Hurdles

I’m not sure what I am writing here, or why am writing here, other than because I feel awful. I just need to let it out, I suppose. In an ideal world I would have an on-going relationship with a therapist, but of course I don’t. So this is one of those posts that is simply me venting. Boring, right? Feel free not to read on.

I suppose the problem is that my life is boring – whilst at the same time, being way too exciting. What I often try to get across to others is that unpredictability is the very core of my disablement. I feel awful today, but tomorrow I could be all too great, stupidly great, recklessly great. Or I could feel worse. My fleeting suicidal thoughts could gain traction. I have no way of knowing. It’s boring because to minimise the chances of it being too exciting, I essentially have to do nothing of note.

We have essential renovations going on. There is packing, there are boxes. Familiar things are being put into storage. There are workmen. Tom and I are sanding and painting and cleaning up the mess. I want it all to be done – we need it all to be done – and I went into it knowing that it would be somewhat stressful, but I have been surprised at how wobbly it’s made me. I am disappointed by this. Like I have been trying to be a functional adult and fallen at the first major hurdle.

We have a short holiday coming up, which ought to be a lovely break from the house stuff. Yet instead of being excited, I am highly anxious. We’re not going anywhere long haul, we’re not going for many days, I’ll have Tom with me all the time, it’s somewhere I’ve been to before. But it’s not just a voyage abroad, it’s a voyage into the unknown in terms of my mental health. I have had some awful, awful times away, and some fantastic ones. I have zero idea how this one will go. I’ve made an appointment with my GP for the day before we go in order to ask for a small amount of diazepam (like many GPs, she’s not going to give me any more than that) in case it all goes badly. I can’t tell you how much I resent having to do this as part of my holiday prep.

With all this going on, it’s probably a really bad time to test out whether I am ready for work, but when you are self-employed you have to take opportunities when they come along; no one else is going to phase a return for you. I am so, so sick of testing out whether I am OK to return to work and being smacked round the face with a big slippery NO, but I really wanted to try again.

I had the chance to go to an event last week, kind of a project relaunch that was billed as a party. It seemed like a great time to try and get back involved, and a chance to reconnect with lovely colleagues who I hadn’t seen in 14 months. Plus – party! I assumed there would be cake. I was really looking forward to it, but then for the couple of preceding days I couldn’t stop crying. It became very clear that I did not have what was needed to get myself into London and be out all day, let alone connect with tens of people and take in a lot of information. It was the right decision not to go, but I felt bitter.

Yesterday I congratulated myself because I did manage to go into central London (it was a journey I had done many times, and I went outside rush hour) to see about perhaps joining a project at somewhere I have often worked. The idea was to slip in on this initiative, initially on a voluntary basis, to see whether I could work there as a freelancer under the Permitted Work rules (I’ve already been given permission to do this). The meeting lasted just an hour and half. At the end I was very tired and my brain was foggy, but overall I felt positive. For some reason the tube bothered me more on the way back, and I felt a bit panicky, but I made it home.

First I fell asleep on the sofa then I kind of generally fell apart. I felt increasingly negative about the holiday, which was frustrating for Tom, who’s planned it for us, and I think we both felt misunderstood. I went to bed on my own, feeling low. I woke up during the night even more times than usual (lurasidone still gives me insomnia) and lay awake with suicidal feelings, my mind returning to consideration of the old methods. I am so disappointed by that. I haven’t “been there” for a good six months or more.

Why can’t I just do stuff? Stuff that normal people take for granted – just the stuff of adulthood?  Why do I keep falling at hurdle after hurdle, even the little ones? I’m not expecting any answers, and I know that so many people reading this wonder exactly the same thing every day. I am far from alone.

Yes, this is how it is. This is my life. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

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About purplepersuasion

40 something service user, activist, writer and mother living with bipolar disorder. Proud winner of the Mark Hanson Prize for Digital Media at the Mind Media Awards #VMGMindAwards 2013. Winner of the World in Mentalists Mood Disorder blog 2012. Regular guest blogger for the International Bipolar Foundation http://www.internationalbipolarfoundation.org/ Expert by Experience working with Mind training department. Working on The Incoming Tide, a bipolar memoir. Find me on Twitter @BipolarBlogger or at my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BipolarBlogger
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