Anatomy of a Relapse

I gave the pills to my husband last night. Now that I’ve had that maddening and yet oh-so-alluring taste of intoxication, I want more of it, even though the desire is totally irrational and there is nothing happening now that makes me want to be numb. Unfortunately, that is probably the most dangerous feeling on earth (outside a mixed-manic episode) and I’ve got to get it under control NOW.

So I gathered up all the Ativan tablets that I had around the house (including the twenty-some I had in my purse), put them in a single pill bottle, and handed it to Will. I told him that on the rare occasion that I need one, I will ask for it; otherwise, I want them to be someplace where I don’t have access to them.

I know I probably shouldn’t have made it his responsibility to hold onto the pills for me. But frankly, this episode scared the hell out of me and I simply don’t trust myself now. Besides…..I have yet to talk to my pdoc about this, and I have the feeling he’ll ask me either to give them up or flush them. This way, I can show that I’m being proactive and doing what I can to prevent another slip.

My husband told me he was proud of me. Heck, I’m even a tiny bit proud of me, too. I stayed sober for a very long time, and I worked too damned hard for too many years to blow it like this. But after I surrendered the pills, I could feel some of the guilt lift from me, and today I feel much more in control with them OUT of my possession.

I’m still trying to figure out what caused the relapse, after everything I’ve gritted my teeth through all these years without benefit of intoxicants. But a friend of mine came up with an idea that is beautiful in its simplicity, and even though it’s NOT an excuse, I suspect that it’s closer to reality than some of what I’ve come up with.

She said: “You’ve been through hell for the past two years. Everybody has a breaking point—you finally reached yours, and you broke.” It didn’t really matter what precipitated the event; the fact was that life has been throwing crap at me nonstop for a long time, and I just went over the edge. It happens, and I need to stop beating myself up about it.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, which will help keep my mind out of avenues best left unexplored and clear my head for my appointment on Monday. I shouldn’t worry; I know Dr. Awesomesauce won’t judge me (although he’s probably going to chew me a new one for not calling him the day after I did the evil deed). Not only that, I’m still blessedly asymptomatic as far as my MI is concerned; what a marvelous thing it is to be able to distinguish the normal ups and downs of everyday life from bipolar mood swings!

Five days and counting…..

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.

3 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Relapse

  1. You know what? I think sometimes we feel like if we mess up were supposed to make it hard on ourselves for a while after. But actually, why should we? Why can’t we take the easier way? Hell, life is hard enough without us making it harder on ourselves. So I applaud you for giving the Ativan to hubby, and making your life easier. I just showed my husband your post. He asked if your husband had addiction issues. I said I wasn’t sure but didn’t think so from what I’d read. And he said “well then, a bottle of pills isn’t heavy, is it?”
    I thought that was quite deep. But I’m also somewhat hyper, so I’m not promising!


    1. Thanks, Abbie. No, thank God, my hubby doesn’t have addiction issues OR mood problems, which is one of the reasons I had him take the pills away from me. As for what you said about making life harder for ourselves than it has to be, I wonder about that too—such a simple concept. We wouldn’t be near as tough on someone we love, so why do we treat ourselves like crap? Gonna have to ponder that one.


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