Monday, November 11, 2013

The Consequences

I learned something new on August 9th. Breaking bones doesn't hurt. I felt nothing unusual when I hit the floor that day. The bone breaking doesn't hurt, but the effect of the broken bone hurts. By the time I got my first dose of morphine, I knew a new kind of sharp, excruciating pain, which was a stark contrast from the fall that broke the bone.

Being in a manic state doesn't feel bad. It's quite the opposite. Even though there are negative voices in your head telling you that you aren't good enough or worthy of love and attention, you live on a high of hormones and energy that make you feel invincible. But like the broken bone, afterward, there is hell to pay. There are apologies to make, relationships to mend, and hardest of them all; forgiving yourself for actions you were aware of at the time, but had little control over.

I haven't forgiven myself yet, but I now live every day realizing that what I do will have consequences. I'm trying to live so that those consequences aren't something that make life hard for me or those I love later. It never hurts during the act, whether saying an unkind word or giving a compliment, but there will be a consequence in the end. Make it a good one.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl.  Not a girl so much, but a young woman, recently married and keeping home for the first time.  She didn't know why, but things that were simple to others around her were impossible to her.  She was frustrated that she couldn't do basic tasks like dishes, but resigned herself to the fact that she was different.

That girl soon had a child, and while her little one was just a baby, things felt hopeless.  That hopelessness stuck around, until her next child was on the way.  After that child was born she was finally put on anti-depressants.  Those meds helped, but they didn't help enough.  She would go off and on them.  When off her temper was awful, and she often felt like she was a bystander watching her own life.

Many years later, after having twins, she slipped and fell on water they spilled.  Immediately she saw her leg was broken.  Home alone with three boys, she sent the oldest out to find a neighbor. Soon an ambulance took her away, with lots of drugs to ease the pain.  Emergency surgery left a rod and pins in one bone, and another bone left to heal in the splint.  The next week was spent sleeping, but by week two, she began to get stir crazy.  The energy she had felt building in her prior to her slip was back.  The heightened emotions and euphoria that were matched with a sense of worthlessness and doubt, were back.

By the third week, she was batshit crazy. She went back to work, but couldn't focus.  She felt like a battery was sending charges through her, and demons were climbing through her chest.  She couldn't sleep, and couldn't sit still.  She couldn't get enough attention, and made life miserable for all around her. When she saw the psychiatrist she was desperate for help.  And help her, he did.  The very next day she was diagnosed as Bipolar, and he put her on Lithium three times a day, and within a few weeks she started a new anti-depressant.  And she saw him often to track her progress.

Soon she was doing dishes by hand every night, where before she couldn't even fill the dishwasher. Her kitchen began to stay clean.  She could sweep the floors. Sleep was no longer elusive.  And before she even realized what was happening 22 pounds fell right off of her.  She no longer binged on food and drink.  And she quickly realized that what she was experiencing was what most people called "normal." She kind of liked normal.  Normal had a nice rhythm to it.

Maybe that rhythm will include more writing again.  Or at least more sharing of photos.  Normal won't include Family Baseball League though, as I will not be in any shape to run.  And I finish my story, it's not really an ending, my story is the beginning of a new and happier "normal" life.