Consequences are something we don't get to pick when we make a choice. I made a choice a month ago, April 1st, to take a long walk of doom. Granted, my brain said "this is the right choice, I need to do this" but it was still a choice. And so now I live with consequences.
* My family is afraid to leave me home alone. It doesn't matter that my house was full of kids when I left, they are afraid to leave me home alone. I either have to have someone chatting with me via text, have someone with me, or someone online talking to me and keeping tabs on me if everyone else is going out. -- it gets annoying really fast, but I understand why.
* When I leave the house, I have to call and let my husband know where I am going. And I can't forget my phone or my purse. -- again, understandable, and again annoying.
* I walked close to 15 miles that day through a dried up lake bed made of soft sand. In 40 degree weather. I pushed myself past the point of exhaustion and still kept going. I was dehydrated and had hypothermia. The consequence of this: A month later and I'm still recovering. My stamina is super short. I get exhausted after doing menial tasks. I've been trying to mow my lawn, and I can't do more than 10 or 15 minutes before I am covered in sweat, breathing so heavily I think I might pass out, and want to cry because I'm so tired.
* I have to work to eliminate stress. This means that I have to admit that being home with my three youngest kids on the weekends is hard. Very hard. I broke down when they were home on spring break, and while it's humiliating to admit, I have a hard time when they're all home together on the weekends. I can handle school days, for the most part, but... my skills as a mother are seriously impaired right now. I have to allow family to help take care of my children on the weekends. I'm super grateful, and super frustrated over this.
* Housework. Again, I'm limited in the amount of things I can do before I am exhausted. I have to rely on the hubster and the kids to do much more than they are used to doing. This is also frustrating for me, because they don't do it the way I do it, and I have to breathe and let them just do it. It's humbling, and it's also somewhat stressful when the kids want to know why their chore list has gotten longer, even though they know mommy needs help.
* I can't promise I will never do it again. I tried to, and a friend of mine looked at me and said, 'Don't make promises you can't keep.' I was appalled. Surely I could promise this and it would stay in my mind and keep me safe the next time. My other friend, a therapist, looked at me sadly and said, "You can make that promise today, because your meds are working. What happens when your body chemistry changes and you get down in the low lows again? It is very likely that you'll think that suicide is again the only choice or the right choice. Don't promise you won't do it."
It is extremely frustrating to live with the fact that I cannot trust my judgements. To know that my brain chemistry affects my reality in such a way that my family and friends are completely justified in keeping an eye on me. I hate it, I'll admit. This is one very frustrating thing to live with; to know that I can't trust myself.
I feel like me. I feel like I'm fine. I feel like I can walk, talk, laugh, choose my emotions and responses to things, and be normal pre-40 me. I know I'm not entire stable. I know there are days when I cry over little things. I *want* to insist that I'm fine, that I'm logical, that I have common sense and won't do stupid things.
Yet when my family looks at me, unsure, I know they might be right to wonder just how in control of my common sense I am. It's really hard to be on the inside of this, to live in my reality and know that it's now skewed enough that I'm on a different balancing board than the others around me.
It's humbling, frustrating, humiliating, embarrassing, and yet I'm growing from it. I don't know or understand how or why, but it is happening. So there's hope at least. Me, I am hoping that my meds continue to work and that I keep feeling as good as I feel now. I hope that this isn't a manic episode and that a drop is coming in a week or so. I hope. And as long as I have hope, that's a sign that I'm still fighting and not giving up.