It happens every fucking year… Except last year. It didn’t happen last year. Oh, that’s right. Last year was the first time in a decade that I was dating someone at Christmas time, and somehow my brain just kind of stayed… Happy. All… Winter… Long.
But this year is no different than every year before that.
Something fucking triggers in my already fragile bipolar disordered brain, and a weird depression hits out of nowhere like a pillow case full of cold, hardened sludge.
Oh, wait. Nope. This is social media. This is the internet. Let me say what I should be saying one week before Christmas… Life is GOOD! YAY FOR LIFE! WE’VE GOT THIS! WOOHOO!
I’m going to try something this year. I’m going to acknowledge that it has officially hit me the very same day I realize it has officially hit me instead of trudging through to the end of winter before finally admitting to myself I’ve got a serious problem that I need to pull myself out of.
I don’t know.
I guess I’ll go take my fucking bipolar pills. We haven’t really talked about those fun little buggers on this blog yet.
I admit that I usually don’t take them. I can’t. Forget about the boner killer properties of them, those little motherfuckers make me feel… Average. They make me feel… Normal. They… They… They do their fucking job and keep my brain lodged firmly in the middle zone.
But do you want the truth? I cannot do what I do best from the fucking middle zone.
My mind does not wander to let me create art from the middle zone.
In the middle zone, my thoughts do not wrap around themselves in ways that only highs and lows can let them, and it’s impossible to get into any real writing done that will mean anything.
You want a confession? Every great thing I have ever made… Every great work I have ever written… Every great art I have ever produced… Every favorite moment I have ever had (off the top of my head)… They all happened in the ups and the downs. None of them happened in the middle zone. None of them.
I don’t know how to thrive inside of the middle zone. I really don’t. I don’t have any money making skills inside of the middle zone. I literally don’t know how to live or how to make a living inside of the middle zone. Taking those pills consistently and living in the middle zone more permanently… It scares the shit out of me.
Earlier today, a week before Christmas, a cascade of bad news landed at my feet…
I haven’t sold any custom art in days. Looks like it was all just a holiday rush that has officially dried up, not a maintainable living…
Those two things triggered me.
Not that those are any of your problems. You all have your own problems to navigate. You have your own sadnesses. You have your own mental struggles. You have your own financial woes and dramas.
I’m really, 100% honestly, not looking for a single bit of pity.
I’m just writing this blog post to… I don’t know… Acknowledge that today I was triggered and I fucking sunk hard into that depression that hits me every fucking year right before Christmas. Except last year, of course. It didn’t hit me last year.
I suppose that maybe I’m writing it to hold myself accountable when I wake up in the morning? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. I suppose it’s so that I can’t pretend it’s not happening and it will be something I now actually try to do something about? I have no fucking idea. I’m just trying to approach it in a new way this year.
Today’s bad news that I received was just this year’s trigger for a looming sadness that I have been pushing away for some time. There’s eventually a trigger every year, it seems. There’s that one thing that happens that is just too much and I just can’t keep it from affecting me when it does.
Then, wham. I find myself laying alone in bed, in a dark, hopeless, scary place, with no desire to pull myself out of it.
The holidays are so fucking triggering, too. I don’t know why that is for me exactly, but I have theories.
Theory one: I think they’re a reminder that another year has passed, and yet again I have not remained lovable to anyone long enough to watch the ball drop with them on New Years Eve.
Theory two: I have SO many good memories of life and love during the holidays. No matter how bad marriage was, the holidays were just always magic. Now, everywhere I look, there are reminders of all the things that always made me so happy.
Theory three: I just need some more fucking sunshine in my life. Seriously. Winter sucks balls.
So… Whatever. Fuck it. I’ll take the pills. I’ll take them every day like a good little mental case, and in three days time I will be… Normal.
I won’t create anything. Because I’ll be normal.
I won’t write anything great. Because I’ll be normal.
I won’t feel the desire to make new art. Because I’ll be normal.
But I also won’t be laying in bed… Just… Laying… Doing nothing… Contemplating drugs that will let me sleep before I’m actually ready… Looking at my phone, willing it to chime, praying that it definitely won’t…
This is the inevitable bipolar swing I experience every single fucking year. Except last year. God that was a nice end to a nice year.
Maybe next year I’ll have someone. If I take these stupid fucking pills.
Maybe next year I’ll dodge these triggers. If I unscrew the cap on this bottle.
Maybe if I take these pills, there will be a place for me somewhere in this world, even in the middle zone.
Maybe there’s some sort of dysfunctional yet functional chapter coming for me.
Maybe I just need to take the pills, and keep taking them, and just fucking see if there’s some good version of life I have yet to live.
I don’t know.
I greatly fear that there is no place for me outside of the highs and lows of this bipolar disorder. Maybe that’s just where I was born to be.
Dan Pearce | Dan Pearce Was Here