It is precisely 1:55 AM as I begin typing this. I have an appointment tomorrow, and then I will be working as a waitress until 10:30 or 11 PM. I should be asleep. I realize this. I know that these strange sleep patterns of mine are only making my mental health worse. I know that the only way to manage life with Bipolar Disorder is to have a schedule. I should go to bed, wake up, and take my medication at the same times every day. I need to exercise, eat a healthier diet, and stimulate my brain.
But I don’t.
I know what I should do; I just don’t seem to have the desire to do it. I am not actively starving myself; some days I just don’t have the will to get out of bed to get food. Sometimes it will take me hours to convince myself to shower, even if a shower is long overdue. Some days I will eat nothing but chocolate or other junk, even though I know that by the time evening rolls around I will be shaky and miserable due to the sugar overload that I assaulted my body with. I know that I am thirsty– my tongue sits uncomfortably in my mouth and my throat feels like sandpaper. I need a glass of water. I need to feel liquid pouring into my esophagus and into the rest of my body to heal it of this self-inflicted dehydration– but even now I hesitate to move.
I used to think that this was laziness– that I don’t leave bed because I am lazy or I don’t clean because I am lazy. Lazy is an ugly term that doesn’t seem to accurately describe how I feel. Is it truly laziness if one lacks the energy to properly exist? I don’t know.
I don’t really know what I am, or what anything truly is. Some days I feel human. Some days I question what it means to be human. Some days I simply feel as if I am buried within a human body but not truly a part of human life. It’s peculiar to be able to go from one extreme to the next, but hey, I am used to that by now. My emotions ride a roller coaster that seems to be stuck in an infinite loop. In the code of my brain, there is an if-then statement that is never truly resolved. “If x, continue on the mental hell rollercoaster extravaganza. If !x, get off the ride and enjoy stability.” It never is !x; it is always x. I don’t know what x is, but it seems to be a fundamental part of who I am. It is the conductor of this ride that I can’t seem to escape from.
That makes me sound suicidal. Granted, I have frequently been borderline suicidal, which is the label that I give to the general state of wanting to cease existing but not wanting to hurt my family and other loved ones in the process. I don’t plan on killing myself; I know that the repercussions of suicide are too severe and painful for those that I would leave behind, and I despise hurting people. Besides, I do enjoy living for the most part. I love animals, humans in general, and watching the stars at night. I enjoy musing over the mind and making people smile. There are many aspects of existence that I adore. I have too much knowledge to gain, food to try, love to spread, and animals to pet before I even consider giving in to the voice telling me to kill myself.
No, I’m not suicidal… sometimes I’m just empty. If you were to ask me if anything seems to cause these moments of emptiness, I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. I can wake up in the morning and feel like life is a hurricane and I am left alone with no place to hide. I can go from having a truly enjoyable experience to suddenly having a face soaked in mascara-laden tears. Alternatively, I can go from feeling broken to being genuinely happy after meeting a new dog or seeing the trust in my bunny’s eyes as she allows me– and only me– to hold her.
It’s now 2:38 AM, and in the 700 or so words that I have written, I have yet to clearly define my argument or identify a consistent train of thought. Maybe that general vagueness is an accurate representation of my mind; I vaguely know what’s going on but I still feel out of place and undefined in my own life.
My medication has stopped working to its full extent. Though I am not gripped by the same strength of anxiety that I used to be and I am not living in perpetual paranoia, I am still undermined by my mood swings and that self-hating voice in the back of my head that magnifies all of my flaws. I am not as unwell as I once was, but I am certainly not better.
I don’t mean to be throwing myself a written pity party. I know what I need to do to help myself. No one is stopping me from exercising, sleeping, or eating right; I have no one to blame for my lethargy and dissociation. I am fully aware that I have it better than most and I am grateful for the life that I have.
I just wish that I could stop feeling so vague, ya know? I don’t want to be up at 2:58 AM because I can’t figure out the words to properly depict how I feel. I don’t want to be an empty shell; I want to feel the blood run through my veins along with the reassurance that yes, I am alive and I am living the life that I should. I want to find the strength to break the walls of the glass cage that I seem to be existing in– but now it’s 3:06 AM and I still need to get myself that glass of water.