Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Turning Tides

Once upon a time I relished being alone in this house. If I had the opportunity to spend my day alone in here on a vacation day, with the kids at school and the wife at work, it was pure heaven. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I could take advantage of the time to play a game, or go for a walk, surf the net aimlessly, or raid the fridge, it didn't matter what I did. The fact was I could do whatever I wanted for a predisposed period of time. I loved it. I will admit now that there were days when I called in sick or took a vacation day to do just that - unwind and decompress.

In May 2011 I had my nervous breakdown and everything began to change. I was first on EI sick leave for 15 weeks while attending therapy for my undiagnosed issues. Later, those diagnosis was carved in stone as Bipolar, and things changed for the worse. But that summer of 2011 was one long vacation for me. I was still on payroll and bringing home some money, so as long as I didn't miss any appointments, I was free to do whatever I wanted and go wherever I wanted. I spent long days walking - sometimes up to four hours. Just exploring the city. I went into bars I'd never seen before, stores I'd never thought to patronize, and yes, spent long days at home enjoying the silence.

In the fall of that year everything changed. I ended up in the hospital psychiatric ward for two weeks followed by three weeks outpatient intensive therapy. Then, in January of this year I started going to the Canadian Mental Health Association for treatment once per week, and now I'm in the Mood and Anxiety Disorder Clinic once per week. All the while getting medication adjusted on a regular basis. Tomorrow I have to have a blood test before 9am. This is just getting normal. The new normal. No more carefree days. No more vacations.

My days of lazing around when nobody is here are gone. I've had almost two years of this and I'm actually getting bored of it. When people are here I'm comfortable. It doesn't matter what floor they're on or what anyone is doing, but it's now comforting to me to have someone around. Today, I have a little more than half the day to myself (I have yet another appointment this afternoon), and as soon as my daughter left for school I felt myself getting uneasy. Not anxious, not scared, just uneasy. As if something was off. 

I could spend my day doing chores, there's still laundry to do, and a floor to lay down, but those end up on the back burner fairly quick. Especially on days when the uneasy feeling escalates to a full blown panic attack. Last week, it was severe depression. I never know anymore what the days will bring. Everyday is like a lottery with me only ever getting the consolation prize. So I've taken to bothering my friends and family during the day. I have some that spend their days at home so I drop in on them. I have a coffee and some conversation and carry on with my duties. It's a way of keeping my sanity in a situation that ironically enough I used to plan for and relish. Now it's routine and boring. 

I have some ideas to get back at it. Ideas that will make me some money and keep me busy, but until those ideas pan out, this is life. I will rely on my therapists and my family to keep me going. At the very least I've been able to reconnect with some old friends I haven't seen in a while, but this has been a shitty reason to have to do that - you should never loose contact with those you hold dear. Right now, I'm going to go play with my cat.


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