I’ve backslid quite a bit today. Things are coming to a head in my life and I am greatly afraid of where it’s headed. It seems to be in a free-fall that I cannot stop; I’m in a place where life just keeps getting worse, and I keep losing more and more. Maybe not all of it, but I have a lot to lose, and pretty soon it’s going to be my home and probably a good many of my possessions. I can’t even plan for tomorrow because today’s ground is too shaky and it takes all I have to stay upright.
I look around at the space my husband and I have occupied for over 11 years and am filled with dread at the prospect of packing up 3,000 square feet’s worth of stuff and moving it to a storage shed. I’m not at all sure where we’ll go; there are apartments in our price range but they all require at least the first month’s rent plus deposit plus pet deposit, if they take pets at all. We don’t have that kind of money; if we did, we’d stay here. We knew that one day we’d have to downsize; we just didn’t know that it would be under these circumstances.
So now my brain has shit the bed again—I am completely overwhelmed and I feel paralyzed to the point that I can barely look at the want ads on Craigslist. I’m not having much in the way of suicidal thoughts, thank God…..no, this time it’s the GUILT that’s doing me in. I feel like all of this my fault, that I should have tried even harder than I did to survive those last few jobs, that if all this mental illness stuff hadn’t happened, I could still be a nurse and keep us in the lifestyle we’re accustomed to. I even apologized to Will today for getting us into this situation. How hard it must be for him to have his fortunes attached to someone as unreliable as I am…..and yet, he refuses to blame me for any of it, even though he’s stressed out too.
I wish I could go back to being a nurse, but I can’t. Every time I even think about being responsible for another person’s life I get sick to my stomach. I almost made several significant mistakes toward the end of my clinical career—in no small part due to my inability to focus and manage competing priorities—and I know I’m right to give it up. But it’s humiliating to have to do it because I’m sick…..and tired…..and scared.
I try to remind myself that I also have physical limitations that I don’t feel I should have to apologize for; why do I feel the need to do so for my mental health issues? If I did anything wrong, it was to self-medicate with food for 30 years, which made me fat and led to the onset of the arthritis which restricts my ability to do physical work. If I should be ashamed of anything, it’s that…..not the bipolar.
But I promise one thing, and that is no matter how dark my world may be, I’m going to stay here and fight it out. I can’t say I’ll never think about checking out early, but I won’t do anything about it. And the depression can go to hell.