It’s been a funny old weekend. I broke up with W and subsequently asked him on a date. We had a very long talk in Wetherspoons which culminated in another very long talk back home and then another very long [nudge nudge, wink wink] talk. My relationship, after suffering the slings and arrows of many outrageous fortunes, has pinged back into shape quicker than a celebrity who’s just given birth.
The two months following my diagnosis have been hell on toast. The first month I was distracted by moving and starting my new degree, having just graduated from one in July. After the excitement wore off and I settled into my new life, with all its dulls and dreariness, the sound of bipolar clattered and roared around my ears. It became unbearable and I went into meltdown. Having gone cold turkey on the substances I used to gobble, bar my usual antidepressants, I saw my moods naked and unmodulated for the first time. I saw how my thoughts and feelings are at the mercy of this unremitting cycle. It made me question every decision I’d ever made – was it ever really me or was I just being ill? My sense of identity, quite understandably, went out the window. I no longer trusted my judgement. I felt as if nothing was quite real and, as W put it, I went into a dark place.
It was rather horrible in there. W wanted nothing but to get me out but I couldn’t bear speaking to him. I couldn’t speak to anyone. I had to cuddle up to this darkness all in all its grubby nastiness. I had to wallow in all the shame, embarrassment and fear. I had to brood and bubble. I barely left the house – the demanding nature of my uni course, with its almost full time hours, was the only thing that kept me going. While I was there I had to put on my brave face and be alive. When W came for his usual weekend visit, I could no longer keep it on and everything would come pouring out. The thing was, even when it did pour out, I wasn’t telling him anything. I couldn’t express the grief of losing myself just when I was supposed to have finally found an answer because he’d never understand. How could he? How could anyone who’s not going through it?
I could no longer listen to my inner voice. My independence had been threatened and I was desperate for control. I suddenly became sick and unsafe, no longer allowed to drive or do or be without some management and intervention. All I wanted to do was forget but every time I saw W I was confronted by it. I felt that I was just a big bag of symptoms to be worried over and checked upon. And sometimes he treated me as such. He frequently infuriated me and drove me absolutely bananas because he didn’t give me what I needed. Or maybe my ego was just bruised and I was inflamed by anything which touched upon the subject. I’m not sure. It just know that it was awful and I was hurting very badly. I was angry that I wasn’t coping and angry that he dared to be upset. It was me who was sick, not him. I needed care and attention and treatment, not him. It was me who was having a really shit time and, even though he’d taken me to all my first appointments and been beside me during my diagnosis, it was me, me, me.
But then, we’re here now. We’re back to being a team. After last night, I’d say it took a look, a kiss and a cuddle to get back to where we are but it didn’t really. It took that month or more of misery and grief and ‘I hate you’ and ‘I want space’ and ‘why don’t you love me’ and tears and hurt and fear and resentment and silence. I think it was necessary, even if it wasn’t very nice. We were finally forced to talk. And now we know that we both have to be honest. He has to ask more questions but also respect when I don’t want to answer them. We both have to be patient. And he has to make me laugh. He can’t pull me out of the darkness but he can hold my hand as I step towards the light.
I still had to split up with him though. I wanted everything that happened to be over and for this to be something to be entirely new. It meant that we had a very nice second first date where he brought me flowers and was on his best behaviour. After our first first date (watching his lesbian school chum simulate masturbation with an axel grinder at a burlesque show) was rudely interrupted by two of his anarchist mates who couldn’t take a hint, dinner at a Wetherspoons was altogether rather pleasant. It gave me the excuse to buy a new top, shave my legs and be excited. It also meant there was no awkwardness the next morning about who calls who or fannying about with contraception or panicking about farting in your sleep. We said we loved each other, went to Wimpy for breakfast and dicked around on our iPhones for the rest of the day. In fact, I think we should split up more often.
Oh yes, aside from gaining a new relationship (though I haven’t re-updated my Facebook yet) I’ve also gained W’s old iPhone. Now armed with a blog and an iPhone, ladies and gentlemen, I have finally hit the year 2008. If anyone needs me I’ll be in Starbucks tweeting about my shares in Lehman Brothers. Stephen Fry’s on there, you know. Epic win.