Yesterday morning I woke up to suicidal ideation. This is not unusual since I have bipolar with mixed episodes. One of the symptoms listed in a mixed episode is just that and it’s something I have to deal with regularly. Normally when I’m in a good space, and they come, I just get annoyed and brush them off knowing they’ll pass along with the other symptoms of irritability, anger & argumentative reactions, feeling antsy, and so forth.
antsy: agitated, impatient, restless (perfect description)
I lay in bed thinking of the various ways I could kill myself as well as the possible responses and reactions from the people I know. I also was completely aware that I was obviously experiencing a mixed episode and needed to take an additional pill to lift it. This time it took me longer to will myself out of bed though but I did. I took the additional med and went about my day. I knew it would pass and it did, leaving me feeling the weight, or rather the burden of it. I’m also left with the aftermath of feeling angry at everything and everyone, for no reason. Please let me stress, the anger is for no reason! A mixed episode is like a volcano of rage inside. Once it passes, I’m fine. The big risk with going out in public is that I’ll do or say something I’ll dearly regret. Whatever I say and do, motivated in a mixed episode, has nothing to do with who I am, what I think or belief, or how I feel about anything and anyone. Unfortunately no one understands this except those with bipolar mixed episodes dx.
I can usually bypass episodes through awareness and medication but sometimes something will trigger it and it will take my by surprise. That was this time. The problem is I was already a little depressed, coloring my perceptions, and so reacted to a situation I normally wouldn’t of. Lack of sleep leads to depression. Lack of getting stuff off my chest leads to feeling fragile. Anxiety leads to feeling vulnerable. A perfect storm.
I hadn’t talked with Zack for awhile so we had a text chat. First of all I wanted to meet him face to face since text chat is extremely difficult for proper conveying of emotions. Zack is direct and comes across wrong when I can’t see his face which may or may not be filled with compassion. Directness over text comes across harsh and sometimes even mean.
I wasn’t sure at this point what the sponsor/sponsee relationship was and needed parameters. I have counseling issues that I feel are beyond those parameters but since this is all new, what do I know? He also hates therapy. He reminded me that he picked me. He also said he was a aware that I’m a mess (not was a mess). He admitted I was coming along but that my life was still a mess especially based on this whole reaction to surgery. There was no, “look, you made it through without going back to old behavior,” “great job in doing what it took to resolve the problem,” and any number of other acknowledgements that the program is working for me. No, the message was, “You see the lesson here? All that anxiety was pointless since the situation was resolved.” Lessons…… I grew up with everything being a lesson in life, everything. I also grew up with constant “constructive” criticism which is really just criticism. I’m sorry that the past comes back to haunt me Zack, and that I still go to therapy, Zack, and that I’m still a mess… whatever. The point it, that hurt. It brought back all those hurt feelings from my past. When I’m depressed I always want a pat on the back, or at least some acknowledgement that I’m managing pretty darn well. Of course I don’t get it. When I feel better I understand that the pats-on-the-back have to come from me only.
I’m not sharing any of this at meetings. I don’t want to. Why? Because, honestly, I am sick and tired of people pointing out the character defects I am painfully aware of: self-pity, selfishness in not putting others first, and vanity in wanting people to acknowledge me. By the way, this is different than wanting validation. That is something I deal with when I’m not depressed. The way of AA is “loving” criticism whatever people may think. They say it like this: “In my experience, or what I was early in recovery, I felt_____, and it was because of ____, blah, blah, blah” said in such a way as to say, “You need to get your act together.” The other message I constantly here is that someday you’ll feel better, someday you’ll be through this and get the promises, you are exactly where you need to be right now, take it easy, let go let god, live in today. Really?!!! What about, “I understand how that feels and how frustrating that is. You’ve come a long way and it’s nice to see how far you have come in recovery. Sometimes its a struggle and sometimes it isn’t. It’s okay to feel upset.” Or when I’m doing okay, “Hey, you seem to be doing so much better. It’s nice to see a small on your face….”
I’m sure this too shall pass. Whatever…
patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.