“You wish you had another brain, Addy?” he asked as he wrapped his arms around me.
“Yes,” I mumbled fighting back tears. “One that allows me to be normal…regular…one that doesn’t malfunction. I don’t want to be sick anymore.”
I don’t know what happened this afternoon. Maybe my daily dose of medicine took too long to reach it’s destination, maybe my regular dose is no longer enough to keep all the chemicals, neurons & synapses balanced & functioning the way they should.
What I do know is that my reserves are depleted of any instinct or will to fight. When the darkness came to swallow me alive around 2:00pm, I had no defense ready. When the racing thoughts became menacing & images of death began to swirl in my mind’s eye, I succumbed and found myself crumpled on the couch.
Tears found their way down my cheeks as I sat there paralyzed, unable to take part in life as it happened around me, completely sucked into bipolar depression’s black hole.
He found me there when he came back from his walk with Alex. Sat next to me. Held me. Asked me questions. Tried to draw it out of me, discern what had put me in this spiral. I had nothing for him…no justifiable answers, just more tears as I sank deeper & deeper…
When I saw this painting a few weeks ago at the Van Gogh, “Up Close” exhibit in Philly, it resonated with me because I could feel the brooding darkness of it. The isolated paths that seem to lead to a destination unknown, the ominous ravens flying above the field, the darkening sky, and the overall haunting tone of the painting are reminiscent of how I feel during my depressive states: Trapped….Alone…Isolated…Lost…Surrounded by darkness…Constantly questioning if the next moment will the moment I give in to the thoughts that deceivingly tell me relief is found through death.
As I laid on the couch, all I could envision was this painting and wonder if what I was experiencing was the kind of emotional & mental turmoil that compelled Van Gogh to paint it.
I don’t know what triggered it or where it came from or why it chose to strike when it did.
I just know I’m tired of fighting. It takes so much to fight and I’ve been using every weapon in my arsenal: Medication, exercise, self-care, painting, eating healthier, music, therapy, support systems, writing….I’ve been using these for months and with each battle, recovery seems to just get farther and farther away.
Why is relief so temporary?
I’m 29 years old. I’ve spent the majority of those 29 years either being abused, battling a mental illness, or working to repair the damage done by both. I’ve spent the majority of my 29 years fighting to just survive…fighting for my right to try and live a somewhat decent and meaningful life. When do I get some kind of reprieve?
I know there are those out there who have it far worse than I do. I know that even with this bitch of an illness and all I’ve endured, I have it good compared to others. But even as I recognize that, I can’t help but feel desperate to have better than this.
I’d give, do, or try anything to not be trapped in this mind that malfunctions without notice. I’d give up everything I like about me to be someone else if it meant I wouldn’t be sick….if it meant my boys could have a better mother…if it meant I could actually do something to help people who are suffering with mental illness instead of being too sick & confused by my own distorted mind to do anything other than complain about it.
I feel so desperate.