I’m staring at a blank screen and thinking, I’m supposed to be sharing how I feel. And then I realize, I don’t have any idea how I feel. I don’t know anything about myself. I suddenly have no idea who I am, which parts of me are real, or what will remain of me. It’s sort of an astonishing feeling. I have known myself better than anything these last years, I have become excruciatingly self-aware. It’s become my art.
I have been sick.
I think to myself, I have always had these moments, a few oddities here and there. I’ve always been idiosyncratic, it’s part of my charm. So I can be a little moody, a little difficult; life can feel just so hard at times. Grin and bear it, everyone’s having a rough time of it.
I have no idea what to believe anymore. I keep trying to wrap my head around a concept of ‘normal’ that I no longer understand. If this is not really me than who am I? Who am I about to become? Will I like her more or less than I like me now? Will I feel normal? Who’s idea of normal?
I made myself an appointment with a therapist a few weeks ago. I was so tired all of the time and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I felt guilty about being so tired all of the time, and it was making me sad. I thought talking with someone would help me soothe all those silly fears that I was going crazy.
I started to feel better just a few days before my appointment on Friday. My optimism seemed to be returning, and most of my energy. A little tired in the late afternoon but coffee helped. I was relieved, time always does the trick, and a bit chagrined, I shouldn’t have made that silly appointment with the therapist.
I decided to keep the appointment anyway. Things had seemed pretty intense during the last couple of months and I’d been pretty scared a couple of times. I’d started to wonder if I had ADHD or some sort of developing OCD. I’ve been so all over the place lately that I’d started to actually worry if that diagnosis 6 or 7 years ago was more accurate than I’d given it credit for. So, I went.
Diagnosis: bipolar. Again. Shit.
And so here I sit, questioning everything. Everything. How many of my past mistakes can be traced back to this diagnosis? How many of my strange fears and anxieties could suddenly make more sense if this is true? How many of those long days of heaviness and nights of insomnia might I be spared in the future?
But what if she’s wrong? What if they both were? I don’t want to claim something that’s not true, to believe something is sick if it’s not. I think, I won’t keep any of the appointments I set up and I’ll pretend, again, that this didn’t happen and work a little harder to keep it all together. I don’t want to try only to lose hope.
My therapist said that medication will help me to not be sick, to help me feel more normal. I guess that means I’ll recognize whatever it is as normal when I get there. I just wonder which one of my ideas of normal it will be.
Do I really want to take medicine? Is that really necessary?
I argue myself back into disbelief and insist I’m going to stay there. There’s just too much unknown, too much risk to even begin to think about mental health. Things have been fine, things are going to be fine, everything is just fine.
But I can’t help but wonder, to be just the smallest bit curious…what if? What if it is possible that I could do more than just ‘get by’? What if I stopped dreading how many years are ahead of me and began to embrace the life of my future? What if the medication did help instead of hurt? What if the side effects are bearable, or even temporary, and turn out to be worth it?
What if I accept that I don’t want to live like this anymore?
There’s always hope.