I no longer classify days as ‘good’, that is just some therapy induced bullshit that tries to diminish whatever demons you’re battling in your mind at any given time. “Oh, I won five bucks at a scratch off I found on the ground, it was a good day.” Pfft. Mental health disorders give zero fucks about good things happening to you. That’s the hallmark of a mental disorder, anyway, when good things happen and you still feel like curling up into a ball and ceasing to exist. So forget ‘good days’ or ‘good’, period. Because in mental chaos, even the ‘bad’ days can end up feeling like a win for whatever reason. The dictionary is out the bloody window when your mind is in perpetual chaos.
Yesterday, for me, was a golden day. Nothing good happened. If anything, my kid returned from her weekend stay at her grandma’s and spent three hours playing outside with her friend (NOISE), read a book, played on the tablet, and declared, after being out of school three days, “Ugh, how much longer til summer is over, Mom? I’M BORED!” The stress of a bored child is bad enough but a hyperactive child who can’t be interested in anything more than five minutes…on a 95 degree day with only a window unit attempting to cool the place…if anything yesterday was miserable. I’m allergic to the PH in my own sweat so short of sitting in front of a fan or AC the entire time awake, I am constantly itchy and uncomfortable.
Yet I didn’t even realize until 11 p.m…19 hours after my last dose…I hadn’t taken a single smidgeon of Xanax. In spite of the discomfort and anxiety and stress…I was just plugging along, managing to live life despite its discomfort and sensory overload, and I wasn’t hating anything or anyone. I was…living.
THAT is what defines a golden day for me.
I spend so much time feeling like I have to justify my existence because, yes, I am on disability for my mental conditions, and not a moment passes I don’t feel like shit for not working, and barely a moment passes my family doesn’t make me feel like a freeloading pile of horse dung for it as well. So I am in a constant battle, doubting myself, questioning myself, wondering if I am just lazy or neurotic or hey, maybe that one therapist was right, maybe I’m totally borderline instead of bipolar and I managed a long con of ten different doctors all in agreement that my condition is disabling…
Times like that are when I have to do some deep soul searching and reflection.
Because I see people working the disability con game. The ones who can’t work yet they constantly post on social media about going out to eat, or a concert, or taking a vacation, or a road trip, or they finished reading some great American novel that was 15,000 pages long…
I can’t do any of that stuff no matter how much I might want to. Because even my golden days are tainted by my disorders. It’s not a matter of simply not wanting to do icky or difficult things. I am often crippled from doing the very things that nourish my soul and fuel my heart to want to keep fighting this bullshit battle with my own mind.
And let me save any “I got over it, you can, too! pep talks anyone might want to give. Because I hate them, and I hate people who give them. If you got over it, then you weren’t disabled by it. I may be able to learn to cope better, but I will never simply get over it. It’s not some tumor I can have removed, or some psychic wound I can get counseled beyond. The very chemicals in my brain that are supposed to tell me to be happy or be sad or feel scared or feel excited in a good way- they don’t cooperate, they don’t work the way they should, they simply don’t give a damn if I want them to get with the fucking program so I can live life to the fullest.
My proof may not appear in any blood test or on a microscopic slide, but the proof is in the fact that just two months ago, I was in a suicidal space. No plan, not intention to act, but seriously thinking it was all so bad that it was my only out other than accepting the miserable darkness.
Going into week 4 on Cymbalta…my whole outlook has changed. My energy may not be up and my housework may be approaching biohazard level, but the fact that I no longer see death as a logical solution, that I can see good things in the bad stuff, the fact that I went all those hours without a Xanax in spite of the anxiety and stress I was feeling…
I am getting one or two of those a week, so I get a little giddy thinking about my next doc appointment and the possibility of maxing the dose to 80 mg. If 40 got me this far, even dropping off the secondary antidepressant, well, 80 might just put me in a place where I get more golden days than dark ones.
And that’s something to hope for, to get fucking excited about!
It’s no cure, and I am medication resistant so I won’t be thinking this is my lifelong antidote but after months and months of misery and blackness…this is light at the end of the tunnel and my brain ISN’T telling me it’s an oncoming train for once.
This is fucking golden!
I’m still edgy, uncertain, easily taxed out and over sensitive to noise so I won’t be doing that dining out or concerts or amusement park thing any time soon even if OMG, I miss the occasional dinner out, hearing a live band, and riding a damned roller coaster sooo much…
Right now, I am living life, I am being a mom, a better one, at that, now that I am mentally present in her life…so I’m gonna wrap it up with a bow and call it golden.
Not good. Not bad.
But coping in spite of it all and my brain behaving itself? Damn near worthy of platinum.