Monday, 26 January 2015

Fuck Being Sick

Screw it. I don't want to anymore. I don't want to be sick. So I won't.

People with cancer, heart disease or any other deadly ailment can say that and if they put their minds to it can make a difference in their well being, but frankly state of mind only goes so far. People living with life threatening diseases can only go so far in pushing back. Frame of mind can change one's game plan with the attitude towards the illness, but can't do much about the physical disruption to the body. Changing the attitude means aggressive treatment instead of giving up. My condition is not like that. The positive attitude can make all the difference.

So fuck it, I don't want to be sick anymore.

I'm Bipolar, which means I can switch from an ecstatic manic high to a horrible sinking low depression in no time at all. It's more annoying than anything else. It's kinda hard to plan your day when you don't know if you're going to give up living at 2pm and at 5pm start an expedition to Mount Everest. At one point a few years ago I was researching realtors, I planned on selling the house and moving to Scotland. Not for any other reason than it seemed like a good idea at the time. In my mind the family would have figured it out soon enough, when the sign went on the lawn. Meh.

Then I sunk low. Crying constantly, not getting out of bed, throwing things out, life became, well, meh. Then there's the panic and anxiety attacks which are completely debilitating. A feeling of complete and overwhelming fear grips me and forces me down. I can't move except for the uncontrollable shaking. Cold sweats, pain in all limbs, screaming at nothing, ignoring all who try to help, I've even smashed my head in one of these and not known it. Then, suddenly, sleep. The attacks always knock me out for hours.

I've been living with this for five years now, and thank you, I'm done. Fuck it.

Every therapist, doctor, support group and family member I've talked to over the past years has given me the same advise, and I've been too damn stubborn to take it. Get involved. That's it. Simple. Get active, find something to take my mind off the problem. It won't ever heal me, I'm with this for life, but I know now I can make a difference in how I suffer with this. I'm finally taking some advise and doing something about it. Fuck it.

I started projects. I started doing things to encourage a tighter and more focused frame of mind. First, I started looking at money. Since I got sick I also got unemployed. That kinda hurt the wallet. Last year the car came off the road which took away my flexibility and independence, not to mention that I really like my car! I still say high to her and pet her when I walk by. Money became a focal point in the illness. I was afraid of anything to do with it and just opening the online banking threw me into an attack. I stopped paying bills. That of course, was stupid. But you couldn't tell me that then. I decided to do something about it, I re-did the entire house budget. I juggled the numbers and found how to save, I threw myself past the anxiety to look for the positive. Instead of counting how much I had to pay out, I started counting how much we were bringing in. A completely new perspective. The problem hasn't been solved but at least now I can look at it with a positive light instead of collapsing.

Then I started learning things. I started researching how to build websites. As a graphic designer I should have done that years ago, but being stubborn and stuck in my ways I opted to stick with traditional media. Many years later I saw that little error and decided to correct it. I've spent the past three months immersed in Adobe Dreamweaver and tutorial videos on HTML5, CSS, PHP, and Java Script. In the grand scheme of things I'm in grade 2 now, so much still to learn, but it allowed me to completely refocus.

Finally, I started writing. A lot. I've written things lately that will never be published, and things I hope to publish in the future. Five years ago I had a story idea. 15,000 words in I lost it, I wrote myself into a corner and shelved it. Yesterday I dusted it off, re-read it, and had an epiphany. Like the preverbal lightbulb going on over my head, I suddenly had the story laid out. 4,963 words and seven hours later I now have focus. For the time I wrote I forgot about being sick, I forgot about ISIS, money, monster storms, Charlie Hebdo, the dog, well, the dog let me know he was still here. Anyway, I immersed myself in the story and let it flow. I felt it was like reading a book with my fingers.

Fuck it, I'll write this illness off.

It's been two weeks since my last attack. two weeks of normality. I've lost my temper at times and fought the anxiety away, but I've fought it! I'm focused on something better now and I don't want to let the demons creep in. I'm not healed, I never will be. I'll live with this the rest of my life, and that's ok, because many that are sick can only say that knowing that the illness is what will take them. Mine won't, unless I fall apart and do something completely ridiculous. Which by the way, is something Bipolar people live with more often than not. I don't want to go there. I'm going to force my life the other direction, one step at a time. 

I may lose the light at some point and fall backwards into the mire of my mind. Like other projects I've undertaken in the past I may shelve these ideas, but now I know something I haven't considered, I can do this! So I put the manuscript away again. I'll start something new. Writing calms me, so I'll start there. Maybe I'll crash and burn on the website idea, so what, I'll dream up something else. I know I have options now, and given the dark places I've been lately there's only one way out, and that's the way up.

Fuck it. I'm normal.


1 comment:

  1. It's great to see that you're making progress Keith! Keep up the good fight! Cheers!


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