If I could pinpoint the exact moment it all went to shit, maybe I could learn the trigger and keep a closer watch next time. Because there is always a next time. And just because life likes to mix things up, there's no use in pinpointing. Next time, there will be a new birthplace for sadness.
Reminding myself that it won't always feel like this is a major mantra I'm supposed to dialogue in my head at times like this, according to my psychiatrist and my therapist and every psychobabble self-help book out there. I can say it, but that voice has competition with many others in my brain. I have a symphony of self-talk in there.
It won't always feel like this.
But it feels horrible now.
I can't move. I can't think.
I don't want to go anywhere or do anything.
I hate everything. I hate myself.
I'm fat. I'm lazy. I'm a horrible mom.
Why doesn't Tim just leave me? I'd leave me, if I could.
Work sucks, but I'm stuck. I can't bear another rejection letter.
How do I get through another day?
How do I get through the next hour?
The next five minutes? The next sixty seconds?
I feel very alone during these times in the downward spiral to the deep, dark pit of despair. The people who love me don't know what to say or do to help. I don't know what to tell them when they ask. I just want to climb under flannel sheets and quilted comforters in the darkness and sleep for days. I would take a sick day tomorrow, but I used them all up long ago. We only get five a year. Someone with a mood disorder could blow through that in a week. Probably the first week in January, with the holidays over and winter winds howling.
There have been times in the past when I felt like this, tired and trapped and completely exhausted, and ended up in the hospital, in a locked unit, with doctors trying this new mood stabilizer or that antipsychotic in an effort to bring me up from the depths, back to the surface. Days in the hospital involve personal therapy, group therapy, meditation, and lots of time to focus on me and how to find stability again. They send me home when i seem a little brighter and I promise that any thoughts of harming myself have passed.
I know that my depression, and the wild hypomanic swings in the other direction that complete my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, are not character flaws or ruts to snap out of. They are real. They are debilitating. Painful. Suffocating. Relentless.
Sometimes I simply say, "My brain is broken." Tonight it's my heart and my spirit.