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Bipolar Relapse

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The last few months have been hard. My mother has been in ill health and Remi had been sick for over two months. Which means I’m left wearing many hats. Chauffer to and from doctor appointments, nurse, maid, personal shopper, caregiver and over all emotional support beam for all involved. Before you ask, Remi is fine now. It started out with her getting a really bad cold a few months ago, followed by the stomach flu, followed by a different and worse cold, followed by a different and worse flu which eventually led to her getting walking pneumonia. That’s the thanks she gets for working with the ungrateful public. But all of that had left my usually strong, supportive wife in the unusual position of being the one that needed to be taken care of.

I’m used to taking care of my mom. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was six. But I was not use to Remi being so out of it for so long. Not that I’m complaining, I actually love being able to take care of her for once. It just seemed like both of the women in my life needing so much time and care at the same time for such an extended time …. well … it just starts to wear on you. I had run out of my bipolar vitamin regimen that I take before Christmas but put off buying it right away because, well Christmas was mucho expensivo. I figured I would be OK for a few weeks without it but weeks turned into about two months. Combine that with the unusual stress load of being the only healthy one in the house left to care for everyone else … and … well …. can anyone say bipolar hallucination time?

It actually started a few weeks ago, hearing my name being called when no one was around. Seeing dark shadows sweeping by me or towards me. Then it escalated one night to me losing my temper over something so insignificant it’s not even worth mentioning. Except that instead of taking it out on my loved ones, I ran out in the night chill with no shoes, no sweater, in my pajamas and took off in the car. No cell phone, no wallet. No thinking. That night was not good. But it was only the beginning of my relapse. Relapse. I use that word because I feel like a recovering addict when I fall like this. When I fail like this. When I listen to Macklemore & Lewis’ song Starting Over, I can cry from relating to the lyrics. Except I’m not an alcoholic or addict but I realized that when I have an episode or a breakdown, it feels as if I relapsed into something. Something I could or should have been able to control.

I tried to keep it a secret … that I was having problems again. But it got to the point that Remi didn’t have to ask me if I was OK or not. She could tell. True Hope ordered and express delivery had it to me in two days. Then I was right back to where I was before. Remi standing over me making sure I took them. Questioning me throughout the day if I was doing the things I needed to be doing to get healthy again. All the trust gone. My credibility, shot.

Except that she was still sick so she couldn’t really be there for me like she used to be. She’s getting better now, but still recovering, overly tired after work and the weekends are spent in bed. I’m left pretty much on my own right now. Or at least that’s what it feels like. Between her and my mother, there’s no time to get sick. I have to take care of them. I have to take care of them. I have to. For now, my mental instability will have to wait. Fuck the hallucinations that made me run my car off the road last week. Fuck the voices in my head that are trying to mess with me.

But above all, the crappiest part about this particular time is that I don’t feel anything really … except for lonely.

It’s weird how having bipolar can seem so similar to a drug addict. When I watch the show Intervention and I see these people that had such promise but fucked it all up …. I feel like that’s me.

7 Responses to “Bipolar Relapse”

  1. Natalie January 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm Permalink

    Sasha, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. Please be kind to yourself, and try not to hate on you. You’re carrying a burden that would be hard for anyone. ANYONE. Bipolar or not. These challenges just hit us particularly hard.

    Glad to hear you’re back on the regimen – don’t worry about Remi’s trust. It’s still there. Perhaps a little wounded, but there, and the repair will come. She’s just scared. And remember there are many of us who can identify with what’s going on for you right now. You’re not alone and you’re not fucked up – no matter what the fucking voices say.

  2. Elegy January 28, 2013 at 4:57 am Permalink

    :(( I agree with Natalie: please be kind to yourself. <3<3<3

  3. GlitterGirl January 28, 2013 at 11:19 am Permalink

    I agree with Natalie too! Self care is so important, and I’m glad you’re starting the things that help you feel better again.

  4. Person January 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm Permalink

    Ever read marya honrnbatcher’s memoir madness? Sooo good. It’s about bipolar disorder.

  5. Evie January 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm Permalink

    Having dealt with clinical depression since I was 12, I can’t say I know exactly what you’re going through, but I do understand. No advice. I just wanted to say I miss chatting with you, and I’m sending you strength, love and huggiez.

  6. Alexis January 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm Permalink

    Just remember to be good to you and that you are very strong woman who can overcome anything that life throws at her.
    on a side note, I can so relate to this in the sense of having to take care of people. My older sister is in very poor health and the doctors cannot decide what is wrong and my little sister has an AVM on her brain and needs radiation, on top of the fact that she just ended her six year relationship so I am trying to take care of them both while working and going to school for my Masters degree. I understand how emotionally and physically draining it can be. Especially because you have to do it. You have no choice because they are family and you cannot not help them. They mean too much.

  7. Cai January 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm Permalink

    I am bi-polar as well. We have all fallen (gone off meds). Those who love you will continue to do so. Just start again, my dear, and move forward. While you are responsible for yourself, your health and your actions you are NOT responsible for being bi-polar. You Will be better. Be kind to yourself!

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