When You Can’t Be There

My mom asked me to take her somewhere today. 

I’d explain to her that the side effects of my medication left me up most of the night & I am now too fatigued to drive anywhere. My muscles and joints ache and my memory isn’t the greatest. I’d explain that my mood isn’t currently stable. I’d explain that standing in line in the DMV is not an option for me since I cannot stand for long periods of time. I’d explain that large crowds and driving thru morning commuter traffic is a trigger for a panic attack and when I have one in public especially, I’m humiliated and the symptoms mimic those of a heart attack. 
You see, I’d explain if I could. However, despite my best efforts, she wouldn’t understand. It’s not from a malicious source. She just… doesn’t get it. 

So, I’m going to tell her I’m busy. It’s true. I’m busy resting because I have to conserve energy to pick my son up from school later. I’m busy trying to concentrate to the best of my ability because I have a test for college due tonight. I’m busy regulating my emotions so I don’t hurt those around me in a mixed episode of mania and depression. 

I’m busy. 

Here’s A Toast

Here’s a toast to hope

A hope the money was worth it

Look at how it makes all the pretty things shine

Awake before the sunrise

Invest your soul into a grind

That lovely house on a hill

Seen only after sunset

Dragging your weary body into bed

Awaken tomorrow

Crying out for something else instead

Open the champagne

Thank a deity it’s Friday

Forty-eight hours to live a life

No end to this emptiness in your sight

Thank a deity that your bills are paid

Sell our souls for a living wage

Here’s a toast to hope

A hope the money was worth it

Look at how it makes all the pretty things shine

 

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No Title. 

Every day will continue to be a blur into the next until I cannot remember when the haze began and when it dissipated. My mind is too clouded to find the light to ascend & I can’t say that I have the will or energy to make the climb. 

Cup Of Coffee & A Side Of Cynicism 

We don’t wake up to coffee & breakfast anymore. We don’t fall asleep to peaceful nights & cool summer breezes. 

We are enveloped in a blanket of hatred, choking the soul so we can’t breathe & playing God.

Summer is ripe with the stench of death. Domestically we have seen the worst mass shooting in US history, countless black men die in by police, officers killed by snipers … That’s only the past month. 

Abroad the death tolls mount, with Paris an epicenter. 

Hatred. We see it often in recent weeks. It’s a buzz word. Have you ever thought about what it means? It’s to adamantly dislike someone or something so passionately & vigorously that you want them to die. Panic. Essentially unable to see beyond the next second as your actions are blinded– in these cases by centuries old prejudices. Premeditation. To grow your hatred, feed it & let it thrive to the extent you plan the deaths of police in Dallas, crowds in Europe & LGBTQAI communities in Orlando. 

In the past month. 

Aren’t you tired? Aren’t we so very tired? My fatigue brings me to tears I can’t stop. I know I’m tired.

Inside These Pretty Walls

Lovely white wainscoting. 

On the walls & even the ceiling. A bronze chandelier because we dislike brass but silver was too brash for the space. 

When it’s 3am, they’re all asleep and I’m in my finest form, I wander the halls of my house. Delving all the way back to childhood musings to the fights I had yesterday, I recount every moment of how I came to be here. Born into a trailer to an alcoholic father & absent minded mother, I was simply another baby born into a September. 

My illness tells me I am not a good mother. It lies and tells me I am not a good spouse. It lies. Yet I still believe the lies. I ignore my son telling me “love you more Mommy” and demanding another hug. I ignore my soon to be wife’s face as she smiles when I enter the room. I ignore it because it’s evidence to the truth, the love, the happiness.

My illness lies & says I do not deserve to be happy. I gave a child up for adoption. I am gay. I am not Christian. Swirling thoughts seduce & beguile me in the darkest forms. You see, when your mind plays tricks on you, as its apt to do, it’s captivating. Deadly & dangerous but captivating nonetheless. I have developed a rather analytical approach to my bipolar diagnosis. I am my very own case study. So immersed in tracking triggers, viewing statuses from a year before on social media only to find I was in the exact same state as now, seeing patterns and making charts to track the data… I even became a bit lost here, thinking about it all. I rarely play the role of the balanced woman. Certainly in love with motherhood, I give my all to my son. He is my alpha and my omega. Certainly in love with my partner, I give my all to my girlfriend. She is my sunshine. Yet, eventually they sleep. I do not. 
I wander halls. My thoughts reach back to poverty stricken beginnings. I ignore that I developed a successful photography career. I ignore my computer science degree. I ignore my ongoing educational pursuits. Every transaction at the market met with dread, uncertainty, a sickness in my stomach even as I know there’s more than enough money for what I’m buying. Vacations met with the excitement of a child as I never saw the ocean in any way that mattered until I was 25. 

I check on my son in his room. He’s covered in a cartoon animal laden blanket. His toys spread across the floor along with a wooden train track set. 

I check on my girlfriend in our room. She’s sleeping softly next to my empty side.

I look up at vaulted ceilings. There’s that wainscoting again. My hands trace the perfectly matted and framed photographs from our adventures. An entire wall in covered in my “Marilyn Monroe” obsession. Black and white portraits on canvas, I love them all. 

“You don’t deser-”

“Shut the fuck up. Shut up, go to your corner & sit there. No one asks you.” 

For the moment I’ve told my thoughts to go away, be quiet. My medicine soon takes effect and my mind is clear. I see the truth as it is. I deserve everything my heart wants. It isn’t about a lovely house with pretty walls and pretty pictures. It’s about loving my home & those in it. 

It’s 3:01am. Time for bed. 

Less.

Less space you inhabit.

More you’re worth.

My racing thoughts are uncontrollable. My ship is off course. It’s capsized. I’m drowning.

No one can see.

Smaller bites. Smaller servings. Congratulations on less of my existence. Down Alice’s rabbit hole where I drink that potion that makes me shrink. I’m losing this fight. I’m losing. I don’t know how much more I can endure, because I keep enduring it. Testaments to strength, medication or will. I have no clue. How do I continue to wake up and slowly die each day a little more in a soul I’m not sure I have, as I wander through the motions.

Encapsulated in their own pain & struggles, I am still in that ocean unable to swim but somehow staying afloat as I become less of who I once was and am congratulated in the process.