I think I shared this story before…
It’s the one where we went to the beach for the first time as a blended family and the kids were younger.
Being from the east coast I flocked to the water, it was soothing to my toes and my soul.
Tottering behind me was my daughter. She was afraid about the water; she was timid and full of fear. As I stood several feet away from her basking in the sun, feeling the warmth on my face and the swift movement of the water passing by my legs, she stood over to the left of me.
She was rigid in her stance. I heard some mumbling and I looked over to see that she was talking. I tried not to stare, but I turned my ear to hear and I listened. And what I heard, all those many years ago, has forever changed my life.
“If Michelle is not afraid, then I do not need to be afraid!”
Today, I am afraid. I am sitting here typing, with tears in my eyes, and tremors in my fingers. I spent another weekend, high as a kite battling mania. I fought sleep like a toddler, I buzzed around like a person on Prednisone and chatted away like a thirteen-year-old girl who had her first cup of coffee ever. I was wired tired, that’s what I call it. When you are so incredibly tired, but you can’t be still. Your body literally needs to move, and your brain is in hyperdrive, but you are incapable of being still. It’s torture.
Effective immediately, we will increase a mood stabilizer, the tried and true one, the one that’s been around for ages, to an elevated level to try and bring me down. I am scared. The higher you go the riskier it gets and the more pronounced the side effects become.
Last night I cried and I wept. In my tears I wished that I could just be better.
I know that many people have it so very much worse than I do, but I am tired of the roller coaster. I am tired of being up and down. Not knowing if I am going to sleep or not. The unpredictability of this disorder is like something out of a horror story.
I want to go home. I want to wrap myself in a blanket and I want to wait out the storm, hiding safely under my covers, with my trusty side kick (Hunter Mahoney, my 20-pound orange tabby cat) by my side. But the reality is that I can’t. There is much to do. I have responsibilities as an individual, as a person that is part of a family and as an employee.
So, I sit here pondering, what do you do when a Michelle IS afraid?