Way Down We Go

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Have you ever woken up to find that your mind has been replaced by a black hole?

That’s how my week started.

I haven’t seen a mood swing since January, but lo and behold, the disorder is ever present. The moment my eyes opened, I knew my mountains had been cut down and my valleys hollowed out. All that exists for me in this black hole is emptiness and apathy and agitation and mists of despair.

To be honest, I should have seen this one coming. My lithium levels got too high, so my doctor pulled me off of my meds for a few days and then lowered the daily dose by 300mg. I don’t even know why the thought didn’t cross my mind that hey, maybe this might disrupt the waters, I was blissfully ignorant until this week.

I’ve found myself entirely incapable of communication beyond leave me alone, I have a headache, which doesn’t quite sit well with most people. Truthfully, if I try to even think about communicating the fact that I can’t communicate, my mind launches into an anxiety-riddled shame spiral. Which, in turn, just makes me more agitated, so I turn up my music and bury myself deeper underneath my covers and refuse to answer my phone.

Clearly, I’m a load of fun to be around right now.

I do have something positive to report, though.

Yesterday, I fled to my dad’s house to ugly cry on his shoulder about how I suck at life and how screwed up my brain is (you know, the standard depressive apocalyptic pity party). Two years ago, when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my dad and I suffered a major rift in our relationship. Suddenly, it was like we didn’t know each other. He couldn’t understand my behavior and the scars on my arms terrified him when they now had a name and a story.

Fast forward to now, I found myself crying on his couch, feeling like he was the only person in the world I could incoherently sob to. You know what he did? He made me a PB&J sandwich and held me like I was a kid again. I’ve never felt more loved in my entire life. Truly and honestly.

Bear (the service pup) is laying on my feet right now, where he’s faithfully been since the mood swing set in. He keeps the self-harm thoughts at bay, and at least gives me a reason to get out of bed. My head is still an abyss, but between him and my dad, I’ve got a couple life preservers to hold onto in these waves.

The sea doesn’t always stay calm. I relearned that lesson the hard way. Just remember that eventually the waves will pass again and you will find yourself on the other side, stronger for it. Find your lifeboats and hold on tight. There is safety in the storm.

Keep your head above water, okay?

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