Tonight (technically it was yesterday, but I haven’t been to bed yet. That’s my rule) two of my best friends came to spend the evening with me. We made the most of me having the house to myself (my parents and sister were out at a wedding reception, which I didn’t feel up to attending) and had a girly evening. They also, without being asked, helped me do the things my mum would help me with (acting as my hands, getting me things I wanted to save my ever painful feet). True, wonderful friends.
We had a good old chat, catching up with each other’s news: laughing, worrying, teasing, comforting, reassuring, innocent gossiping and being scandalised. For any male readers, they are the markers of a proper night of Girls’ Talk. They then helped me clear out my wardrobe – helping me decide what to send to the charity shop, taking some bits for themselves (which they’ll purchase by donating a few pounds to DEBRA), and clambering in to the wardrobe to pull items out, saving my hands and feet, and saving my full-time carer mum a job, as someone had to help me!
During our chat, the girls asked me a very pertinent question: “we know your skin is in a state, but how are you mentally and emotionally?”
Pertinent because, about an hour before they arrived, my mum suggested that we make an appointment as soon as we can, so that I can ask my GP for better treatment for my Bipolar Disorder.
Before I was started on Fluoxetine (Prozac), the idea of suicide was a permanent resident in my mind. Starting on the medication eventually shooed it away, and I felt more stable. My mood swings became far less frequent, and I developed the ability to know when a manic or depressive phase was starting. I’d tell my parents, and I would either do things to make use of my manic time – I get a lot of boring admin done during those times, as the Fluoxetine make them manageable. If it was a depressive time, I was able to talk more openly to my parents, who had endured me sobbing but still insisting “I’m fine, it’s nothing, honest, I’m just being stupid”. Now I could tell them “I can feel it coming on. I need a cuddle and to talk/I’m going up to my room, I need to be alone”. But if I wanted to talk, I would be honest; after my fundraising event, the euphoria of it being a success was huge…then the depression hit. I could tell my mum and dad that it was the come down – what did I have in my life now? What could I do next? It had proved I was too ill to work, which ruined my dreams.
I am incredibly lucky to be twenty-five and still have such dedicated, loving parents. As the Black Dog put its paws around me and growled despair into my ears, my parents would wrap their arms around me, letting me drench them with tears and snot as they pull me into cuddles designed to squeeze the hurt out of my soul.
Unfortunately, as my regular readers know, Fluoxetine hasn’t been working so well recently, with my suicidal tendencies making a reappearance. As my body let me down and drained every bit of energy and fight I had, the Black Dog broke out of its cage, and has been holding me by the jugular ever since.
Some days it lets me make a good show of being truly happy, but it’s always there, hackles up, telling me that I’m worthless, a drain on my parents, a failure, repellent, an oxygen thief, generally wholly unworthy of living.
The days of pretending are getting few and further between. Most days see me burst into tears, or wracking sobs that make my chest ache. Yesterday (Friday) was a emotionally painful day, made worse by the fact that I couldn’t vent my fury without sobbing. In a bizarre way, the tears seemed to help my case and amplify my rage, but I was angry to have uncontrollably cried in front of a crowd of people. I felt so stupid, so childish and embarrassed.
Today, a relative made thoughtless, unfair and hurtful comment. I was barely able to respond, knowing what would happen if I dared to speak too much. Of course, the tears came anyway, and what I would usually have a good old swear about, because it pissed me off, became a knife to my heart. I cried to my mum about it again just now – a good eight hours later.
I don’t want to live like this. I can’t kill myself without help, which no one will give me. I need to live my life, in which I’m me. I need to be a good daughter, not one who makes her parents feel guilty for conceiving her.
So, off to the GP we will go (my mum will come in with me only if I want her to. I’m certain I will). I will ask for something better – hopefully Lithium, which has it downsides but is apparently the first class Bipolar Treatment.
The Black Dog will be rehabilitated, retrained, rehomed.
And I can be me again. Flawed, imperfect, but not as much as I am now.
Wish me luck xxx