I don’t know why, but I’m having stronger than normal anxiety today. Usually I’m able to smoosh that s**t way down where I don’t feel it. I’m channeling the great Jin Wicked and trying to get some work done in the break room and it is not helping that all these people are chewing. Which, I know, is an expected activity on lunch but seriously, lady directly across from me, how exactly are you managing to chew yogurt?
Maybe it’s because Tuesday is looming ever closer and I have to think of something to blog (hence the writing during lunch), and I’m still kind of recovering from last week’s post. Maybe it’s because we’re understaffed and behind at work, and my manager has a way of making a person who misses voluntary overtime feel like they missed mandatory time. Maybe it’s because I tried to do laundry last night, but I forgot to move it over to the dryer, so I had no dry jeans to wear to work today, so I’m wearing a skirt. It feels like I’m in a costume and people keep saying they like it which is nice but also makes me feel overly scrutinized. Like, we’re here to work, people, not talk over our fashion choices. Cut it out or I’m gonna tell you your pants are cute and see how you like it.
My heart feels like a hollow place, physically not emotionally. It feels like it fluttered away from me somehow. And unless I concentrate on relaxing them my shoulders are defaulting to hunched and tense. My counselor tells me to remember to do deep breathing when I feel anxious or frozen. Lady, I love you, but I wouldn’t call it being frozen if it were easy to remember helpful s**t like that in the moment. After a couple hours of anxious feelings, though, I did remember. I relaxed my shoulders (again) and took breaths down to my belly. And then I felt kind of stupid and body conscious. So then I talked myself down a bit from my body hating (as you do), but during that I forgot to breathe properly.
Maybe it’s because Sean has been swimming in the manic end of the pool for more than a month now. Last time Sean was manic this long he continued escalating until things fell apart utterly. Though of course that was because we had no idea what was going on, so we had no idea what to do about it. For reference, right now on a mood scale with zero means get-to-the hospital depressed, five means average Joe, and ten means get-to-the-hospital manic, Sean is running at a six or seven. He’s being super productive, with lots of ideas tumbling about, some anxiety of his own, and irritability. The first episode, which ultimately resulted in his hospitalization and diagnosis was a ten. A ten can, and in Sean’s case did, present as an inability to keep still, pressured speech, panic attacks, insomnia, feelings of persecution, paranoia, and psychosis.
It was terrifying, or would have been if I’d had the time or energy to deal with my own feelings. Oh, I could scrape together a fast cry in the shower, but except for during Sean’s hospitalization itself (when I had quite an excess of time for crying, be it alone or directly in front of Sean’s folks. Sorry guys!), there simply wasn’t much room for more than that. And no energy at all for the kind of introspection needed to truly process it all. I was running in triage mode, moving from one minor crisis to the next. A ten is kind of impossible for mere mortals to keep up with.
And the depressive crash that followed? Well. I’ll tackle some of that eventually, but it’ll be broken into small pieces that I can handle with at least a bit of coherence.
So now I see a bit of mania and the still traumatized corner of my brain thinks “Well, we’re f**ked again!” and dives into a pile of stale, stored-up fear to hide. This is not a healthy way to live when your partner in life has bipolar. I am going to have to deal with this, so I guess it’s time to get over to that corner and start working though the mess.
Vincit qui se vincit
PS: This is the Mackey of a couple days later. Just wanted to let you know that starting this entry seemed to help and my jitters faded to manageable levels by the end of the day. Sean and I are going to have to have a LOT of talking to figure out what works for us. But for now, within reasonable expectation, we’ere ok.