Some days I look in the mirror and despise what I see. When did I become this weak specimen of a person? A former shadow of someone I used to be.
Where did that young and care free young girl go and who replaced her with a frightened and confused women?
My friend has stayed with me this week with her four children and it has been great fun, yet has left me exhausted, trying to be that person I so desperately want to be is draining. Not wanting to let my guard down or allow her to see the real me, fear that if she sees what I really am I will lose her friendship.
How do I tell her that simply watching my children run around the garden sends my body into wild spasms of fear. Sheer terror taunts me when my children climb steps or runs on concrete paths. I have to tell her and she seems to understand, I smile yet inside I am screaming. I am embarrassed and ashamed of what I am.
Anxiety is slowly but surely killing me
Hiding from the fear and facing it head on has been my challenge this last week and I have to say I am proud of myself to some extent.
“What are we doing today mum?” the kids ask excitedly
I don’t have the heart to tell them my body is weak and my mind is slow and the thought of walking out that front door and having to face the world is breaking me, I promise a walk outside through the woods in the glorious sunshine and the smile and shouts of joy destroy me. I don’t ever want my mental illness to affect my children’s childhood and so I fight it, even though it kills me inside sometimes.
I have learned that if I take Tramadol the anxiety and fear subsides just enough for me to make it out the door, it’s a dangerous game I am playing but it is worth the risk. Secretly I stash an extra pill into my jeans pocket, just in case I need a quick boost.
I was prescribed Tramadol four years ago when I suffered from hydronephrosis of the kidney and I learned that when I was taking them my wild moods would settle into more of a controllable pattern. It was after the birth of Kody, my now 2 year old that my real love for them began.
The change that Tramadol makes is noticeable and when I am at my worst even my husband will beg me to take one, anything to calm me down, he hates to see me upset and taking a magic happy pill as I now call them makes me more approachable.
I am scared of what I have become
I despise the person that has taken over me
I am afraid I will become a prescribed drug addict
Will I become addicted to this drug? They have a high addiction rate so there is that possibility but yet I am willing to take this risk. Taking them makes me a better person, more able to face the world.
It does destroy my self-esteem, or what of it I have left, knowing that a drug has to be taken in order for me to walk outside. My children deserve better than that.
The doctor knows, the shrink knows, the CPN knows and now I buy them, get them from elsewhere; they are not prescribed to me. I seek these drugs from non-health professionals.
I am desperate not to allow my illness to scar my children, they have no idea what I do and neither do my friends or family, until now of course, if they read this. I am sorry for what I do, I don’t choose to be this way but I know no other way to take away the fear.
Stepping towards the front the door my feet freeze to the spot
Who is out there?
Is someone waiting for me?
Will I be harmed?
The paranoia and anxiety kick in fast and take over my whole logic thinking. My behaviour, thoughts and beliefs are stolen and in its place I become a nervous shivering wreck.
Instead I pop a magic pill, plaster on the makeup that covers my face, a fake face is now in place and I feel able at least to take my children for a walk. The anxiety always raises its ugly head, yet I can deal with it more easily knowing I have a spare pill within my pocket.
I am not who I want to be yet I may die trying to change the things I hate about myself. Either I accept who I am or the option is not one I think of until those voices come back to haunt me again.
“Nobody wants you, look at you, what a mess, do us all a favour and end it”
I hate those voices more than I hate myself
Yet I continue to fight this never ending battle
You can follow my Life Story – Living With Bipolar