Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up?
And how do we spend our lives if there’s no one to lend us a hand?
I don’t wanna live here no more, I don’t wanna stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away
Alan Parsons Project -Where Do We Go From Here? Lyrics
The here that I don’t wanna live in no more is not a physical space like my house. It’s a metaphysical location – the place I’m stuck in at the moment. I’m tired of fading away, I don’t do anything quietly and furthermore – I’m not liking this! I miss ME. I miss the fun loving, adventurous, creative, rose colored glasses wearing, me.
And there are certainly plenty of people to lend me a hand. All I have to do is reach out, answer the damned phone, come out from under my blankey. Take that risk, belly flop back into the pool.
I’ve always been my best friend or my worst enemy, depending on the situation. Lately I’ve been the enemy. Beating myself up for something that is …not…my…fault. Mental illness is not something that happens because of personal flaws or failings, it just happens. Here I am hiding from people because I’m supposed to be perfect in every way. Well I’m not Mary Poppins. And now I’ve retreated so far into my shell that I’m lost and having trouble finding the way out.
This reminds me of a scene from the movie Liar Liar, starring Jim Carrey. He’s in the bathroom, slamming around, banging his head on the sink, rubbing soap in his eyes. A guy walks in and asks “What the hell are you doing?” He replies, “I’m kicking my ass, do you mind?”
I was looking at my bank statement yesterday and it really hit me hard. There are no transactions on there in the month except for a trip to the 7-11 convenience store every few days for a pack of smokes. That’s it, zip, nada. I’m not going anywhere, doing anything, shopping, eating, going to movies. Gads – I’ve morphed into a Zombie. This is just downright ridiculous.
There are far better ways to save money than impersonating a hermit. Although I may have to sell blood or something. I’m in shock and furious at the moment because I went to drug store to pick up my prescription and it was THREE HUNDRED and NINETY DOLLARS!!!&%#* What the? EErrggg…gaaaaHHH. Are you effing kidding me?? What the hell is this stuff made out of?? Gold plated platinum dusted, uranium? I almost pooped my pants right there in the pharmacy. The Astra Zeneca Pharmaceutical Corporation is the new Anti-Christ, in my opinion. Time to go back to the head doctor and discuss generics or a plan B.
Maybe I should drag my suitcase out of the closet and start packing it. I’ll worry about a destination along the way. I do want to go visit my family and I miss them terribly, but they all live in and around New Orleans. The combination of the Super Bowl there this year, followed by Mardi Gras this month was a little daunting, so I stayed home. Way too much of a circus for my taste. But, that’s all over now. Nothing stopping me – except me.
Mother I tried please believe me, I’m doing the best that I can.
I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through, I’m ashamed of the person I am.
Isolation, isolation, isolation.
But if you could just see the beauty, these things I could never describe,
These pleasures a wayward distraction, this is my one lucky prize.
Isolation, isolation, isolation, isolation, isolation. (Ian Curtis, Joy Division)
I’m not feeling depressed or particularly sad today, just isolated and angry. How many good people have I pushed away over the course of my life? I can’t even begin to count. Part of it was a fear, an overwhelming, paralyzing, bone deep fear.
What if I get to know you and like you and then you slam me down hard? Safer to stay at a distance. Even worse, what if you get to know me and like me and then I kick you to the curb one day when I’m out of my mind with agitation. I don’t know how or why I’ve lived like this for so long. I think another part of this comes from feeling like damaged goods. “I’m a loony toon; you better stay away from me for your own good.”
I know it’s ridiculous to feel this way, but that doesn’t help much. It’s like having a broken leg, you know it is broken but it still hurts like a bitch. Every time phone rings I almost jump out of my skin and think, “Oh God, what now? What loose string have I left untied? What did I do that I need to apologize for or explain?”
Regaining a semblance of sanity and balance is a good thing. But, when I look behind me and see the of destruction I wove while in and out of my mind, it’s like looking at a aerial footage of the path of a tornado.
Yea, yea, I didn’t do as much damage as a tornado, but not by much, at least that’s what it feels like. Would it have different if I had been diagnosed with bipolar years or decades ago? How can I know that? Would I have made different decisions? Chosen a different path for my life? Hiding behind the skirts of my wackier family members it was always so easy to wave a banner and say “See, I’m the normal one, taint nuthin wrong with me!”
Some part of me knew something was not right in my brain. I guess I just wasn’t ready to face it head on. Who is to say anything would be different? Maybe it would have been worse? Maybe I would have used mental illness as a crutch to excuse myself from inexcusable behavior.
Today I go to see my physio-key-atrist. I’m expecting it to go something like this. “OK, we’ve abated the crisis and stopped the bleeding, the hypomanic mixed states, but what now? Where do I go from here?” I don’t know how or what a normal stable state feels. I feel like a blindfolded painter expected to draw a landscape I’ve never seen. I just don’t know where or what to do next.