21 July 2005

Fear w/in Me & My Mask

Wanna know sumpin scares the piss outta me?

I can be a fairly intelligent woman.  I know sometimes that might hard to believe, especially when I am using language like that above.  But I know who I am, for the most part.

I know I wouldn't have a Master's degree if I weren't intelligent.  I know I wouldn't lived through and done some of things I have, if I weren't somewhat intelligent.  I know I wouldn't be establishing an ongoing support-group for those with mental illnesses and brain disorders, if I weren't intelligent.

So what's the problem?  What scares me is when I am not intelligent.  No matter how temporary the objective time period is; subjectively, time becomes elastic and I hate every single solitary moment that I am battling for and sometimes against my own wits.

I'm speaking of times when I read some of my old academic books, and I can't seem to comprehend what I wrote in the margins.  I'm speaking of times when panic has sped my world into a whirl that I feel cannot slow or control.  I'm speaking of the wired-but-tired times of peaked mania when I feel I have donned my red dancing shoes of death and am spinning relentlessly.

Sure, everyone makes bad decisions from time to time.  Some more so than others.  This is true for us all.

It bothers me; unsettles me; that I cannot seem to clearly express, explain, or convey what is happening to me sometimes because I have no words for it.  I tell someone, please be prepared, I am not like I was three years ago, or even two, and in some ways, not even one.  I might seem dull to some who knew me, back when.

I have isolated myself in the past two years in some very radical ways.  The internet has been my connection to the outside world for weeks on end.  For months, I only spoke with a handful of people in real-life.  Slowly, I have started to widen that circle somewhat.

If I feel I cannot deal with interaction, I don't.  I turn off the ringer on my phone and let my answering service take messages.  Few people have been to my home.  Even online, if I don't want to chat, I don't sign on to Yahoo!  IM or AIM.  I guard my privacy with intensity.

Travel tires me.  I used to drive from southern Georgia to northeastern Pennsylvania, pretty much non-stop.  But now, there are times when a trip to townand back are more than I can handle.

I haven't driven to see my folks (8hrs away) for over 2 years.  Very rarely can I make the hour trip to Tupelo and back in one day.  When I drive the 2 hours to my guy's, I am out of sorts, exhausted, irritable, worn, for a day or two.  That's why when I go to see him, I plan to stay for an extended period.

It isn't just the travel, because sometimes I sleep while others drive.  It's the change in routine, the change in space, the feeling that I am off-balance.  I used to "handle" being off-balance.  But I can't anymore.

What I am trying to say, and have no clue if this is coming through....is that in many ways I feel raw and stripped-down.  Delovely (not in the way Cole Porter meant) and ungraceful, ackward and fragile....as I try to move forward from day to day, activity to activity, decision to decision.

Sometimes I can fly.  Sometimes all I can do is be.  Just exist.  And sometimes that HAS to be enough, because it's all I can do.

This post wasn't meant to be a "pity/woe is me" party for one.  Rather, to explain what I am like sometimes.  What I fear sometimes.  How I am different than I used to be, sometimes.

Why am I typing this now?  Well, two reasons hit me both this week.  My medical coverage is about to change in some very radical ways.  I was not prepared for this.  I am not sure how all this is going down.  I'll be making rounds and visiting all the governmental offices I must in order to learn what I can, to make sense of this for myself.

The other reason is because some friends whom I haven't visited in years have a special event occuring this weekend.  They've invited me.  I want to go, but I am so afraid.

I am afraid that the trip will exhaust me, that I will be irritable, that I will not be the "fun-loving weird freaky friend" they are used to.  OR the trip could very easily trigger a kindling effect.  Rapid cycling into a hard mania is worse than depression for me.  That would so not be a good thing to happen.  Especially when I am not in my own space, my own environment, my own routine.

I'm worried that the combination of the medical unknowns that I am currently struggling with, the questions of coverage (for instance, I don't even know if my counseling will still be covered)....I am worried that those concerns coupled with the concerns of the trip and weekend....I am afraid it is too much for me to handle.

I am thinking I need to bow out.  It hurts me.  I feel I am hurting my friends whom I plan(ned) to visit this weekend.  I feel I have betrayed them.  Yet, I know I have not.  I think to go, may be betraying myself.  Hurting myself moreso.

So, may be I am more of a mental-case than some folks realize.  And ya know what?  That's alright.  Cuz I have to do what I need to do to insure that I am ok within my own being, my own mind.

Does any of this make sense to anyone?

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