Adagio for Strength… whoops, I mean strings.

… adagio, in music, means slowly. 48 years would qualify, I think. I’ve been posting a lot of dances lately. I’m a music person. Lyrics, sound, movement… I don’t know, anything that grabs me really. Lately, I guess it’s been dance.

Truth is… I feel really great. I can’t get over the fact that my boyfriend decided to audition a girl from my part a month ago or so, but… I was doing the same. I’m not sure if I can’t get over him or me… his actions or mine. And, there it is. The struggle.

The struggle.. there is a fight within me. I’m just not sure what it is. I can’t get a handle on it. I have told so many doctors and therapists in my life that if I could just “find” it I could fix it. It would go away and I’d be better. Ha, better. That’s funny.

Instead, I slowly trudge through the days and there are good ones and there are bad ones. What I am trying hard to do is to look at the “struggle” for what it is. Just a struggle. Just a part of my day… of my life and continue on with what I am doing. To actually say, “Hey, this sucks. “Yeah, this is painful as fuck!” But what was I doing right now?” And then just let it go and get back to what I was going. I mean, that’s the theory behind it at least. Man, my therapist would be happy with me right now. Honestly, I’m rather impressed with myself at the moment.

So, for example. I’m a teacher so I’m an example person… Bare with me. I had a hefty dose of benedryl at the ER the other night for whatever the doctor thought I needed it for and it sooooooo triggered a panic attack and I tried it – the “hey, there you are, Hi.. i’m going to go on with my life now” process (that and some xanax that I snuck in with me – shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. A mental patient has got to do what she’s got to do because you KNOW the ER is not gonna give ya any when you tell them you are having a panic attack). But I digress. Normally, that attack would have lasted all night and into the next day – even with 1 mg of Xanax.

So, I held it out there (the panic attack) it was NOT easy… but I looked at it and seriously freaked out for a what seemed like 8 hours only to be probably 3 minutes. I actually got a hold of myself and got it either under control or let go of… I’m not sure the proper term. But it subsided and I could actually function. I can’t really explain it because I’m sure we all experience the physical feelings of those things differently, but I wasn’t “having” the symptoms in a way that I couldn’t function. It was there. I knew that, but I was able to do what the doctors needed me to do. And, I know it wasn’t the Xanax because believe me 1 mg of Xanax is NOT gonna stop one of those in full blown mode. So, I went home. Took some more Xanax because I’m sorry it’s sorta a security blanket sometimes. I’ll admit it. Yesterday, I was still twitchy and knew it was still there, but I was able to still go on with my day and what I really wanted to do with my day.

I think I digressed again… This was suppose to be about struggle and being angry and not knowing where the struggle is….

I guess I’m never going to find the source. I’ll never know how to “FIX” it. I guess it’s never going to go away and I know that.

But, I guess I could step out of the fight sometimes. The battle is always going to continue… with or without me. I can’t change that. I can decide to participate. I can make that decision.

Turning to Stone

Demetrius was a freshman in my low-functioning algebra class. On more than one occasion he stood up in my class and started to conduct a grand symphony right from his desk… and other occasions he would sit and crumble his erasers into tiny, tiny pieces and giggle wildly as he rolled them around on his desk. And then there were days that I could put a pre-calc problem down in front of him and he could solve – on his own – like a rock star. Demetrius was diagnosed schizophrenic very early to a mother who was an active drug-addict with 8 other children. Needless to say unless our social worker was involved, he wasn’t medicated.

I had a conversation with Demetrius on a “clear day” once. He came to see me. He said, “I remember in 5th grade when the lights went out.” “Oh yeah”, I said, “Was there a storm?” “No. That’s when I turned to stone.” I honestly wasn’t sure what to say at that point.

Do you remember when the lights went out? When you stopped being you? I’m not schizophrenic… I’m bipolar II. I don’t think I’ve ever had the lights go out for good. But I don’t know really. I don’t know who I am actually. Sometimes it’s even scary. The only time I’m comfortable is in the classroom. I’ve taught for 21 years and that’s the most even and secure I’ve ever felt – in the classroom. If I didn’t have teaching I’d have lost my fight a long time ago.

Have you ever turned to stone? Lights out?

I can’t remember the exact moment when I lost my identity. I just don’t remember having one. I’m turning 48 in a few weeks. I’m determined to discover it finally – or maybe recognize it would be a better.

This past winter was the worst of my life. In November I had the worst hospital stay ever. I nearly lost my teaching job of 20 years. And, I almost lost my best friend… It might now sound that horrible to you, but I’ve always said and believe that we all experience our own hell. I think it may have been mine.

I think it’s time to figure it out. I’m just not going to allow myself to turn back to stone…

not quite ready to do that.

Today on!

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at some point in time you have to say to yourself this is where I start. not start again. not start over. This is where I start. Today on!

This is my “Today on”. No bullshit. I live in my head so much. And. my head is in the past. If I stay there I can’t go on to tomorrow. I’ll never get past what has happened. What happened last week… what happened last year.. what happened ever.

My therapist has me reading/working out of a workbook (excuse me because I do not know how to properly cite things) called:

“Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your LIfe” by Steven C. Hayes, PH. D. It’s based on something called ACT therapy. Now, understand that I’ve worked with my therapist for many, many years and he knows that I don’t do workbooks, I don’t do DBT…. I don’t like to do therapy to be honest. I worked with him for 10 years in Chicago… moved 2 1/2 hours away and didn’t have therapy for 10 years and ended up back with him (yep, I drive 5 hours round trip once a week to see him) because I needed therapy so badly. This is working. I don’t know if it’s because I’m ready? If it’s because it’s the right method? I don’t know. But it’s worth checking out. What I do know is that that I have taken up residency in my head and that is not any safer of a place to be than where I “THOUGHT” I was escaping from in the first place. I won’t go into the details of the book. We’ve all been therapized to the max. If you are interested, you can look it up. It is working well for me at the moment and that is all any of us can ask for…..

So for now, the mantra is “Today on” when those intrusive thoughts start to take over. How long will that last? Again, I don’t know. Again, I have to try something because if I say to myself “It won’t work, what’s the point?” I’ll never get anywhere and I just can’t stay HERE anymore. It’s literally going to kill me.

Today On! Today on…. friends.

… about signing a safety contract… or maybe God was finally talking back to me???

I’ve never had to sign a safety contract in my life. I’ve seen my therapist for over 10 years. I’ve been prone to self-injure, but not on a regular basis and never severely. Yesterday I had to sign a safety contract.

Yesterday a lot happened. Doors opened. They closed. My heart shattered into tiny little splinters. I drove 5 hours round trip and listened to absolutely no music at all. I didn’t yell and scream. I didn’t talk to myself. I sat in silence…. with intermittent sobbing and one text to a friend – yes, while driving. I know – not the best life choice, but let’s face it, that’s why I was feeling the way I was/am. Poor – VERY poor life choices.

For two years I’ve been hung up on this guy…. I thought I needed him. I’d convinced myself that I needed him – or still need him. I suppose once all this pain wears off I might think I still do. I suppose I shouldn’t kid myself. I have felt like a complete piece of crap because I have this amazing boyfriend who has been through hell and back with me through my illness. Understands me… even stayed with me when he found out about the other guy…. even after that I still was/am hung up on the other one. Yesterday I found out he “cheated” on me. So much for wonderful… I deserve every minute of it.

And, that’s not even why I’m upset.
And, he’s not even cheating currently.
And, I’m not sure it’s even cheating.

When I was getting better a girl showed some interest in him…… he flirted around with her for about a month or so….. I found the messages and read them yesterday morning. They are from a month or more ago… he didn’t get rid of them because they are on Facebook messenger and he is technologically illiterate and didn’t know how to delete them. Seriously, he has a thousand messages from people on there. The “I’m sorry I love my girlfriend and don’t want to pursue this” message is on there and I read that.

I don’t even know……… I don’t even know. I’m pissed at myself because

1) I have NO right to even be upset with him – look at what I was/am doing.
2) I cheated on him and he stayed with me.
3) He put up with me being sick… almost losing my job… and stays knowing I could get really sick again.

A few days ago I had an argument with God. I was telling my friend about it and she asked who won. I told her that I did because he’s not very vocal. He’s never very vocal. I never hear anything from him…. I realize it’s my way out. I don’t have to believe if I can’t hear anything. I’m extremely literal when I want to be.

I bring this up because she told me that maybe I’m not listening for him the right way. Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I know. Then it hit me yesterday as I was driving home from my therapist….. ironically I had an appointment scheduled with him. Maybe the fact that I found those messages yesterday was God saying:

HEY… HELLO……. stop the bullshit with the dumbass. Look, this guy really loves you. If you don’t stop you are really going to lose everything. The dumbass does NOT want you. He has never wanted you. Seriously, Jami, close that door and walk away while you still can. Be pissed off at this one. It’s ok. He messed up. He’s even apologizing and agreeing he’s a jerk. But, he loves you. He wants to be with you.

I don’t know. In my head on the way home last night it was way cooler than that. And, it had way more of an impact on me. I just can’t ever write what I’m trying to say. It would have made you want to make a serious change. I’m not running off to church on Sunday. I’m sorry if that offends you. I really am. I’m not convinced it was God. However, it was a moment – the important moment that I needed…..

An hour before that I was sitting in my therapists office so angry at myself that I wanted to tear myself up. I am still in the middle of the pain and the fear that all of this is going to happen again. I am sick. I have this illness and no matter how hard I work at taking care of it….. I’m bipolar. There is no way of knowing if I will end up in the hospital again or not……. will he have to take care of me ever again? I don’t know and no one can promise that he can’t. No one. But I have to do something. He’s willing to try.

I am too……….