I haven’t been this slammed in awhile and it seems to have come out of nowhere. I’ve been doing much better than I had in a long time and the new medication has finally settled and I’ve been sleeping amazingly well, having more energy, painting a lot, and then Friday hit. I had to go out and do a lot of errands which for me is usually a mess of a day that I barely get through. I did so much better than usual that I was surprised but by the evening I crashed. Slept from 7:30 to 9:30, just sort of passed out, and then couldn’t go to sleep until after 5 a.m. Slept a lot yesterday, slept much better last night but today it is as if my body is leaden and it is a tremendous effort just to walk across the floor. Where does this come from?
It seems cyclical. And as I will be 61 on Thursday the 30th and am a good bit past menopause it wouldn’t seem that my lady bits are the issue, and yet just because you no longer have periods, is there still a cyclical happening in the body each month? I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that however well or poorly I am doing about once a month I-just-crash. This weekend was it.
This is so disheartening, having just worked through nearly 2 months to get my body adjusted to the new medication, and finally, and at long last, able to sleep. I’ve been writing and painting like mad and it has all felt so good and I even SOLD my first painting, it has all been glorious for me in my world, and then, kaboom, the bottom dropped out.
I know this will just be for a few days and I will find my way back but it is hard to take every time it happens. The grace in this is that I know it will pass, life will go on and I will get through, but right now…
Right now I am a mess. I showered before bed last night but thrashed about so much I need to shower again and I can’t seem to marshal the energy to do it. And my kitchen I just cannot get cleaned up. It has become my nemesis. The whole house needs a good cleaning but the kitchen is just the worst. My mind isn’t at peace if the house isn’t cleaned and it hasn’t been in a very long time. I had someone helping me but they stopped doing that kind of work and I just can’t manage on my own. It is not laziness, it is paralysis. I think my bipolar bits are woven together with some really rough patchy childhood bits and it is as though I have breakdowns over the house.
Okay, I’m going to share something I never have before because I feel shy and embarrassed and like people are going to go, “Boo hoo, poor little, once upon a time, rich girl.” Well, we were well off by most people’s standards but we were not millionaire type people, and I never have been in my adult life and these days barely get by, but I’m happier now than ever before so that is no complaint or poor little me.
The thing I am getting to is that I grew up with a full time housekeeper. Now that sounds glamorous until you get to the place — and I can tell you I am dead serious about this — that it does not prepare one for life. I got married when I was 20 and I was lost, just plain lost. And I wanted desperately to learn how to cook and would be run out of “her” kitchen because I was in the way. And the worst part was that my mother’s brand of punishment, and she got really mean in a lot of ways, was to make me do housework as a punishment. That’s what I had to do. Scrub floors on your hands and knees and then iron this pile of sheets in the mangle. (Anyone else remember those?) And other things, but a lot and overwhelming for someone who didn’t even have to make her own bed.
Now I know I am taking a big risk writing about this and frankly I am very afraid, I can hear the “Oh Boo Hoo’ers” out there, and so be it. Sometimes you just have to tell the friggin’ truth and come what may. I was never taught how, but punished often cruelly and without justice, and it was always housework. Then a handful of mental health issues + that fear put together makes one big hairy mess. I had a barter going for someone to clean my house once a week but it no longer exists. And I am lost. That kitchen, cleaning this house, has become the most frightening, overwhelming thing in the world, and when it is all neat and clean my mental state is world’s better. But right now I am fighting for disability and there is no money for even once in awhile help, and I am just lost. So I freeze up in a corner of the couch and cry, terrified, like something is after me. And it is, it is my nemesis, the kitchen, and other places and spaces around the house too. It has never been like this and I feel like I am sinking into one sinkhole after another. This really has me whipped. And once I get to one of these places where I am so down I can barely see UP, and the house issue is what it is, getting back up feels nearly impossible.
Somehow I had to write this today. It feels like one of my deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets revealed. I am more than ashamed, but worst of all is not to tell my truth.
I am going to try to get something done in the kitchen tonight. Finish unloading the dishwasher, load it up again and run it. (It may have to be run 3 times to get it all. I barely have anything to eat on or with.) I am crying as I write this and I want to go hide under the bed. And I am crying because I am so afraid of everything right now. And I have a lump in my stomach and a knot in my throat and I can barely see through the tears because I am filled with so much shame. My entire life with sexual abuse starting at 4 and going on for 14 years created a lifetime rooted in shame and I am trying to figure out a way to pull myself out of it.
I don’t know if I can but tonight I told the truth about something really hard and I think it was important, at least for me.
Wish me luck will you? That kitchen is looming large and I am just so scared. Pray with me and for me will you? I need that so badly just now. Leave me a little note here and help me hold on if you can. And know that when I don’t answer it’s not that I don’t want to. Sometimes I can’t write back because I am blinded by tears, but I appreciate it more than I can say, and I love you more than you will ever know.
Thank you dear ones, I am sending you rivers of love through these tears…