Calm and Quiet: Stuck In The Middle Of The Firth

Ready. Set. Sail!

Quiet. Eerily quiet. I’ve never felt this way before.

As my boat rocks steadily back and forth, recovering from the tumultuous storm that just passed, I feel something strange. I feel calm.

What the fuck happened? How in the world am I so calm right now? More importantly, where did the Fog go?

Yesterday I was prescribed a higher dose of Lamictal. I’m up to 200mg now. That doesn’t seem like a lot compared to what other people have to take but it’s a huge step from the 25mg I started on a year ago. I was told by my psychiatrist that it’s the maximum dose for people with Bipolar Disorder 2 but I’ve heard some people take more. At any rate, I feel odd.

To paint a clearer picture, the Fog has lifted. Better yet, it mysteriously vanished! Completely gone. I’m still depressed and floating on my tiny boat far out into the Firth. It’s so odd. I can’t describe it. Am I Stable again already? That can’t be possible because my depression usually lasts for a few months. So how am I this calm?

Well let me elaborate. It’s as if there, in the calm stillness of the night, my boat is motionless. I look up and I’m finally able to see a gorgeous array of stars. Hope. They sparkle and light up the night sky. As I turn my head back down, I see the small craft I’ve been sitting in this past week.  Despair. For the most part, neither hope nor despair is penetrating me at this moment. I feel like a blank canvas. As much as it would be nice to punch a whole in the boat and let it fill with water and drown myself, I can’t help but look straight ahead. In the distance I can barely make out the silhouette of something strange: a lighthouse.

A few days ago I almost killed myself. I was just sitting there in my car in the left turn lane and noticed a car speeding up toward the intersection. My light was still red but something inside me told me to gun it. So I ran the light to meet him head on. Cars behind me honked and so did my target. Luckily, he swerved and barely missed me at what looked like 60 mph. I tried to get hit by a car. On impulse. I decided to try and end my life on a whim. Needless to say my therapist and psychiatrist, along with my husband and friends, made me sign a prevention plan and increased the dosage on my meds. They are keeping a constant eye on me. What’s weird is that I didn’t mind the idea of getting hit despite the fact that I was involved in a traumatic car crash on April 13, 2012 ( and on a Friday no less). Right before that crash, time moved so slow it looked like it had paused. It took what seemed like forever for the car to hit me. After the crash I was rushed to the hospital and came out with just a broken nose.

This time around, I didn’t hesitate. I just drove. The only explanation I have is that I wanted a break.

I’m torn. There in the darkness of my mind is a glimmer of clarity. The Fog has been lifted and I can see it clearly: the glow of the lighthouse. I desperately want to grab my oars and row as fast as my arms can carry me toward it. Is it a way out of the Firth? Is my Depression over this quickly? It seems too good to be true. Maybe it is. So I hesitate to move.

The waters have been so choppy lately. This is definitely new territory. This wasn’t the same depression. Normally when I’m depressed I’m not this irritating. Deep down the pain is overwhelming but it’s not volatile. This time around, I was mean and spiteful. My irritability has been unyielding. With deadlines hammering down on me at work, things are difficult. I have so much shit to finish before the end of the year. My temper has been unreasonably short. I’ve been short with my husband and friends, saying vicious comments on their lack of support. Critical and rude is what I’ve been for the past few days. But now it’s gone.

Before I go ahead and celebrate that I made it out of what I thought was a large sea bay (it was so foggy it was hard to tell where I was), I wanna wait. I’m supposed to go in for a follow up next week. See there is an issue with this I’m wrestling with. What if I’m heading back into Mania? What if this is the calm before the storm? How can I be so calm and still feel so depressed and suicidal? This doesn’t make any sense.

Whether or not I’m overreacting, like any good scientist, I need to document this. I need to be able to refer back to it in case this is a sign of disaster to come. For now, I think I’ll wait. I’m cautious to make a declaration. Lamictal has been known to induce Mania and if my antidepressant Wellbutrin did that, it’s possible that I’m being kicked out of my bipolar depression. Then again, who knows. I’m hopeful for the best but terrified of another high. Mania scares me more than Depression. The Fire is all too tempting and far too convincing. I don’t smell smoke on the horizon but then again I’m still pretty far from the shore. Either I sit and wait or start rowing.

I think I’ll start rowing. We’ll see where this boat takes me. I’m headed towards the light…what’s the worst that could happen?


7 thoughts on “Calm and Quiet: Stuck In The Middle Of The Firth

  1. This will sound weird considering I’ve read every single word that you poured onto this page, but you write so beautifully, I can’t stop when I start. I hope the shore is a good place this time but it’s scary to hope for anything with this mad illness owning our every emotion. We can’t even be certain that peace is just that: peace; not the calm before the storm. Oh darling, I am awaiting your next update and hope that the calm waters are still surrounding you and the stars are shining brighter than ever (but not shining in a manic sort of way!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandra I’m so flattered. You consistently have such positive and supportive comments. Thank you so much for reading and following me!! 🙂 I’m honestly just writing to track myself and let my friends who follow me catch signs early so I don’t do anything dangerous. You’re right peace is tricky with this disorder. I’ll keep you and everyone posted on my progress.

      Like

  2. The way you write about your crash is brutally honest, and beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever been affected by what people write about their suicide attempts, but this piece definitely resonates.
    Even though I don’t have Bipolar Disorder, I still feel like everything you write applies to mental illness in general because it feels vulnerable. I guess I’m just happy to find someone who writes about their experiences with depression without sounding condescending. Keep it up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Guy. I think stories are, and have been, the best way to learn about people. Honestly, I write how I think and I’m very imaginative. Always have been. I’m glad I don’t come off as condescending because then there is no point to my writing other than to brag about myself. I want people to really get inside my head and feel how I feel. Depression is a lot of things but the more you know your enemy, the easier it is to fight and the more people can understand and help you fight it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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