I think that I knew it was wrong. Even though I deceived others that it wasn’t. Really, I knew. Deep down I knew all along. From the beginning it was guessed upon, but by the end there was no denying it. I knew that it was wrong, yet I let it continue. And maybe that’s why it hurt so much. Twelve year old me would have been very disappointed. If I came face to face with her I would have been too ashamed to look her in the eye. Maybe I would have told the judgmental girl that it was not what it looked like. I, in fact, wasn’t the worse kind of person, the woman she could never respect. I wasn’t the person that she swore she wouldn’t turn into. I would try to explain to my preteen self that relationships are more complicated then her books paint them out to be. I would try to say that there isn’t a clear black and white, right and wrong. But instead there is a murky area of grey. I would say that I fell into that grey. But I knew that I wouldn’t have believed me.
I’m not quite asleep, but I’m not awake either. I’m trapped in a cruel place where I loose control of my mind and body. I can’t move, I can’t breath. The faces in my room taunt me. I call for you, my love, but you can’t hear me. My voice is empty. I need to escape this prison, escape this place. The noises are deafening. My dear roll over and touch me. It will just take a touch to get me awake. I need to escape this place.
Another day goes by, I pay my dues at work. When they look at me, can they see my hurt?
My body screams for sleep, but my mind refuses. The longer I put it off, the longer that the monsters are held at bay. But they are patient that way, they can wait. I am locked up at night by sleep paralysis and held to my bed in the morning. Hypnopompic hallucinations torture me. I was free from this for so many years, but they came back to haunt me. Oh Lord please bring me the key, Lord. Please bring me the key.
I can’t breath. I am held underwater. I gasp for air and liquid fills my lungs. I try to resist but I can’t. I try to push my head up but the hand against me is stronger.
“What was the question again?”
“Why can’t you not be depressed? Why don’t you just decide to be happy and not be sad?”
Because the hand pushing my head down, trying to get me to drown is not my own. Why would I do that to myself? Some how my mind, this illness, has its own form and its own hand. And some days my mind decides to have a sick sense of humor. It knocks me off my feet, pushes me down a pit, drowns me in shallow water.
But I can’t say that.
I would like to explain how it feels to deal with depression. But I don’t.
Bipolar basically means two opposite poles. It means two extremes. Black and white, light and dark, up and down, yin and yang. There are a couple of different ways that opposites react: 1. They compliment or 2. They collide. Opposites can sometimes compliment each other and attract. Sometimes. But there are opposites that don’t go together at all, like water and electricity or breastfeeding and spray tans. My emotions are often like the latter.
Whenever I thought of bipolar disorder I thought about my crazy great grandma. The manic depressive woman who had regular shock therapies and numerous suicide attempts. She was predictably unpredictable. She faced judgment and criticism. But she was sick. My heart hurts for what she endured. She faced a war that I know all to well. I can feel myself drifting away and my moods are getting more extreme. I don’t want my legacy to be like hers. I want to get better, to heal. At 24, I feel like I waited too long. I want some time back that my mood swings took. And I’m scared. I’m scared to get help because that means that the mask that I have been wearing must come off. I don’t know what’s under there. I’m getting help and therapy, but it’s not easy. It’s terrifying.