One of the most difficult things about dealing with mental illness is feeling better. When you’ve become so used to chaos reigning in your mind, having a quiet in the storm is disconcerting to say the least. I’ve been lucky enough to have found a medication cocktail that has made my borderline personality disorder and bipolar II (different from bipolar I in that I don’t get manic episodes or completely lose touch with reality – it’s also known as “the good kind”) much, much easier to deal with. It’s taken an incredibly long time, but I’m finally feeling like I’m going to be able to not only live with this, but thrive and actually, shockingly, be happy. It’s an amazing feeling.
It’s also scary as hell.
A major issue that I have had throughout my life is an inability to allow myself to hope. I haven’t ever let it in because of a terrible, all consuming fear that hope is an invitation for pain. As if the universe would look at my optimism, laugh its balls off, and drop an anvil on my head, Acme style, for having the audacity to look for a brighter future. It’s a survival technique that I have held onto my whole life. Of course, it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I don’t allow myself to hope without being convinced it will lead to pain, I’m going to find pain anyway, even if it is just to prove myself right. I know this, logically. Hell, I have an extremely expensive graduate degree in helping other people with problems just like these. Ones who cannot help themselves help everyone else, etc. etc. etc.
So in the past four weeks or so, I have been able to allow myself the tiniest amount of hope. I came to the realization that I’m here for some sort of reason (I got out of the hospital when no one thought I would, so there has to be SOME reason, I concluded) and even though I’m still not sure what the hell that reason is, I’m sticking around to find out. I love a good mystery. I’m working my ass off trying to get my brain in order, and it’s really been paying off.
This weekend, the bubble burst. It was bound to, as emotion is an ebb and flow, and the high of coming out of the fog was going to taper off. I’ve been in a fairly wretched mood, with lows that come fast and hard. I’m riding the rapids right now, but this time, unlike all the other times this has happened, is different. I still have hope.
I’m not blowing sunshine and glitter up anyone’s ass here. I’m just saying that the universe and the misfired synapses in my brain are giving me a hell of a ride right now, but I know I’m going to get through it. I can flip off the darkness and yell into the storm that I’ve beaten a hell of a lot worse than this, that circumstance and my own betraying mind have tried to break me again and again, and they haven’t gotten the job done. I’ve made it this far, and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. So I give a hearty “fuck you” to the maelstrom in my mind today. You can kick me all you want, but you can’t keep me down. I’m stronger than that. I always have been. I’m just grateful that I finally know it now. And that I will continue to hope, despite it all.