My mental illness is a motherfucking leech

Wednesday, I hid.

I called out of work. I threw on some headphones. I buried myself under my comforter, afghan, and fleece blankie. I stayed like that for about an hour or so, falling in and out of sleep while listening to Lacuna Coil’s “Shallow Life” and Silversun Pickups’ “Swoon”, my current comfort albums.

I thought about going to the hospital. I thought that maybe I should talk to someone, someone who would get it and would be able to point me to a therapist who would get it even more. I imagined being handed a prescription to try, that might give me more energy and a little more sparkle inside.

I finally got up to go get dressed and eat so that I could go to the hospital, but I could barely eat and didn’t have the energy to get dressed. I crawled back into bed for another hour or so.

I know it was bad. I know that I need to get my ass into a therapist’s office. I know that I need to be tested for bipolar disorder, put on some medication, and need to go through pain management therapy. I know all of this, and still I shy away.

I make passing references to the people around me about how I’m feeling, but I don’t go all the way and say, “THIS IS BAD. IT’S REALLY BAD. I REALLY NEED HELP.” I don’t reach out. Instead, I keep it all to myself. I drop little hints, enough so that I can tell myself I said something, but not enough for anyone to get really concerned. Because, if I did truly say how bad it is, they might be very concerned.

It’s been a long time since I hid like I did on Wednesday.

In a way, it was just what I needed. I needed to regroup. And yet, on Thursday I felt the same as I did the day before. I felt drained, like I wasn’t really here, but at the same time it felt as if there were little teeny jumping beans inside of me and static fluff in my head. I barely sleep, I barely eat, and I feel like I’m barely making it through the days. Thoughts race through my head, about everything going on: about Popi, about Dad, about my stupid mystery autoimmune disease, about my relationship with Mike, about my new niece, about my clients, about my day job. On Thursday I felt like, at any moment, I was going to split into two. Or four. Or nineteen-thousand.

Today, I felt sort of normal — if normal means being on the verge of tears one minute and wanting to laugh like a maniac the next. At the moment, though, I feel okay.

It’s not just everything that’s going on; I go through these cycles all the time, for as long as I can remember. Last week, I thought about killing myself. For two or three days after, I felt high on life. And then I dropped again. I didn’t feel like dying, but I still dropped.

Part of me is ashamed. Part of me admonishes myself. “This was supposed to be over,” that part says. “We don’t want to go back to therapy. We were already there. Things should have been resolved then.” But the other part steps in and say, “That therapist didn’t do her job, and neither did the second therapist we saw about a year ago. We need to be tested for bipolar disorder. We need pain management skills. We need someone to talk to about everything.”

And the argument goes ’round and ’round, until I’m so tired of hearing these thoughts wrestling each other that I consider cracking open my head and throwing a grenade in there. (That’s a joke. You can laugh. I’m not actually going to grenade my brain.)

The truth is, my friends, that I NEED HELP. I am drowning, and with all of the external things going on as well as what is normally in my head, I’m having a really hard time staying afloat. I don’t want to die. I don’t want my mental illness to kill me. I don’t want to be the zombie I feel like. I’m tired of faking. I’m tired of being afraid to say anything to the people around me, partially because I’m afraid they have enough problems of their own and I don’t want to be yet another weight on their shoulders.

It’s also because I am partially ashamed of going back to therapy. I don’t want to. I tried it again, with Kitty Bhide, and she sucked. I know that if I just try a few different people, I’ll find the right person. But then I make the excuses of, “Well, I don’t have that kind of money,” and “It’s going to take forever to get in anywhere, and by the time I get in, I won’t feel this way anymore.” Even though that’s true — hi, that’s why I need to be tested for bipolar disorder — it’s still not a good enough excuse, because I still know that soon I will feel this way again.

I go through this, every time.

And it’s draining.