Tag Archives: hope

A New Diagnosis

This update is long overdue but bear with me. It turns out that the most ironic thing about my time in rehab was probably the simple fact that the diagnosis that catapulted me into recovery– bipolar disorder– was removed after I transitioned into sobriety. I’m not bipolar, I’m an addict. After being clean for some time the psychiatrist decided that my mood disorder was drug induced and at almost six months sober I haven’t had any recurrence of symptoms.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about the change in diagnosis. Just when I started to accept that I was bipolar I had the rug pulled out from under me. Addiction hasn’t been any easier to manage and they don’t make pills to treat it. It’s a different diagnosis but one that I’ll nevertheless live with all my life.

But there is some hope. People do recover from addiction. And I’m not a slave to my medications anymore. It’s been almost five months since I’ve taken any kind of mood stabilizing medicine and it feels good to be back to myself. That’s not to say that taking psychiatric medicine is bad– if I was really was bipolar I would certainly need to be on my meds and there’s no shame in that.

Shame is a funny thing and it runs across both diseases– addiction and bipolar disorder. And I’ve been learning that one of the most powerful ways for me to eradicate my own shame is to be open about my recovery instead of hiding behind it. Silence in addiction is deadly. By sharing my struggles and showing that recovery is possible I can spread the message of hope and try to help other people find the recovery that I was so lucky to receive.


Dreams

I miss my dreams.  Now I am haunted and plagued by dreams of longing and sometimes loss.  If I can get to sleep that is.  I’m plagued by dreams of getting jilted– left at the alter, he gets cold feet, he cheats on me on our wedding night.  Sometimes the groom is someone I know, sometimes it’s someone I don’t even recognize.

Other times I dream of my ex, the ex, and these are the worst.  We never fight, in my dreams, but he always represents something frustrating in the dream, something beyond reach that I desperately need.  Desperation does not make for success.  I awake unsatisfied and unable to shake the dream.  These frustration dreams stay with my for months or more, haunting me, nagging me.

But now I don’t really sleep.  I’ve become a night owl, the loneliest little night owl on the block.  Like an owl, I’m up all night but, unlike the lucky little owl, I have to make it through the day.  For the owl, the night is the day.  And lately I’ve been shedding pounds like my little owl sheds feathers or a dog sheds a winter coat.  I’ve stopped trying to lose weight.  But it’s hard without an appetite.

It’s harder to explain myself.  I had someone tell me today that I need to end my blog posts with some “hope.”  But what if, today, I don’t see the hope?  I’m trying, trying so hard, to get better but I’m sick sick sick and not every day is a good day.  I’m bipolar and I’m stuck in a bad depression.  One I’m slowing climbing out of.  But is that enough for hope?  Can I promise my friends I’ll be all better, the ones that remain?

I know the cutting is disturbing.  And my last critic expressed his disdain for such content.  But I’m telling my full story.  And for right now, unfortunately, cutting is part of my story.  It won’t always be this way, at least that’s what the doctor’s tell me.  I’m planning a series of posts to show how I got to be where I am; it wasn’t always like this.

I’m swimming but sinking gets harder to avoid on these lonely nights.  My coping mechanisms are gone and I’m left with myself.  Maybe that’s what I can’t tolerate.  Being with myself. Or myself.  Is there a difference?

So here’s some hope: I hope I stop feeling like this, I wish things didn’t have to change because of what I am, and I just want to go home.  I’m doing the best I can.  Is that good enough?  Who can say, I’m sure time will tell– regardless of whether that’s an accurate measure.  Time is lauded as the curer and soother of all wounds, it promises to even it all out, to make it all better.  But what if I don’t have time? I’m impatient.  I’m tired of feeling like this.  I’m ready to get better.

And maybe that’s all it takes– the desire to get better.  It sounds like a good option to me.  I have some measure of control over my desires.  That is what I will desire.  And maybe “hope” will follow.  For now, my truth is enough.  It’s mine and I’m sorry if it’s distasteful or disturbing but it’s real.  And that’s a noble pursuit– a truth of your own.  It’s something to hope for and more, it’s something to chase, to pursue, to conquer and look deeply in the eyes.

So here’s to hoping.  I’ve been sinking but I’m trying to stay afloat.  I wish I could say the days get easier but that’s just not true.  What’s true is that I’m still here and I want to be.  I want to keep dreaming. And I will wait for the good dreams to return, the ones that called me to bed.

I never wanted to be an owl.  But here I am, and, for now, that has to be enough.  Being here.  Making it through another day.  Staying afloat.


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