Out of sorts

Not sure if it is the loss of Blake, or the session, but I am way out of sorts today. Keep finding myself standing still and looking off into space. It isn’t that I am thinking deep and profound thoughts, I’m not. I am not even sure where I’m at. though clearly not on this planet.

I know the session was tough. The task seems monumental to me. I am finally seeing my defense for what it is, and understanding how important it is to try to work on it. But like I told Beatrice, I don’t trust myself anywhere near it. We talked quite a bit about it today. Honestly it is the most talking I have done in a session in a long time. I know the importance. I so keenly wish to change myself. I feel this is so critical to moving past a life filled with suffering. All these intense, brutal emotions just sit there. Year after year. I can’t bring myself to go anywhere near them. I know they are there, and I know when the opportunity is there to look at them in the context of a session. I won’t. It has been almost 20 years since those family sessions unleashed a true demon. I trusted that therapist, least as much as I am capable. I let her take me places I should never have gone. I had no coping mechanisms in place, no understanding of what was about to happen. In the hours of back to back family sessions I had the rug pulled out from under me. I could not cope. I morphed into a person I did not know or recognize. I met the me I can become when my ability to cope is eclipsed by an unending tide of intense emotions. Sadly, I did not understand it. I thought it would be forever. I didn’t know it would subside. I fell into a desperate spiral of impulse after impulse. Lethal and endless in the pursuit of ending my suffering. I could not pull back, and I didn’t stop. If I remember correctly, what ensued was 5 suicide attempts in a week. Much of it spent strapped down in restraints. I was relentless and driven. There was no stopping, and so I acted on every impulse. If I wasn’t acting on them I was planning and watching the staff. I would bide my time. Let them feel lulled into confidence thinking the sedation was strong enough. There was no sedation in the world that was going to buffer my deranged mind. The meds didn’t work. The restraints didn’t hold. The staff had had enough. I was the worst nightmare come true. I was my own worst nightmare (looking back). I will never forget that week. I don’t think any amount of ECT could erase it. To be basically dead, more than once and have them bring you back never leaves you. It can’t. It is so seared into the grey matter. It is a strange feeling taking your first breath when the CPR stops. The world is hazy, and new. I would blink and take it in. Thinking I had done it. It had stopped the pain. But the high would wear off and the pain would crash back over me more vicious than before. For it wasn’t alone it was now hitched in tandem to the guilt of what I had just done. I wanted nothing more than to escape it. I had to find a way to be free. so the cycle would start anew. It became harder and harder since the staff grew more vigilant initially. I grew enraged and desperate. I became someone I have not seen since, even in my darkest hours. She was a wild thing. A raging, spitting, hissing creature willing to manipulate, lie and deceive in the pursuit of death. She had one purpose. One agenda. She would see it through. She did. I’m not a flexible person, not remotely. There are no tricks, or crazy bendable joints. I could not begin to tell you how I managed to free myself from the numerous restraints. It was like watching a caged wild animal seeking the weakest spot in the perpetual hunt to free itself. Their drugs could not calm me, so they added more restraints. I grew still and watched. The hissing flailing and cursing stopped while I watched for the weakest link. That wild creature they strapped to their bed was looking for a way out. Too bad they took that as surrender. I was not to be defeated. That wild driven soul was not done for I was still breathing. They left me there with my demon. Alone, terrified, and determined to not feel another second of pain. I worked at it. I calculated, and maneuvered. I heard my ragged breath in the exhaustive search for the weakest restraint point. I pulled and yanked. Cursed and cried. I was going to give up. I was exhausted, sleep deprived, and feeling the hard closing ativan, they had injected, circling my skull. I was running out of time, and energy. I went around the points again, the felt cuffs biting hard at my pale skin. My wrists rubbed raw from fighting. But I felt the millimeter of give. My heart bounded. The wild animal had just sensed a way out. Beneath those stiff leather restraints were a set of soft temporary ones. I had that small amount of space I needed. It was seconds before I had my left wrist free. Still very much pinned to that bed, and unable to get any of the other points free I formulated a plan. That soft nylon strapping was all I needed. I knew the end game was in play. It would not take long. I looked toward the window. Blind was drawn tight. I was alone in that small bare room, just me and this demon that had come from somewhere deep within me. As exhausted and afraid as I was, I blindly followed the impulse. I slide the nylon up over the head end of the gurney. It was tilted up, I was not laying flat, but rather propped up semi-sitting. It was secured somewhere to the frame, leaving me with one free end and all the deadly intent in the world. It grew tight. I slid my head underneath and felt the nylon come to rest under my chin. There was no hesitation. No worry, or wonder. Nothing. Soon as I felt that strap it was as if someone unleashed the most heinous desperate creature. I slid hard down that gurney, bucking against the other points. So hard I broke a bone in my neck. It took mere seconds before the world went black and my pain receded.
There was but one problem, a full medical response team just beyond that psych unit. Rather than my life ending that day, it was prolonged. The CPR saved me, the ICU stabilized me and the xrays showed what at driven tortured soul could do to itself given a chance. I met the worst of me that week. That was no demon. Just years of undisturbed pain sprung free at the hands of a caregiver that told me I could trust her. Told me she would make me better. I learned the bitter truth. I am my own worst enemy. I hold within me the ability to decompensate so completely that nothing in this world can stop me from killing myself in the shadow of the pain that comes along with it. It is the glimmers of this person I see that leaves me shutting down and backing up fast. The one who fights hard the desire to dissociate and disappear to be anywhere but within striking distance of that desperate core. I told Beatrice it was my holocaust, my natural disaster, my worst place where nothing good comes. There is only horror and pain. I do not trust myself, and I do not trust neither Virgil, nor Beatrice, anyone for that matter, to contain what is within. That Pandora’s box is my soul. I do not know how to be free of it without risking losing my life in the process. I saw that week so many years ago what I am capable of when I stand in the shadow of my grief, anger and pain. It just sets there, untouched building size and scope. It is greater now, if anything. So much has happened to me in the 20 years since that fateful week. I know each time I give my history, or retell a moment of trauma with not an iota of emotion that I am adding to that fire. I lack the ability to process in real-time. Instead I lose the emotions to my core and am left only with my intellect to recount. I know those feelings are there, all of them. I see flashes of their brilliance and massive scope, often in moments of rage. It is an emotion I sometimes can’t stop, springing forth before I can check it. It is splendid in its power, awe-inspiring to me. I know how people kill others, I can feel that disconnect when that rage come forward. It is so powerful and frightening even as I marvel at my actions, whether it be throwing an object, beating the shit out of something, or saying the cruelest of words. It is that same core that spawns my most self-destructive impulses. That rage interweaves with all the pain, sorrow, fear and grief. It is the thread that hold all the others together, and it is what enabled me to break my own neck, just as it enables others to kill their spouses, or families. It is ravaging and fierce beyond measure. It is what scares me, and what makes me wonder if this is a defense I want to change, or examine. Maybe miserable, and chronically depressed year after year is preferable to the savagery of that beast.


Saying goodbye again.

As is often the case we come to a crossroads with our charges. We hold their lives in our hands and ultimately make the decision to let them go. Today we said goodbye to Blake. He was one of the original rescues that started this place. I knew when he didn’t make it over to his bucket late last night at night check. Horses are creatures of habit, even more so than use humans. They have the most accurate clock in their heads. I know what time it is just by looking at who is standing where in their fields. Towards feed time they make their way to each spot where they receive their meals. So in the dark under the waning moon, I knew he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. I get this sinking feeling in my chest. That deep connection to these creatures, and all the years I have spent with them has given me a bit of a sixth sense. I know when it isn’t going to end well. I just know. So I set off in the dark to find him. He wasn’t far. He was trying to get to us. I stood there resting my head in his. Just taking in the information he was presenting to me. I made the decision to medicate him and give him till morning. I could have called the vet. I could have ended his life there under that moon. I didn’t. I made sure he wouldn’t suffer and I walked away. I knew in my heart that night would be his last. I drifted off into a troubled sleep early the next morning. My heart was heavy this morning when I looked out the window and saw much the same posture and difficulties as I had seen in the dark.
I knew we would say goodbye, and that we had reached the end of the road. I brushed him off, and let him wander the lawn eating the lush new grass. He managed in his uncoordinated ataxic gait to eat happily. The time ticked by fast and the all too familiar sound of the vet truck pulling up to the barn came way too soon. I stood, as I have countless times before holding the massive head of a horse, looked them in the eye, as the needle slid into their jugular. It never changes. They drop to the ground, and I mean drop. There they lay, my hands on their head. The heart slowly ceases to beat, their breathing stops and they leave this earth and our care. I went about my job, just as I do each time. I hold the horse. I make sure they remain still as large quantities of barbiturates are delivered into their vein. I keep the vet safe. I keep myself safe. I say goodbye. I feel like I have done this too often. Far too often. The job does not end there. A horse is about 1200lbs on average. Blake was well over 2200lbs. They need to be disposed of. We usually have them buried. Thankfully we have a kind fella that does all the excavation. He knows us, and has buried so many of them. I differ much from my partner, in that I feel they are gone. It is just a part of the wrap up to bury the carcass. To my partner it is very important. How they are put into the hole in the ground. The way they are arranged, and how they are facing. Always toward home. So the process starts to figuring out the actually nuts and bolts of getting this done. It isn’t pretty. It involves heavy machinery and chains. 2200 lbs of dead weight complete with lolling head and blue tongue. Today the hole was in an area that was all bank run gravel and sand. Very very dangerous, and easy to collapse fast. There was no option of arranging him, or even having anyone climb down via backhoe down the 20 feet into the hole to unchain his legs. We had no option. He had to be slowly pushed over the edge and left to free fall till he hit the dirt at the bottom. I guess I should have known to look away. I always cover my ears, since the sounds of snapping bone are too hard to shake off. So I am left with the visual of this massive animal falling to the dark earth, his head and neck snapping so violently I still can’t unsee it. He came to rest looking quite peaceful, and my partner was happy. We watched and stood witness as the earth claimed this huge animal we knew and loved. Just like that it was done. I walked away. I felt nothing but a chill from the damp cold rain that was falling steadily. A few hours later I stood in the kitchen making a salad when the most searing image flew hard and fast into my head. I saw him fall, and watched his neck and head snap back. It was violent, it was gripping. I shook it off. I walked away. But I realized in that moment how much this process takes out of us and how much it leaves in its wake. It took a very violent image, a flash back per se, to make me understand just how awful it is. Sad it took that to point it out.
There is nothing easy about saying goodbye. It is all the more awful when you are left to sort out the pieces that are left in your head and heart from such an terrible process. Blakebethkiss


The article in today’s NY Times- The Problem with How We Treat Bipolar, was so very close to home. I read it and reaching the final period, I could not decide if I was going to throw up or cry, or maybe a bit off both. Not so much because Linda Logan so accurately painted the picture of mental illness and hospitalization, but because she nailed a piece of this puzzle that nobody seems to understand. Losing the self. It gets tossed aside, jettisoned. No importance in the clamor to find the right drug, or the right treatment. I understand how important stabilization is. I “know” that. But I know it always comes with a price. Every new pill, a different size, shape or color is a stepping stone on the path away from who you are. The electricity that ran through my brain left me farther from the self I knew than any of the chemicals I ingest daily, and have swallowed for more than 20 years. My response to this article was so visceral in part because there is no time to mourn the loss of the self. No therapist has ever said how do you feel about what has happened to “you”. It isn’t about the you that is lost. It is about the you that was raped, sodomized, abused. The you whose family fell apart, or the you who lost her mother. It is not about the you that feels the shadow of her former self. The one who goes to doctors because she cannot remember the names of the people she knows. Only to be told there is nothing wrong with her brain. No, wait. There is something wrong. This is not alright. Sadly, it is okay. It is perfectly fine in the pursuit of stable and not hospitalized. It is sickening because there is so much loss that is part of the status quo. I try not to look back anymore. What is there to see? Myself, lost and gone. The pain is so searing, so difficult, why would anyone want to look back? But it isn’t that easy. There are reminders every day. In the words I can’t spell, or the words that skitter away at the corner of my conscience, as I pull together a sentence with such effort. I know who I was. I can see her in my mind’s eye, the ECT didn’t erase her. I wish it had. Instead I am left to my frustration and anxiety in a world that is not of my creation. The walls painted in hues of seroquel, trileptal and modafanil. It is not the architecture or design of my chosing. Years have passed and it shifts. But it never returns to where it was. We cannot return ourselves to their virgin form. The self we were before it was touched by so many hands, and so many medications.
I remember a care free young woman. Sure, a bit wild and high-strung. One that lived out on the edge, a lot of the time. There was no adventure too grand, or too small. Friends surrounded me. Where my family fell short, I had people in my life. I could create without calling it to me. to write, paint or sculpt was like breathing. Where is she now? Where did that self go? Friends? none to speak of, save one or two that matter. Create? aside from this year spent blogging I don’t. Have not in years. Adventure? There is no adventure because I can’t manage to get beyond this gate without anxiety tearing me apart. I have shrunk to a mere speck of who I was. But I am alive. That is all that seems to matter. Even if it means living in a bombed out shell of your self. Is this the healthy patient they seek so doggedly? The one that is finally stable, or the one that is so fractured by the process they no longer care.
The most difficult aspect of this issue is that each time our illness rises up, and our lives start to come apart we face a cross roads. We can accept the treatment, whether it be a drug, or something else. We are in a debilitated awful place. It is in that moment, when our judgement is far from good that we are offered our salvation. There they sit, so sure they have the answer. We numbly nod and take the pills. Desperate to feel better. Yet it is a double-edged sword. That acceptance is actually another departure. We move farther from who we were. The loss engraved beside all the others in a soul now full with the marks of our journey. There is always that hope that this will be the one. This will be the treatment that makes me whole again. It never is. It offers only another rung on the ladder going the wrong direction. Years pass, and rung after rung we move farther away. The distance impossible to reconcile. There is no going back. It never is discussed or even acknowledged. When they talk about relapse, and how bipolar is so difficult to treat, they may want to take into consideration the trauma to the self the treatment course entails. How can anybody live with that loss when it is never addressed? We would not expect a diabetic to keep coming back for amputations as their circulation fails without addressing what they had lost already. It is no different. You cannot hack away pieces of a person and never note it happening. Nevermind, why is it acceptable in the first place? Is this what it truly means to be treated for mental illness? That we lay ourselves bare on the chopping block of psychiatry? There is no other field in medicine where iatrogenesis is so widely accepted. How can it possibly be okay? and what of the millions of people who come to harm each and everyday the world over in the pursuit of wellness. More often than not, so ill they cannot even truly consent to treatment. But worse yet, are never told what will happen.

Would I, at 20, have blindly accepted that first white pill, if I had known this road it would set me traveling on? I know what my answer would be.

The day after

I often have these moments, after the blog is written, or the session is over, the repercussions chattering hard like a ski edge in my head. The thoughts are all there. It has all culminated in my finding my voice. Often not spoken, almost always here in print. Yesterday’s post has been there on my mind all day. Through my 9 mile run, and a hike in the park. Insistent and demanding my attention as I fought through more book work. I know, just based on that, there is an importance to that blog entry. So I went back, and read it again. I do not make a habit of rereading posts, in fact, it is rare. After the new year I did go back and read the entire blog, but on a day-to-day I do not read them again. I have said what I needed to say. There are a few that stick out, and yesterday was one of those.

I understand more about myself now than I ever did. I am very much at a cross roads in my life. Finally shaking free of the adolescent I remained for so very long. There are still days I very much feel like a kid. Quite scary considering I’m closing on 40. Most of my peers have kids, families, jobs. I feel like somehow I lost some years there. We have a horse we raised from a few days old. He was quite sick as a youngster, and was pretty weedy and slow to mature. When asked his age I often think I should subtract a few years. I feel a bit like that. My life paused around 20, and seems to be hitting its stride again. Not that those years were not important, and not that I didn’t accomplish anything. I did. It just feels different somehow. There is a mastery and control, in my sane moments, that I never had before. I was always being pushed on the currents of a life I was not steering. I may not be happy in my life these days, but it is my decision. I can stay, or go. It is my life. It feels like it is mine. All the mood instability aside, I am talking about the moments like today. On the heels of sharing my innermost thoughts, after holding a magnifying glass to the details that hold me back. I don’t know that I have ever been in a place to do that. Not sure I ever cared enough to want to change, or even thought it was possible. I am not saying it is, because it seems a monumental task. But I do know, in my heart, it will make me whole. It will bring me closer to a place of peace and acceptance. I have so many demons, and so many unexpressed emotions. My history exists upon my lips, but the dubbing is wrong, and the emotions never sync to what I am saying. That disconnect leaves me unsettled, and unable to find my truth. The thought of connecting what tears me apart inside with what has been done to me scares me beyond measure. I remain unable to connect it, even with Virgil and Beatrice whom I trust. The issue of trust does not lie with them, but with myself. I do not trust I can handle what lies there beneath the surface. The intensity of what shuts me down cannot even be described. I want to come to terms with it, and be able to live my life without living in fear of my emotions. I want to find a way to deal with them and not lose myself in the process. I want to grow up beyond where I am now. I can be so much more. I know that.


It is an interesting word, intimidation. For me the first thought coupled hard on its heels is intent. Can intimidation exist with out intent? Seems with me it can. In those moments when everything is crashing and coming undone the walls I erect are intimidating. But in that place, when I hang only by the tips of my fingers, I am thinking nothing of intimidation and walls. The honest truth, I’m not thinking at all. I am surviving. Those walls slide up without calling, an act so second nature, I do not even see it coming. There is no button to push, or effort to engage in. They are so deeply a part of who I am, and how I have survived this life thus far. Yet, in such a clear paradox, they disable my ability to cry out for help, to extend an arm, or even fall flat on the floor. Instead I exist within my head, allowing nobody near. The worse the storm, the more extreme the emotional hurricane, the more impenetrable the walls. When I most need help, I cannot move. It feels like the world is growing farther and farther away, yet they are mere feet from me desperate to help. There in session, today, I understood what Beatrice was saying to me. I grasped, if only remotely, what it was to sit opposite me when these walls went up. Her word was “intimidating”. I would say for someone who’s only job is to try to make sure I am okay, it must well feel intimidating. What is so marked is the reality of what I am feeling in those moments. The fear, and overwhelming physical sensation of being suffocated. Everything is moving beyond my control, and it feels intensely painful. I focus on something, anything, the floor, the walls, the trim, a book on the shelf, or the clock. Each second feels as if it will be my last. That I somehow can’t breath and feel everything that is pushing hard on my chest. I want nothing more than to disappear, and there are times that I do, though it is just as scary to pull the plug like that. It is a double edged sword, it may feel like control in the moment, but it is not control- it is the opposite. So, in those moments when I must seem like the rock of gibraltar from across the room, I feel no bigger than the lint on the arm of the couch, I am focusing so furiously on. To be so weak, so confused and so rocked with pain yet to be able to project a prickly DON”T. But those defenses are as old as I am. They come from a place I understand so little about. It is a primal spot born of the will to survive. From a psyche fighting the fracturing forces all around it. Surely it protected me, and served a purpose. Today, it serves only to stand between me and the people around me. It cuts off the routes of communication I desperately need to make myself well. When my mind is lost, and filled with an inky blackness coloring everything around me, I need to be able to say that. I cannot expect Virgil to use her sixth sense, and implement a well worn plan. What of the day she doesn’t, and my life ends just as swiftly as it started. I cannot expect either her or Beatrice to intuit their way to my salvation. It is too risky an endeavor. Too critical a piece within this life. I cannot begin to understand how to change. How to get the words to leave my lips, when there is nothing but horror casting long shadows across my mind. How do I stop the silent progression from okay, to mute and terrified? How do I convince myself to open my mouth, when I am so sure if I do, I’ll start screaming and never stop. How do I remain present when to do so feels like being skinned alive?

It is a process I do not have words to describe. How can I possibly change? My brain thinks I’m dying, and the walls go up. I often don’t sense them coming, only hear a humming and the world starts to look small. The distance grows and grows. It is very close to one of the most recurrent nightmares of my life. It doesn’t visit me often. Though as a child it was often. My world starts to scatter, and grow small, eventually breaking down into pixels and small chunks. I could not tell you why this dream disturbs me. I do not know what it means. But I can tell you the terror that accompanies it rivals any terror I have experienced in this life. There is a feeling like that when my life is unraveling, fast and hard, each day a corner taken too fast, a guard rail away from the plummet I know is coming.
It is in these moments of relative normality when my skin crawls thinking about it. Knowing it will be back and realizing it is inevitable. I hurt, right down to my marrow, knowing that. While it was a good session, it left me adrift and reticent. As one can only be when brushing close to death.


The pattern of unchecked anxiety remains unchanged, if anything worse. Much of it is driven by trying to sort out and master a completely new skill. I am not an accountant, or a book-keeper. it is probably my weakest skill, if you can even call it a skill. Back when I was younger putting more than two or three numbers in a row and my mind would just wander. It was a fight, still it. Back then I thought I was stupid, now I just know it isn’t easy. Needless to say I have not had the easiest of weeks. Add to that some issues that I can’t even get into and it is just me anxious as hell. All the time. Well, not when I running. That is just an exercise in futility these days. 3 weeks ago I was killing it. Hills were at my mercy, long runs sublime. I was thrilled, beyond excited. That didn’t last. The past three weeks have been brutal, to greater or lesser degrees. I have had a couple good short tempo runs, but the rest just impossible. What was easy is difficult. Very difficult. that tough bitch that hammered out hills would rather avoid them. Just dead with no energy. The long runs are epic. I battle for each mile. It is miserable. You would think I’d quit, or back off. Nope. I have a head like concrete. I keep on hammering. Working away, but hating it. Every minute of it. Not the running, but the struggle. The difficulty with roads, and paths that flew beneath my feet just weeks before. I can only assume I am over trained at this point, and my body is just worn down. I need to cut back, hard. I know that. But I am driven to keep right on going. I am so worried to lose the fitness I have gained, and that it will be difficult again. Than again, it sucks right now, what will a week or two be. I am stressed and anxious, so I run. But my body is running low here and as Virgil said, I won’t have it to go to when my head needs it if I don’t back off. The plan is to taper. Give my body a rest. I’m closing in on 500 miles since November. think it deserves a break. My head on the other hand, it really needs a break. Anxiety has a way of wearing you thin, bit by bit, day by day, till you are brittle. So it isn’t just my body, it is everything.


My partner and I are having a rather vigorous disagreement about torture. While I have very liberal views about the death penalty, I tend to be more conservative in my views about torture. This kid needs to be interrogated, and if that needs to be tortured, than so be it. We have no idea if these two worked alone, or if they are part of a larger plan. Forget the whole Muslim angle. I don’t jump on that bandwagon. Though I do wonder what the brother was doing in Russia. Did he go through Kazakstan to Afghanistan? It is all so strange. Why do young intelligent men become terrorists? I don’t get the allure of it. But then again I don’t have anyone recruiting me to blow people up. I don’t hate my country enough. I’m not disillusioned to that degree. Sure I don’t like much of what happens, but I am free to have my views. I am free to vote, and be with whom I wish to be. It makes no sense to me this agenda to kill Americans. I’ll be back to edit this when the coverage dies down a bit tonight.


It isn’t the first time you get burned that hardens you, it is after the tenth or twentieth. I didn’t start out my life like this, but somewhere along the way I changed. Or shall I say people changed me. Doing the right thing, the kind thing, the just thing never gets rewarded. Sadly in this life it often gets you burned. I can’t count the number of times we had people’s backs when they needed us. Often dropping whatever it was we were doing. We put our lives on hold and did what needed doing. It felt like the right thing. We felt just in our decisions, but time and again people let us down. If it was a client, we never got paid. If it was a friend, the favor never got returned. If it was family, well, I don’t even have to answer that one. Life started bright and shining. Each request and new adventure to be had, and journey to take, and life to help. It is different now. I’ve grown cold and hard. Cynical and nasty. As I listened to myself this evening I thought, who is this person I’ve become? Rather than get hurt, I’d rather be indifferent, or distant. There is no point in connection, since it only gets you hurt, screwed, or both. I have become someone I dislike greatly. Yet, I feel no desire to change since I have walked a different path and it has gotten me nowhere. I don’t want to lay myself out there to be picked clean by the vultures. I’d rather sit back and say fuck em all. So very kind a perspective. I have dusted off the wonder, and seen beyond the mirage. This world is a terrible place. I pull farther back into my private gated world. With few if any friends, and little if any contact with the family. It is a tiny hateful place, but it is mine to own. What hurt is here is my own. If I do not extend myself there is little risk, and no getting burned. So I am here, unhappy and still, hardened and cold. I may well have once been a very good person, both kind and compassionate, though I don’t know where she got lost along the way. I’m not even sure if I miss her these days. I know I miss the life I had, back when I was too naive to know how awful life and people could be. That naiveté is gone now, and there is no bliss here. I would be better off with less anger and hate, though I don’t begin to know how to change. I could not even tell you what leaves me so angry and hateful. I cannot even begin to understand this complex shift. I do know my world grows smaller and smaller. and smaller still, till there is nothing to fulfill my need for connection and relationships. It becomes a world of one.

Shifting footing

164620_10152753774910183_1592051355_nIt is a very strange sensation as anxiety slowly wraps itself around your chest. That slow and steady progression toward panic. It isn’t fast for me. It is an insidious process. Sure, we all have times when we can go from zero to panic in the blink of an eye. It happens. It is a normal response to fear or threat. This is different. As I sat across from Beatrice I took in her words. They rested there in my brain. I did not offer a reaction. Honestly I don’t think I had one. I could not respond because I could not accept. I understood the insurance issue. It was something I figured was coming. I did not expect her to say she was retiring. Granted she is giving me a ton of notice. I do give her credit for that. So I walked out of session and into the humid midday Spring gloom. My emotions were pressing hard and my head was trying to process it. We had discussed another provider, along with options of fighting the insurance company further so we have more than the 13 sessions they gave us. I had to wonder though, do we fight over 9 months? do I move on? It took so much to step away from Virgil. Many days I still wish I were closer and in treatment with her, but there are many where I am comfortable in my choice to return to Beatrice. We have settled into a rhythm and our work has meaning. As I drove to the park to run anxiety was winding its way around my chest and heart. As if someone were physically hold on to me. I didn’t want to run. I wanted to sit still. Flitting fast across my mind- what if Virgil moves on too? That one about did me in. I have let them in, gave them my trust. I know in my heart they will do right by me, even when my head is so royally fucked up I can’t see it. That doesn’t come lightly or easily to me. Considering just how long I have been with Virgil is pretty indicative of my poor ability to trust. It took a long time with Beatrice as well. So there I sat, contemplating and worrying “what if”. To start again is mind numbing. In this world of therapists no better than the cheap sign on their door, it is all to easy to end up on the wrong couch. There were no brakes. My head was full tilt in panic mode. And so I ran. Amongst the budding trees, and slashing rain drops. the humidity so thick the trail was slick from the moisture. But I ran anyway. I didn’t want to stay in the land of what ifs, and worst case scenarios. This world is so uncertain, and life is fleeting. I will have to come to terms with a point when I will part ways with both Beatrice and Virgil. Nothing is forever, no matter how much we wish it could be. But it still haunts me as I write. I wish I was someone who could move on, and plant roots elsewhere. For me it is a little tougher. Takes a lot of soil prep and fertilizing before anything like a true connection will grow. It is okay. I have to know in my heart that everything happens for a reason. It may well be time to move on, or will be in the coming months. I am so grateful for the time I had with Beatrice, and for her commitment to let me come back. It was a brave thing to do, and one not many people would have done. I feel we have accomplished much over the past year. I hate that an insurance company has such little respect for the therapeutic bond. But then again they have little respect for anything beyond the bottom line. In a world of dollars and cents, one bipolar patient is nothing but a number. Sadly, my care is compromised, as happens to thousands of others each day. It is sickening. I don’t know what the coming months will bring. I feel like the ground is unsteady and shifting under my feet. It seems like I think everything is okay, but sadly it never really is, or not for long. So I run. Hoping that tomorrow will be better.