When you burn your bridges

Today, now, I do not know where to go… I burned my bridges. Maybe this is not totally true, but quite. I have been interned, hospitalized, enclosed, sheltered, whatever the word you would like to use for almost what, a month?

Who is counting, and what is counting?! I lost the days, they have lost their meaning, repeat, rewind. How are you today? Small talk… You end-up talking about how 25mg of this makes you constipated.. Life boils down to medication, and medication sadly but surely becomes all you know. Days are translated into numbers, 10 drops, 50 mg in case you need it, one suppository; repeat protocol for night time

Lately, I turn out in places which I’d rather thought unlikely. The CAC*, the hospital, the CAC again, hospital again, the clinic for the crazy ones, and so on… I even forget what I say. I forget what I do. It is so powerful, you would not want to be in my place.

Phone-less, here I am looking for an internet access in this big metropolitan was easier than I think. I always wondered when I saw an internet access shop, what the heck? Everyone has internet… Well Nour, no not always. I gave my link to the world to my father before I left. It was more like an offering gesture: “here, take my weapon of knowledge. I surrender.

I might make no sense, but I burned my bridges today. I am angry as it gets. I am fearless. I am afraid. I am wrong, but I know I am right. I know what to do, yet I am clueless. I ran into this place, paid more money than I needed. I need time. I need time to know what to do, where to go, what is safe, what is risky…

I will use public phones I thought. I will calm down and call to check in, but I do not know any number by heart except mine…

I will walk to the clinic then, but I have no GPS – remember? I am in a big city without a map. A girl without a phone, is almost naked…

Yes, I am this little girl, lost in the big city. Again phone-less. No one knows where I am. I took my anti-anxiety pill, which is working now. I am more relaxed, but still very angry. This browser does not support Spotify. I want to listen to music when writing. The stupid tracks get cutoff the second they become interesting. Just like my sentences, they make no sense. I felt shaky from early morning. I smelled it in the air, something was wrong. Now I know everything is wrong…Writing is the only truth….

*Centre D’accueil et de Crises

Hospitalization 2: What to do when you see your children for the first time

So dear friends, a post that it slightly out of date. Yet it took me a wile to have the courage to write it all down at one go. Now I am at the luxurious clinic. Hell in candy shape… what I would do to be in the arms of my children…

I had one of the worst experiences in my life. In the beginning of my stay, my psychiatrist gave me my first permission to go out – accompanied – for a couple of hours. I was euphoric. I was going to see my family, my kids… I would smell their hair, touch their faces, kiss their fingers… I was going to get hugged and I was going to listen to them saying Mama in the real Live version and not on FaceTime.

I would have slept if I could, by the entrance of the reception all dressed up waiting for them to arrive. Instead I forced myself to sleep. I got up, showered, dressed, put on make up, brushed up my hair… I waited. Lunch tray came, I said no sorry I will eat with my family.

Comes 2 pm I was by the door waiting for them. I can see my little ones holding hands… My babies, here they are. I held them tighter than I ever had. They were here finally in my arms. I imagined that moment and it was never as good as reality. We went through what the asylum requires: some admin stuff to make sure who signs me off and takes responsibility to brings me back.

We walked out, hand in hand all the way to the restaurant. Nothing better than an Italian place, loud and large enough to accommodate my big family. I did not want to sit next to my small baby. He is not even 2 and a half yet. I thought it would be better to have my eldest next to me, and my baby in front on a high chair.

I couldn’t look at them. My tears were flowing so fast. Everyone was trying hard to make fun of the situation, to make it lighter. I had my panic attack starting nicely. Not long before desert arrived, I texted my husband saying it was time to hit the road before I get a full fledged episode. He told my father to start taking me back. The problem was that my baby had fallen asleep on his highchair. It could have been an ideal moment to leave. I kissed my eldest goodbye, tears flowing and breath starting to get out of control. As I grabbed my coat, I made noise…

My baby woke up while I was going down the stairs. Screaming he was, mama, mama. I could not look back, I was almost paralyzed. God knows how I went out of the restaurant. My legs felt like noodles. I was mot going to tolerate them seeing me in this state. I held tight to my dad, breathing I don’t know how and crying my eyes out.

We miraculously reached the clinic. I went to my room and sat on my knees while wailing. To cut the story short, the nurse came in, so did the doctor on duty. They forced me up the bed. They were not nice. They wanted to contain this escalating meltdown by discouraging me to continue having a panic attack. They give me something to feel calmer. I held my head close to my knees and cried so much that I felt empty.

So now, from my horrible experience I want to share with you what you should and shouldn’t do when as a bipolar you need to get too see your children for the first time after your hospitalization:

Do not see them in a different habitat: Big mistake. I highly recommend that you do not spend your first visit – or any visit- if you have small toddlers in a place they do not know. Why am I here? Where is this? Why is Mama here? Why does she leave me here? I did not know the exact questions that go through their little minds. Please do not choose if possible a strange place.

Do not go while they are sleeping: It was tempting yes, leave without disrupting my toddler’s sleep. Big mistake. You need to say goodbye. I always say goodbye even if the children do not like it. You are not playing peekaboo. By 2 years of age, they know that people do not disappear out of the face of earth. It is a betrayal, that you should try hard to avoid if possible.

Let them drop you off: If you are seeing them outside and close to the clinic, let them drop you off, just like they picked you up. It makes more sense to leave their parent in a place that is half familiar, or at least where they know their parent is staying at the moment.

Clearly discuss your “in case” medication: I had and I have an extra dose of anxiolytics in case I need one for anxiousness or else. But the mistake that day was the timing and the dosage. I took it too late and too little. I had to have more, and to put it under my tongue to make it act faster. It would have avoided this emotional flooding as well as my panic attack.

That’s all folks. TBC as usual

When you have to explain to your child your mental illness…

People with depression have this good tendency to put up a facial mask in social situations. Maybe this is not valid in all situations, but in some it is crucial.

I hadn’t told my eldest daughter who is almost 9 anything about my depression. I brought it up during my last session with my therapist. I told her how my daughter is so smart, how she sees me take medications – totally unusual for me… She never uttered a word. Though she asks me a thousand questions a day about everything and nothing.

She never brought up the medication. I used to try and do this in private, but day in day out, it became obvious that mama has to take her meds

Update: A few weeks have passed since this post was written. None of my above fears can even explain how much the situation has become complicated. Me who shelters her children even from TV, I made them see me taken by ambulance while screaming my guts out to be left alone. I told my daughter to go inside. Poor baby she did. I can never forgive myself this… never…

TBC

If it happens once…

I have already said that my meds are my shield; my little bullet proof glass shield through which I see life. No harm comes in as long as the window is closed.

Yesterday was a good day. I spent time with my husband and I was not thinking of anything else. Just him and me. I didn’t push him away, I didn’t talk about my sad thoughts, I didn’t try to say everything will be ok. I was there and then. In the now and in the moment.

I was enjoying looking at him, holding his hand, having coffee together, hugging him and talking to him. I felt normal. It has been so long since I felt normal. I didn’t need excuses, I didn’t think what would happen if, I was simply enjoying his love and my love to him.

This could sound so absolutely stupid and trivial. It might come to many as something usual. To me this is a big deal. To stay a few hours worry-free is beyond liberating. To accept the love and devotion given by another human being (in this case the love of my life) without any fear is priceless.

If it happens once, it can happen again. I am trying to do my own cognitive behavioral therapy. Using my background in psychology since my psychiatrist said it is too early for psychotherapy. I argue much less, defend myself much less, and try to really listen to those around me. I stopped feeling misunderstood, I don’t want to be a victim even one to my own thoughts.

I am giving myself a chance…

More to follow

Energy

These days I am preserving my energy as if it were some precious diamond that cannot get lost or stolen. I have never done that before.

I think of myself as if I have some sort of battery, just like this iPhone. I use it wisely in case I don’t have access to my charger to avoid running flat and seeing the dreadful 1% left in bright red. 

I don’t want any apps running in the background consuming those precious minutes that could be just all what I need later on during the day.

It is not that am lazy. I am in a way, yes. But not doing much makes me able to be with the children and my husband when they come home. It makes me able to see all those little details in their lives. I can then clearly think of what to say and how to say it. When I preserve my energy I can transfer it to them. 

I then feel it is all worth it when they smile. It is all worth it when a little conflict is resolved without tears. It is all worth it when I can listen to them without feeling guilt or anger. I can give all what I have because I still have some battery left.

My meds are my battery; for now. I don’t want to think of other ways to charge myself. Not now at least. It consumes me too much to think about that. For now my energy is spent on those I want to spend it on. For now, this is all what matters.

More to follow…

Happy birthday 

I would have probably taken you out for lunch, shared a nice wine on a terrace somewhere sunny, chatted with you about your endless projects…

I would have probably bought you shoes, you can never have enough shoes. We would laugh about how a new pair for you would mean a new pair for me since we are the same size…

I would have probably baked you a cake with the kids. We would have made you a card and they would have drawn you and put on heart stickers and glitter.. 

I would have probably decorated the house with ballons and got us all whistles and birthday hats. We would sing you happy birthday and take as many silly pictures as we possibly can…

I would have probably taken you out clubbing. Just the two of us, a girl’s night out. We would dance and laugh our hearts out and come back home so late like two teenagers sneaking so they don’t get caught…

I haven’t seen you for 25 years. You haven’t seen me for 25 years!! Imagine the amount of catching up we have to do… 

I would have probably visited your grave, put on fresh flowers and made a silent prayer that only you could hear… 

I won’t do any of that. Not this year and not the coming one. I have to come to terms that you exist only in my memory and that memory is fading away as I grow older.

I will however still wish you a happy birthday mother. I will secretly wish you still exist in one form or another, with an internet connection and access to this lousy blog reading me. 

How many more 25 years shall we wait till we meet again…

Love 

Till death do us part..

I married out of love. No, I married out of insane love. My husband is my world. He is my rock, my home, my best friend, my lover, the father of my children, and above all he is my family. 

We go way back, we spent half our lives together. We don’t own each other. We chose to be together and continue to do so on a daily basis. 

Loving me in my good, bad and ugly moments; it is not easy for him. I burden him when I am down and down I am many days. Don’t get me wrong, it is not all gloomy. But it takes a rock to stand by me and to love me without judgement throughout. 

I wouldn’t be me without him. He has this outlook to life full of positivity and trust. He believes impossible is nothing and tells me I can achieve anything I want. 

We drift apart here. I don’t wish for much that is the problem. I cannot have long term plans or any plans as a matter of fact. Taking decisions is one of the things I hate the most. I always weigh in the pros and cons and end up with complicated opinions that make choice so difficult. I take it one day at a time – and this is probably one of the reasons why I am depressed. 

I can’t project myself into the future, but you are my future Hassan. You are my present and my past too. I trust in you and I trust you. You asked me to write about you and here it is. A testimony of love, of a two way unconditional love. I wish nothing but your wellbeing and happiness. I know you dream the same for me. 

Till death do us part…

More to follow