For the past two weeks I have been staying at my mom’s house.
Two weeks ago, I had a really hard night sleeping. I could not stay in one spot to sleep. I would start out on the couch then go upstairs to bed. I would lay there and sleep (maybe) for an hour or two and then be back down on the couch. This continued all night until I finally got up for the day at 5 am.
When I got up I was soaked with sweat and I was weak. My mind was not feeling well either. I was not having pleasant thoughts. I did not even know I actually slept at some point. I realized I had slept when I remembered the crazy dream I had. If you don’t sleep, you don’t dream was my logic. All I could think about was getting out of the house. I felt like I could hardly breathe.
I dressed for the day and made me a snack. I knew I was going to mom’s but it was still early and I wanted to give her a little more sleep time so I procrastinated by making me snacks. It was in me to get out in a hurry, so I eventually left.
For the first few days I would wake up in a panic, thinking I had to go home. For whatever reason, I was not ready or willing to go home. I finally had to talk to mom about it and she assured me I could stay as long as I needed to.
I knew I had to find out what drove me out of the house and kept me from wanting to go back. In visualizing my home, I finally knew the answer.
I am a person who needs people. I need to be around people, hear people, talk to people, study people. When I go home and pull into the garage, once the door is closed, I am totally alone. I feel isolated. I do not hear or see people unless I go out again. I feel cut off from the world. Sometimes it makes me feel like I cant’t breathe. My thoughts spend around and around in my head and sometimes it feels like I cannot escape them. They are all sad thoughts. Thoughts of being alone for the rest of my life. These are dangerous thoughts for me because if I allow them dominate, I will get depressed. I have found that loneliness can overwhelm you. I have been to the brink of suicide because of the overwhelming presence of loneliness.
Because I have a mental illness, I do not have many people to call friends. In fact there are only one or two. These are the ones that can deal with the mood changes. They don’ like when I cycle, but they do love me and they hang in there to be my friend because they love me. My support system and my friends know that the mania part of my illness causes me to sometimes do things I would not ordinarily not do. The clue to me cycling is when I start talking fast and jumping from subject to subject. I also tend to do funny things that they do not care for because it is out of my character when I am not manic. I become a comedian whose antics some of them do not care for. I will start dancing in the store to the music whether it is in my head or the store is playing it. Sometimes the dance can be provocative. My true friends find them funny and realize that I will not be this way forever. Of course, if I do something dangerous, they are there to pull me away from the danger or talk me out of it. When I am alone and the thought of doing something dangerous comes to mind, I have to call someone and stay on the phone until that urge leaves me.
A lot of people cannot handle this and so they stop talking to and being around me. It used to cause me deep pain every time someone walked out of my life because I would forget it was the behavior of the illness that sent them away. I would cry because I thought there was something wrong with me as an individual and that people naturally were turned off from me. I now know, it is the mania behavior and the depression they see me in, that they cannot handle. This always reminds me how mental illness can be a lonely disease.
As a result, my mission is to get out of the house everyday and go where there are people. I try to keep my days busy so I don’t feel the isolation. My goal is to be tired so that when I do go home to isolation I am tired and my brain does not dwell on it but tries to see the beauty of the things I can do by living alone. Staying out as late as I want or not coming home for the night is something could not do if had a family waiting for me to come home. Then again, if I had someone waiting for me at home, I would gladly forfeit staying out all day or staying away for a few days. That type of loneliness would not be able to attack me.
The bottom line is that everything felt like it was closing in on me and those nasty negative thoughts were heavy on my mind. Knowing what it would lead to, prompted me to get to a support person. I have to stay for a couple of weeks until my mind was strong enough to say, OK, lets go home and deal with the issue. Now I am home but I have a plan.
Love to all
pb aka peanut butter