The Precarious Balance Of Mental Illness

After a very rough night, there was this brief “tee hee” moment this morning when I dropped my kid off at school. She gave me a kiss as she was getting out but said, “Don’t let anyone see the love, it’s a secret!” And I laughed out loud. My six year old is already a teenager if she is ashamed of being seen kissing her mommy.

Yesterday…Yeah, at one point, I started reading some of my old writing, like from 9 years ago. Hoping it might spark that one tiny thing needed to reanimated my creativity. I was making notes, getting out the big white board. I had my kid and myself bathed and her in bed by 8 p.m. There I was, all arrogant, thinking, maybe I have reached the point of calm where I can let my imagination run riot…

Only to have it entirely fucked up by  a ringing phone. A call I did not even answer.Oh, yes, after 5 days of not existing in his world, R was beckoning. I was feeling so contemptuous, I knew answering could be a very bad thing. Holding back my sarcastic whiplash tongue is hard enough when stable. Circling the drain as I have been…It’s just bridge burning territory. Because I’ve “done the right thing” and taken his calls before while in such a mind space and it has lead to nothing but misery and him guilt tripping me for being “bitchy”. When one feels disrespected and taken for granted and you won’t even hear them out without becoming a vile jerk…Bitchy makes sense.

I loathe being passive aggressive, I should have taken the call. Because even though the phone never rang again…My night was fucking ruined. Anxiety spiked, the anger began causing my gut to churn, and my concentration was fucking lost. I get so sick of being right about people, how they use you to the nth when it suits them, leave you hanging, then expect you to be there waiting with bated breath for them. It’s infuriating. Disrespectful. I’m to the point where the positive in this “relationship” has become more negative. No one should have to feel the way I feel dealing with that man. He has good qualities, but hey, his only problem with me when he ditched me was my mood swings, he couldn’t handle them…If he can’t handle a woman who has a legit illness,what do I really owe him in terms of accepting his quirks and flaws?

I was awake until after midnight. Seething. Pissed off. Anxious. Because if I don’t jump to attention the next thing I know I will be getting another angry text from him accusing me of using him and “biting the hand” that feeds me. Leave it to a narcissist to give themselves way more credit than they’ve got coming. That was two years ago when he sent me that vile text for not answering my phone when he called twice. It’s stuck in my craw ever since. I may be volatile and moody but I don’t act like a spoiled brat over a couple of missed calls. I wouldn’t care if he ever replied to my calls or texts were he not orchestrating such an unfair game.

I got very nauseated because I hadn’t eaten supper, finally mustered up the energy to nuke some scrambled eggs. Fed most to the cats. Food, it all tastes so blah with the meds. My tastebuds, my entire mouth, almost always feel dry, numb, sour. I didn’t have that problem before all the meds. Hell, I could be a walking pharma ad at this point and I’m still circling the drain. One little thing like a call, one you didn’t even answer, should be able to set you down a path of crashing and burning. I had my evening semi planned, I was going to keep reading my old stuff, see if that spark would ignite. And one fucking phone call fucked it all up.

Because creativity is a precarious balance itself. Toss in bipolar and depression and anxiety and it’s a scale that only balances once in a blue moon. Especially when every tiny thing runs the risk of upsetting that balance. This is why my writing has always benefited, and flowed, from absolute seclusion. People distract, people stress me out. I need to focus, to get into that pocket, and it often feels like the world is against me.

It was midnight when I finally caved and took another Xanax and a Restoril. Hate doing that, because even if it’s not happened once, I still fear it will knock me out so much I’ll miss the alarm and fail to get my kid to school on time. But eventually sleep came. After being wakened by my kid climbing into my bed, wanting to chatter. After two near drop outs only to jolt awake in terror.

All. Because. Of. One. Phone. Call.

There will always be reality, stress, distraction. But do I really need it coming from a relationship in which my only benefit seems to be smokes and gas to get my kid to school? I could just switch to an ecigarette as a way to keep my hand busy, budget gas more wisely, right? Then what if my car breaks down? I can’t afford seventy an hour for a mechanic plus parts and labor.

Everyone wants to simplify it. “Quit bitching and cut the strings.”

Oh, the desperation with which I want to do just that.

There’s more at stake here than me getting my menthol fix to keep my nerves from devouring me.

The double edged sword is, if I hang on for that reason and accept the misery? Am I not simply prostituting myself and feeding my mental illness and psyche wounds for car repair?

Does that make me as bad as him or worse?

This tight rope act is so old. We all do it, day in, day out. We get little empathy, little credit for our efforts. Criticism is like a food group. You can never live up to the expectations of others who don’t share your struggles. This leads to guilt and self loathing. What a vicious little cycle mental illness has going on.

And it’s the gift that continues to give because last night tapped me out and today I feel lethargic and unmotivated and I don’t much give a damn about the fact my house is biohazard level two. Trying to keep up cleaning up after that sick cat my sister guilted me into taking, whom my kid barely pays any mind to now, same as the other cat she had to have…I’m buried alive. And I’m too fucking fed up to even poke a hand up through the soil.


34 Responses to “The Precarious Balance Of Mental Illness”

  1. R deff sounds like a classic righteous narcissist, 99% of the thoughts in his man brain related squarely to R and R’a desires of the moment, and the other 1% vaguely and half-assedly diffused to the “people” in his world. It’s a really tough conundrum. The one thing I get on a daily basis from my folks, except for shelter and food, is smokes. I can’t imagine living without smokes right now. Especially deep into book. Quitting or switching to vape seems like a possibility once it’s done, but right now the idea of going without smokes sounds like my own mini privileged white boy Battaan death march. And car repair is a big big deal. I guess the question is just whether you could ever accept R as he is, just totally and utterly accept his narcissistic shittiness, expecting nothing less than chronic narcissistic shittiness, but at the same time preserving your barter system and maintaining your friendship with his wife, and even taking his narcissistic shittiness in stride, almost like he has terminal dementia so can’t expect it to change. To me it seems like the root deal here is isolation, and R and his wife being one of your few points of contact with human life outside the four perma-collapsing walls of depression. A fucking hard needle to thread, big time, because he triggers you like a match triggers fireworks.

    • It’s very hard to accept someone as is when their primary reason for discarding you was being untreated bipolar. Being expected to is pretty offensive and yet…it’s called life. Everyone else can be an asshole, but I am to alter my entire being.

      Tis a mystery why I am a misanthrope.

      I never understood why my mom had us as kids going through every ash tray on the place looking for cigarette butts when she ran out. Sadly, I understand now 😦

      On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 11:26 AM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:


      • Maybe possible to neither accept nor reject him? Just be cunning, until and unless he gets his shit together and acts like a decent person. Because that shit is on him: the way he won’t bend to even attempting to sympathize with your depression and battle with this bipolar dragon. So so so glad his wife came over and told you who was boss and affirmed you. That was a needed femme hug.

    • Mrs R stopped by with an outfit for Spook and I kinda tossed my predicament out there..And she told me to ignore him he’s stupid, and if anyone will be helping him at the shop for benefit of smokes, etc, it will be me.
      That cheered me up. She’s the boss of him 🙂

  2. Can I have a go at R, please?! I need an outlet in which to unleash my swirling shit storm. I’m feeling stabby and as much as you loathe the square spork with the knife edge, I think it’s the perfect tool to use on him. That or a grapefruit spoon.

  3. You’re right. It’s easy for those of us looking on to think “just ditch him, it’s not worth it”, but it’s never really just that simple. Because sometimes barely reliable is necessary to keep around in the event of an emergency.

    The only advice I can legitimately give is to weigh your mental health against your financial “might happens”. Because either way, it’s easy for me to say.

    Good luck with a really hard choice. And, know that we are all here for you

    • Truth be told, his wife stopped by today with an outfit for Spook she just HAD to buy…And I sort of vented to her and she told me to ignore him, he’s stupid. I think a little validation is all I seek and once I get it…I’m a little less stabby.
      I mean, if his own wife gets where I am coming from, well, obviously the only one not aware of how flawed he is, is well, him.

      • Hey, validation is an amazing thing. Especially with us. Sometimes we just know it’s not us, but we can’t “prove” it.

      • It’s weird that I need validation since my entire existence has been one of constant invalidation. I guess as far as my appearance and interests go, I don’t give a damn if people get it.
        But on the subject of mental health, and insensitivity triggers it…I’m passionate enough to want the validation of making people understand.

      • I just wrote a post about validation. As far as our emotions are concerned, I think that validation is critical. Other people get validation just not in overt ways. Just the ability to express themselves without the need to get exasperated or frustrated is validation. We don’t often get that.

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