I feel liberated!
Something happened today. There was no click, or anything that proceeded it. It came as a light trickle from an empty well.
I felt inspired. I started generating original thoughts again. The dense fog dispersed, and I could see once more. I awaken from an inky, dreamless slumber that lasted millenniums. The breaths I took were like the first out of a dim room with recycled air. The clouds parted, and the sun warmed my face, rekindling the fading fire inside.
I feel the synapses in my mind sparking. My body is energized. I am not yet with brilliance. It still filters in, trickling slowly through my veins, pumping eagerly through now beating heart. My shackles anchoring my soul loosen. The chain lengthens, and there is hope.
The bright, white, shining hope embraces me, and I nestle into it. It has
been nearly two months since I was enveloped by shadows cast around my world. I was sinking, anchors tethered tightly, nearly choking the very life around me. I wasn’t living. I was merely surviving from day to day. Moment to moment. Nothing else could possibly exist in this world, for it was too overwhelming to even consider that the next second could contain such misery.
I crawled, belly on the ground. I could not stand; the weight was too incredible to bear. It prevented me from resuming life as myself. It began to nibble away every morsel of my existence. I took refuge in the shadows, receding into myself, folding once, twice, thrice over. Until I was nearly a speck.
It, the shadows, the creeping, seeping darkness, took possession over me. This horrible, unseen monster made the attempt to claim me. Whispers. Sever from this. Sever from the world. Retreat into me, and you shall not have to bear these incredible burdens.
I stood, breathless. Tortured and tormented. The air was in my lungs, but would not vibrate through my throat to create words. I dared not refuse, but I hesitated to accept. I refused to leave all of this, the wonderful people, community, and life I had built for myself.
Finally, I stood defiantly. You are the burden that tears at my existence! You are the shadow that blinds me! And I refuse you, as I cast you away!
No longer do I feel oppressed, hopeless, and helpless.
It’s not as if my life has mended. The circumstances are much the same. My grandmother is coming home, despite the fact that she is practically an invalid. My mother has been on a long bender.
I have $5 dollars to my name, and have been subsisting off of cup o noodles, doctored with some spices, accompanied by the last vegetable in my refrigerator. One more day. Just one more.
But, no matter. I am better than surviving, actually thriving in the puckered, sour face of stress and anxiety. I am conquering, planting flags in remembrance of my victories, reclaiming my mind, life, and body. It is truly an incredible rush.
Invigorating, in certain moments. It provides the momentum to traverse these woods, and climb that mountain to take my place at the top. Though the mountain is large, it is solid. I walk once again upon solid ground, even if I am slipping on rocks that give. I cling to the earth, determined to pull myself back to a vertical position.
I feel nearly free. The shadow has diminished, and I stand without it’s ominous presence. I am far from where I started, from in the beginning, still further even in these two lost months. I have not backdrifted as much as I have deviated course.
Yet, a new path lies ahead. It is forward, north and true. Perhaps one day, it will cross my original path. But, which will I choose to remain on?
The time stamps don’t lie. I watched the time race by in the bottom right-hand corner of the grey bar on my monitor. 10:39PM: “C.S., are you awake?” No answer.
My intention? To reconcile my email and produce an update. My email has been hovering at around 45 unread. My posts have become sporadic on Pendulum. I do have an audience, whether I want to acknowledge it while writing my posts or not.
Note: I do not acknowledge my audience, because I am continuing with the original premise of a monologue. This is purely in the sense that I am not writing to an audience, but more performing for an audience.
One thing led to another. The devil is in the details. I glanced at the little clock: 1:06AM. At that rate, I would’ve only gotten seven hours of sleep. I bargained with myself. I could probably extend that out another half an hour.
1:42AM: I’ll be done in a couple of minutes and I could muster six and a half hours. I can be okay on that little sleep. I’ll make it up.
2:17AM: I’m right in the middle of something (different)! I’ll cut this short and go straight to bed.
2:50AM: Finally done. Wait! No! I still have to post on Pendulum!
3:16AM: Done. For real this time.
3:23AM, as I lay my head on the pillow: I’ll sleep in for however long my body tells me I need.
Less than five hours later, the alarm on my Blackberry went off. The universe is funny in the way that if I needed to get up, it would have been a struggle. The touchpad on my Blackberry was frozen. It only allowed me to snooze it for 5 minutes. After a drowsy battle, I managed to turn it off.
8:31AM: I am gently awoken with Breathe Me by Sia. C.S. was blasting it, anxiously asking himself, and likely me, where his belt had gone off to this time. The eternal struggle.
Losing sleep is dangerous business. I rarely wake up in a haze and spend my day in that condition. This is where external factors are counted the most. An uneventful day could mean I’d likely lose steam in the early evening with a geriatric bedtime. An action-packed, stressful day that ends with me conquering something, could pave the way for euphoric hypomania. An emotionally charged day could beckon dysphoric hypomania.
A dangerous game, indeed. Any which way, the stack of cards is eventually going to clobber me.
It was business as usual at the Sunshine Estate. C.S. left in the van-buggy, the house was a frosty 65, and T.D. and I were enjoying our Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with the company of Spongebob. Today was the first day in awhile that I actually witnessed the mailman deliver. So, I was prompted to retrieve it. Besides, we were still waiting on yet another continuance for the lawsuit.
That’s exactly what was amongst Tuesday Trash Mail Day. Our lawyer already informed us that the plaintiff retained council. Hence, the continuance. What I saw was un-effing-believable.
“This is an official notification from the district magisterial court. This document notifies the party of an official continuance of the hearing from said date to the new date.”
Okay, okay, I knew that. And at the very bottom of the tri-folded paper it read, “This was granted at the request of (insert name here) Esq.”
The passenger of the other party’s vehicle and the lawyer have the same last name!!!
This is where it gets hairy. We are uncertain of the nature of the relationship between the owner of the vehicle (the plaintiff), the driver, and her passenger. Mind you, the occupants of the vehicle are nowhere on these court documents. The only place that they exist is in the police report, and a vague threat of personal injury suit.
The passenger and I attended the same high school, and I recognized him at the scene. We weren’t well acquainted – he was a sports player and I was a musician. Those social circles don’t provide a wealth of opportunity to cross paths. Nor would I have wanted to. He wasn’t a terrible guy. I had a reputation to keep.
I immediately discarded my breakfast and ran to my computer. It was time to do some investigative work. It was too unlikely to be coincidence – it’s not like the surname was Smith or Johnson.
I’m handy with a computer. I’m one of those people I fear. With a first name, surname, and a city, I can find out a lot about a person. I made the connection pretty easily. I found both a positive address match from census information and a genealogy match. They are father and son.
It gets worse. The plaintiff’s lawyer is also a commissioner in my municipality. FML!
Isn’t there some kind of law against this?!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my blog and the psychology of color. We are all aware that colors around us alter our perceptions about the place, people, and situations we encounter. I live in Pittsburgh, and I experience The Grey Season throughout months primarily between November and March. Part of this is also known as Winter. In The Grey Season, my perceptions are altered. Everything is just more, well, blah, for lack of a better word. It’s depressive but not necessarily depression.
Here’s a run-down of the psychology of color.
- Black: considered to a serious color. Usually is representative of any subject that is exclusively serious. It usually revolves around death. Invokes feelings of seriousness, gloomy, and despair.
- White: considered to be a color of purity, cleanliness, and impartiality. It can be thought of as a clean slate and new beginnings. White bears no judgement.
- Grey: thought to be a color that represents mediocrity. It is not a moving color. It is absolutely uninspiring.
- Red: is considered to be a color that represents aggression and anger. Think of the bullfighters holding the red drape. The bull naturally feels aggression when seeing the color red.
- Orange: is a vibrant color and typically represents change. Orange is a color that is found most in the fall. It is the color of pumpkins in the harvest, and leaves falling from trees.
- Yellow: thought of as a joyful color. Yellow is the color of the sun, and the light that it brings into this world. The sun brings warmth, and is necessary for plants to grow. It is considered a high energy color full of happiness.
- Green: is thought of as an intelligent color. Green is the color of money, but also the color of plants. It is often representative of fertility and luck.
- Blue: considered a color of serenity. Blue occurs naturally in the world as the largest entities. The sky is blue. The oceans are blue. Many people don’t realize that the water represents the fluidity of our emotions. Blue water is calm water. It is healing for the mind in nature.
- Purple: is a regal color. The robes of kings and queens were made from precious and rare indigo dye. It represents wisdom, respect, and stimulates the brain for problem solving.
- Brown: thought of as a stable color. It is the color of the very earth we walk on. It is reliable and constant.
As you may have noticed, my banner changed. The banner was a hand-crafted graphic of hand selected clocks. Each clock represents a frame of mind. And every clock represents the seconds that are passing in our lives, during this very moment.
As the Pendulum Swings is a term that represents a number of ideas and concepts. First and foremost, it represents the swinging of a pendulum in relation to the nature of bipolar disorder. For every swing in one direction, I experience a swing in the opposite direction. Whether they are long swings, or short swings, the pendulum will never stop until I am dead.
As the Pendulum Swings is also a play off of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum”. If you are interested, the link will take you to the entire text for your reading pleasure. Poe’s writings have always resonated with me, even as a young teen. There was something in there that seemed to describe my very nature. I felt the title of my blog was an appropriate reference to this work.
And finally, As the Pendulum Swings represents the swinging of the pendulum as it ticks our lives away. Each swing is a second we have either gained for ourselves, or forever lost in the folds of the fabric of time. It is a constant reminder that we should be constantly aware of our precious mortality. Our physical lives are actually not exclusively owned. Rather, they are on lease, and we cannot be sure when that lease will expire. We may lose our mortal flesh, but our souls are ours to keep.
What will you gain today from your mortal seconds to assimilate into your undying soul?
Yesterday was not a complete loss.
After the episode detailed in I’m Not Okay, C.S. suggested we go to Half Priced Books. We dressed and headed out in an unusual October snowstorm. The ride was enjoyable, although I was too anxious to sit still. It’s always a wet day outside when we go to the bookstore. That’s the last weather a person would want when transporting books.
Between the three of us, we must have purchased 25 books, two flash card packs, and three journals. I’ve been keeping handwritten journals in flimsy composition books. It’s nice to finally have a sturdy home for my ramblings, so they may live on for years to come. And we put quite a dent in our bank account.
As I was sitting with C.S. this afternoon, peeling off price tags after our retail therapy, it hit me. We were in a fortress of books, and I looked him.
C.S. have a thing between us we call, “The Golden Thread”. It’s a subatomic line, coiled around each of our hearts, that runs upward through our brains, and connects to the other. It is the line that allows the one to know, at least on a subconscious level, what is happening within the other. It’s not a perfect connection, just as any other. It is susceptible to interference, outages, etc. But, it is the one thing that has always bonded us.
The only thing The Golden Thread can’t provide me with is any intelligible positive emotions toward me.
He never said the words, but I heard them ringing out, clear as a bell, “I’m sorry. For everything. I want you to be okay. I love you.”
Today, a very dear friend and I had a conversation about the LEEP procedure. She’s was more affected by the precancer than I am. She had the procedure done many years ago, when it was new, without complications.
And on this date, she is healthy and cancer free. She helped ease my fears. I’m extraordinarily thankful for her and all of her support. Without her words, I don’t know what shape I’d be in.
Thank you all for your encouraging words and support. This is one of the hardest times I’ve ever faced in my life. I’m grateful for everyone – for Ruby, Monday, James, ManicMuses, Always (yes, I saw your post on Canvas), and anyone and everyone else I may have not named. You’ve all given me a special kind of support that no one else in my life could. Again, thank you.
What does it feel like to have 20 Grand hanging in the balance?
I ran I Bet Jekll Felt This Way past C.S. a couple of nights ago, in so many words. I rarely read directly from the page. I’ve gotten in hot water by doing that before. Sometimes, there are just some words that shouldn’t pass from my lips.
He stood across the kitchen poking through the elephant box while I sat at the table. He suggested, “Maybe it’s one of the supplements. Are you taking any new ones?”
I answered, “No, not really. I started Adrenomend again, and I’ve already been taking the Brain Energy for a few weeks now.”
“I’m going back down to bare bones. Something is causing me a problem again,” he mentioned, as he swallowed a handful of supplements.
I considered his suggestion. But, I knew that my brain can’t survive a chemical shift without shifting itself. I wasn’t about to add fuel to the fire and risk facing something scarier than this. I’m taking about a dozen supplements for various reasons. I wouldn’t be able to break something else before figuring out how to fix this.
Doctors recommend ceasing all medications / supplements when it’s impossible to discern which one is causing the problem. What about just starting the shed the most recent ones, regardless of whether they have worked in the past? There are only two potential risks. Either I take something away that causes a bad day, or I don’t take away the right one and I continue in the state of dyphoric hypomanic paranoia.
I took away the two most recent additions, Adrenomend and Brain Energy. C.S. suggested taking away Adrenomend, because he had a bad reaction in the past.
Of course, he suggested that the panic attacks were rebound anxiety from “too many benzos”. “That’s their gimmick, give you medicine that causes anxiety.” I’ve been on these for two months now. You’d think I would’ve had a reaction by now. Well, I am the woman who had a life-threatening reaction to an epidural 20-25 minutes after receiving it. *Shrug*.
So far, so good. Yesterday, I managed to handle surprise fire drill with no problem. I’m not anxiety free, but I’m panic free without my midday Xanax. I’m a little more fatigued than usual, so that indicates something was pushing me toward hypomania. The anxiety might be residual. Anxiety is like a virus in the respect that it generalizes and mutates as it takes hold.
My only hope is that those supplements were the only thing holding back the flood gates of depression. Because l know I haven’t paid the piper yet for my last hypomanic episode.
In other news, I thought I’d mentioned C.S.’s promotion we’ve been waiting on. We finally got word, and it wasn’t the one we were hoping for. The big wig at the top didn’t go for it. He’s upset about the staffing budget and put out a hiring freeze. But, C.S.’s department manager isn’t giving up on it.
We didn’t have any numbers before this. Today, I was texted a number than blew my mind. I wrote back, “Not even in my wildest dreams did I even consider that number!”. It’s $20,000 more than he’s making now. Yeah, my mouth dropped to the floor.
But now, it’s in limbo.
I bet it feels like winning a lottery, but then nobody has the money to pay up.