Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where late the sweet birds sang

A few years ago I wrote the following:

I am losing it. Everything that I have is about to be taken away from me. For the first time in my life I am, really powerless. I am having problems at work. I cannot think anymore. I cannot do my job.  I cannot compartmentalize, work,  and home anymore. It's like my life is a house of cards. it is about to come crashing down. I am loosing everything. I am scared. 

This is still true. I am not working now, but trying to work. Trying to rebuild my life, brick by brick, again. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, rebuilding from ashes.  But people do it. They do it after catastrophies, and they do it in real life after something shatters and turns your world upside down. I've done it before, but this time, I'm older, and it's harder. It's harder and harder to stay afloat.

I look at other people in my online support group, and my support group in real life. People have spouses who help them. I never had that. I have a network of friends, but  I cannot call them or ask for help when I start the black thoughts, my brain starts drowning in it's morass that is darkness, depression clutching my black heart and dragging me into the undertow, bashing my brain against the rocks while a siren sings, but not for me. For anon.  If I do reach out, I am afraid I will loose them. 

The point is moot anyway. It looks like my brain is turning against itself, the gray matter leaving. Perhaps going South for the summer to warmer climes, only never to return. I feel alone and lonely and that adds to the black morass. Is this the way recovery is supposed to be? 

I was once an intelligent person. I have a college degree and a graduate degree. I was asked to join Mensa, but didn't think I was smart enough to join. Turns out I passed the test to join, but didn't. I don't know why, maybe I didn't feel I was good enough.

I know I have suffered from low self esteem all my life. I never felt I was good enough for anything. I always felt like a fraud when good things happened to me. So maybe the masochist in me should be enjoying the fact my brain doesn't seem to be working anymore. And if and when my money runs out.....

I loose my apartment, and my  way of life. I have been homeless before. I know I can do what I did in college, wait on tables, schlep drinks. Work retail. I don't mind working, I would rather work than be on disability like now. 

I am upset. I didn't ask for this. Yet when I found out about my birth mother, I found out that everyone in the family was either bipolar, schizophrenic, or a combination of both. Lots of horrors, lobotomies done in the 40s and 50s, too many suicides and no one dying of natural causes. I hope I can escape the genes, but sometimes I wonder if it's something I have to deal with, like Odysseus first hearing the prophesy  he was going to marry Jocasta, runs away to  escape and ends up marrying his mother anyway. 

I don't have curtain pins to tear out my eyes. But I do hope I  can escape the genes. Keep the illness under control, and live a "Normal" life. I should have realized that "normal" is only a setting on the washing machine. 

 I don't like the fact I cannot recall things. I get stressed and cannot talk. People confuse me. I cannot handle crowds anymore. I cannot handle being around people anymore. Even my friends overwhelm me if I am with more than two or three people at a time.

I use to be the life of the party. I was the lass clown. Now look at me. 

My father tells me I have let myself go. I can still pass for 10 years younger, but maybe I have. I don't know. Sure, I could loose some weight, but who couldn't? Maybe that is all I need in his eyes to feel better. Loose 30 lbs, go to the gym, lighten my hair and bleach my teeth. In my grandfather's day they toled women to go out and buy hats. This generations it's a pair of Manolo's. 

All I know is I am loosing it. I don't feel anything. I should feel anger, but I don't. I don't feel resignation though.  I feel nothing. Hollow. Empty, devoid of feelings. It is like I am watching my own funeral, but cannot feel anything. I don't feel it's normal. And if I cannot work, once myinvestments are gone, I am going into a home. 

I don't feel suicidal though. Not now. I just don't feel. Is this what being dead is like? No feelings, just numbness? 

I don't want to leave the human race yet. I want to stay productive. My prayers aren't being answered. I sit and stare in front of the computer and cannot recall how to write. Then I write copious amounts where I cannot stop. 

The other night I was driving home and I drove past my apartment. I never did that. I forgot where I lived. I didn't realize my error till about ten miles later. This isn't like me. I have been driving home on the same road for over 10 years now. I can drive back and forth in my sleep I know this road so well. Yet I forgot.

I feel like my brain is turning on itself, eating itself alive like a female praying mantis does to the male when it mates. I am scared. 

I keep thinking of my grandfather. He was in his late 90s when he died. When he was in his late 80s my mother and father and aunt and uncle put him in a nursing home. He had Alzheimer's. I remember the nursing home, one of the best in the state at that time. How happy my mother and father were to get him in there. I was in high school. We visited him almost every weekend, rain or shine. Some days he didn't know me, some days he did. I can still smell the nursing home in my memory, it smelled like Lysol, sweat and tears. At that time I thought it was like living in a hotel, grandpa had his own room and took communal meals. He had his own shower. But the furniture was standard nursing home issue; it reminded me of my dorm room furniture, only with a hospital bed. We brought him a meal, flowers, cookies. When I was in college aI visited him once or twice a week on my own between classes. I remember I did that every semester when I had a four or five hour gap between classes.

What stays with me are his eyes. Dead empty blue eyes. the nursing home did that. Every other resident had the same stare. Empty, dead. Like the only thing they all did was wait for God to send them home. Grandchildren, great grandchildren, were cherished. But when they left at the end of the day leaving only a memory and an photograph taken from a Polaroid camera that would spit out the film, the dying began again in ernest. TS Eliot wrote about measuring your life with coffee spoons. Here your life was measured on days on a calendar, only instead of marking the days til Christmas like an Advent calendar, it was a giant advent calendar of death. Don't fear the reaper, minus the cowbell.

Is this to be my life soon? When I can no longer work or write, to be shuffled off to some home with my books and my crocheted afghan to serve as my bedspread? To measure each day as one more closer to my death, instead of one ore day that I was grateful to be alive?

Or is it that you die once you go to a place like that, your soul and your spirit  leaves you and you do the opposite of a physical death, instead of waiting for your body to return to dust, you wait for your body to stop breathing.

Was it a curse on my forehead, from the time I was first came into this world, backwards of course, that made me who I am? The sins of our parents- when I was born was it determined by the Greek Gods that this is how my life would end I just exist while I wait for Klotho, Lachesis, and Atropos to cut my thread?

The weird thing is if I had a choice up to now, to be normal, or to be bipolar, I would pick bipolar. I have seen remarkable things and done remarkable things when manic. I've done some beautiful writing when I was depressed.  By contemplating suicide, could I understand existentialism. True, I have been alone, gone to bed so many nights wishing there was someone I could hold on to, hold me and be held, make love with. But I have the gift of writing instead. I love to read and write. Would I have been so creative if I wasn't bipolar? I don't know. What the Greek Gods give they also destroy. They gave me bipolar so I can create. I know ths. I have to suffer. Don't I?

Last night when I brushed my teeth, I looked back at my reflection. My eyes reflected back and they are still alive. I breathe the air and I am grateful for the small stuff.

I don't know how my life will end. Someday t will end. I just hope  my brain chooses to fall softly on itself, slowly, ever so slowly and gives me another couple decades of good life.


Patricia said...

Susan, this is one awesome blog.

You've been thru so much, but you still have the time and the heart to care about others.

Invited to join Mensa? A graduate degree? There is so much I didn't know about you, but it seems like I should have!

The world needs more people like you!

Love from Patti and Amber to you and your beautiful furchild! :)

Stephany said...
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