My torrid autumn is rearing its ugly head early this year. Usually I have until November before she hits me, but this year the calendar matters not. She’s pumping my head and heart full of sadness and anxieties and other things I’d rather forget. She has no regret nor remorse for how her bitterness leaves me. This is our yearly dance and certainly is not new to me.
This is life with bipolar disorder. I can usually mark the calendar to the very day that the Torrid Autumn will arrive, but this year I’ve been duped. She came early with no warning and now that she’s here I must scramble and try to get myself ready. Medication, projects and distractions are my only hope and even that looks bleak through the eyes of this depression.
My torrid autumn usually comes with screams and cries for help, in the form of a mad woman who has clearly lost her mind… screaming like a banshee while thrashing about like a child in a temper tantrum. This is almost always followed by the deafening silence of depression.
No words can communicate the level of sorrow that I sink to during this season. My heart becomes as cold as the snow on the ground and no compassion or empathy can be found within me whatsoever. My usual love and light exterior is replaced with bitterness and fatigue. Resentments run high with nearly everyone around me. Each day is a new battle and you never know what twists and turns it might take.
One minute I’m smiling and laughing, then it’s almost as though someone flips a switch and I’m crying and sad over the smallest detail. Sometimes I will be filled with rage from an unknown source. There’s no telling what’s going to happen next. I’m equally as surprised as the onlookers are. I feel like I’m riding in a car but I’m not the driver – I’m just along for the ride! I’m not in control of anything happening around me. The evil things that I say are not rehearsed. I would never say such mean things if I wasn’t in a bipolar episode. That’s just not me. At least it’s not the real me. It’s the part of me that I sincerely wish did not exist. If I could kill off a part of me that I hate, it would be that. It would be the part that makes me so crazy I lunge at people I love. I hit, kick and slap when I have an episode. I don’t recognize anyone as being on my side in the heat of the moment. I feel scared and alone when I get like this and nobody seems to understand that part of it.
Then there’s the part of me that self-harms. I don’t cut myself anymore, but I used to. Now I have other coping mechanisms that are much safer to use, but I wasn’t always this prepared. I have scars from my shoulders to my elbows on both arms from cutting myself over and over for months. That was the darkest point of my life to date. We call it the “Georgia Depression” and when I tell Mike that I feel like I did in Georgia, he knows how serious it is and gets me help right away. This is how we’ve made it work for all these years. He pays very close attention and makes sure he doesn’t let me slip too far because he remembers how dark it got in our lives… and neither one of us ever wants to go through that Hell again