It’s Always Something….

OK, I admit it: I’m feeling a bit down these days. ‘Tis the season for that anyway, but the relapse is also weighing heavily as the sheer stupidity of it becomes more clear.

I still can’t believe I did it. Twenty-one years, eight months, and twenty-nine days of perfect sobriety shot to hell in one big hurrah; the intent was the same as it had always been, the results were the same, even the remorse was the same. The only difference was the substance I chose to abuse. Now I’m at FOUR DAYS and counting…..and while I won’t spend a whole lot more time beating myself over the head with it, I am not a happy camper.

I’m also having to force myself not to cancel my pdoc appointment on Monday. I dread telling him, and yet I know I have to. I can’t lie to save my soul anyway, and he’ll take one look at me and know something’s wrong. The irony of it is, life’s been pretty good these past couple of months….I’ve gotten enough of a break from the mood episodes that I’ve been able to sort out (for the most part) what’s me versus what’s my illness. In fact, I haven’t really been ‘sick’ since early July.

And I know that this incident has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with bipolar. It has everything to do with being impulsive and having my ego smooshed up and ground into the dirt, and the latter has already been taken care of (the “smoosher” apologized profusely and was promptly forgiven. Yep, I’m a REAL tough customer). I’m just not thrilled with the idea that even at my advanced age, I have so much left to learn about how far I can push my limits and still be able to live with myself.

The other thing that bugs me a lot nowadays—and yes, this is totally random, but bear with me—is the assumption that everyone who does something reckless and/or violent is “mental”. Just yesterday in Washington D.C., a young woman tried to ram the barrier at the White House in a black Infiniti and then ran when the cops were about to pull her from the car; they shot her to death with her baby sitting just a couple of feet away from her.

It wasn’t even ten minutes after the dust had settled that newscasters were speculating about what kind of mental health issues the suspect might have had. Mind you, at this point no one even knew who she was, nor the possible motive for her actions…..they simply assumed she was suffering from some sort of illness.

Well, apparently she does have some kind of psych history, but of course now we’ll never know what drove her to storm the security barrier at the White House and run from the police when they attempted to apprehend her. And once again, the spotlight will be on all the “lunatics” who are running loose in our streets, endangering everyone in their path.

As a person with MI, I fear that what little progress has been made toward humanizing the mentally ill is slipping away as the voices of influential people advocating re-institutionalization grow louder and more insistent. The vast majority of us have never harmed anyone, nor will we. And it’s not just “crazy people” who do things like spraying a schoolyard with bullets or ramming a gate on Capitol Hill during a government shutdown. But to hear some tell it, a new Dark Ages is on its way to a mental health system near you.

Just a few thoughts on a chilly October evening with the dog sprawled out in front of the heater and my husband snoring contentedly in his La-Z-Boy. I feel a little better now. Thanks for reading.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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