A Woman's Insecurity: The Dual Disorder Dilemma
WHATEVER, I'M DONE...
These are the words that come out of my mouth when I am at the end of my rope. They were even considered worth money as with any swear word... a quarter a piece at least, in our house. However, I am now out of money and had to call it quits because these words seem to be a part of who I am. These days, I am having difficulty writing or talking about my true feelings ( my authentic me) for fear of being judged. But frankly at this point, should I really give a damn? If I haven't been able to somewhat not care at this point, will I ever?
I am in a twelve step program and have been a therapy junky for years. Oh yeah, and I am bipolar. Should I even advertise this? Probably not. Don't employers now check Facebook, blogs, My Space, etc. for unseemly behavior and reasons not to hire you or keep you? Who of my 200+ "friends" will read this on Facebook and develop an unsavory opinion of me...Whatever, I say. I was considering bungie jumping, but thought disclosing this little tidbit of information in a blog might be more daring and perhaps enlighten or help someone as opposed to the chance of a rope snapping. Since I chose this, I am alive to continue. I hope to have the desire to stay that way.
I seem to be consistent in both program and therapy most of the time. It wasn't until later in life, when I hit a major bottom that I believed and took seriously my bipolar diagnosis and followed a doctors advice. For years I felt that if I just did more, was better, faster, smarter, skinnier, more outgoing, taller, worked harder, add infinitum, that I would feel better and succeed like so many others around me. I could be like everyone else with a normal life, a college degree, a host of friends and...happy once in awhile. Today I try to remember that this is not the case. Today is better because I accept on some level that having bipolar and being an addict/alcoholic is what I am working with and I don't have to deny that or pretend it isn't there. I also make a conscious effort not to compare myself to others. There is plenty of help out there and today I am choosing to use it whenever I am able. Writing today is from my need to have a handful of really close friends...which I do not.
I let a few choice people into the deep recesses of my personal journey, but I don't let them stay too long. I know shame comes along and decides that a judgement has been made and they must go. It is so glaringly obvious to me now that I crave healthy, loving emotional connections but don't really know how to have them long term. More and more I don't want people too close to me, or so I tell myself. I stand here craving to be emotionally attached to people, all the while giving them the finger. I don't suppose they can overlook that. I am afraid of being detached from, lovingly or not. Change is constant which includes losing and gaining people in your life. It is the loss that has become more and more intolerable over the years. Better to not have loved at all than to have to lose, must be my motto now.
This all stems from a perceived goodbye letter from a friend, whose intent was not consciously to say goodbye and most likely won't turn into one unless on my part. It triggered that feeling of needing too much and shame around who I am. What did I do to get a letter like this? Again, that emotional detachment I attract from others. Friends of mine whose lives get more difficult seem to need less and distance more. Is it just me they do that with or is it their pattern? Do they have other friends that respond in a more loving and open way? Is it because I distance and need less because I feel I need way too much? I certainly don't want nor care to judge, it just makes me sad. I just want to be able to find a way to change this sad and very distinct lonely pattern I seem to have in my life. Where does my fault lie? Must I even continue to call it a fault? Could I embrace this part of me and work at healing it, not hating it? After all this, I start to think this must happen to everyone? Why am I so special? Here comes the...Whatever.
So today I sit here with my daughter and watch movies after a very rainy soccer game at which I try my best to look as if I am social and well put together. I can do nothing else. There is absolutely nothing wrong with today, except I feel sad on a whole. My desire to call and talk to someone can be stifled by food, television, movies, depression or a combination. Mostly I just stay busy. I choose not to call and so people don't notice that I don't. At my high points I tell myself I need to make up for lost time, being too productive and busy to reach out. (By the way, I am very proud of the long list of accomplishments I finish on my up days! Fills the hole) I do get calls into friends I neglect, but am ashamed to share where I have been. I seem to choose friends that don't need me, or I don't need them. Perhaps I need them too much or I won't call them back because of my depression. I am aware today that I have to initiate most if not all of the connections I have. At times it is crushing to know this and at other times it is a relief. I have offered and received offers to be consistent in making plans with friends, but I am unwilling or unable to follow up and then I feel bad. This is because the facade I feel I need show to stay in a friendship can only hold up for so long. With the amount of years in therapy and recovery I desperately want to look more put together. Again, I thought I was past this desire. Not to say I am giving up trying... it isn't in my nature after all this. There are connections in the works once again. These are the feelings today, at this moment and they can change in a heart beat.
Maybe my program has made it difficult to separate my bipolar from my behavior. Can I find where my disorder ends and my 'fault' or should I say addict begins? Did I work my steps, talk to my sponsor, go to my meetings, stay in the middle and not on the edge of the program? When the depression hits do I care? Is it the depression from the bipolar or from not working the steps. This is the insanity that competes in my head. The problem with depression is it can affect behavior and vice versa. I had a friend remind me that depression, if not treated specifically, colors everything else. Those words often got me through the really difficult times. It slowed down the beating I would give myself for not being able to nor at times want to pull out of the black hole I was in. Always in the back of my mind though, I questioned if I was causing it all. Recently I had someone say to me... you have worked on your past, but it is time to live in the solution. What I heard was, you seem to be enjoying being miserable, would you like to try it the right way now? Of course this was not what was meant and I know it. It is just an ongoing tug-o-war in my head to trudge the healthy path and at times I am too exhausted to or ...I'm done. I know others can relate.
So I feel the need, for me, to say that I have come a long way from where I was. Being self aware can be a good thing and it can also be frustrating. I play the piano again, mistakes and all, I have a wonderful daughter who I love dearly and try my best with. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs and haven't for years. I even was able to complete one college degree. All this has been painfully difficult at times and has made me question if I even want to continue... but I do. I am aware of what is and is not healthy in the way of food. I know when I am running and need to slow down, rest and just be with me. And I am ok with me a lot more than I use to be. I could even say today, at times, that I love me. I have fabulous friends that I cherish and love and would do anything for, even in my darkest moments. This blog, by no means, is written to cheapen the relationships I have. On the contrary, they are so important to me that I have a deep desire to keep them.
So, depending on where I am at on the emotional spectrum, I take the time to try to determine the fine line between my behavior and my bipolar or I just accept myself for where I am at. This all sounds so...familiar, yet undecipherable when read. Well this is my brain written down... now for public viewing. What I guess I am hoping for is this to be cathartic for me and if it touches just one person and lets them know they are not alone, then it was worth disclosing. A wonderful woman once said to me "try saying 'I don't want to be done' ." Perhaps I will fill up the quarter jar again and begin charging myself once again for saying "whatever". In the amount of time it has taken me to write this, I have gone from one end of the spectrum to the other and landed in the middle. Not bad...not bad at all.
So here it goes... I don't want to be done, only with writing for today.