems so stark sitting there like that. The sentence so raw and ugly. I suppose the meaning underneath is that I have stopped believing it will ever be good for her again, or for my father so I just want the suffering for everyone to be over. If there were another way for that to happen, I’d welcome it, but there is too much. The elastic of her mind is worn and she is a needy, grasping creature even when healthy so were she to be self sufficient, the need would come out some other way. My father is doing all he can to be in it – to keep his head down and hope it passes. I fight with myself about shining a giant accusatory spotlight on what he calls his life and proclaiming it unacceptable. If his only choice is stay in this small house of a life with no change or go, does it really help to tell him that the paint is peeling and that one photo on the wall is always crooked? It isn’t a situation that can be made peace with but it is a situation that can be denied and compartmentalized and managed. As she swirls around with her actions like biting flies and expects you to sit without flinching you find that you are either angry or resigned. Anger calls for action. Anger demands change. There is no true change here so there can be no anger.

People ask me sometimes how I put up with XYZ without being angry. I honestly am just learning now even how to be angry. It doesn’t even occur to me. The parameters in which anger is allowed in me are so narrow and so specific that they are very rarely met. The strictest gatekeeper being, “did they mean to do it?” If the answer is no, there can be no anger. There can be no anger without pure intent from the other party and I am always able to understand where they are coming from, always able to see where they are the victim. After all, I have been doing so since I was a little girl.

So why don’t I say no? Why don’t I refuse to play? I do, I pick my battles, but certain battles cannot be won. To say no is to be willing to stop having a relationship with her and to watch the burden slide off my shoulders and settle even heavier on my brother and father. To say no is to stop having a mother and honestly I am not ready to do that. But I reevaluate, now and then, the pros and cons of having her in my life and I allow for a time that may come when the cons are too great to cast aside and I have to tell her that it is my way or no way at all. When/if that day comes I know what she will do and for now I am not ready for it. For now.

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Oh… hello

This is why I don’t try to pursue writing with any regularity… apparently I stink at writing with any regularity.

Been dealing with all sorts of mood fun since I ceased using birth control pills. I’m not trying to have a baby, I’m just done with being on them. The first two months were interesting. I got angry a lot. It struck me how little I get angry and how little I know how to do it. I think I need anger management lessons – but,I mean, how to manage getting angry at all.

The last few weeks I have felt like the membrane between my past and my present is too thin, I feel too vulnerable to it. An incident at work sent me into some sort of day-terror state (tl;dl – I was stalked as a teen, pretty badly and this dude asked me out at work and let on he knew where my car was… and then left a note on it. I was in a serious bad way for about 2 weeks or more after…) that my husband said isn’t PTSD but I don’t know what else to call it. I am also thinking a lot about how my responses to my brain got the way they are and who was there along the way – it’s a pretty empty room.

Not sure why my head is so in times long past, I rather hope it comes back to now or gets up to its usual future-worry. Also some health insurance and a new head doc… that would be good too. ~nod

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Sane until proven “psycho”

The shooting in Aurora, CO recently has meant another chorus of the “don’t let psychos have guns” song in news media and among “watercooler” gossips. The day of the shooting, not more than an hour after it hit the news, I had already heard the shooter referred to as a “lunatic” on NPR and as a “nut” and “psycho” by folks at work and in chats with friends. Putting aside the crass word choice, we didn’t even know the man’s name at that point or the death toll but we sure as shit know he’s “psycho”. *

Sorry… I didn’t realize he carried around his psych file with him.

Is it likely that the man is mentally ill? Sure, pretty likely, (and well, he’s white and over 18 so let’s not blame his media intake like we would if he were <18 or a religious or gang affiliation like we would if he were not white … but that is a whole other can of worms…) but not for sure. It galls me that the most robust conversations that we have in this country about the need for mental health treatment are born from violence of an individual.

Oh, so sorry, sane world, did the crazy get on ya? Let’s clean that off so you can go back to business as usual.

* I jumped all over a friend of mine who used the term “psycho” and was surprised it bothered me as much as it did. He took it in stride and apologized but the point is still germane. I guess I see myself as part of a mentally ill interest group or something and I resent terms like “psycho” and “nut” being thrown about. This is new…
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I love my children too much to have them

The short story: I have always wanted children, as long as I can recall, and it pains me deeply, daily,  that I don’t have them. But I can’t have them, because I left my cats.

The long story:

I can’t put this all together without some background but I will try to keep it to the point. When I was 14, I met a guy and we fell madly, mutually in love. We were together solidly though we did have our big troubles. We moved in together when I was 18, rescued a kitten when I was 20 and another at 21 and married when I was 22. When I was 28, I blew us apart.

E and I were “The Couple”. We loved each other fiercely, intensely and we were the kind of couple that ached to be together when we were apart for even a short time. E was older than me and my first real relationship though I had been in others sporadically. We got along easily and laughed and cuddled and were more romantic than any couple I have ever known. We were faithful and happy and doing our best to work on the major issues we did have in our relationship. My biggest fear was losing him to death equaled only by the fear that I would lose my cats.

I am a “cat person”. My best friend growing up was a cat and my cats, M & Z,  were incredibly important to me.  I resist saying they were my substitute children but my heart ached with love watching them sleep and I missed them whenever we were away from each other. They were an active part of my life and my thoughts and many a night I spent laying awake in misery worrying about them and their safety. The point is this: they were innocents that had never done me the slightest wrong and I loved them with everything I had. I even commuted nearly an hour each way to college because I couldn’t live in student housing with my husband and my cats. It would have saved us hundreds a month but it just wasn’t an option. The cats were family, plain and simple.

Cue The Bad Year.

Piecing it together, I think my mania was set off by a misdiagnosis of depression and a bad choice of meds. Or maybe it was just the chemical time bomb in my head was geared to go off again. I don’t really know. I was trying to get help but I didn’t understand completely what had been going on with me all these years.

Whatever the cause, I can remember waking up one morning and feeling nothing but elation, power and a curious … lack. Even now I can’t really put it to words, I wasn’t numb, every part of me was singing with sensual joy and contemptuous superiority; but I looked at myself in the mirror once for a long time, like in a movie or something, and I couldn’t connect with anything. This spread quickly to my husband who may have well have been a stranger in my bed for all the feeling I had towards him. I felt as though I could communicate somehow with strangers, give them a “push” (?) through my eyes and make them see me. I did this in the rear view mirror to great effect (so I thought).

And I was positively buzzing with sexual energy. It was a constant, frustrating sensation, but one that gave me power somehow.

I am not sure how long into this I came to the Big Truth. (Yup, it needs capital letters.) I can only say that it was like what we used to call acid logic back in the drug days. There is usually a moment, during any sort of deep inebriation, though acid is especially good for this, where you “realize” some “Big Truth” about the world. It often is fleeting and you can’t really grasp it when you are sober again but at the time it seems like the most important, most revelatory and revolutionary thought you or anyone else ever has had.

Mine was this: Love is just chemicals. And it was weeks before I sobered up.

Clearly my new state of mind had shown me that love was nothing more than a chemical cocktail that, if cut off, left the lovers contemptuous strangers. All the feeling I had for E had been kicked into being by a blip, a cerebral hiccup and it was finally correcting itself. I cannot honestly trace the moment that I went from the Big Truth to cheating on my husband, but I know it wasn’t long. I know I didn’t set out to cheat on him, but when the opportunity arose I didn’t protect myself against it or tell him about it as I had in the past.

I was also, I think, testing my theory that my new chemical brain really didn’t feel what it felt before. Before, I was always very careful about fidelity and felt guilty even when I would get the innocent crushes that come up in life. Men would sometimes be interested in me or I would have a stray unfaithful thought and I would always tell E right away. In our 13 years together, before all this, I had never so much as had an errant kiss.

I started talking to a man online (J) and when he started flirting, I did too. In a matter of weeks we were meeting and having sex. I hid it from E and felt nothing, not even a thrill at getting away with it. It was just more data to support The Big Truth. Shortly after J and I met, I was clearing out whatever I could fit in my car from the apartment I’d shared with E for 8 years and I moved in with J to a town I hated about 6 hours from home.

I decided that I would be in love with J because he was there and I was with him so I went about trying to make that happen. The thing is, I didn’t even really like J. He was not the sort of man I’d be friends with much less lovers, he was a lot less intelligent than me, very insecure and bombastic to overcome it and well, he sweat on me all the time and spit when he talked. That’s just awful. He didn’t make me laugh, I didn’t like his politics and I felt lonely in his presence. I went along with the whirlwind “love” but I don’t know how truly I ever really believed it. I find it hard to make sense of my thoughts at that time so all I can do is best guesses.

(13 days after I moved, J got into a car accident that crippled him for life and during his ICU coma and my vigil by his bedside, I found out he was a pathological liar and probably cheating on me; not too surprising in one who was content to have sex with a married woman. So I went to his storage unit where he had a loaded gun and wouldn’t be writing this right now if my brother hadn’t happened to call me. After that, I went home and that began Chapter 2: the attempt at reconciliation, my heart and conscience return, my proper diagnosis and my horrific med alignment and testing period, E’s relationship with L and the profound damage we did to one another before we finally called it over. But that’s another story).

During the time I was gone, I barely thought about E or the cats unless E was contacting me. On some distant planet I felt guilty for E’s pain but his appeals and suicidal theater (I call it that because it was always a “suicide attempt” in my face but never all that dangerous) did little more than flick at the corner of my conscience. I started to come back to myself a little before J had his accident, I thought about the friends and family I had left and I missed my home a little. I started to ask myself “what the hell are you doing?”

And I started to miss my cats. Oh yes, the cats! I am finally to the point! When I left, E didn’t know if he could find a place to keep them without my paycheck, so I blithely suggested he take them to a shelter. Even writing that now makes my heart clench. He ended up being able to keep them at his friend’s house but I knew it wasn’t a good situation for them. They were confined to a room and E’s friend was not fond of cats. They had never done me wrong and they counted on me to care for them and I left them.

I think that is enough background to make the picture clear. I decided, after excruciating months of thought and hours of therapy that I was not willing to risk having children even if I was able to reconcile with E or to find a new partner. I didn’t want to pass this illness on but more importantly, even if I adopted, I couldn’t allow myself the risk that I might wake up one day with an exploded time bomb in my head and leave them or worse. I had left my cats, after all.

I was cruel and merciless with E, I betrayed our vows and our history and was brutally cavalier about the whole affair. I “confessed” and then I packed my bags. It barely touched me at all when it was happening. But E and I had done damage to one another, as couple’s do, so I can almost say that it wasn’t completely out of the realm of reasonable or possible behavior by me to be that way to him though it was counter to everything I knew about who I was.

But the cats? I doted on them, I loved them, I actively was grateful for their existence. They never did anything wrong to me. And I did not even blink when I left them. I didn’t even make sure they had somewhere to go. (I did get them back from E a year later. M is sleeping on the bed and snoring softly as I write this). I am unwilling to take that chance with children, children that I want and I love and I grieve the loss of even though I never had them.

(Let me take a moment to address my audience, should there still be one, I do not think in any way that everyone with BP or everyone who has had a serious manic episode and/or psychotic break should not have children. I would never presume to know what someone else is capable of and I know that even if I did have children and the worst happened, it wouldn’t necessarily mean I “shouldn’t” have had them. This is about my own personal decision and struggle with that decision, not a statement about what all BP people should or shouldn’t do. So, please know that if you are a BP parent or potential parent, with any sort of history, I am not  judging  you or suggesting you shouldn’t be.)

I try to explain why I don’t have kids to my closest friends and family and I can’t completely. The man I married also doesn’t want children for reasons of his own, but it rarely hurts him the way it hurts me. When I turned 35 and maybe about 18 months before then I had a really hard time with it. Biological clock, I suppose. I didn’t know how to explain why I started sobbing in the baby clothes aisle or why I couldn’t go to a Baby Shower, because on the surface there was no reason I couldn’t have kids.

When it was really hurting me more than it ever had, I tried to get comfort from friends. They did their best to understand but would challenge my reasons (being bipolar, being too old, etc) and push me to defend myself against their very sound rebuttals. I would have done the same thing in their place. I just never knew how to explain in short sentences without a ton of background (as evidenced here) that I cannot be responsible for a person who counts on me for their very existence when I have the capability of turning into the equivalent of a sociopath at any time.

Do I think it is likely that I will have it happen again? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I cannot shake the certainty that for me, it is too dangerous. What if I had a manic episode and my Big Truth was that my kids are better dead than living in this world of suffering? It is just as impossible to me that I could hurt a child as it was that I could break up my marriage, leave my cats and destroy my life as I knew it in a matter of weeks. Which is to say, it is possible. Anything is possible and there is no strong assurance that medication or therapy or anything else could protect my kids from me. I am not even talking guarantee, just strong assurance. Remember, I was on medication and under a doctor’s care when this happened in the first place.

My love, my conscience, my history and relationships with anyone are subject to abrupt and dreadful change that I can’t control. I cannot rely on medication to keep me or them safe and so I only enter into relationships now with people who can give informed consent. (My husband adores our cats and I have told him this story of course and know he would never let any harm come to them).

So there it is, and my children are as real in my heart as they have always been (and made a cameo during a psychotic break and often in nightmares) and I long for them daily. I tell myself I will do my best to help other children and I do adore my friend’s kids, but I will never be in a position where they are counting on me and I have the ability to leave them. It is a risk that I have decided is too high, the pain I could cause my children far outweighs my pain that they do not exist.

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In Search of The Least Destructive Self Destruction

I’ve been thinking about self destructive behavior a lot lately, mostly because I don’t have very much and it is starting to get to me. I quit smoking a little over 3 years ago (smoked for nearly 20 years- started young), I don’t do recreational drugs anymore, I never cared for alcohol and I try to stay fit. Unfortunately I know that I am hardwired for self destruction and it’s starting to wear me down.

I have always struggled with my weight. I am a “fat kid”, helpless in the face of processed carbs and sugar, religious in my glee over combinations of butterfat, sweets and salt. I lost the bulk of my childhood weight (about 100 lbs) and have had an on-again-off-again love affair with 30 of them for the past 5 years or so. I binge. I eat for duration. You would not believe the amount I can put away (in secret, in private). I hate myself when I do it and I recommit to eating sanely and then I binge and hate myself. It wasn’t until recently that it occurred to me that binging is my only means of self destruction these days.I don’t do fad diets anymore and I have good healthy eating habits… when I can beat back the daily, hourly waves of desire to just drown it all in cream cheese frosting and Wheat Thins.

I don’t buy it any more that we are supposed to make healthy decisions most of the time. The chemical grooves we have worn in our brains since childhood are built for pain and chaos just as much as they are built for elation. BI-polar people… BI. I can’t shake the notion that I am spitting in the wind when I try to fight against my desire to be unhealthy, to be destructive, to restart the cycle of pain/recognition/change/growth.

So I am beginning to think that rather than cut off one pathway and watch the desire gush out another, I should just find “healthier” ways to be self destructive. When I was young, I was a cutter – purely surface and I always kept it to myself. Later on when I was single I sought oblivion and some means of self destruction in sex (the likes of which are no longer an option in my marriage). So I wonder if I shouldn’t return to cutting when the desire to sabotage myself becomes inescapable. Stuffing my face and gaining back those 30 pounds is just an effort to still the restless scream in my head that says “I want, I want I want!” and to finally say “YES” to something that isn’t good for me. Every day I say “no” to smoking, “no” to deviant sex with strangers, “no” to getting off my meds, “no” to quitting my job, “no” to depression wanting me to ruin my relationships, “no” to suicide, “no” to running away, “no” to becoming a junkie, “no” to checking into a hospital and just curling up for awhile, “no” to spending all the money I have and more and on and on and on. If I don’t find something for that part of me to say “yes” to, I stop being in charge and it takes over and says yes at will. Or I simply stuff my face and gain 30 pounds and lose confidence and feel like an ugly toad which feeds my desire to stay home, stay shut in, withdraw… yeah…

So now rather than trying not to be self destructive in any way, I am looking for the safest, healthiest method of destruction because I am so tired of fighting and I always lose eventually.

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This isn’t the post I wanted to write

I seem to be having trouble writing when I want to/need to. The post I meant to write is about self destructive tendencies and the need for them to be expressed somehow. Also something about struggles around having children and things like that.

For now though? I feel a bit stretched past my capacity. My mom, who is a retired psychologist and worked a lot with chronic pain patients, gave her patients the following exercise:

– Get a pile of dried beans and spread them out
– Think of the beans as your total pool of psychological and physical energy*
– Separate out the part that you use just daily just dealing with your pain and put it in one   pile
– Separate out the parts you use for your family, work, play, etc
– Notice how little is left and start forgiving yourself for not having as much energy as you’d like, try to start rebalancing the best you can.

It’s a really useful exercise to visualize your own energy levels.  I showed it to my husband and sometimes just tell him that I “don’t have the beans” to do X,Y, Z. It is a good shorthand to saying, “I have used up 80% of my ability to exist just getting out of bed this morning. Please be tender.”

So yes… I have lots to write, but I don’t have the beans.

*Not energy in a metaphysical way, your actual ability to perform your daily life tasks.

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Insane in the Membrane, Sane in the Brain.

 

Somehow my thoughts about T’s suicide and my own way of dealing with madness have become entangled into a single pronouncement about How To Deal With Being Mentally Ill.

I’m good for pronouncements, it doesn’t mean that I don’t welcome other opinions though, so feel free.

T died from depression. That’s mostly how I see it. I also see that he made a choice, a choice I am angry about and sad about and a choice I respect as his to make (and yes, a choice I am envious of). I also think that he had no choice, that his depression took over and killed him. His death’s ripple effects are more akin to Genocide: it wiped out the tribe of all who loved him and those of us still alive are no longer who we were just before we found out, no longer who we could have been.We’ve all been changed into new people on new paths. Something that huge doesn’t happen for just one reason.

So I don’t blame him… not entirely. I think about it like someone with diabetes going on a 6 month sugar binge, someone with heart disease eating greasy, fatty foods… T didn’t take care of himself when he was “well enough to know better” and that part is his fault.

And that’s where I start winding around to my own life with my mental illness. I realized the other day that I have been horribly lax and let something happen that I never would have a few years ago: I have no health insurance. What. The. Hell. Was. I. Thinking? I quit my job for my sanity (woo hoo) but picked up a contract job with no health insurance and now I have a very narrow group of drugs I can purchase with my anemic prescription coverage. I stopped being vigilant. I let myself down. I gave in, gave up, allowed myself to look back on many years of relative stability and forget what can happen. I don’t get to have that luxury, ever.I must remain always and forever protective of myself and of those I love. I cannot allow my madness to win, to wipe me out, to wipe out who they are now and who they could be. I don’t get to be “normal”.

It seems to me that most of the people I know who can be said to be doing “well” with their mental illness have a particular gift for compartmentalization and holding multiple and contradictory threads of thought and emotion at once. Both T and my very close friend C (who also killed himself) were quite reluctant to imagine their Self as separate from their depression. I, on the other hand, am at war with my BiPolar. I loathe it, it wants to kill me. Sure, I enjoy the hypomania when I can get it but only as inadequate payback for the agony of depression and the clusterfuckery of mania. I am fragmented into so many pieces it is a wonder I am not MPD by now. But we all crowd into my head at once and I have lovely friends who I can get reality checks from (Crazy Brain says “X” but Sane Brain says “Y”, what do you think?). I am pretty good at noticing when I am not myself unless it sneaks up on me, slow frog boiling and whatnot and I then I see bank account is drained, the stranger seduced, the gun in my hand. Whoops. Luckily this time I caught myself at the hypo stage and reined in, no harm done. This time.

And that is why I can’t ever just relax. I can’t give into that siren song, “Maybe you aren’t crazy anymore; the only way to find out is to stop your meds…”. I can’t ignore it when I notice I am spending more money than usual (my hypomania usually starts with bizarre shopping habits and obsession over objects… right now I am desperate for hundreds of these brass buckle things and just spent 25 minutes looking for a picture to link here…). I can’t ignore it when I don’t sleep well and I am not tired or when I am suddenly forward and talkative to strangers.

The Sane Brain is old and has seen it all. The Sane Brain seems to manage to be always sober, always in control… a stodgy, stick in the mud ready to tell everyone else to stop having fun. And I don’t know how I do it, but I am still effing nuts sometimes and Sane Brain is there, letting me fly about in my little moth jar but never out, never into real danger. And sometimes Sane Brain is quiet and weak but always there, always at the edges ready to say “Careful!” or “Wait!”… it’s really damn hard to ever hit any kind of Oblivion because of that.

As you can see, if you have gotten this far, I am still somewhat in a hypo state – thoughts are goopy and quick and hard to hold onto but so far it’s been a good trip and I hope to stay where I am — just a little tipsy on the ol’ Brain Chemical Gumbo, not downright inebriated.

I am certain I had a point… I know I did which is why I sat down to write. I think it is this: if you think of your Self as inextricably tied in with your particular flavor of mental illness, you just might be doomed. To take medication in that frame of mind is tantamount to suicide – you’d be muffling, stifling, killing a huge part of your Self. If you don’t fragment/compartmentalize/distance your Self from the bits of your brain chemistry that want to destroy everything that isn’t them, then I don’t see how you can get better. Maybe there is a more “holistic” approach that I am not in touch with – a way to love and accept and embrace the full balance of your mental chemical gumbo as a sum of Who You Are. IF there is, I’d be interested to see if I could possibly try it, but I fear I simply no longer trust anyone in my head enough to believe that if there were only one Self in charge, I’d be okay. Even Sane Brain messes with me from time to time, putting on someone else’s scent and encouraging dangerous behavior with a wink and a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.

I guess that is really the heart of it all… it’s so damn hard to say “I can’t trust me” and so much easier and more comforting to say “This is who I am” and let the chips, relationships, jobs, lives fall where they may.

2 hours later… finally found the a picture of the damn thing I want to buy many of… and I still want to buy many.
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