Pain Is A Four-Letter Word

Stability is something I strive for. Each morning, when I receive my One-Click Mood Chart reminder, I am proud when I can click the “Normal mood” link. Each successive day of normalcy allows me to pretend that I am just like every one else; that I am not at the mercy of misfiring neurochemical receptors in my brain; that I really can enjoy my full-bodied coffee in the morning and my diet Pepsi in the afternoon. Most especially, that the glass or two of wine I had with dinner, with friends, alone watching television, that those wonderful glasses of pinot noir or plum or riesling, in moderation are not going to hurt me.

I am wrong, of course. I love denial.

Yesterday was a horrible, no good, very bad day. It was one of a string of bad days; today is even worse. I wish I could do something about it. I’m actually kind of scared.

I feel like I should have seen this coming. After all, stress is a trigger for me, like most bipolars I have met (or read about). The minimizer in me points out that I have it easy. My job in life right now consists of cleaning a two-bedroom apartment, cooking dinner each night, making sure the laundry and dry cleaning get done, and trying to stay on top of the bills. It doesn’t seem like much. I have plenty of free time for writing, sewing, and goofing off however I choose. I get vacations. I travel. Everything is great!

The realist suggests I might want to expand my definition of responsibility, as well as my sources of stress. There is the whole house thing: not only is the purchase still up in the air, but change in general is stressful. I will be the one handling the details of the move from both our house in Kentucky and our apartment here in DC… Shit, there is no need for a laundry list of stressors. They just exist. No one really cares what they are.

Physically, I am in a lot of pain. A little pain, I ‘m used to. I ‘m getting a little older, and even though I exercise, the occasional aches and pains in the morning aren’t out of the ordinary. Neither is some stiffness if I sit too long in one place. This pain that I feel right now is different. Every joint, every muscle aches, as though I were a stretch Armstrong doll and some nasty child is trying to torture me. Perhaps he will pull off my head; I would feel much better, I think, then.

And no, the pain relievers are not helping. I am reluctant to take more right now. I am reluctant to go anywhere near my medicine cabinet.

In a way, I suppose I should be grateful. I am so tired, so full of pain, that while the ideas of self-injury are there, tickling and teasing at the edge of my consciousness, they are easy to ignore. I haven’t the physical strength to consider, let alone carry them out.

G*d help me if I slip into a mixed-mode. That is the most dangerous time: when the depression is strong, but the insanity of mania suggests that not only is suicide the best escape option, it is completely achievable.

It is funny. I fell asleep, lying here on the couch, right in the middle of writing this. Perhaps that is the best way to end. I know it must be better than any alternative running through my head.

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