I want to take Xanax the way I used to. The irresponsible and reckless way. The dangerous way. The way I don’t advise anyone to ever take it.
I want to drown out how awful I feel. I may have taken a quarter off, not to heal my broken wrist but to mend my manic mind, but I am still fragile.
I took an incomplete in a class, but I have to finish it sometime. And that deadline is right around the corner. I am not prepared and I do not have the strength to care.
Part of me is giving up, ready to fail a college course for the first time. Ready to ruin my future as a psychiatrist or psychologist. But part of me is still squirming to hold onto my dreams, to finish this class, to stay in the game.
Just listen to the online lectures, take notes, and memorize everything. Yet I can’t even tell you the names of the diseases I’ve learned, let alone their symptoms or treatments.
This should be an easy class, even an enjoyable one, but some professors know how to make even the most interesting of subjects into a nightmare.
Maybe the mania is gone, a vague memory where I was someone possessed by the need to vandalize, pop pills, and stare at Christmas lights. But I’m not stable. I’m always a little up or a little down.
I don’t think it is possible for me to be perfectly stable. It’d be like trying to balance a coin on its thin side in a windstorm.
My bipolar is and never will be the productive type. Some people go manic, and get everything done. Me? I destroy everything I can, myself included, and I want the world to see that. And the depression? It just doesn’t care enough.
I go to two types of therapy right now. One for my wrist and one for my mind. It has taken months to repair my wrist, but the evidence is visible, I’m always going forward, I’m always improving.
But the mind isn’t like a broken wrist. I’ve been going to therapy for years and yet I can go backwards. Some days I even fall and break all over again, as if I never healed to begin with.
When I was hospitalized at 19, another bipolar patient took me by the shoulders, looked at me very carefully and warned me- “You’re already so young to be in here. It’s only going to get worse. Be careful.”
And maybe you’d think he is wrong for saying it’ll only get worse. But he wasn’t. It has gotten worse, just in a different way. Yes, my youth is an advantage. Getting help early on may have saved my life more times than I know. But he was right- It’s gotten worse and I do need to be careful.
But what is being careful when it comes to your mind?