I started my day out with happiness and determination. Okay, I started off grumpy, but I was still pretty happy. I got to enjoy morning coffee with my lovely boyfriend, and that makes me smile. I was going to go back to bed after taking him to work at 5am, but I decided against it. I wanted to watch the sunrise, plan my day, drink more coffee, and read some books. I was going to be okay today.
However, my mental health issues had a different plan in store for me. I’m currently going through a hypomania phase, which I figured meant I’d be happy and get shit done! Wrong. I forgot that with all good, comes bad. Today, was a bad day. And as much as that’s okay, it still sucked. Today my anxiety and bipolar tried to control me and I’m proud to say I fought against it!
I could tell at about 10 or 11 am that my day wasn’t going to go as I had planned. I didn’t want to do laundry or clean. I didn’t want to do anything. But at the same time, I wanted to do everything. Thoughts started to race around my head. I remembered that when I get frustrated by this, I’m supposed to get out of my mind. Says the therapist. So, without having my boyfriend or best friend to turn to, I took my dog for a walk. I wanted to go for a long walk, but we took the short path. I was too anxious to go far from home. Unfortunately, my walk didn’t help much.
When I got home, I sat down on the sofa and just began to cry. Part of me was happy because it’s so rare that I can just cry without having a panic attack. But, mostly, I was sad and frustrated. I couldn’t get out of my mind. It was winning. The mental illnesses were conquering and I didn’t know how to fight.
I called my dad, in tears, and listened to his advice. Write down a short list of my thoughts, prioritize them, then accomplish them. Step one, get dressed for the day.
So, I wrote down my list.
- Research hypomania.
- Get dressed.
- Go to coffee shop.
- Research how to turn my blog into a business.
- Go home.
- Clean kitchen.
- Do yoga.
After doing some research, I went to take a bath in hopes it’d calm me down. While it did make my body feel relaxed, my mind still went wild. It had thought up a new grand business idea, “lets make our own bath bombs to save money! Oh! And then we can sell them!” My illness was behind this idea, clear as day. I have no interest in making bath bombs! I’m lazy as fuck, not gonna happen. Lush, here I come! Thankfully, I knew to discard that thought and continue on. But, then I began to wonder, what thoughts are my own? What thoughts are my illness?
I got dressed, and tried to look nice. But my outfit very much reflected my mind. Something I’m usually proud of, not today. I threw on a total work out outfit. Capri yoga pants, converse, tank top, beanie. But, I decided to pair it with red lipstick and a damn blazer? The hell was I thinking? I actually left looking like that!
On the way to the coffee shop, I began to feel anxious. Do I drive all the way out of my way just to go to my favorite coffee shop, or do I go to the one just down the street and save some gas? Knowing that I’d probably be driving out of my way sooner or later, I chose the logical choice and went to the nearby coffee shop. Damn, was that a bad idea. As I parked, it set in how crazy I felt I looked.
After awkwardly ordering my coffee, I went outside so I could smoke and use my computer. There was a lady out there looking more ridiculous than I did, that helped. Not in a rude way, but in an admiring way. I wish I could just look however the fuck I wanted to and not give a damn! That’d be the life. Why do I give a damn?
I logged into my computer and realized, I’d need a password for the wifi. Can we not just accept the fact that people are going to use the wifi and make it public? Anyway, I was too anxious to go back in there and ask for the password. So, no job search or business research was accomplished. I did try to begin to write a book, but the words just became my jumbled up thoughts. I finished my cigarette and left.
I contemplated going to the other coffee shop, but decided against it in an effort to save money. It’s odd for me, usually in hypomania is when people spend money. I don’t. I spend it while depressed.
Anyway, I began to show signs of an anxiety attack. My hand rubbing against my thigh, my breathing getting shallow. These are signs I want to self harm before I can even think about self harming. I lit up another cigarette to keep myself busy. I drank my coffee, even though it burned my tongue. I needed to not hurt myself.
When I got home, I finished my coffee and took a nap. But one thought remained. “I want to cut myself.” I’m not depressed, I’m not numb, and I’m not lonely, so I made myself think of a valid reason as to why I would cut. The feeling of it was not an option, just because was not an acceptable reason. The only reason I could think of was attention. That’s all I’d gain if I cut myself, attention. And I don’t want attention because I took a knife to my wrist again.
Then I thought, “what would my boyfriend think?” I could see it going one of two ways. The first, the romanticized option, would be that he’d have to see me tonight. And that he’d get so sad when he saw my wounds, he’d lightly graze them with his fingers, he’d kiss me on the cheek. The second way, the way I’ve come to expect from people, would be that he’d leave me, I’d be too much to handle. Too crazy.
There’s no way of knowing which way things would go, there’s no way of knowing if he’d do something completely unexpected. But, that chance that he might leave. That one right there, it stopped me. Then, the thought of making him sad, or feel sorry for me. I couldn’t imagine ever making him sad, I don’t want to do that. I do that enough when I share my struggles, I don’t need to add this on top of everything.
For the first time in months, I thought about someone else. I wasn’t self absorbed. There was nothing in it for me by not cutting, there was nothing in it for me by doing it, either. But, it would affect my relationship in some way. It could possibly hurt the man that cares about me. I really didn’t want to do that. So, yet again, without knowing, he saved me.
Now, I’m sitting outside. Trying to keep myself busy. I’m sure I’ll go on another walk soon, probably drink too much coffee and smoke too many cigarettes. But, I’m alive and I’m not in physical pain. That’s good enough for me.