The last time I blogged, I was manic, I was on top of the world.
Then came the crash.
They say the higher you go, the lower you fall, well I believe it. I crashed hard.
I’ve been noticing some things about myself lately, that I really don’t like. And I’ve come to realize that my self care has taken a backseat to everything. There are other things, little things, like not watching what I say before I speak, or not eating properly. But the self care, that’s a big red flag that needs to be addressed. It shows me that I’m getting bad again.
I’ve noticed that my depression makes me not care. I couldn’t careless that I haven’t showered in a week. Meaning that I, literally, stink; my hair is an oily, greasy mess that hasn’t been brushed in days; my face is oily and dirty. I don’t remember the last time I brushed my teeth or put on deodorant. I’m just going through the motions of making it through the day.
I’ve noticed that I was doing these things even while I was having my manic episode, but I think I showered that day, I can’t honestly remember.
I know that I’m not eating like I’m supposed to, if I even eat at all. I’m surviving on caffeine and water. But not enough water at that. Because I simply don’t care to take enough care of myself.
I’ve been so busy working, or trying to work – as I haven’t been doing a fair job at my job, just enough to keep up appearances – and trying to take care of everyone else that I don’t care what happens to me. I’m not suicidal or anything like that. I simply don’t care.
When you get to this point, you have to start caring, which is hard. But no one is going to take care of you but you. And you can’t care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. So I’m starting to try again. Picking myself up, dusting off everything and trying again. Because I’m a caregiver to many, it’s my job, but it’s also my reality. And I know that I can’t pour from an empty cup.
So if that means that I have to take an hour for myself, to center and refocus, I’m going to have to start doing it. And I’m going to have to start showering again, because this has gone on long enough.
If you’re at this point, I want you to know, it’s ok. But you need to take care of yourself. It’s one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re taking care of others. But you matter, and that means you have to matter to yourself too. Get up, get showered, brush your teeth and your hair, meet the day. Or just sit out in the sun for a bit. Take the time to recenter yourself, meditate, read, relax. But come back to self care. Realize that you’re not alone in this fight, and many others are going through the same exact thing you are. It’s ok. And you’re going to be ok.
With peace and love.
It’s hard to go through depression. It’s hard to have suicidal thoughts. It’s hard to be put in a hospital. It’s even harder to get back to reality.
In the hospital, everything is easy. People tell you what time to go to bed, what time to get up, what time to eat, take your medicine, when you go to therapy, when you can go outside. You’re cut off from social media and the outside world, there’s a whole world living inside a building. And it has its own schedule, its own ebb and flow.
The reality of the world is that life doesn’t work like that. There is no one to tell you when to do something. No one to make sure you’re following your meds. Mostly you’re on your own. And then there’s work, life in general and the stresses that brings, social media, and your very own mental illness to deal with.
When the doctor tells you for the first time that you’re bipolar, it can be jarring. It’s not something that people want to hear. But it doesn’t have to be something that brings you down. It doesn’t have to label you. It just means that you have to manage the world differently, keep up with the medications and doctors visits, go to therapy if that helps you, make sure you get adequate sleep, eat right, things like that. But you learn to manage with that. And you can. It’s been done before, you can do it.
And you don’t have to do it alone. I’m here. I’m here for you. I’m here to help. I’m here to make sure you take your meds and eat, but you have to let me in too.
I’ve been in the hospital, I know how low stress it was compared to out here. I know what it’s like to not want to face the reality of going back to work. I also know how it feels to not be able to do it, not be able to face it. And I can tell you that it’s ok.
The point is, I’m here. And I’m ready and willing to help when you’re ready.
If only it were that simple. Pick up the shattered pieces that litter the dusty floor of my psyche. Maybe then everything could make sense. But right now, nothing makes sense. Nothing feels right. And I don’t know what to do.
I’ve always been the one on the other side. The one getting treatment, the one being in a crisis. Now, now I’m the caregiver. And now, well now I’m stuck because no one will give me any information about my loved one. Now, I feel lost, confused, bruised, broken, sick, tired, and numb, all at the same time. Nothing makes sense anymore.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore. I don’t feel like doing anything. Writing this, well, this is just a journal, words spilling out of my fractured mind. I feel fractured. Did I break?
I’m supposed to be strong. Be strong he said. I told him the same. I told him I was fine. But I’m not. I’m anything but fine. I can’t even fake a smile. I try, and it just comes out as a grimace. There is no joy. No light.
I’m surrounded in darkness right now. I don’t see the light. There is no light. I feel like there may never be light again. I try to sorround myself with people so I won’t be alone, because when I’m alone the shadows are there. They came back just yesterday. Playing on the edges of my vision, but I saw them.
I’m slowly going insane, aren’t I? But I’m not allowed to. It’s not about me. It’s not my time. I’m supposed to be strong. I’m supposed to be the one to carry us right now. To keep going no matter what. And I can’t. I can’t move. I can barely breathe.
Crying… Well it happens whether I want it to or not. I’m not in control of my tears anymore. They comes as they please, and I just have to sit there in the waves as the tide of sadness rolls in. At least I’m not screaming anymore.
I hit myself. I couldn’t control my hands. I broke. Something in me snapped. I had to just ride it out. There was no one to help me. Just me. Even the cat left me.
Get it together, honey, they say. Pull yourself together. If only they knew just how impossible that seems right now. He’s the glue that holds me together. Without him, I’m just pieces lying on the ground.
My dearest love,
I miss you. I wish that I was by your side as you’re going through something so profound, something so brave. You’re going through the hardest days you’ve ever had to face, and you’re facing them alone. But, please, know that I’m with you in every way I can be.
I miss you. I miss your smile and your laugh. But those have been missing for a while now. So maybe, when you get home, those will return with you.
I want you to know how proud I am of you. You’re making progress and taking care of yourself. I’m proud. I’m a proud wife. You’ve been working so hard to take care of everyone and everything, it’s time to take care of you. But I’m proud of you, because what you’re doing is brave. It’s going to make you better and stronger. You’ll look back on this and be thankful for the experience that you’ve gained, the skills that you’ve learned. I’m proud of you.
I know you’re scared. It’s a scary place, a scary time, and you’re alone. But you’re going to be ok. We’ll be ok. You’ll come home soon. You’re so brave, you’re braver than you think.
I can’t wait til you get home. We’re going to be stronger together. The girls miss you, but not as much as I do.
You’re brave Babe, braver than anyone I know. And you’re strong. I just need you to hold on a little longer.
I love you to the moon and back.