People said I’d go stir-crazy. Being sick and incapacitated for weeks will mess with your head, they said.
I’ve officially rounded the bend. I’ve spent all the money I have left for September, mostly on food and DVDs, which destroyed months of work at losing weight. I charged up my credit card so that I could put storage shelves in my bathroom—a project on Saturday that left me exhausted and overrun by my own mania. I feel humiliated, and desperate, and absolutely out of control.
I’ve tried several ways to slow the train down—walking around the track at the Y, walking outside, napping. They help in the moment, but as soon as I stop moving or wake up, the frantic scrabbling in my brain starts up again. Every day I start out vowing to “do it different,” to shroud my TV and do something else. And every day I end up too tired, too bored, too lonely, too sick.
What I’m hanging onto at this point is that my body is starting to recover. The lungs are clearing. The voice is coming back. I will return to my water aerobics class this morning to splash around if nothing else. And as my strength returns, I can shift back into my routine, which will give my bipolar claws something else to grab onto.
It’s not like this is new material. The compulsions, the frantic behavior, the way this illness blows up my life are all reruns of my personal sitcom. It’s just that adding physical illness squeezes all margins out of the script. The stress, the disruption of routine, the discomfort run the lines off the page. I’m not making much sense.
But, there’s a balm in being able to admit the insanity. Confession always starts a healing. Lack of insight and secretiveness are part of this illness, so naming names is a good sign. I’ll hang onto that today.