The world is a scary place these days. There are wars and rumors of wars, there is economic chaos, morals seem to have gone to hell and our upcoming generation seems to have lost the values and convictions that we’ve always depended on. It’s crazy and very frightening.
But this isn’t the first time this has happened. My parents thought the same thing about the hippies and sexual revolution. We had Korea, and the horrors of World War two. Throughout history there have always been things to fear.
My own fears are a little closer to home.
Economically, I stay on the edge of disaster. I’m one paycheck away from being destitute. I’ve never done a good job of managing my money, and I have no reserves to carry me if the flow of income stops. In the past, I’ve always been confident that I would always be able to find a new job if I needed one. But that’s no longer true. The job market in America is poor at best. There are so many unemployed now that the competition for open jobs is fierce. And because there are so many professionals out of work now, my lack of formal education all but rules me out of any hope of finding the next job.
And with my illness, my job is always subject to be at risk.
I’m actually kind of terrified of my illness. I’ve purported to be doing well. And in many ways that’s true. But is it as true as I’ve wanted to believe? Even if it is, can I depend on successfully managing it?
I think the answer to both is no.
One purpose of my writing is to remind me of my journey and keep myself mindful of not only where I’ve been, but where I can always go again. I don’t often go back and read old writings, but my memory can recall them all. All I have to do is scan through the titles and it all comes back. It’s frightening to see just how out of control I’ve been in the past, and even more frightening to think that it can happen again. That it will happen again. And I’m worried that sooner or later, the limit will be reached, and I won’t be able to live with it anymore.
No, I’m not suicidal.
What I am is afraid. I think that in the back of my mind I know that things may someday be more than I can bear. Or that one day my life with become so catastrophic that there won’t be any way out. I can foresee events that can put me in a situation where there’s no more hope. Sooner or later, I fear that it will just become too much.
I’m starting to believe that things are not will in my world. I want to believe that I’m doing well. But lately, I don’t think that is the case. Sure, superficially it’s all good. It’s very easy to accept that everything is under control, and I’m in complete control.
But there are signs. And they are all so very scary.
I’m struggling more and more with my job. True, everyone in my department is under a great deal of stress, and carrying an unbelievable work load. But they seem to be doing a much better job coping with it all than I am. I am overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. My conscious side tells me that slow and steady will get me through. My actions however are that the more work there is, the less I get done. I spend more time making excuses and covering my tracks than actually doing productive work. That is just not like me; I’m an overachiever and thrive on challenge.
This is not good.
My lack of concentration and anxiety of work are actually minor warnings. I’m sure it’s been noticeable that my preoccupation with a relationship has become more and more prevalent. No, it’s not preoccupation; it’s obsessive. And because of this driving force I’m hurting, or about to hurt, several others. I know that while I can justify to myself that my relationships with multiple women are non-committal and casual, but I know that is not their perception of their relationship with me. I know that they would be horrified if they knew the truth. Eventually, I am going to have to hurt them all. I will either have to stop the relationship, which will be totally unexpected and hurtful. Or, more likely I’ll make a mistake, and one or more of them will learn the truth. My behavior is just wrong, and I know it.
I just can’t seem to help myself, and that terrifies me.
My addictions have completely taken over. I’m drinking way too much and way too often. How’s that for a plan for disaster? The more I drink, the less effective my medicines are, and the less effective they are, the more I drink. It is a downward cycle that will not end well if I don’t get it under control, and quickly. I quit smoking about 8 months ago. But the way I quit was to switch to an electronic cigarette. That sounds good, except because it’s not truly smoking it is much more available and easy to overindulge. I no longer have to take breaks to go outside for a smoke; I can sit at my desk all day and ingest the nicotine that is so harmful to my body. Nicotine reduces testosterone, deplete minerals and vitamins, and raises heart rate and blood pressure. And I have no doubt that is what’s happening. The added physical stress again impacts the ability of my body to effectively use the medications, and lowers resistance and diminishes brain function.
And I just can’t stop.
My thinking may be diminished, but it’s also becoming more warped and obsessive. I lock onto an idea, usually a bad idea, and it consumes me. No, I’m not contemplating anything totally horrible that would be newsworthy; but I am becoming more and more self-destructive.
I’m feeling more and more out of control.
I don’t think I’m in a full blown mania. Not yet. But I have recognized that my mood is hypomanic, and continuing to grow in intensity. No matter how hard I try and convince myself that things are going okay, I know that it’s not okay, and my behaviors are becoming more and more outrageous. My driving is risky at best and dangerous more often than not. Loss of temper and overacting to stress is increasing on a daily basis. My focus is just about gone; except for the focus on obsessions.
I think I’m on the brink.
If there is a silver lining to all of this it’s that I can see it coming. I’ve opened up to my therapist; and hopefully that will help make a difference. It’s probably time for a med adjustment; I just have no idea what that will be. The Lamictal is already maxed out, and I haven’t had much luck with anything else. But I’m not a doctor, so I hope that we can find something to reign myself in. I know just how bad this could be, and I absolutely do NOT want to go there.
But I’m really scared that it’s unavoidable. And that terrifies me.