Monday, July 3, 2017

Long Time Gone

I haven't written in ages, I know. There are reasons for that, some good, some lazy, some just because I plain didn't want to. I tend to come to this place when I'm in pain, when the words bubble up & I can't stop them. Life has been happening & this place is somewhat a memorial for me, a shrine to chaos & gutwrench & healing.

It's been 4 years, 4 months & 16 days since our world exploded. Time has passed, the way it does, the world has moved along, and I often marvel at how incredibly different this life is than the one I thought I had ahead of me before cancer & death.

I've watched our children grow into bona fide teenagers. Our son is taller than most adults & is looking for a job. He crafts music feverishly, with the passion of someone who has both a gift & a message. I'm trying as hard as I can to help him hold on to that little fire in the face of this ugly world. Our daughter starts high school this fall. She's insanely smart & funny & a talented artist. She's going to be a force to be reckoned with with. She already is.

About a month ago, we moved about 40 minutes north to Stockton. I met & fell in love with a man who's lived here for over 20 years & all the pieces fell into place. The time was right, everybody was ready & willing, so we jumped in headfirst & made the move. It's working out wonderfully. We are making friends, adjusting to "city life" & getting settled in our new home.

I'm working part time in Modesto & have started taking baking orders again. I'm taking steps to start a new career in something, not sure what, but it'll come to me. I've recently taken up hula hooping & discovered I'm quite good at it! I'm drawing and reading and exercising and meditating every morning. I love my life. I love everything about it. And yet my brain feels like it is betraying me.

I weaned myself off my last anti-depressant about 2 months ago... so slowly. I thought things were fine, that with all my new ways of coping, with all the skills I'd learned I'd be able to handle the ups and downs and loop-de-loops & constant barrage of negative thoughts & mania that my brain seems to thrive on.

See, not once, not twice, but 6 times, I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Something I've just flat out rejected because I know better. "I've never been psychotic!" I say indignantly. "I'm just naturally high energy & I get depressed sometimes!" Oh you mean cycling? Like rapid cycling? Like predictable, I'm Invincible & Sure I Spend Money I Don't Have & Can't Finish Simple Tasks & Can't Find Anything & Can't Make My Words Come Out Right & Fuck Anything That Moves & Make Grandiose Plans That I Can't Possibly Follow Through On then crash, can't stop crying, can't get out of bed, can't stop repeating how stupid I am, can't return phone calls, stare at the walls for hours, don't eat, sleep all day, start thinking about how it would be better for everyone if I wasn't here, start thinking I should drive off an overpass, start thinking I should just die because I'm never going to be anything do anything I just can't.

Oh. Wait. That. Maybe. Maybe they have a point. Maybe it's a spectrum. Maybe I'm so, so incredibly fortunate to live in a time when taking that simple medication softens the valleys & peaks enough that I'm able to do all the things I want to do without it being such a struggle. Maybe I stop making it so hard on myself. Maybe I internalize all those messages about "you wouldn't tell a diabetic they were weak for using insulin". Maybe I utilize the medication in conjunction with all the tools I've learned and I'm unstoppable, I go further than I ever thought possible, because I just accept this one little thing.


  1. I've done this dance many times. Go on meds, feel guilty, weane myself off, fall apart, feel guilty, get on meds again....rinse and repeat year after year after year. I'm off that roller coaster now. I take my antidepressants and I don't feel bad about it. You are amazing, strong, powerful and wise. You fucking rock out loud woman!!

    1. This horrible/wonderful dance! Thank you for always being a text away!