“Despair likes discretion. Some demons howl and roar at their victims. That one preys in silence.”
— Mark Siegel “Sailor Twain.”
You will have to excuse me if I seem a bit rusty. This is my first entry in almost a year and a half. I wanted to start blogging again much sooner, but I ran into another down cycle of depression which pretty much fucked up my plans. I tried several times to convey what goes on inside that depression, but it’s near impossible. So is sleeping, eating, talking to anyone, or being motivated to do anything other than sit on the couch with a hoodie pulled down over my face.
I had the misfortune of having no health insurance, so I stopped both my meds and therapy. As I mentioned in the old blog, that was a very stupid idea. I hit bottom again. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it previously was, which landed me in a psychiatric hospital as part of an outpatient program, but it was still intense. I’ve been back in therapy for four months and back on meds. I’m officially off of lithium and back on lamictal, which seems to be working. It doesn’t have the letterboxing effect or tremors that I dealt with while on lithium, so that alone makes me happier. I still have bad moments and even bad days, but that’s to be expected.
I need to explain a few things that have happened since my last entry. My wife and son are now living home again. It is not a happy reconciliation. My wife and I agreed that we will be civil for the sake of our son, but once financial matters are settled our marriage is done. It sounds sad, but there is an upside for me. I get to see my son, who is now six years old and a marvel to me, every single day. I get to be a part of his life and he mine. There are some things that are difficult to explain to him, however, especially in the midst of my depression. How do I answer a six year old when he asks, “Why are you sad all the time?” It broke my heart when he asked it. Can I explain a mental illness that has affected my entire life? All I can tell him is that daddy is sick and not feeling well. How can I even try to broach the subject of bipolar disorder with him when there are adults who can’t understand it? Keep it simple and don’t offer too any details.
Anyway, I have decided to expand my subject matter a bit. I know when I first started I planned on strictly writing about being bipolar and my experiences at the psychiatric hospital, but since that experience was so long ago, I’ve decided to include a little more variety from my daily existence, and hopefully a little more humor as well. I don’t want to be stuck in a rut or completely view my life through the tint of bipolar disorder. I’m trying to cope with the illness, not make excuses for every bad decision I’ve ever made. So, to paraphrase poet, novelist, and musician, Jim Carroll, “When you haven’t died because of your addictions, what else is there to do except start another journal?”