Tuesday, July 3, 2012
She's a maniac
Instead of a midnight walk to the railroad tracks, I reached out for my phone and left an after-hours message for my therapist. She returned my call straight away upon arriving at her office this morning, and I saw her today.
Here is what I know (and what my therapist told me): Making that call was brave; I wanted to die. Making that call took incredible strength; I was so tired. Making that call was wise; I wanted to end all thought process because even simple awareness caused me unimaginable pain.
I hate the deep depressive states the most. The intrusive thoughts of ending my life used to frighten me, but now I know them like certain old toys. You know the ones -- the toys you take out and play with on occasion - the rainy day toys. The 'what if' toys. The whispering toys.
I happened upon a quote from novelist Anne Lamott yesterday that tugged at the despair and actually gave me a bit of a chuckle. For all I know it probably helped my hands reach for that phone. It said, “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
My darkness is the darkest of the dark and the most horrific of all horrors. It is a closed box void of all choices but one - to stop the brain. It's peaceful in a way - there is nothing else, just the plan and the hope that the plan works.
Falling asleep last night was like throwing a life preserver out for the sunrise. I made it. Not only did I make it, but I greeted the sun with wide, wild eyes.
Enter the maniac.
I hit the ground running - literally running. I ran downstairs and throughout the house - circling each room for no reason other than to see it, smell it, leave my spirit in it. I did this until my bladder decided that a pit stop was in order. I barely finished there when I called to my husband - still in my pajamas - and yelled that I needed something to eat to take my prednisone. The dog was by my side for all of this, but not for the fun - she was whining and crying on our wild and confused tear through the house. She was afraid. I was afraid. I woke up in a full on manic state.
My husband took me to get some food, which I swallowed without chewing when we returned. Knowing that these moods can be a quick flash or protracted and painful, I took advantage of the beginning stages of this upswing and brushed my teeth, listened to a couple of new albums while pacing the floor, answered my therapist's call, took a shower (for the first time in 5 days, performing each action 8 times. Twice), dressed, decided that we all needed manicures and pedicures (my husband had a pedicure today)...and then it got worse just before I entered the hospital this afternoon to meet with my therapist. I know how this works. I could not write my name. I could not speak my name to the receptionist, who had to call for my therapist who quickly took care of the usual paperwork. My thoughts were coming hard and fast - too hard and fast to process and it made me very afraid. It always makes me afraid. It's as though some invisible force is wearing me as a suit for a marathon. It's exhausting. So scary. It's near as bad as the lowest of lows because that is where the high drops you. Imagine running up the side of a building, reaching the top, floating over the height of things...never touching the ground. This actually feels quite nice for a short time. You certainly get things done. At the beginning stages I am hyper-focused, so much so that I am capable of INCREDIBLE moments of brilliant thought. I solve problems, write beautiful words, appreciate splendid music and views, love with my entire heart - it is what I would imagine heaven would be like if it existed. These moments are dubious in their trickery, and they are fleeting. They can go on for a week or more, or tick away with the seconds.
This is different for everyone. For me, because I learn more each time this happens, these moments begin to overlap in a frustrating game of "catch me if you can" and I end up running after the runner in an effort to keep up.
I never catch up. The runner is a heartless bastard.
I soon lose the ability to think clearly. I have a hard time pulling words from the mess in my head. I am unable to write my name, or spell it for that matter. I get anxious, agitated, scared, frustrated. I often lash out in extreme anger - like an animal without a voice. I am held captive by my inability to keep up with the runner. I can literally see the runner leave me standing in the middle of the road --- alone, confused, exhausted.
I write this now with enough valium on board to ground a herd of cattle. I am not tired, but I do have some control over my brain and the typing helps release some of the nervous energy that would usually be spent tapping myself in the head or wringing my hands or tearing at my skin.
These posts are difficult to write (I still click my teeth once for every word - my poor teeth), but writing seems to be the only thing that brings me back these days. Writing is my anchor. These posts are also a way to track my days in real time and end up being very valuable in my treatment and, hopefully, my recovery.
My goal for this day:
☑ Live, no matter what.
I did that.