Dead End

Some days I’d feel insane.

And I know that’s a vague concept to explain, because at some point we’ve all felt that way. The only difference is where it led us.

While you took a nap and binge watched Netflix, I felt my mind shatter into a million pieces. I felt like I could fly, but the logical part of my brain told me that was false – and I got angry. Because I wanted to be as free as the birds I watched in the morning sunrise. On the days that you felt the blues, I was the blues. My body crumbled as I placed my toes to the ground. A functioning human being is what I pretended to be during these weeks.

So I made questionable choices to make myself feel some version of alive. And these have made me a liar in my honest nature. I wanted to escape these mountains that I was forced to climb every day just to act normal. Drugs kissed my mental wounds and told me that I could relax for a minute, so I fell asleep peacefully and thought about never coming back.

Life couldn’t continue on this endless trail; I found myself stumbling over broken branches and loosing my footing every two steps. So I became determined to find a solution that would lead me to a better place. Snow caps on mountains were a beautiful sight at a distance, but they were hell to get to in one piece.

It’s been two months now, and I’m stuck in the limbo between being mentally unstable or a new version of pill-popper. Every outlet had been exhausted and this was my last resort. Yet, as I popped a pill every morning and every night, I still heard harmless whispers saying, “Be careful, I’ve had friends kill themselves on that shit.” Though the warning was in concern, it was also a message of, “You’re a fool for thinking this medication will make you any resemblance of normal.” 

While I see a stability that I’ve never experienced before, you look at me as though I’ve changed. My head sits high because I’m no longer afraid. My anxiety has subsided and I no longer find it terrifying to talk to another person. I am my version of ‘better’, but you still think of it as a mistake because I am not who I was. You fear I’ll take my own life because of this medication, but the reality is that without this medication…I’ve already tried. I cannot go any lower than I was, and I’m intelligent enough to know the warning signs. The only difference is now my mind is steady enough to recognize I never want to go back to that dead end, repetitive behavior. The only thing missing is your support, instead of your fear that being a pill-popper will kill me in the end, rather than the disease of Bipolar Disorder.

The Love That You Gave Me

You said we could be lovers. You knew just how to inspire me, and I went along with it. Because pain brought out the best storyteller in me and I loved telling heart-breaking tales, even if it killed me. It nearly did. I fell asleep after a nod was too much for my head to return to an upright position. I pretended to be fine, but realized it was a lie as I sat at the desk, staring at my reflection in the vast mirror that hung on the wall. You were suppose to make life bearable, but you only made it worse.

I clutched my stomach and ran to the bathroom at the thought of you. Slowly, I began losing what little weight I already had. But I didn’t care, I just wanted you to love me. Every hit brought me closer to this delusion of love that you created. I could say goodbye to the ex-lovers who beat me, but why couldn’t I say goodbye to you?

My first introduction to N.A. was in Philadelphia of 2014. A friend was going to a meeting while we were on our weekend getaway with a bunch of other friends. At this point in time, my problem was still a secret, so I went as moral support in disguise. I quickly found that Philadelphia had uninspiring meetings. We left halfway through the meeting due to side conversations that wouldn’t hush, and being outsiders, we weren’t trying to push politeness onto strangers.

My second meeting was in Florida 2017. My friend – who attended A.A. frequently – offered to take me to N.A. I never shared in my first meetings. I felt as though I shouldn’t be sitting in that room, because I was much younger than most people and had less years tallied in my drug and alcohol problems. I questioned again, whether I really had a problem or not because I had listened to horror stories that my own couldn’t compare to.

Now this is where my mental illness – undiagnosed – takes over. My emotions are swirling around my head, flaring up at random moments, and causing destruction along the way. This is why I stopped drinking. Because a third of the way into the bottle, and I am sobbing over my regrets and dead friends. And the people around me look at me like I’m a ticking time bomb. Honestly, the only thing that was wrong was my self-medicating habits that never really solved my problems. Yet I looked to you, as if you could conquer any demons that scratched at my eyes. I found you in a heartbeat, because your love was something you gave away so freely. I frequently kissed goodbye because I knew you couldn’t save me, but I so desperately wished you could.

Now I’m sitting here without your love, and at times, I feel empty. I tell myself that I could control it, but I’ve been sober long enough to know that it is a lie. So I open my cabinet in the bathroom, I stare at two bottles full of required medication to keep my head level, and I shake out a morning pill. I turn it over in my hand for a moment, silently contemplating if the rest of my life would be filled with happy pills. I wonder if they’re working, or if I just think they’re working. I wonder if they’ll stop working. And if they do, where does that leave me?

I think it’s safe to say that drugs and alcohol were never my real problem. My fear is of myself, and this disease that has tortured me since I was fourteen years old. Only now does it have a name, and I don’t know what to do with it.

Your Curiosity Killed The Cat 

You laughed like it was a joke. And I laugh with you because I’ve never given a hint that “bisexual” could be a term to describe me. But while you laugh at the possibility I could also be fond of women, I am left questioning my reality. 

I’ve never had a girlfriend, so I’m just confused

I’m in a relationship with a man, so I must be straight

I begin to wonder if my feelings are even valid… because you decided that being bisexual was just simple confusion, and not who I am. But I could tell you how I studied the flawless features of my best friend. I’d stare at her like she was the best thing on this planet and I loved spending time with her. Or I could remind you of the nervousness I felt as I gazed over my shoulder at my friend. We stood across the room from each other, changing into bathing suits, and I couldn’t help but wish she was as curious as I. As I turned back around, I told myself I didn’t have feelings for girls. It was all in my head and I denied how I felt until I was 22. I was afraid people wouldn’t believe me because I just didn’t fit the stereotype. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is…

I’m bisexual. Get over it. 

A Letter To My Falling Out

You came up to me in gym class, your arms folded and your brown hair dangling just above your shoulders. You seemed so confident and relaxed, surrounded by people you knew, but were strangers to me. There was a click and it felt like we had known each other our whole lives. There were no awkward conversations, everything just kind of flowed.

Summer came and we were attached at the hips. We bonded over writing and The Simms. Our hair and style brought us to the conclusion that we were twins, and we both wanted to be a doctor after graduating college. Wind blew our hair in crazy directions as we blasted 3OH!3 in your car, and danced like we weren’t driving down a major highway.

We went weeks without speaking once I moved to Delaware. The moment I sent a text or a Facebook message though, it was as if we talked the previous day. Nothing had changed. We were still close and I was thankful, because you were the very first best friend I found after leaving my hometown.

Now you are a ghost I no longer know; and if it were up to me, our lives would be different. We’d still be best friends, but you’re hung up on a grudge I don’t understand; one I think you’ll come to regret over time. If you’re somehow reading this, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being cocky, I just know who you are despite what you may think these days. It would be easy to just stay angry at what I think is unjust, but like I said before you cut me off:

No matter how much we fight, you will always be my best friend – my sister – and I love you. 

So whether it’s days or whether it’s years, you know where I am and I will always be there for you. I’m not saying I’ll have open arms to catch you in a hug – I will have colorful words to speak – but I will be there.

Sometimes, I Am Me

“How are you doing?”

The voice yanks me out of my own anxiety bubble. Hmm?

“You seemed down yesterday,” my group mate continued scribbling on the daily assessment sheet.

“Oh…” I poked my feet into the ground in a nervous twitch, “Ehh..yeah, I’m good.”

My lips find their way to the placebo coffee I always grabbed on my way into the program. It was a distraction from the empty room that morning. I hadn’t taken my Trazodone in three days, and anxiety was back to clawing at the base of my legs like a lost puppy. The walls were closing in around me.

In group therapy you’re suppose to talk about your problems, but I always felt bad when I talked about myself. I don’t want to explain the depressing history of my life because I hate the facial expressions people cannot control. When they hear of the things I’ve been through in only twenty-two years, they are baffled at how I managed to survive on my own. And the truth is…by a single thread.

Because being me, means my hands are shaking as the room fills up with people I don’t know, so I fill the silence with nervous habits of crossing my legs over and over again, or playing with my hair – poking at split ends. Sometimes I just freak out and I escape to the bathroom like I’ve always done as a kid.

Being me, means having mood swings and destroying everything like a fucking hurricane intent on leaving nothing but disaster behind. One moment I’m fine, and the next, I’m ready to pop your head like a balloon, because I’m just tired…

I’m tired of everything and everyone and sometimes I can’t even move. I dream of all the things I want to accomplish, while I’m sleeping through that time to do them. And I ask myself why I do this – because I know better – but it’s like my brain has decided to take the month off. So I roll with it. What else is there to do?

These medications have my head in a haze. I don’t even know if they’re working. I’m sitting on the floor, like I’ve always done, searching this plain room for an answer I know I’ll never find. And I can feel depression clawing at the brick wall that this Prozac has created in the past month. It holds off the true effects of the disease; I can now lose myself in depressing thoughts without feeling a damn thing. Is that a positive? I’m not sure anymore.

So now I’m simply going through the motions with little to no feeling at all. It’s a better change than feeling everything so intensely, but does that mean it’s helping? Or am I just making myself believe it does?

 

 

Sorry For My Absence

Its been a while since I’ve posted. Honestly, I felt like it would be better to give up this site. I wasn’t sure where this blog was heading, and honestly, I still don’t know. But I want to make it something. So this is my “Hey, don’t forget about me!” post. I’m going to work on one writing and hopefully start posting again. 
Yours truly.

Trust

Yesterday I went back to NA. It was terrifying at first. I sat, sipping on coffee, debating whether or not I really needed to be there. But everyone always says: If you’re thinking about going, you probably need to. So I decided to go; one meeting wouldn’t hurt.

As I listened to the first two stories, I became depressed. One guy had just left the Vines after trying to kill himself, and another woman expressed grief about an addict who OD’d two days prior. Why was I here? But the next speaker hooked me in. He spoke like a well-versed motivational speaker. I didn’t want it to end because his words were giving me hope; not only that I could get better, but so could any addict. The longer I sat in that room, the more hope and happiness filled me up. I felt a little bit better. Now I want to continue.

After sharing was over, an addict announced the handing out of chips. Lauren nudged me and told me to grab mine. This little girl was holding a silver, tin bucket filled with different colored chips. She fished out a white one and held it out. I couldn’t help but smile as I took it. 

“Thank you,” I whispered.

I turned the chip over and read the words: Just for Today.

It’s a small promise – to only stay sober today – and you don’t have to worry about tomorrow. 

I kept my chip in my hand the rest of the night; it felt like protection. Standing in the circle as we huddled close and said a few hopeful words, I felt understood. I didn’t see these people as addicts, I saw them as some twisted family. Everyone just wanted to get better, but they didn’t want to – or couldn’t – do it alone. And I’ve felt that way before.

Today is Trust.

Just for Today: I will decide to trust someone. I will act on that trust.

So I’m going to trust that NA will work. I’m going to trust myself to stick with it. I think that’s what I’m most afraid of – not trusting myself to work the program, because I decide that I don’t need it.

Recovery vs Relapse