This is just an update on my past year plus a few and the events I have been walking through. At the beginning of 2017, I resigned from my position as Human Resources Coordinator at a prison. A month later, I was enrolled in a local beauty school to update my hours for licensure as a cosmetologist. I then took state boards and became recertified in cosmetology. Oh, and I had pneumonia while I was doing it.
Then I rented a booth in a salon and discovered it was a really poor fit for me. I struggled to get traffic into the location and had real issues with the owner. In the midst of trying to figure out what to do about my work situation, a cherished family member committed suicide, and my family just sort of spiraled out of control with the grief.
In October, I had had enough in my current work location and changed salons. I also had pneumonia, AGAIN.
In December I decided to get my Instructor’s license for cosmetology and crammed 500 hours of study into three weeks. I took boards for that in January and became licensed. I also started adjunct classes at the local community college and continued to serve my clientele at the salon with abbreviated hours.
However, between the two jobs, I was working six days a week, which left one day of total down time every week.
In April, our current housing situation became unbearable with the new neighbors moving in behind us and we decided to buy a house, which was a whole new level of stress and upheaval.
Just as we were getting moved in and settled, I learned my best friend of nearly 30 years had passed away…
And there is the bipolar thing.
And the agoraphobia thing.
This has been one of the most volatile years of my life in terms of mental illness. Along with trying to just keep my head above water with all the changes and devastation, I have been fighting to not succumb completely to the heavy dark waters of depression that wash into my life and continue to rise about eight months out of the year. Suicide doesn’t always come as a dramatic event. Sometimes its sneaks in disguised as a solution, and if you have an unhealthy mind, which I do, having lived with bipolar disorder most of my life, rationale doesn’t often play a role. However, paranoia certainly steps up to the plate to provide interesting perspectives one would never embrace if rationale were on the scene.
I am still reeling from the death of my friend with only days having gone by in the wake. I am faced, once again with a change in my schedule for the summer, and I am desperately craving creativity the way one craves water in a desert.
I’m exhausted, weepy, fractious, my temper is hair trigger, and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop with the bipolar component of my life, because the aftereffects of grief for someone with mental illness, extend exponentially. There is no shut off switch. There are not barriers, walls, for containment. There are no roadblocks or tethers to slow things down.
All the upheaval with change and death that have permeated my sight line, created a new animal in the mental illness I have always known, and I’m not sure what it’s going to look like over time. There is nothing people in my life can do; nothing I can do. There is no way to know how things will roll out over the next few months.
But I do know one thing. I know that God knows me, and he is more than able to handle whichever direction I spin out of control. He also sees my grief and the terrible wounds that such losses have left in my heart.
He knows I am brokenhearted.
He knows I can’t seem to attend the every day functions of life that seem inconsequential. That I really don’t care, and when I don’t care I tend to eliminate things from my life.
And in spite of all this upheaval and loss, he still has a plan for my life, whether I handle any or all of it with grace.
He still holds me in the palm of his hand.
He cares for me.
He loves me.
And he will walk me through all of this.