I have negative dollars in two bank accounts and a small change purse about a quarter full, mostly pennies. I haven’t been to work since some time in October, I can’t remember exact dates but I know that it was some time before Halloween. Leading up to that, my accounts were already overdrawn due to me desperately trying to catch up on every bill that I was behind on leading up to my first hospital stint back in July.In July I’d admit to you that I had no money because I’d blow the money I worked so hard in college to finally make on impulse and booze. My impulses were Mexican food, DVD’s, and Criterion blu-rays. If I had $8 left in the bank, I would think to myself, “That’s more enough to buy a $6.88 bottle of Jose Cuervo…” and I’d go through with it. See, I wanted to be drunk enough to quietly fall asleep (pass out) always. Why? Because I was, and still am, lonely and that was my favorite way of making the pain stop. I’d go on to hide the empty bottle in what was supposed to be my underwear drawer, but it had evolved into a pile of hidden empty bottles of all kinds and sizes. Tequilas, whiskey’s, craft beers, cheap beers, and the same goes for wine for I was well-rounded in alcohol. I had an entire bottle of wine to myself the night I broke and Baker Acted myself.
The excessive drinking in solitude stopped, but I was far from whole. I took two weeks off work without pay to make paperwork more convenient for HR. I saw that as fair since I was not eligible for FMLA at the time, and I just didn’t want to be an asshole. I recruited a therapist and dropped in on my local behavioral health center where they provide group sessions. I had an upward hill that I was eager to climb, unpaid bills due to all of this laid somewhere in that hill.
That was how I spent my Summer vacation (yes, that’s a Bouncing Souls reference), but today is what’s relevant. Since being diagnosed bipolar, cold turkey unmediated, and the process of trial and error medication to bring the poles closer together I’ve had a number of psychotic breaks with outcomes that have only shoved me flying backwards.
I ended up back in the hospital Baker Acted, the sequel was even longer, I was there for six days. My most recent episode resulted in shattered lamps, coffee mugs, and a vacuum launched into my door-length mirror (which for some reason I’m now grateful for didn’t shatter) all because I saw on Snapchat that my best friend went to see neighborhood Christmas lights without me and I felt ditched, and another friend didn’t reply to a series of my critical text messages quick enough to satisfy my anxiety. I’d asked my best friend to take me light-seeing as my Christmas present and boy did he not deliver fast enough.
Until this week it was not in a Psychiatrists best interest that I return to work. I’m only cleared to go back under the reason that this medication cycle has been showing some positive signs for the short time I’ve been on it, and I have to check in every day with my psychiatrist and continue working with my therapist. This was the “Plan B” to failing to afford payment for the FMLA form to be filled out by my psychiatrist. I am still not okay; things are still not great.
I don’t feel good about myself. I don’t hate myself, but what I see staring back at me in the mirror depresses me. It’s a weight so heavy that I’m buried under it and I can’t get out of bed; I can’t do anything because I’ve lost all interest to be alive. I wanted to be a Renaissance man; my art collects dust, this website only has one focus instead of multiple topics, I can no longer hear the music like I want to or be inspired by it.
Each day brings its’ new set of anxiety. I’ve driven all my friends away while debt has become my companion. I’m fighting a crippling depression that limits me to staying at home, and that I can’t go to work to pay my bills makes me more depressed. It’s a vicious cycle where there is no control. I suppose I’m supposed to include a positive counter off a 30 day positivity challenge of some sort off Pinterest, but I don’t have one; with what little fight I have left, taking the energy to tell my story and make a declaration is my first step.