Submitted June 25, 2015
34 years old and more than half of it spent dealing with some form or another of mental illness. The beast no one wants to discuss. From the age of 16 I have dealt with depression. On and off medication. The side effects which take a toll on the body. But nothing could prepare me for what BiPolar disorder would do to me. The highs, the manic episodes, feel so good. You are invincible. Nothing matters. You do what you want, when you want and have no regard for consequences. They don’t exist. You are soaring, you are flying, and the adrenaline rush is like that to being high. Some people notice, others just assume you’re in a good mood. But to you, you just can’t stop. You don’t sleep, the ideas, the work you can achieve. The changes you can make; you feel like a superstar.
But then the crash hits. And it hits hard. The anxiety overtakes you. You feel as if the air around you is closing you in. You feel almost numb. You can’t sleep, you can’t function, and you can’t complete the simplest of tasks. Getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest thing you do. The medication sedates you, it numbs you. The people around you don’t understand. They don’t ride the rollercoaster. The ups, the downs, the really far downs.
You try to keep it together, on the outside. But those smiles, those fake laughs begin to wear away. You begin to break down, you begin to crumble. The invincible thoughts have turned to dark thoughts. You can’t get them out of your mind. It’s constant. You want to end it all. You know there has to be a foolproof way. You’ve tried once and failed. You need to do better this time.
They ask you if you have a detailed plan. I have a plan. I have a plan for when the end of my rope breaks. I’m at the end. I’m not sure how much more I can handle. I’m a burden to those around me. I’m a bad mother to my children. But how do you explain mental illness to a child? They know. They somehow understand it. They are trying to show me love, and all I want to do is push them away. I don’t like them seeing me in the dark hole. It’s not a safe place for a child. They all deserve better than what I can give. I’ve done my part.
I don’t know what else I can do… I used to be so smart and my career was flourishing… now I’m nothing. I’m a particle of what I used to be. My dreams and ambitions will never be met. I worked so hard… for what? Not for this life. I dreamed of success. I was on my way to achieving it and then this happened. The bridge broke, the tower crumbled and now I watch those around me succeeding and living healthy loving lives. What do I live? I live day to day… hour by hour… minute by minute. The clock ticks and my heart races; my breathing is laboured. . . . Life is closing in and I want to give in to it. I’m left alone. I want those around me to flourish, to enjoy life, to succeed where I have failed, to love how I wanted to love.