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.