What Scared Looks Like

I’m scared.

I’ve gone through bad episodes before.  Being a “brittle” bipolar, that’s just a fact of life.  Some I get through with more grace and humor than others.  This isn’t one of those episodes.

Yesterday I completely lost my moorings.  Except for going to the post office and then the grocery store to get binge food, I stayed in my apartment and tried to shut it all down.  Of course that’s not possible.  After nearly fifty years of dealing with bipolar disorder, one would think I’d have figured that out.  Well, I have, but I forget.  And the desperation makes me try one more time.

I woke up screaming in the night.  Nightmares of a big, shadowy man sneaking through my door.  That’s this illness.  A huge black presence that creeps in and does despicable harm.

I’m nearly hysterical thinking I might gain back the weight I’ve lost this year.  I don’t trust my conviction or my strength.  I don’t believe I can really change my life.  I only see the pattern that leads back to fat and crazy.

I don’t believe my new friends are real.  I don’t believe I’ll ever finish my book on my fight with this illness.  I’m terrified that I’m getting worse, remembering the studies I read that said bipolar disorder rots the brain and eventually leaves the patient stupid and demented.

I’m sure the flurry of activity on my new Etsy site was just opening day traffic from everyone I sent an email.  Now it will sink into oblivion, but I fuss and fret over it—making more cards and adding them to the shop, worrying about being fair, trying not to hope and doing it anyway.

Who is this panicky, desperate, tearful woman?  How can I be this petrified and isolated when just a few months ago I was riding the Bad-Ass train to a new and improved life with a cadre of companions?

I am not helpless.  I still have tools, even if they don’t work very well right now.  I’ll get myself to the Y, get in the water, and stay there until something shifts.  I’ll either break down in tears, get furious, or exhaust myself.  Any of those will be better than this jagged hopelessness.  I’ll call my therapist and pour out this jumble so she can help me sort through it.

I’ll go to a different cafe and journal.  I don’t think I can bear going to Haven anymore, even though they won’t close for another month.  The stink of failure and sadness is stronger than the coffee now.

I’ll get outside and walk with my iPod draped over my neck in the cozy I made out of a sock and a shoestring.  I’ll walk the cool, autumn streets and breathe.  I’ll let the music do its work and keep walking.  Walking back to a different place on the bipolar spectrum.  Walking through the fear.  Walking back to myself.

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pegoleg
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 09:20:00

    Oh sweetie, I wish I had some powerful words. Walking in the crisp, fall air with music filling your head sounds like a good plan. Not magic, but a good, solid plan.


  2. judyrobbinsart
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 10:38:13

    Your thoughts are honest and thanks for sharing; you are not alone in this world. Your cards are absolutely beautiful and personal, so thanks for sharing your brilliance.


  3. Kitty
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 15:40:41

    Sometimes it makes me nuts that I cannot talk to you voice-to-voice… to remind you that you are OK even when you forget… to remind you that I Am here… and that is a promise! A promise from the I Am that is me and from the great I Am that is All.

    Please notice what you did today… You wrote your blog even though everything around you felt dark. And you wrote your blog ABOUT everything around you that felt dark. You did this… and then you gifted us with it. This is no small potato thing.

    My dream about my huge black presence that creeped in and has done despicable harm… Mine was a thick black slick, like tar, sucked up all over my back from head to toe… no way to escape… couldn’t ever see the sucker… But after all, it is a part of me, so best to re-frame it, yes.

    Do and get what you need in order to get through the day… and then do it again tomorrow. Sometimes that’s what we get… and that is a gracious plenty.

    I love you.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 26, 2012 @ 18:28:17

      I love you, too. I think you know how much, but let me be sure. More than chocolate. More than my cats. I hold your words close and hear your voice in my head—that sweet angel’s voice. My good, good friend.


  4. Dee Ready
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 16:30:13

    Dear Sandy Sue, I think bipolarity is much worse than Meniere’s, which lasted for me only 18 months in its intractable and progressive stage. However, during those 18 months, my companion was the mantra first said by Juliana of Norwich: “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well.” I still say this each night. The words accompany me into sleep. Peace.


  5. littlesundog
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 16:31:07

    It’s still hotter than hades here, but the leaves are beginning to turn just a bit and some already twirling to the earth. I wish I could take you on a walk through the woodlands here, to meet Daisy deer, and maybe even lay near her. When I’m struggling, just being near her brings a calm and soothes my frazzled head. FD makes a pretty great cup of coffee too… and we have to-go cups for walking in the woods! Feel the love, my friend… it’s all around you!


  6. Kathryn McCullough
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 16:45:02

    Hang in there, sweetie. I’ve been there myself this week, almost, at least. Hang in there—-and breathe! Big hugs and love to you!


  7. Kana Tyler
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 20:18:00

    Imagine yourself NOT alone on your walk—we’re with you!


  8. Penny
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 22:44:28

    we are real and we love you…


  9. dearsuburbia
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:05:40

    Love and blessings to you. Hugs. Thanks for sharing all of this. Keep walking. Keep writing. I’m so grateful for your work. I’m so grateful for you.


  10. The Lioness
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 10:32:14

    You are not alone. You are brave to share these words. Be with those who help your being.
    A New Reader!!!


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