My personal dragon has been rearing her ugly head these last few weeks and I am losing control. Let me introduce you to my beastie. Her name is Bipolar, Bip for short.
Bip is every bit the evil dragon of myth and legend. She is an enormous and fickle creature. Black as the bowels of the earth Bip leaches all the light and joy from my very soul. Ravenous to the extreme she threatens to devour everything that is me. Every day is a life and death struggle for self-preservation.
A bit of an extreme description you might say, but that is as close as I can get to how it feels. When Bip gets loose she reeks havoc in my life and in the lives of those around me. I’m quickly losing any control I might have as stress weakens the chains of medication that bind her.
It has been two years since her last rampage and I am doing everything I can to keep this creature chained and quiet. I am on medication that normally keeps Bip calm and have found an herbal that keeps her quiet. I am using any and all skills that I have acquired through years of dealing with dragons. There is one thing that has gotten beyond my control and Bip is drunk with the power it gives her. What is this dragon elixir you ask? It is simply stress. Stress is a five letter word that comes in all sizes. There is little stresses and BIG stresses, short stresses and l-o-n-g stresses. There are stresses of every shape and size in between. Each stress, if not dealt with in a timely manner will weaken the chain that holds this legendary creature and feed the fire within it.
Right now I am teetering on the edge of the pit in which this creature lives. A pit filled with depression and hopelessness. It is a darkness that no light will penetrate. It is terrifying and fills me with a cold, heart stopping dread. With the help of my family, my doctor and my therapist, I am working to subdue Bip before she pulls me into her lair once again.
I have fallen into this pit several times in my life and each time it takes longer and more energy to climb out. Looking again at the depression, anxiety, panic and loneliness of Bip’s lair makes me wonder if I am strong enough to subdue her again. I know that these negative thoughts are whispered into my mind by this dragon as she tries one more time to make me hers. It would be so easy to just give up the fight and submit, but I have so loved being a healthy and happy me these past couple of years. I’m not willing to give that up without a fight.
The stress for me right now is unemployment, disability and the inability to earn an income to support myself and my youngest daughter. I was forced to quit my last job 18 months ago due to overwhelming stress that was threatening to put me in the hospital again. I decided to start a small business that would allow me to use the skills I have acquired to support my family and keep my stress levels low. It works great, except for one little hiccup. It takes so much energy to get all my little ducks lined up that as soon as they are I crash for a week to two months. This is not conducive to productivity since all my little ducks wander off during my absence. After doing this three or four times I have come to the conclusion that I need some help. I am applying for disability. Hopefully this will ease the financial stressors enough that I can subdue Bip and maybe put myself back together.