I’m going to be really truthful here and bare my soul, which is making my palms sweat. I’ve been on a temporary hiatus from the blogging world and life in general. Sometimes we’re made to think that mental illness is embarrassing and not a topic you openly discuss with the world. Or maybe others do feel okay sharing. But for me, I find it really hard. In my mind, the bottom line is that people have diseases of all types, whether it’s diabetes or heart disease. Anything related to the body is socially accepted. Yet, bipolar, depression, OCD, etc. are the same thing, they just manifest themselves in the mind.
12 years ago, the first time I was hospitalized, I was diagnosed with bipolar and I felt shitty long before that. I have literally tried every medication and form of therapy there is to try, but it’s been pretty treatment-resistant. Three times a day, I whip out bottle after bottle of pills and take them religiously. I feel like a 90-year-old woman. At best I’m floating by. I’m not particularly happy, I’m not sad, I just feel sort of dead. The chemicals numb me. At worst, I cry constantly, can’t get out of bed or leave the house, feel hopeless, restless, and irritable, have anxiety attacks, and just want to die.
This part is terrifying to discuss openly: About three or four years ago, I was going through a particularly rough time and I went into my apartment, locked the door, took every single pill that was in my house and overdosed. My brother rescued me. After a stint in the emergency room, I was hospitalized once again. I saw what it did to my family and I would honestly never ever try to kill myself again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to.
Each time I enter a program or switch to a new medication, I wait for this cure and think “I’ll be normal. I’ll be better soon. I can’t wait to be happy.” It doesn’t work like that. I’m sad to say that I had to go back again after the suicide attempt, but in an outpatient setting. I feel like a failure. Why can’t I get better? I’m saddled with this disease for life. This isn’t even a woe is me post. I’ve made peace with that aspect. It’s managing the symptoms, lessening the amount of medication I’m on, and my self-destructive behavior that is of concern to me.
The past two months have been incredibly difficult for me. I’m losing it. I’m not going to lie. My arm is covered in cuts and scars like a sullen pre-teen. I had an intake interview today and tomorrow I start a partial hospitalization program at yet another hospital. Once I’m no longer a danger to myself, I graduate to intensive outpatient. It’s a 12 week program. It’s a huge commitment, it’s definitely a mindfuck, and I don’t feel as hopeful as I did during previous attempts. But I’m keeping an open mind.
I am hard on myself because I’m a yogi and I teach yoga. I have this misconception that a true yogi wouldn’t be on a shitload of medication or need constant therapy. Asana practice, mindfulness, clean living, meditation, and pranayama are amazing wellness tools. They have honestly transformed my life and keep me somewhat sane. But even if I reach samadhi tomorrow, I’m still going to have bipolar. It’s not something that enlightenment or spirituality can vanquish. It just is. I’ve heard so much nonsense in my life time about how to overcome it without medication and how to rise above and eliminate it. That’s just not the truth. It’s brain chemistry. And episodes happen, albeit less intense when you’re on the right meds and find an awesome therapist.
I don’t want to focus on my issues for three months. But I NEED to get out of this dark place and find some normalcy and peace. I want to decrease the pharmaceutical nonsense I’m on so that I can feel something. Therefore, I’ll put everything I have into it and keep up with my yoga. In one sense, I feel blessed to be crazy. It makes me see the world in a different way. It’s what allows me to write and be super weird. It’s made me who I am. But it’s still a real handjob at times.
I’ll wait until I’m feeling better to write my next post. It will be joyous and filled with kittens, llamas, puppies, and giraffes. Until then, I’m going to be clawing my way out of this hole I’m in.