Summer doesn’t mean much to San Francisco except for the quickening of my blood and a creaking awakening in my bones. On rare days, like today, I can go bare-legged with a mason jar of icy tap water and sit in the backyard with a pup scampering around by my chair legs until the flies start to hassle too much and I need to go back inside.
Right now I’m in the liminal phase between having just gotten out of an everyday partial hospitalization program and re-entering my full-time workload in the city. My days are emptier, with the occasional appointment, and so this is what they are filled with: fatigue (possibly side effects from new medication dosages), reading the Philofaxy blog while I wait for my ochre Malden to come, staring at fat-faced peonies as they go from coral to pale pink to moony white, cuddles with Daph and Chris, and trying to remember how my mind works when it’s not being assaulted — nine months of mood swings and impaired reality testing have ended in exhaustion. It was only a few weeks ago that I covered all of the mirrors with towels and hid in the closet, screaming when Chris opened the door; it was that day that we ended up calling the triage nurse, when I ended up entering the program.
It is also almost my birthday (Gemini), and as I was tidying the bedroom yesterday, I came upon my birthday present from Chris “hidden” under a stack of papers — a package from Jillian, aka The Noisy Plume; Chris groaned and said, “Go ahead, open it.” The package contained one of her “empty open” necklaces, with a faintly pink twig inside a gorgeous petri dish. Swoon.
As I wait for (hopefully good) news that I’ll be happy to share here later, my mouth becomes plastered shut, and so here is a picture of Daph to tide you all over. Love, love.
Roasted brussels sprouts. Ground turkey Prego sauce on English muffins. Feed the body, feed the soul. When I was an angel I. These days I am growing to be less of an angel. I had been called selfish for most of my life and therefore bucked against it. I did not want to be that, but am now learning to be selfish every chance I get, if only so I can be properly generous to people who have earned it. Agar drinks for losing weight. Swimming every night in a warm outdoor pool in my black one-piece bathing suit. Plenty of ripe avocados and Vancouver’s hottest salt. The life is in the living and not in the waiting. Grateful: the psychoses have receded.
- Everything changes and ends.
- Things do not always go according to plan.
- Life is not always fair.
- Pain is part of life.
- People are not loving and loyal all the time.
–excerpted from The Five Things We Cannot Change and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them by David Richo
I’m starting a partial hospitalization program beginning on Monday. My mother, bless her heart, is coming back from Taiwan so that I can have someone with me while Chris continues to go to work. I am, for two to three weeks, going to be living in my childhood home, because the hospital is much closer to my childhood home than to San Francisco. I will be on short-term disability again at work.
These are all things I was not sure about saying here. Why? I say so much else about my struggles and triumphs with bipolar disorder and its ilk that it seems strange — a partial hospitalization program would appear to be much less dramatic, and therefore less alienating, than the involuntary inpatient hospitalization I went through in December. Perhaps it’s the temporal proximity to my last experience with hospitals. Maybe it’s because I’m just tired, and wanted 2012 to be the year an epoch of sanity returned to me. I’ve experienced embarrassment and shame over the last week due to things I think, things I say, ways I behave. And will you believe, then, that this is also the month that my novel is to be sent out to publishers by my agent?
I have some very, very good friends, and one very, very good brother. I have an extraordinary husband, and many things to be grateful for. I am just so tired.