I Made a Promise

There is no escape.

There is no escape.

I made a promise. And I don’t make promises that I can’t keep.

(Stream of consciousness. It has to come out quickly.)

Knock on wood. I think I might be turning a corner!

A corner in the labyrinth of depression may lead one to –

* a straight and narrow path, brightening as one draws near to the exit.

* deeper into the dark, twisted heart of the very malevolent creature we whisper of.

And there are moments, moments such as these, where we are thrust into a corridor by an errant –

Force. Something completely unseen. Others go completely undisturbed, maybe slightly gusted, but completely unharmed. And they walk along.

The world is upside down and I am inside out. In this place, there are no rules. Gravity? Puh. Things are magnetised to another without reason. But, there is always causation. Life, living, any plane of existence is contingent upon cause and effect. The question why goes largely unfulfilled. Is there ever a complete answer?

I want to eradicate why from my vocabulary, and live as if it never existed. I want to be. But, that is deeply nested within the strong desire not to be. Again, nested, rooted deeply within one another, life-death, life-death, life-death.

I died so I could live, and I lived so I could die.

Dozens, upon dozens, upon dozens of times.

Why always the threes? Psychologically, three is the liars number.

It’s true. Interrogation of a liar will prove it. Lies. 3AM. Only 3 times. Even for someone to remember something, it will have to be repeated six times. Six divide two (because there are usually two people in that situation) is three. It happens in threes. Everything in the whole world happens in threes. Births. Deaths. Bad luck. Good luck. Two people plus an outside catalyst is three. We live in a sea of threes.

But, for me, it’s not a sea anymore. I stared blankly for awhile, overcome by it all, drowning in it. I watched it break apart, like fractured, old drywall. Piece by piece, with the reality of it still flickering within the shattering images, I watched it fall away.

My head hurts. I have this funny feeling in my head, and my words on this screen are as loud as a stadium speaker system in my head. The whole thing makes me tender and nauseous, completely fucking raw, blistered, and splintering.

I am loading up on benzos. I don’t want to do anything regrettable. I am twitching, and the air is being vacuumed out of my lungs. I am in a silent room, save for the overburdened furnace. I need to know if this is real.

My head is blank. The stadium is completely empty, while I blair into it. On my soapbox, spinning whimsical tales that the Grimm Brothers would envy. My life, all of this, the various realities I live in are stranger than any fiction. I don’t lie. That’s the strangest fact of them all. The threes are some sick obsession, some fact that keeps me grounded. Maybe I am a liar. Maybe I lie to myself.

I know the pieces fit, because I watched them fall away.

I need to cry, but the tears won’t come. I admonish my mother for being stoic, and yet, I will not release whatever this is. When did I stop being good at any of this? When did I stop being good at my life? My chest aches as it caves around my withering heart.

I want to blurt everything out, vulgarity intact. I need to smoke a cigarette before I come apart. Before this disintegration pulls the stitching right out. Because, you know that’s all that I am made of, right? Leftover parts, stitched and stuffed. Ragdoll to rule the ragdolls. I’m hardly fit to be the dog’s chew toy.

Now, I will write the words I fear will be true. But worse, I fear the reproach from others, and all of the criticisms that I cannot sustain.

I do not make this world a better place. It is futile for me to try, not because one person can’t make a difference. Because I am not the person who can lead the way.

I am of little worth outside of my tangible self. And not so much in the other respect. I earn money. I care for my son. I clean house. I cook. And all of those are just plain piss poor jobs.

I may never actually believe that I am worthy of love, admiration, affection, or any of the sort. That is why I don’t take compliments well. I cannot believe them, not for the sake of worrying about ulterior motives. It’s worse when they are truth, and I simply cannot absorb them.

I will never get out of this. I rarely use the word never, but it is appropriate here. I may cycle up, but only to tumble back down. I will spend my whole life doing this. I will fail at everything because of this. Or, I will shuffle through everything, doing a half-assed job, because I don’t have it in me. I am kidding myself when I think that there is something besides this.

And if I could wish myself out of existence now, I would use the first two wishes to bless my dearest of friends. All of you. Each encouraging message, lovely compliment, endearing sentiment, and empathetic passage. They have been my world in the last nine months.

There is no way out. And I want to feel. I want to feel the pain I cannot express. I want the punishment of what I have done and have failed to do. I want the streaming tears and the rooftop screams.

I want out of my fucking tortured brain!

Instead, I will eat milligram after milligram of benzos until I am either numb enough to just be, or unconscious. It’s not really my choice.

But was any of this ever my choice?

30 thoughts on “I Made a Promise

  1. There are a billion words I want to say and no way to say them. I just wanted to tell you that I have things I want to say to this, I just need to sort it out. I’ll comment a decent comment soon.

    For now, I want to say I love you and everything you are. You’re an amazing person. ❤

  2. Coming up short on something spectacular to say. Hang in there! I’m praying. Hold together, come on hold together.

    I know this is not funny, but the words of Harrison Ford (aka Han Solo) just came screaming into my ears as the Hold together came off of my finger tips. Luke, Princess Leia, Chewy, and droids of course all in a kerfuffle escaping the storm troopers and tie fighters while they attempt the jump to light speed and while being shot at. And bam! They nail it!

    The point is, they made it against insurmountable odds. And you will too! I used to be a Star Wars fan. I was 12 when the movie first came out. 1978. Not sure how Harrison Ford managed to stay ruggedly cute, but he did last I looked. Not sure if you were into Star Wars or not but anyway.

    • It’s okay. There really wasn’t a whole lot that was spectacular to say. One part of me wants to say, “That was a movie.” But, I know a good friend of mine will jump in here with a reminder, “We are two people who have stood against all odds, good and bad, and have taken them both with grace.” Or something to that effect. She knows what I mean.

  3. The ability to keep your promise in the middle of what your describing seems like a decisive step toward hope and progress. I wish I’d followed your blog enough to know if you’ve wrote a list like the one you have of fears, that includes wishes, wants or hope.

    I will be reading further into your writing. Hope you are able to find some rest tonight.

    • Typically, I do not list my fears, dreams, hopes, or wishes. I don’t write these things out. I don’t speak them aloud. And most of the time, I do not make wishes at all, because they backfire in a “Twilight Zone” sort of way. Once I say something out loud, I feel like there is a whole higher world that is listening, wanting to thwart it, making those achievements as difficult as possible. So, I just don’t.

      Or maybe it’s something that takes the drive out of it. Either way, I keep these desires to myself. We’re all better off without the disappointment.

      • I’ve done that too, and frankly thought I was the only one that could feel that way. Hmm! I understand and have a theory, much like yours. Or more based on a plausible truth possibly.

        • I have all kinds of little superstitions. That’s just one of them. But, I have hard and fast evidence to back it up. My whole life, everything good that ever happened to me, happened by accident. These weren’t things I planned. My job was by chance. It was good fortune on both of our parts, mine and my employer.

          So, I suppose I can’t say I have bad luck. I can say I have coincidental luck, or serendipitous fortune.

  4. What you are enduring is ugly, but this post is beautiful. The ending is perfect. I love the question of choice.

    I wish I could give you some words of encouragement, or support. It’s difficult to know what to say, even when you can truly identify with what has just been said. All I can say is that your fears are my fears, and even when I am stable, doing well, and coping – I still want out of my brain. I want to get away from Bipolar, from the tedium, from the drama.

    Keep hanging in there. I like to sing to myself..”when I find myself in times of trouble…let it be, let it be, let it be”.

    • I literally wanted out of my brain last night. My brain is usually a happy hum. It’s kind of how I like to run my classroom. I don’t like absolute silence. It irks me. There’s something about silence that means that there is an absence of presence, and of music. Everything is music in its own way.

      Last night, there was nothing. Nothing but a big, empty stadium, as I said. I wasn’t even blank – I was just plain alone in there with a sound system even God could hear if it were tangible. Each word I wrote appeared in a tangible state of sounds in my brain. It hurt. The noise, reverberations off of empty stands and the squeals of the feedback, was all unbearable. I was literally a prisoner there.

      It was an episode alright. I don’t even know what kind of episode. Things didn’t feel real. It’s harder to explain since I’m not there anymore.

      Thank you for writing. Your words are encouragement enough to keep going, despite what is happening inside me and around me.

  5. Your post hit me like a ton of bricks. There’s so much beauty in your pain.
    I’m really sorry you’re suffering. I know it’s futile to say. But I am.

    • I know you are. And there is no futility in it.

      I wrote in a post once about the kindness of strangers. It’s interesting. I know we aren’t exactly strangers, since I am pouring things out on here that no one, and I mean no one, in my personal life has read. I can tell no one. They are devoid of the capacity for understanding, or at least sympathy toward it. Why can’t I be stronger? Why am I doing this? Why, why – all of the why’s, like I said in my post. I don’t have the answer. I don’t even have a partial answer, and I’m not even sure that there is one. Why ask why when there’s nothing a person can do but just ride it out?

      But, more to the point, I would face that in the people who are supposed to love me. I know they love me, and I know that’s the place where they feel the pain is in loving me, and loving all of this. Then, having to face the confusion, doubt, and anxiety surrounding my “situations” and “episodes”. And then, the divide begins to become evident, and people start to pull back, as if I’m some kind of emotional black hole.

      There is beauty in the kindness of strangers that is unlike anything. These people don’t know me from Eve, and yet, they know the human condition. That we all face our own problems and demons just the same, although they may present in different ways. And, they are willing to listen, even for just a moment. They are willing to encourage, even when I’m in doubt. That is what continues to give me hope for humanity in general. The little people who want to reach out to others, but in a less obvious way.

  6. As painful as your post was, it was also beautiful. It was raw honesty and left me greatly humbled. I can’t think of the right words to say here, only that I am so thankful that I am getting to know you. I think you are a wonderful and amazing person, and very much worthwhile.

    You will be in my thoughts today. I hope you find some peace.

    • Thank you. I hate to say it, but those few confessions are only part of it. That hurts, because I don’t know how to take it from the primitive wording and use it. I wonder if I’d be better off just using it like it is.

      I will find some peace, anyway. Each day with a little bit of music and some silence, provides me a moment I can live in where I can breathe.

  7. I can definitely relate to what you say about compliments. In fact, you’ve probably more concisely and clearly stated in that one sentence what I was trying to get to in my discussion of pseudo-modesty on my blog. Many times, I think compliments mask ulterior motives. Or that expressions of gratitude only preface a request for a favor. My dad is like that, too. It was actually kind of hurtful. One of my siblings or I might try to express sincere feelings and he’d be like, “what do you want?” Perhaps I learned that behavior from him, or there’s a similar root cause within us. When I do deserve compliments, I feel like everything’s about to collapse. Like it might be a joke or people will discover that I actually messed a lot of stuff up and will change their tunes.

    I try to think that even the littlest jobs have some impact. I don’t know how much I believe it. It’s not even that what we do every day is far-reaching. It’s just that we might say something to someone or happen to be in the right place at the right time for someone or our influence on a family member might lead them to do something worthwhile. Or even that one remark affects someone in a way that makes them have a positive impact on someone else. A giant ripple effect. We can’t see the results, but they’re there, at the end of a giant causal chain of seemingly insignificant occurrences.

    I hope you’re feeling better today.

    • Yesterday was a two, straight out of the gate. I wouldn’t call it a one, because I was functional enough to go to work. By the time I was home, I was about a three. Functional enough to get a load of dishes done and play with my son.

      This morning? Three to four. It depends largely on how the morning goes. But, I’ve just looked at my supply of medication, and it’s not pretty. Two prescriptions need filled, and that’s pretty costly. We’re between paychecks so . . .

      I made a remark to a friend in an email. I said, and I’m paraphrasing, “I’m keeping at a solid 3-4, but we’ll see. Stress is the tipping point. As long as I can keep my stress low, I can keep myself at least moderately functional.”

      I am always suspicious of people and their motives, no matter if they are being kind or mean. I am not completely convinced that everyone has an ulterior motive, because I know I don’t. I’m pretty direct and I don’t play games. But, watching it in action, seeing certain people do it to others, and knowing the truth of it all behind closed doors – that’s enough for me to be cautious.

      Compliments or any other affection was largely absent in my childhood home. Criticism, naturally, was abundant. That’s what bred my notion that I am never doing well enough. And that’s where my inability to take compliments come in. Because, there is nothing admirable about me. I’m not saying this as a, “Oh, let’s feel sorry for her.” or “Watch her fish for compliments.” Normally, I have enough of a positive self-image and enough esteem to say that who I am and what I’m doing is, at the very least, good enough. But, there are moments like these where those childish notions come in. I am blinded by my own flaws, and people in this world are eager to point out what is wrong with someone else. It magnifies it and justifies my logic. So, when someone has something nice to say, it automatically becomes suspect.

      I try to think that what I am doing is going to enrich children’s lives. I can stand as a positive example, and be someone who makes the children smile and want to do better for themselves. I see these little girls, and I pray that I could have been enough of a positive influence in their lives that they won’t go through some of the things that I went through. I hope that every last one of them finishes college, and is able to live out their dreams. Doctors, lawyers, singers, performers, scientists – I want to be someone who helped them become that.

      Because I know, when I was little, things were different. When you came from a poor neighborhood, it didn’t matter how smart or talented you were. No one saw a high grade point average. No one jumped on you to start thinking about a future, and picking colleges. In my neighborhood, you were either pretty enough to marry outside of your social class, smart enough to figure out the college system by yourself (while taking on a lifetime of loans), or you were doomed to a life of minimum wage mediocrity, while trying to manage to have kids. Because most girls didn’t get married to their baby’s daddy.

      I guess I’m pretty enough to have married out of my social class. Or maybe I’m just intelligent enough, I don’t honestly know why my husband married me. I still hold firm that he married me because I’m the biggest challenge in his life that he will never be able to solve. Not so much that I make life impossible and miserable, but just enough to where he is never bored. Everyday is a different day when you have a wife with bipolar disorder! I took on a lifetime of loans to get myself educated. And, I’ll likely keep going for higher degrees. Honestly, I don’t care if the government owns a quarter of my paycheck for the rest of my life. I just want to do something that is not blue collar like the rest of my family. No offense to the blue collar workers out there.

      I don’t want those girls to have those kinds of attachments though. Get scholarships for being talented and intelligent. Find a way. Take every opportunity to get to where you are going. There are resources out there now that weren’t available to me then. And there are people like me that will help a kid get to it.

      That’s my hope. But, when I kid (those 5th graders are vicious) tells me that they think my class is “stupid” and “boring”, I wonder if I’m really getting a message across to them.

  8. Very beautifully written. I do hope you are being gently on “you”. None of us choose a tormented brain, I guess we just adapt and become stronger in little ways. ♥

    • Thank you. *smile*

      I am having difficulty being kind to myself. I know I should cut myself some breaks right now. Minimize my stress levels, things like that. But, I feel like there are so many expectations.

      The whole experience was strange. It’s happened before, but not with any frequency. It’s going into some kind of state beyond that state. I was losing cohesion, and losing touch with reality. My head literally felt funny. Usually, there is some kind of background noise, but – well you read. It’s difficult to remember when time has passed, strangely.

  9. Pingback: Follow-ups and Friday {Foto Phriday} « Not Too Normal

  10. Hi Lulu,
    Sorry I’ve only just caught your post….I can’t even begin to imagine how you are / were feeling when you wrote this, though reading your post does give me a glimmer of your struggle.

    No reproach, no criticisms,no judgements, hopefully just support and understanding.
    Thank for keeping your promise, I hope that by posting you managed to control the dark urge to cut yourself and that by now you have got back to a level of peace that you can manage.

    Your post is such a powerful piece of writing i’ve read it and re read it a dozen times. I’m not sure what to say in help or encouragement, except hang in there, you are not on your own. Just do your best, please.

    Hope your weekend is going well,
    catch you soon Lulu
    love n hugs

    • No, I should be telling you guys what powerful words you have me so that I could have the strength to write this.

      I wouldn’t say I’m on an upswing. Since this piece was written, I’m trodding carefully and re-learning how to be kind to myself. I can’t say there aren’t moments where I am down, maybe really down. But, at that point, I rest to weather the storm.

      I guess it’s a matter of not going through the same unhealthy behavioral routines. And letting myself feel this, in all of its force, has made me stronger. It couldn’t conquer me, so it subsided. It’s a great feeling.

      And I owe it to everyone here. Thank you for being the wonderful person you are.

  11. Well it’s been a long time since anybody said that to me *blush blush* thank you 🙂

    As I’ve said in another post, you can only do your best.
    I’m so happy for you right now, keep it up girl!

    Good luck Lulu, fingers crossed for you.

    love n hugs

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