Sept 23, 2020
I have been stuck in a weird place. I want to write, but I am not sure what I want to write about. I have always wanted to write a book. It is a dream of mine. Not so sure that will ever really happen.
What I do know is that today was mortifying. And while not book worthy, worth putting my thoughts on the page. I have been out of work for nearly two months with first depression and then a condition called pericarditis. It is essentially inflammation around my heart. While in the hospital, my psychiatrist determined that I was still too far in the throes of depression to go back to work and wrote me out for another month.
Guess whose stubborn ass decided to neglect the note and go back anyway? Yes, yours truly. Being a nurse, and a stubborn woman in general, lend me the confidence to make my own medical decisions when the decisions of the physicians around me do or say something that I do not agree with. This is a case of that. I WANTED to be ready. I wanted it so bad. I am a clinical nurse manager and the longer I stay away, the harder it is to go back. I know that.
I neglected the advice of my Dr, and I went back. By day three. Today. I had complaints made to my superior by my staff. “She is not acting like herself. It’s like her body is here, but her mind isn’t”
I was angry at first. I am still a little angry, but only for a couple of reasons. First, that they did not come to me. It really hurts. Second, they were not entirely wrong. It hurts more.
Bipolar is as much a part of me as anything else. It makes me sad that it gets that much weight. The truth is, even when it is not impairing me in some way, it is always looming in the background. Ready to attack. I have spent years in therapy, learning about my illness, managing it with meds. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, it still can sneak up behind you and tie a noose around your neck. Just take your breath away. Drag you to the bed and force you down. Sometimes it finds you at the pit of your stomach and for no reason you can feel the heaviness rise into your chest wall expanding into a combination of tightness and palpitations. Sometimes, it is subtle. Like today. You can go about your day, doing what needs to be done, but with no enthusiasm, no former version of yourself.
There is another side to this illness. The one that gets the most attention, even though for me it is the part that I experience the least. Have you ever seen a young child tell you how they are going to save the world, then make a cape out of a towel and start flying around the room killing bad guys? It is similar. Whatever you can imagine, you can do, and you will spend hours upon hours, days upon days, to make it happen. Your brain has so many ideas that you cannot even keep up with them. As soon as you entertain one, another is hijacking it. It just goes on and on, never ending. It feels good. Being high without being high. Everything has a cost. Flying high may sound nice, all the creative juices and beauty in being alive. But everything has a price. Flying high can, and usually is, destructive in one form or another. In my past, promiscuity and purchasing things, anything that I want with no regard to financial stability. Flying high feels good, but with the destruction, is usually just as difficult, if not more, than the low. Also, just to make things interesting…..
Whatever goes up must come down.
And the cycle repeats itself…. With periods of normalcy laced in between.
I just want this cycle to end.