On The Edge Of Madness
Death comes close, slowly, quietly and with her dark promises of no more pain, no more loneliness, no more just trying to hold on. She wraps me in her long dark cloak of darkness, coolness surrounds me and the feeling of emptiness begins to lift. I float effortlessy in the void of nothingness she offers. The darkness is heavier now and I embrace it, just wanting the suffering and pain to be over. I reach out, answering her call...do I dare go further, I sink deeper in her tight embrace...Do I let go? Do I dare take the final step...into oblivion, into nothingness, into what I used to be, into the point of no return?
June 1st, 2011
These past few months have weighed heavily on me. I have spent for the most part being depressed or angry. Angry at everyone and everything aroung me. Hell's wrath unleashed on all, no where to run, no where to hide. These feelings are hauntingly familiar, I have been here before. The last time was right before my breakdown. My husband, my dreams, my world, my hopes and dreams, shattered. Never to be the same again. No one to talk to, nowhere to go, who would understand. i am trapped with no way out.
"who do you run to when it all falls down, whos gonna pick you up off of the ground"? My favorite song yet I can't remember who sings it. HEART? I'm not sure, but it plays over and over in my mind. I feel numb, empty, and hurt. The worst of these feelings is not wanting to exist anymore. It eats at you like acid on your insides. Over and over the thought plays...no button to fast-forward, or erase...just PLAY, over and over again. Will it ever stop. PLEASE JUST STOP!!
I have spent the past almost year in this state. I am tired, exhausted and do nothing but sleep, but even in this state my mind never stops. I spend all my waking time thinking about yesterday, yester-year or my whole life...it all comes down to nothing, it all adds up to nothing. I feel I am with all my accomplishments...NOTHING.
This is what is referred to as the depressive phase of bipolar illiness, It is usually not so bad for me as I tend to stay more up than down. it usually occurs in the winter months when it is dreary, dark and cold, but can occur at any time without warning. It feels like almost winning a marathon then suddenly before the finish line you get hit in the head by a sledgehammer. Mine seems to be caused by the weather and by life circumstances, I have lost 6 familiy members in 8 months, 13 in less than a year, the last my baby sister of 36 years died of lung cancer that spread to her brain. My sister was the only one of 14 children that did not smoke.
Being disabled, alone and suffering from mental illness is hard enough, but the stima that occurs with it is enough to make anyone want to just give up. During these past 8-to 10 months i first tried looking for a job...nothing panned out. though I hold 3 college degrees and have excellent references, at the drug screen it always ends. The reason being that even though by federal law I am not required to disclose my mental illness, many of the 18 medications I take are schedule two narcotics which will show on a drug panel, thus requiring an explanation. The explanation is not well recieved in most cases....we are still interviewing, we will call you is the common response. Days, weeks pass no call. During this time bills and obligations accumulate. Even though I made 63,000.00 ayear as cross country truck driver, 28,0000 a year as an officer and much more as a bilingual paralegal-interpreter, I draw a a sad amount of $536.00 a month on social security disability from which I pay a medicare premium of 97.00 a month and $3.25 for each of the 18 medications. What do I have left to send him? How do I pay my bills? This is my reward for paying into a system that i thought would be around to help me out when I was old or, in my case became disabled early. my physician can't figure it out. He keeps upping the dose of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. I keep falling further and further down. I find pleasure in nothing, except my saturday phone calls and his letters. i can't find the energy to even write my articles except a few pieces of broken poetry, which I humbly offer up to my readers. They are kind and compassionate. My score has not fallen below 90, I try to smile, I can't. The promise of nothingness and no pain seem all too inviting in this dark, uncaring world where I now sub-exist.
Most persons are unable to understand a state of depression that is so crippling that you can't even get out of bed, comb your hair, or eat. This lasts for months on end. Sleep, not feeling and darkness are the only relief. It's not a bad day or week...it's a bad eternity, where nothing matters...and worse, I no longer care. I reach the point where months have passed that I have not written a single word and have been unable to think enough to answer and keep up with my comments. I lie here lo0st in the oblivion and the reminders of things that once made my life worth living. I have suffered from bipolar disorder since a very young age, I am told. it wasn't much recognized in my first suicide attempts at age 15, then again at age 27. It was a secret that my family kept well hidden...it would later be revealed that my mother as well as two of my sibilings suffered from it. I can not blame them , who wants to be known of as crazy. Even though some of the worlds most gifted artists, writers, and musicians as well as many other well known celeberties have now come forward...the stigma still remains. It is scary to realize in times of lucidity that death is een as a relief to my dying eyes. Even more scary is the fact that at least 75% of those with this illness, which I have lovingly come to call "my monster" will die by their own hand, by taking their own life, by suicide.
After being diagnosed, it took me two years to accept the diagnosis, it would take 5 more to learn how to overcome it and realize that I am ill, I am not the illness. I became a mental health peer, a mental health counselor, and now a mental health advocate. I am also a counselor for the mentally ill with special needs, such as those incarcerated. It is perhaps my highest accomplishment.
It has been I realize around 10 months that I am this way. I wake up at 3pm and see the sunshine, I drag myself out of bed and sit outside for 4-5 hours. I read my old hubs..I have new followers. I read the comments and for the first time in a long time I smile. I pull gently from the arms of lady darkness. I'm not ready to go yet, it's not my time. Maybe another day...another episode. It's summer and I watch my son of 9 playing and laughing. I suddenly realize it's summer, bright and sunny. I get up and go inside, call my crisis counselor and while I wait write for her write this hub. Thank you for making it worth while. I know now that somewhere on the edge of madness there is reason if I can focus long enough to see it.