this past week i woke up one morning and the magic was gone. just like someone somewhere snapped their fingers or clapped their hands and i’m back to that place where everything makes me cry. macaroni exploded in the microwave. i cried. there was a commercial about families during the olympics. i cried. H told me he would not put on his pajamas. i cried.
i’m back to standing very still and staring into space and forgetting that i’m standing very still and staring into space until one of the kids says, “mom. you’re staring into space again.” and then i cry. because i don’t remember my mom ever staring into space. she was always doing something Useful.
i’m back to the place where V is asking me over and over if she can have nerds for breakfast and i have to listen to the question six times before i remember that nerds are candy and she probably shouldn’t have nerds for breakfast and then i say no. and then, when she isn’t looking, i cry. i cry because it takes me so long to remember things. things that i should know. i cry because it hurts to think about breakfast.
i won’t lie. it has been a very bad week. i marked it “couldn’t be worse” on my mood chart.
i tried visualizing, something a therapist a few therapists ago suggested. i think it’s supposed to help you out of a bad place. this is how it went for me. i started imagining bipolar disorder as a giant cake. a giant cake as big as a swimming pool. a chocolate cake and the frosting is fudge. and someone has written bipolar on the top of the cake in chocolate frosting. and i’m sitting on top of the cake in a lawn chair. and i have a tiny plate and a tiny fork and a little napkin with strawberries on it. and i’m sitting there and the sun is shining and there are birds chirping: i can hear cardinals and chickadees because they’re my favorite. and there is an oompa loompa on the cake with me (because all visualizations have oompa loompas in them) and he cuts me a tiny piece of the cake and puts it on my tiny plate with his tiny cake server and i eat it with my tiny fork.
i look around, satisfied, but as soon as i finish, the oompa loompa cuts another piece. and i eat it. and the whole scene repeats. and at first i’m happy to be eating the cake, because it’s cake, y’all. but then after a while i’m tired of cake. that’s when i realize that i can’t leave the lawn chair until i have eaten the entire cake. at the same time i realize if i manage to eat the entire cake, then i won’t have bipolar anymore, i will just be normal — so i keep eating these tiny cake pieces and eating and eating and eating and eating. but the whole time i’m thinking about a triple creme brie on a warm baguette or a bowl of steel cut oats with brown sugar and cream or spring rolls wrapped in lettuce and dipped in fish sauce.
that’s where my visualization ended, with me sitting on a lawn chair atop a giant cake, choking on frosting.
the thing is, i don’t think i can ever eat the whole cake. and it makes me sad inside my sadness — knowing that this sadness will always be there. it’s like sadness wrapped inside sadness inside sadness trapped in a hole of sadness.
so i’ll probably add something to my visualization. i’ll probably add as many friends as will accept the invitation to come and have a piece of cake. and maybe that way we’ll get a little closer to eating the whole thing.
if you’re reading this, you’re invited.