Doomed to a life of inconsistency


I was "officially" diagnosed with Bipolar disease back in 2006 at the ripe age of 31, though looking back on my life I knew the signs started much earlier than that, perhaps even as far back as my 13th birthday. I always knew that I was different but I learned rather quickly how to mask those differences so that I would seem "normal" to my peers and be accepted by them. But as I'm sure any person inflicted with this disease will tell you, hiding your true self and always wearing a mask can be draining and utterly exhausting. So by the time I was in my late 20s I'd begun to break down inside. I couldn't keep all of that STUFF inside any longer no matter how hard I tried. It was literally eating me alive from the inside out. My emotions were out of control. I'd go from being super depressed and literally in tears to being on cloud nine, taking on insane amount of work and super projects all in the matter of a few days. My wife didn't know what to do. I was all over the place. I started writing a book (even though I knew absolutely nothing about what that would entail). I remodeled the basement. Took a professional photography course at the local college. I just couldn't do enough. Sleep was almost nonexistent but I didn't care because I didn't need sleep. My life was AWESOME until....

My first psychotic break happened just a few months shy of my 30th birthday. I didn't know what was going on. Like the flip of a light switch all of my energy and extreme focus was GONE and I found myself being completely immobilized. I literally couldn't move. I felt DEAD. Suddenly nothing mattered. Not my wife, not my kids, my job, nothing. I didn't eat. I didn't shower. I couldn't even call in sick to work, I had my wife do that for me. Six days went by and I never even left the house. Then on the morning of the 7th day I made up my mind that this was the end for me. I remember that day as clearly as if it were just yesterday. I waited that morning until my wife left to take my children to school. As soon as I felt she was far enough away I gathered up what strength I had and made my way to the bathroom and scoured the medicine cabinet looking for pills....every and any kind of pill that we had in the house. There was a mixture of all kinds of things - cold medicine, aspirin, some left over antibiotics, Tylenol with codine, and I think even some birth control pills. I had no clue which of these could be toxic and I didn't have the energy or the time to look them up so I decided to take ALL of them. I dumped all of them into a basket and made my way to the liquor cabinet where I found a brand new 5th of vodka. I spent the next 30 minutes or so unwrapping pills and shoving them into my mouth by the handfuls, washing them down with swigs of vodka straight out of the bottle. I have no clue how many pills I consumed that day, but let's just say it was a lot...

That fateful day was what lead to my official Bipolar diagnosis. Obviously I didn't succeed that day in killing myself, but the intent certainly was there. I'd like to say that was the low point in my life and that everything has been sunshine and rainbows since then, but that would be a lie. This mental disease, Bipolar, didn't just disappear once I was diagnosed. In fact the only thing that really changed was that now I had a name for this infliction.

Since then it's been a never ending struggle on ups and downs and pills. God there are so many fucking pills. One pill brings me up, another pill brings me down, another pill helps counter act the side effects from one of the other meds, and the list goes on and on. And do the meds work? Sometimes. Some don't work at all, or there are other times when they seem to work great...for the first few weeks anyway, until my body decides to change its chemical balance and then they don't work.

And then there's the therapy. Finding the right therapist is sometimes even harder than finding the right combination of medications. I actually had one therapist who kept falling asleep during our sessions. Here I am pouring out my heart and soul to this woman only to realize that she'd fallen asleep minutes earlier. She'd even start snoring at times. I mean, was I THAT fucking boring???

so now I'm at a point where I don't know what to do. At one time I had great aspirations of overcoming this disease, but I've come to realize that there is no defeating this. No matter how many steps I make in the right direction this disease always seems to be two steps ahead of me, ready to knock me to my knees at any moment. Why can't I just be normal? I'd give anything to just be boring for a change. Is there no hope at all? I'm beginning to think not....