Usually when I break, it happens slowly. I see it coming. Every time, I try to delay it though I know it's inevitable.
The hardest part about being bipolar is realizing you're in a manic phase only when you're about to come down from it. The manic phase is kind of awesome though. You're so productive and you feel the most like yourself. You could take on the world! Last week + weekend I caught up with friends, took down the Christmas tree THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS (never happens!), went through the kids' clothes, organized and set up all christmas gifts they got, went through my clothes and donated a lot, cleaned out my drawers, organized my shoes, got HHM applications going, worked a few hours at my old job aside from my regular job, and countless other things. By Sunday evening around 5:30pm (New Year's Eve), while I was building a shelf, I started to feel kind of light headed... I thought back to my day and realized I hadn't eaten at all that day and had only had like 3 sips of one of the kids' gatorade. That's another symptom of mania - you don't need sleep, food, or care about consequences much. I told myself I'd eat after I finished building that shelf. (Which was the second one I'd put together that day by the way. - queen emoji) Then I ate a few bites of some leftovers, ordered something from a local restaurant for us all, and went to pick it up. On my drive I thought - "oh, I'm manic. Dammit. ok. It'll be fine. I got this." Came home, didn't eat much more and wanted so badly to not stay up until midnight. Of course I did because #momlife. Part of me craved going out to any of the places we were invited to, but wasting time showering and getting ready when there was so much to do at home still was not happening. I begrudgingly played card games with the kids and M. God allowed me to turn the tv on when Britney was performing and then Imagine Dragons was next so that helped. Wait, is it begrudgingly or grudgingly? The Grudge was a terrible movie you guys. It scared me so bad.
I managed to avoid it so far but by Monday afternoon I was fizzling out. I reached out to some friends, sent multiple texts. Did the texts say help me? I need a friend? nope. Just inappropriate jokes and conversations trying to delay the darkness. I only mentioned something about post holiday blues and how wishing I could just be productive without having to get out of bed to one person. Then I did the hard thing. I text M and told him I wanted to be a blob. He told me he'd be home soon and it would all be ok. He's been there for me so many times. I told him he should play video games that night and get a new headset before his surgery the next day. I thought I was being a cool, nice, understanding wife when I suggested this. Now looking back I wonder if I pushed him into Call of Duty so that I could try to cling to my mania a little longer. I scheduled out my Tuesday kind of heavy after Mathew's *procedure. But I felt off. I didn't sleep much and when I was driving him to the doctor's office he asked if I always drove so anxiously and cautiously - definitely not. I just knew we'd die on the way to the office. All day my mind was distracted and wanted to chase something to numb the bad feelings, something to make it feel good, even if it was just temporary. I trudged on and checked off everything on my to do list. I finally got some sleep that night. Then today, I hit a wall. I thought I was ok, I thought I would go back to work and be productive and just kind of ease over the transition back down from the manic phase.
I completely broke down. Luckily, my boss was on a phone meeting when I felt the tears rise up. I was right in the middle of some work when all of a sudden I wanted to just crawl under the desk and never come out. I went to the bathroom and though I tried to stop it, I cried a little. I looked in the mirror and man.. it wasn't good. I decided I needed out. I emailed him and let him know I'd be right back. I knew I needed to get outside so I'd walk to the coffee shop I'd just been at an hour earlier. As soon as the freezing cold air hit me and I took in lots of deep breaths, I felt a little better. I talked with the coffee shop owner, ordered my soda, sat there for a few minutes, then walked around the block a few times. During this time my boss emailed me and asked if I would be ok, said he had chocolate, and asked if there was anything he could do... The best boss I tell you. I asked a friend if I could pop in and see them, but they were unavailable at the time so I just kept walking and breathing and tearing up and being still and praying and letting go. I texted a friend and got nothing but love and wisdom. I did what I needed to do for me then. As embarrassed as I am about it, if we saw each other right now I'd say - "I had an anxiety attack today! But I'm ok now." The reason it's embarrassing is because NOTHING was wrong. Nothing. Just me.
The hardest part about the awesomeness that is being manic is knowing that that crash is coming. Knowing that you won't be able to avoid it and just holding on and hoping people stick by you. That they love you despite it and don't consider your friendship a burden like you think they should.
The best part about the the crash, the coming down, it balancing back out, is feeling the weight come off. Letting the crash happen and then carrying on. I am so happy I have Mathew, my mom, by brother, my friends, my kids. I can say, "I had an anxiety attack today! But I'm ok now." And they just know it's part of who I am, part of what makes me feel so much, love so big, and try my best.
In Love Warrior Glennon Doyle talks to herself and says, "treat yourself like someone you love, Glennon. Listen to what you want and need and give it to yourself. Be your own friend." Today I stepped away. I went outside in the cold. I showed my crazy to people that I wish would never have seen it. But it's ok. I did, said, and asked for what I needed and that crippling pit of darkness and despair lasted only hours not days. This evening I got to see my mom and brother and help celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday after work with my kiddos. They made her birthday cards during the day and used google translate to say what they wanted to say in Spanish and make sure it was spelled correctly. It made my heart happy and it appeased my soul to hug on my family and be around them. Tonight I showered (and danced) with Beyonce blasting, picked out my clothes for tomorrow, and am ready for what Thursday brings.
Side note: Mathew had a vasectomy on Tuesday morning. I appreciate him because we know we are good with our two children and if we ever do have the desire to have more, we'll adopt or foster. I had scary deliveries both times and we both don't want to go through that again. Not to mention the hormone craziness that goes on ALONG with the mental illness. He did this for us and I am so thankful to him but guys, he's fine. It's not like he had a baby or something. He'll be fine in a couple of days and Call of Duty is keeping his company.