This happens a ton! You feel like you’ve been on an acid trip for weeks. Your mind keeps racing and spinning circles. Sometimes those thoughts keep you up all night and day. And when you finally decide to shut down, it seems everyone is having a crisis of some sort. Ugh… I hate days like that! There are days that I’m going to be passed out cold. This is one of those weeks. After reading several books in a row, I became burnt out. So yesterday, I shut down. I didn’t hear anyone. And I wasn’t waking up for anyone. I stayed out for the entire day. When your brain has finally had enough, it just shuts down. My body was already out. I couldn’t wake up if I tried. That’s the problem with mania. You’re excited and bouncing off the damn walls. Your brain is on crack (not really).
So these are some of the thoughts that rotate in my sick brain. Over the years, I’ve learned to tune them out. Some thoughts are gut-wrenching. This is what it’s like to live inside my head. Do you really want to know what it’s like to suffer from mental health disorders? This is what my twisted mind thinks of on a regular basis. Sure, I could take medicine. The problem with Anxiety medicine is that it fuels Borderline and Bipolar I for me.
This is what my Bipolar looks like on a daily basis… “We need to go, go, go! You have this many books waiting on you and this many books to write! Dammit, let’s go! Put on some rock and let’s get this party started! 4 books in one day! SURE! Let’s go! Come on, lazy ass! Let’s go! We got this! Write! WRITE! Where’s the party? I need a beer. Let’s get some alcohol! Money? Let’s blow it! We can smoke a blunt and drink like there’s no tomorrow! Party! Sex… are you feeling horny? I’m horny… we need sex! Loosen up! Let’s party! Write one book, let’s try for twenty books! Better put that erotic scene in! Order one book? No… we need to order 100 books! We can hide them, don’t worry! I got this, J… go relax! That bitch think she can out-read us! We’ll show her! Let’s go for 1000 books! That’ll shut that bitch up! Make sure you take notes. I can’t tell you what to write down, if I’m in control. Clothes? Let’s go with the sexy ones! Don’t worry… your husband can get over it! Pfft… 50,000 words? No… we can write 150,000 words and in three days! Let’s run a marathon today! Oh, and say hi to the voices!”
Bipolar isn’t as bad but she’s still a bitch. I’ve learned to tell the husband to keep all financial shit away from me. I’ll spend it without a second thought. I’ve learned to keep this bitch occupied. Sometimes it’s really bad. Two nights ago, I had auditory hallucinations. Nothing to fear but they’re back. I noticed the more tired I am, the more I hear shit and see shit that isn’t here. Most of the time, they call out my name. Sometimes it’s a male voice and other times, it’s a female voice. Always right by my ear. Sometimes it sounds like it’s on a loudspeaker. The funny thing is when my husband notices. I’ll stare at the ceiling. “Honey, what are you looking at?” And I’ll say this. “Did you hear that?” “Hear what?” “Nothing.” That’s how I know, I need sleep.
There are times, I would like to stick a big meat fork through my head. And when someone reads my book… BPD has something negative to say. And here’s what my Borderline thoughts constantly remind me…
“You know it sucks, right? They’re going to hate it and you. WTF are you even writing? You know it’s shit! You’re epic fantasy all right… more like a big epic fail! You’re not as talented as all those other writers. You SUCK! Look at all those other writers, you’ll never be as good as them! HA HA! You fucked up! You’re husband is going to leave you, once he realizes how truly pathetic you are. Everyone can be replaced. And your kids will grow up to hate you, too! Stupid loser! College dropout! Epic failure! I won’t be going away anytime soon! Take those pills, I’ll still remind you for the rest of your life, what a pathetic loser, you truly are. You’ll end up just like Virginia Woolf, except without her talent. Because you suck! You’ll never be good enough! Ta-Ta! You’re going to church… CHURCH? That cross will light on fire as soon as you sit down! Just like the day your daddy left. You weren’t good enough! You’re the brat that couldn’t shut up! No wonder why he left… I’d leave too! Loser!”
Thank you, Borderline! I fucking hate you. I fucking hate everything about you. You’re cruel and you’re a bitch. I don’t even need to worry about negative reviews, you do that to me anyway. I have a brain that cruelly torments me to the breaking point. Fuck you, Borderline! You’re a cunt, twunt, and twat waffle. I hate every little seed of doubt you put into my head. I hate the way you lie to me. I hate how you make sure that I’m worthless. You’re the manipulative bastard, I hope one day, there’s a cure for. You would be the first mental health disease, I would cure. To get rid of you, it would be a miracle. You’re the demon, I can’t stand.
These are my constant thoughts of Anxiety when it jumps in the mix…
“I feel like throwing up. Where’s the toilet? Let’s throw up. I’m going to be sick. Do they like it? Do they hate it? Are the kids okay? Is your husband okay? Better check the doors. Nope, check those doors again. Better check those windows. What if a fire starts and we can’t get out? Check those windows again. Check the kids again. Make sure they’re breathing. Are they breathing? Good, check the husband again. Is he breathing? Put your hand on their chests. Make sure they’re okay. Go throw up. Are you sure you want to do this? Are you really sure you want this? What if you’re having a heart attack? HEART PALPITATION! GREAT! We’re having a heart attack! Don’t eat that… HEART ATTACK. Let’s throw up again. Politics… he’s going to kill us all! We’re going to be nuked into oblivion! Stay away from the television! NO! Don’t you do it! You’ll become paranoid! Stop it! God, why won’t they legalize marijuana? Fucking red state! Write, mofo! WRITE! Get us out of here! Get us out before we start seeing “happy” songs that you know you’ll hate. Breathe… BREATHE! HEART ATTACK! What’s that smell? Fetal position! Get down! We don’t do heights… we will fall to our death! You know it isn’t stable! HEIGHTS! We can’t breathe! It’s hot in here! HEART ATTACK! Aaron died in his sleep. What if we don’t wake up? Are you sure we should sleep? Aaron died of sleep apnea and he was just a few days older than you. Maybe we should call the doctor. Public? What if they have strep? You’ll break out again! Stay home. We don’t do well with crowds. What if a shooting happens and we can’t get to the exit door in time? Look for the emergency exits. What if our kid does something stupid and we aren’t there to protect them? What if someone breaks in, when we’re not home? Better call the school and check on the kids. Email the teachers and make sure they’re okay. Oh God… we have an idiot for a president! No traveling now! It’s better to stay home. Safe and sound. People die from car wrecks. Stay home. You see, I knew there was something wrong with us! The doctor found pneumonia!”
I know these thoughts are irrational. That’s how my mind works 24/7. I’ve lived like this for many years. Sometimes, they win. Other times, I win. It’s a constant battle. Luckily, no self-harm or suicide ideation has done anything to me. Not since 2014. I’m three years in. Every time, I feel my chest getting tight, I know it’s Anxiety. Every time, I have crippling doubt, I know it’s Borderline. Every time I write to death or read to death, I know it’s Bipolar. My husband can see the signs and he will put his face near mine. He reminds me to breathe. Somehow, he’s able to snap me out of it. Almost like magic. He does it in sweet soothing tones. He never yells or screams at me. When I cry, he lets me cry. He will hold me until I come back. He also has the copies to all my manuscripts. He keeps me contained. The problem with Borderline is that you have nightmares of the person closest to you, leaving. It will make up nightmares that the other person is cheating on you, when they aren’t. In the beginning, I was always accusing.
How do I know he’s not cheating? He leaves his phone out for me to check. He leaves his email open. He talks to me during lunch and last night. Last night, I watched him fall asleep with all the kids around him. They were curled up sleeping around their daddy. Samara fell asleep in his lap, sucking her thumb. Jasper curled up next to him. Danny slept in front of him and Zach slept next to him. They all fell asleep watching television. Even though he’s left those things open for me to check, I stopped checking years ago, many years ago. It’s tempting but I don’t need that reassurance. With Borderline, it takes a while to trust people.
When we do trust, we become faithful and loyal to that person. We’re not looking for the nearest exit sign out of a relationship. But it takes years. It can’t be done overnight. We’ve been burned and broken. And God help anyone that fucks with them. My husband laughs and calls me his junkyard dog. “Do you want me to kick their asses?” “No, it’s okay.” I’m extremely overprotective of my husband and my kids. Yes, they can handle themselves. But I don’t want anyone to hurt them.
Those are some of my thoughts that seem downright scary. Let me remind you that I’ve been battling Borderline for seventeen years. Possibly even longer. Anxiety has been there but not professionally since 2014. I recognize symptoms I had for many years. It was the newest diagnosis but the oldest one. Bipolar, diagnosed in 2004. But I’ve had nasty bouts with it since 96. So over 21 years. It’s always going to be a nasty battle. I wish I could wake up one day and not worry or have those thoughts. It would be nice to wake up with a “normal” brain. But, mine isn’t made that way. I have to recognize my emotions for the day and check myself. That old adage… “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” What else do I do? “And this too, shall pass.” “Go to sleep, because tomorrow will be a better day.” “You’re just having a bad day. It will be better tomorrow.” “Breathe in for three seconds and breathe out the negativity.” Those thoughts are what keeps me going. “If they don’t like your book, it will be okay. Just study harder and the next book will be better.” “It won’t be the end of the world. So what if they don’t like it! At least you tried!” Those thoughts are what keeps me going. The “I love you’s,” is what keeps me going. I will not allow these mental health illnesses drag me to the bottom of the ocean. I’m alive and I’m fighting this endless war inside my own head. Hope, love, and believing is what keeps me going. To battle suicidal thoughts, I set goals for the next day. I try to stay positive as much as I can. It doesn’t seem like it but I try to stay in that mindset. And besides, my husband wants to take me to a rock concert. Nerves… He tricked me with my favorite bands. I love Def Leppard and Poison. I can’t allow anxiety to rule my life. I haven’t been to a concert in many years. Yeah, they’re old guys… but I still will crank up a Def tune or a Poison tune. The 80’s were cool! I’ll score another concert t-shirt. Maybe 3 of them. Life is about taking chances. And I need to start taking some.