Just had a talk with my sister wherein she told me various signs that I’m doing poorly, mentally. Things I didn’t even realize, things I wouldn’t notice unless someone else said them to me. Like I’m not bathing. Like I’m wearing weather-inappropriate clothes (sweatshirts when it’s warm). And other things.
I’ve stopped taking one of my medications. I just decided to do this, because it was expensive and I didn’t want to cost my sister any more money.
I sleep twelve hours a day.
It feels scary to not know how badly you’re doing until someone tells you. I hate being this person, who is jobless and maybe losing it. I thought I was doing better, thought I was maybe good enough that I needed to start looking for work and stop bumming around my sister’s house. The government rejected my disability application, so there maybe is a suggestion that I should be working. But I’m appealing it, talking with a lawyer to see if they’ll help me, on Monday. And what’s that for? An amount that I couldn’t possibly live on, even if I got it. At best it would help me continue to live with my sister, or in some other type of situation like that.
I wish I was back in the hospital, where they asked every day if you had bathed or washed up, noticed how long you were sleeping and did something about it.
And yet, so much of this problem is economic. If I had money to live, bathing once a week and wearing sweatshirts in the summer would be eccentric, rather than crazy. My choice to stop taking Lamictal could be seen as exercising a right, rather than shirking a responsibility. If I had money, I would have access to better doctors, and better access to doctors, different techniques for dealing with depression and anxiety and mania. In a sense, my lifestyle is ill, not just me.
But in the middle of this, I have my writing. My 2,000-word-a-day project, that consumes me, that lets me forget that I am a doppelgänger in my sister’s life, that lets me imagine all sorts of lives that are not mine and people who are not me. People who are not ill, people who are ill glamorously, and yes, people like me. If I didn’t have that, I’d be dying.
My life is sad in some ways. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m getting worse, maybe I’ll never work again and maybe I’ll be a burden to my relatives. When I think that, then suicide becomes a very real option. So I don’t think that way. Instead I like to think that I’m a special kind of creature, an alien, who has a very strange gestation period, and that all this is me on the way to becoming my greater self. I have to believe it that way, because the other way is just too dark.