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The Blur of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve always been the type of person who has trouble staying¬†still. Constantly moving from one thing to the next, or at least wanting to. It’s hard¬†for me to make a decision because I can’t choose just one thing or focus on one¬†thing. And the worse things get, the faster I want to move. The less I want to¬†slow down or stop or be quiet. I move as quickly as possible to the next job,¬†the next bottle of wine, the next person, party, hobby. I can’t even focus on a¬†20-minute television show for more than five minutes. I can’t do what I love — reading or writing or digesting a film or a record because that would involve¬†me being still and I can’t be still because that means addressing what is¬†happening.¬†Admitting there is a problem. Realizing I’m once again¬†broken. So I speed. I zig and I zag and I am too much.¬†I drink too much.¬†I¬†cry too much.¬†I buy too much.¬†I go as fast as I can for as long as I can until I can’t do¬†it anymore. Until I physically can’t take another step. Until I can’t feel too¬†much anymore.

Until I’m done.

Until I am broken and all I can manage now is to turn off all the lights and sleep and try and remember how I got to this point.

Because by this point all I can remember are blurs.

A blur of me sitting in my car in the rain and crying on the¬†phone while my boyfriend tries to understand why I’m crying.

A blur of me huddled under the covers while my dog remains loyally cemented to the foot of my bed keeping watch.

A blur of me dashing out the door with nowhere to really go because I want to avoid talking about anything that matters with my roommate.

A blur of seeing my mom’s name show up on the phone screen¬†and turning it over so I can pretend I never saw the call.

I remember something¬†about laughing but it’s faint and I can’t remember what was so funny. Something¬†about music but none of the songs make me feel anything. Something about¬†reading but nothing on the pages grabs my attention. Something about nature but
I don’t want to leave my bed. I drive over a bridge and for a moment imagine what it would¬†be like to go over the side. Would it hurt? Would I feel something, anything?

And then I’m in a long abandoned antique mall’s parking lot screaming and¬†choking because I wished it would actually happen. That it would all be over.¬†That I would maybe feel something when I hit the water. But I also don’t want¬†to feel anything or think about anything ever again.

I want everyone to leave me alone but I sob when I think my¬†wish might actually come true. I dream about being surrounded by people and all¬†of them hate me. I dream about everyone I love leaving me and screwing me over.¬†I wake up screaming and scared and shaking. Most of all I wake up angry. I carry this anger around. I wrap myself in it. My journal becomes a scribble of¬†messy, heavy bits of prose and lyrics. I’m angry with myself for letting this¬†happen again and I want everyone to be angry with me, too. I want to feel
something, anything. I stand outside in just a t-shirt. I can see my breath but¬†I’m not cold. I still don’t feel anything.¬†And then all of a sudden I realize I’m sitting on my bed¬†while my roommate sits on one of the numerous mounds of clothes that covers my¬†floor.

‚ÄúThis is the lowest I’ve seen you.‚ÄĚ

I get lunch with my mom.

‚ÄúYou just don’t seem like your usual sweet self.‚ÄĚ

I’m listening again.

Everything is coming back into focus.

I talk on the phone with my boyfriend and don’t spend the¬†entire time in tears.

‚ÄúI love you.‚ÄĚ

And I believe him.

I return texts and phone calls. I sing in the car. I read. I sit on a bench for an hour enjoying how the sun feels hot on my face. I walk outside and shiver because of the cold.

I get up at 7 a.m. and eat a bagel. I spend time deliberately,¬†delicately picking out what to wear. I’m being put back together. But I’m still¬†not there.

The pieces are settling back together. I am settling. I feel¬†quiet inside and I don’t mind.

I stop trying to pack my days full of things one right after¬†the other. I am caught off guard by the scars, but I have a hard time recalling¬†exactly how they got there and am grateful that was a blur.¬†I am grateful because the monsters that terrified me in my¬†dreams were just that — fantastical monsters. I am grateful that though they¬†don’t understand why I can’t pick myself up or crawl out of bed they want to¬†and they try. I am grateful because while he doesn’t understand why, he holds¬†me while my mind moves too fast and everything is just too loud. I am grateful¬†because while she doesn’t understand why, she shares a pint of ice cream and¬†her couch with me while I talk until I have nothing left to say and then it’s OK¬†if I don’t say anything at all. I am grateful because they do understand,¬†at least a little.

I am grateful because they know how it’s going to end and¬†still they stand by patiently, so very close, waiting to push me back up again¬†and again.

Follow this journey on Twenties in Ruin. 

If you or someone you know needs help,¬†please visit the¬†National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the¬†Crisis Text Line¬†by texting ‚ÄúSTART‚ÄĚ to 741-741.¬†Head here¬†for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information¬†here.