Dark Night Of the Soul


I decided I’d better put a trigger warning at the top of this post like I did the last one, because the theme of this one is even scarier. Just in time for Halloween. Only this isn’t tricks or treats, and the fear doesn’t go away with the flip of a calendar page.

The past 36 hours have been literally a dark night of the soul for me. Yesterday morning I spent three hours in the bathroom while Will was out running errands and going to the doctor. Why? Because I was afraid I’d do something bad if I left the relative safety of the little room. You see, I knew where the gun was, and I knew where the pills were, and of course there were knives in the kitchen, and I’d gotten it in my head that I wanted out.

As it is with most people who contemplate dying by their own hand, it wasn’t really that I wanted to die; I only wanted the pain and anxiety to go away. The pain of having no place to go. The pain of being left in the lurch by someone I love very much and shouldn’t have counted on. The pain of loss after loss after loss.

So I sat on the commode and let the darkness wash over me. I weighed various options and rejected each in turn; I didn’t want it to hurt, I didn’t want to leave a mess, and I didn’t want to take the chance of winding up in the ICU with tubes coming out of every orifice. I also didn’t want anyone to think I was a chickenshit who couldn’t cope, even though that’s exactly what I felt like, and that made me feel even worse. I wondered how Will would handle it. Would he be OK? How would the kids react? Would the rest of my family and friends be angry with me?

It occurred to me that I probably should get some help—e.g. call Dr. Awesomesauce. I didn’t know what to say, though. How do you tell your doctor that you’re on the verge of becoming homeless and you can’t deal? There’s a big difference between being stressed and having a psychiatric emergency. Isn’t there? Besides, I knew he’d ask if I was safe, and would probably want to admit me “downstairs” because I couldn’t make any guarantees. I didn’t want to be admitted. I know what “downstairs” means.

I got through the day on Ativan and sleep. Poor Will didn’t know what to do with me since I wouldn’t let him call Dr. A, but he hid everything in new places, and he fed me, and he medicated me and let me doze.

Then late last night, a very dear friend called and over the course of two hours, talked some sense into me, prayed for me, and gave me some ideas for where to get help with our housing situation. She didn’t beg me to stay alive, but she gave me some really good reasons to do so, and after we hung up I felt there had been a subtle shift in my perspective.

Today has not been good, but it’s been better, and right now that’s the best I can hope for. The original problem is still there, and I’m still scared. But I’m also over the worst, and Will felt I was safe enough to leave for an hour or so tonight. I feel absurdly grateful for his trust. I’m also grateful for the many friends who have been posting their support on Facebook…..if it weren’t for all of this divine intervention, I’m not sure if I’d have been able to turn that corner.

And I live to fight another day.





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.

5 thoughts on “Dark Night Of the Soul

  1. I lay prostrate, begging you to stay alive. I know that the prospect of homelessness is a HUGE stress and is triggering severe depression and suicidality. PLEASE, please, please call Dr. A, call 911, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You MUST survive this. This too shall pass. You and Will are in my thoughts and my prayers. You are loved. You would be dearly missed by Will, by your children, by your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m past the worst of it. I feel like I’ve been severely ill and am coming out the other side. I won’t say it’s over, but I’m better and if nothing else, I’ve been shown that there’s a lot of people out there who care about me, and that gives me another reason to stay put. Thank you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Marla I feel your pain. MY ability to help you is causing me anxiety but I understand. I’d get on a plane and visit you but that money would be better given to you. Did you call DR A? Please do not put it off..going into a weekend……

    Glad hubby was able to help you ,and trusts you enough to leave you alone for short time. LOve you girl!!!!!!

    I know you do not want to die but do need to get out of your situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Praying for my BP Nurse everyday. Praying for divine intervention for your situation. And letting you know how much you have helped everyone else who suffers this misery of BP.

    Liked by 1 person

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