The Dreadful, Horrible Day

After yesterday, when I was puttering along and actually living, today’s sudden plunge into abject terror and compulsive frenzy came as a shock—and I’m fairly used to the roller coaster ride.  I found myself pacing all over my little apartment, trying to figure out how I could get food when I had no money, seizing on that no money echo and scaring myself about surviving the rest of the month.  Schemes dashed in and out too fast to pin down, all rejected, all dug out of the trash to revisit.

Nicholas Cage, Bridget FondaFor distraction, I started to watch a sweet movie from the ’90’s, It Could Happen to You—Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda as a cop and waitress who share Lotto winnings.  Every few minutes I had to turn it off to pace from kitchen sink, to bathroom, to living room chair—I had to have FOOD.  What was the plan?  Grocery store? Convenience station?  Then, the compulsion would let go enough to watch the movie a little more until the next attack.  I tried to concentrate on the love story, the kindness and generosity of the characters, but they only seemed to rev me up even more.  A two hour movie took five hours to watch.

When the movie ended I went to bed—hoping sleep might trigger a shift in mood.  Hoping to blunt the fear with oblivion.  Frantic sleep—little burps of drifting off only to jerk awake with nightmares.  And those jerks sent the cats flying off the bed to mutter in the corners.

I gave up on that strategy and tried to work on my manuscript.  Instead of writing, I organized sections.  That helped.  Organizing.  Arranging.  Tidying.  All very calming distractions.

I’d decided earlier to hold out until 4:00, then I’d go to the movies.  I had just enough credit left on a gift card my sis gave me for one last movie.  And Tuesdays are “free popcorn matinees” at the local theater.  Food and distraction.  Perfect.

James Bond, Daniel Craig, SkyfallSo, I went to Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, got lost in the action and story, enjoyed the technical bits, and kept breathing.  Afterward, I was able to pick up a reasonable supper of vegetable fried rice instead of ransacking the candy aisle at the grocery store.  I could feel this mixed episode shifting.  There’s always a steely resolve that comes over me when I get to the other side of a particularly bad one.  It’s like once I survive that, I can survive anything.  As I pulled into my parking space at the apartment, I said to myself, “We made it.  Disaster averted.  Well done.”

Truth is, as hysterical and flat-out bug-shit as I was today, I could have done a world of damage.  The fact that I didn’t has more to do with Grace than any kind of management technique or skill.  And yet there was some of that, too.  None of this is clear.  None of it tidy.  It’s hard to analyze while holding on by your fingernails.  In the heat of crisis, that’s all we bipolar’s have—our bloody fingernails and the cliff’s edge.  Analysis is for later, when the smoke clears and the fires burn down, when we can be a little more objective about the extent of the real damage done.

I’m hoping I get to do that tomorrow.  I’m hoping this shift into a less crazy gear sticks for a bit.  But, it may not, and I need to be ready for that, too.  And since I got a little taste of the Bad-Ass—that determined, Double-O-like creature—I’ll be okay either way.  Dignity under fire, that’s the Bond way.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evelyn Atholl Moir
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 02:22:56

    Once again I am reluctant to ‘Like’ but you know what I mean sister.
    The fluctuations you go through hold me in awe, not because of them, but because you still manage to produce & maintain the quality and variety and sanity of your invaluable lifeline for us wee folk postings.
    My bro. will not share the depths of his Mental Angst, but he too seems to have reached the Golden Plateau of Understanding…a certain Confidence and Acceptance of the jumbly crumbly world of illness and wellness becomes at least liveable day by day when one comes to understand a little of the personal mind within.
    I was counselling a dear friend who has opened up to me in the last weeks, having been a friend for 33 years and now related the depths and seasons of the Mental Illness carried all this time…I was there at the start & never knew, only had a clue & gawped…
    Well, I calmed the conversation down by saying perhaps the mind was like a gigantic library we fill over the span of our lives, and draw upon, sometimes stumble through and sometimes get lost within…there are the odd dusty rooms, and sometimes corners where all the books have fallen jumbled in a heap, all messed up…that helped my friend explain the potential source of a recurring distressing little hallucination…Do not be scared dear friend…just a glitchy corner of your chemical library that you sometimes wander by. In time perhaps you’ll tidy that corner…More Cake Darling x


  2. ManicMuses
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 04:58:28

    I hope you got a good night sleep and the shift does stick for a bit. Dignity under fire – well put!


  3. littlesundog
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 09:07:01

    We would have made a fine pair yesterday. I’m fidgety, laid up with lower back trouble which I almost NEVER have! I was restless and bored, but committed to resting and staying put. So many times I wish we lived closer. It’s a terrible thing to struggle and rise above when you go at it alone. Sometimes I need a Bad-Ass cohort… and other times a compassionate friend. Hang in there, dear friend! I’m sending positive energy and vibes!


    • Sandy Sue
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 16:48:37

      What I find with friends here is that their miseries help distract me from my own. Not sure if that’s healthy or avoidance–probably a little of both. Anyway, it would be a joy to practice with you. Hope your back is better today. That stuff takes time and will not let you ignore it.


  4. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 16:01:22

    I think terror is the worst. I’d almost rather feel anything else. Glad you got to go to the movie. Hang in there, my friend.


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