Phoning It In

Yesterday, Monday, the start of another long week. I can’t say I got much done as I sat at my computer. I went to the meetings I was instructed to attend. I responded appropriately to emails and set up appointments. But then I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Not the scholarly shit they insist you produce here, but my own words, my own experiences. I am in a holding pattern here – seeing how this first year goes, all the while hoping desperately that by the end of it, perhaps I could leave this industry and just write, just be. To follow the one passion I have in this world.

So I write. Everyday. I may hate what I have produced. It may feel like I have vomited on the page and nothing makes sense, but at least I have written – I have gotten the words down and out of me. I don’t have a clear writing schedule yet. My partner is still here, and his schedule is not the same as mine. He works anywhere, for himself. He has that freedom. I am stuck in an office for 8 hours a day and am finding that while my house is not my own, this is where I can focus. Most of the time. When he leaves, I will figure out a schedule that works for me. I still get up before the dawn, and that is my favorite time to put words to paper.

When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.

-Ernest Hemingway

It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.

I have a dear friend, my best friend, who is struggling as much – if not more –  than me at the moment. It makes my  heart ache, for her and in some ways for me, because we are so alike. We are both rapid-cycling right now and the constant ups and downs are exhausting. I hate this disease. How many times do I say that? My therapy has become writing. It has become this blog. She sent me a message yesterday of encouragement, to keep me moving forward: “I do think that by working through the feelings and going down that dark tunnel is the only way to get back into the light“.

And I want the light, not just for me but for her, and all of us who battle on a daily basis with just trying to get out of our goddamn beds and face another day of uncertainty. Of anxiety and “what ifs” and all the shit that comes with the roller coaster we were put on when this disease exploded in our heads and we were no longer the people we grew up thinking we were. Because, at least for me, this disease changed me. Changed who I was. Changed how I saw the world and myself. It has led me down destructive paths that I still follow, when the light switch goes from off to on in my brain and I begin to falter.

I think the writing is better than the years of talk therapy that went nowhere. I absolutely believe that it is more helpful than the ten different medications I am supposed to take every day. I am still resisting the anti-depressant. I don’t want that shit in my body. I want to feel. Because if I can’t feel, I cannot write. It may be torturous to be in the dark tunnel of depression but at least I feel something.

I told my best friend that writing has become, in some fashion, similar to when I cut myself. It bleeds the toxins I feel are within, out of me. It allows me some form of outlet and a moment or two where I can breathe. Where I feel empty and full all at the same time.

So, I may be doing shit at my job right now. But I am doing what I love, as much as I can. It is keeping me sane as I try to figure out the next phase of my life. I do not know if I will be alone or partnered. I do not know if I will run away to another country where I feel more at home than I ever have here. The future is a mystery to me. I know that I will always carry a shadow behind me – I cannot escape the prison of bipolar madness. But perhaps I can use it to my advantage to create what I need to to feel full.

So I sit here, at this computer, in this office tucked away from the rest of my peers and write. And write. And write. To stay sane as I describe all the insane things I have done in my life. The things that for years I tried to burn from my memory. But the ghosts don’t go away unless you face them, so I suppose that is what I am attempting to do. Rid myself of the past I am ashamed of. Write about it so that perhaps I can examine it more objectively and come to understand that all the fucked up things that I have done in my life have all been part of this journey. Make sure you fasten your seat belt.

© Sorrow & Kindness

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6 thoughts on “Phoning It In

  1. Very helpful ideas !!
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    Like

  2. I have been cycling since Friday. Two days of hypomania then daily three hour crying sessions. The hypomania seemed to have snapped me out of a 2 month morbidly depressed state. Not sure what all this is supposed to mean as I wait to reach a blood level for the lithium.

    Like

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