Mental Meltdown of the Pneumonia Mind

collage art, hand-made cards

People said I’d go stir-crazy.  Being sick and incapacitated for weeks will mess with your head, they said.

Oh, my.

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.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evelyn Atholl Moir
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 06:05:02

    I think today’s picture is excellent. Shame on me for not yet getting in to the swim pool this YEAR…hope you make a speedy recovery, and remember I am here reading your posts almost every day…a tonic to me.
    Every Cloud has a Silver Lining 🙂


  2. docrob50
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 09:09:07

    i read this and shake my head – i read and think “would meds help ease this suffering at all?” i read on feeling kinda small and wanting to help – reach out – do something…….but i can do really is read on………….


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 17:38:24

      …and reaching out helps more than you will ever know, Rob.
      I’m categorized as “treatment resistant,” which means I’ve tried every kind of medication and treatment there is to try—all the mood stabilizers, all the anti-psychotics, all the anti-seizures, ECT–to no avail. Most folks like me end up institutionalized, so I can only be grateful for the Teachings that have given me another option.


  3. Sheryl Mae
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:03:35

    Hopefully your margins will increase and the script of your life will smooth out. You have done a good job of hanging in there this year. I sure wish I had the answer to the question about this life you’re living, but I don’t. I can only be here at the other end of the string when you need me.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 05:00:16

      I wish I had a better answer when the people who love me ask “what can I do?” I want to say, “Win the lottery for me” or “Ask Mandy Patinkin to come sing to me.” Anything less than that just doesn’t cut it.


  4. pegoleg
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 22:04:43

    Oh Sandy, I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough patch right now. Climb back in that water if your lungs are up to it, and keep on staying afloat. I believe in you!


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 04:57:09

      Thanks so much, Peg. The good thing about these patches is that they always end. The bad thing is that they always come back. It is hard to paddle between those two certainties.


  5. Dee Ready
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 11:01:49

    Dear Sandy, such wisdom and such graciousness toward yourself. It’s all awe-inspiring. Peace.


  6. littlesundog
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 20:51:19

    You stir my compassion with these latest posts. I wish so much I could help you. I’m determined to win the lottery… I’ll bring you here and maybe Daisy will have some deer medicine for you. She certainly has helped me out from time to time.


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