Wednesday, October 9, 2013


ps- there are no photos here because between flickr and yahoo asshattery i am locked out of my photos.  if you know how to permanently fix or prank them, i'd appreciate knowing... now, on to the blog...

So this year, I came undone.

Now, a sock------

Yes, a sock. It is a beautiful knitted thing.  A mastery of magic and engineering.   Toe, foot, heel, leg, cuff.  Heels being my favorite, the juncture at which horizontal becomes vertical by sheer trickery.  There are as many recipes for socks as for spaghetti, but in the end, it is the making and the wearing that spark joy in my soul.  Imagine the betrayal as the little fucker fell right the hell apart.

(photo of one of my socks with a stupid hole in it here)

I tried to mend it by taking up the broken end and securing the live stitches, but the little tail kept coming loose and unraveling even more, making it three times worse every time I thought I had it sewn up.

It started in March.  My doctor and I decided to change my medication.  The old one was terrible for blood sugar, weight gain and liver function. Feeling that the last year or two had been quite fine, we moved ahead with a new medication in a calm and orderly fashion. Everything seemed to be okay, the stitches were holding, the pattern lookin' dandy. Hearts and Flowers.

(clever photo of heart-and-flower sock here)

In April I gave notice at my job for May, as the commute was frightful and I thought I'd move on to a home-based business. Everything made sense, I still felt in control, relatively happy and confident.  I started that business, got off to a roaring start....


Just a couple of strands at first, but I was still rolling, keeping busy.


I woke up one morning from the middle of the hole.

The depression is unbearable and seemingly unbreakable.  It's a uniquely isolated feeling, like being a little wooden doll suspended in deep black space. Nothing about me has felt natural in sixth months, I have absolutley no emotional connection to what is going on around me-- Parties, hangouts, birthdays, doing laundry are all the same gig. There are parts of me I am nearly certain will never connect with the outer world again.  

Hyperbole and a Half wrote about her struggle with depression recently and the part that made me laugh and sob uncontrollably was the way she described what I call Giving Face.  Unless you've just been surprised by a party girl poppin' out of a cake at a funeral, you have natural facial expressions related to your everyday speech.  I feel like I literally need to reach up and mold my face into a look appropriate to any given experience. I often stand among people feeling stretched and awkward. I hear conversation around me, the attendant phrasing and pauses, then the alarm sounds that I'm supposed to react!  Formulate, execute, et Voilà, A Face!  Needs some work? Sorry.


So here's me in therapy, and at the meds doctor, on time and ready to go...I pick up stitches and whip the yarn round and we pull the hole shut a bit...


And there's another loose end, coming undone, the hole three times worse again.  I can't think much of the time, I don't actually care or have opinions about a lot of things and I have all the energy four cups of coffee and two naps a day can afford me.

I feel obligated to say that with some tinkering, yes, I am a bit....Lifted? Brighter, I think. But I’m still floating in the hole, wooden and sometimes completely emotionless.  It’s odd, but some of this, including intermittent feelings of ennui and total uselessness are actual side effects of the medication.  

I’ve never experienced this before.  Many, many sufferers of mental health problems maintain that the medication makes them unbearably gray.  Fellow Bipolars and others suffering with more severe conditions feel it takes away our Super Powers. When I find a way to explain those to you, I will, but suffice to say, the more severe the change, the more likely some people drop their ball of meds to find their way out of the wool. My meds mostly made me feel more “me”, more in control, able to live among friends and family without causing damage. Lately, though, I have nearly ached for that razor’s edge of unmanaged ZING, just those few beautiful moments before everything will go, inevitably,  to crazy hell, just to get the feeling of life back, to see the extra rainbow color, to cinch that hole tight and sew in the tail in a fit of mad possession. 

Looking back, I could just rip the entire year out, no matter how much I had loved the pattern, as that tiny, ungraspable end eludes me and I can't stop the unraveling.  It feels like a slow, perpetual, unrelenting state now, which leaves me at moments panicky, frightened, embarrassed, heartbroken and, ultimately, resigned.  

Every day is a step in this sock, every day the hole may rip and leave me exposed or the heel may hold and I’ll just keep walking.

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