The last few days I’ve been doing my slow spiral into the down-side of up. The chaos in my head has reached epic proportions, leaving me living with my earbuds in, having discovered years ago that focusing on music (my biggest addiction) helps drown "me" out.
This morning, as I was singing (or maybe screaming) along with some AWESOME 80’s music, I realized there was a theme to the music I’d been using to drown out my own thoughts…it all seemed to center around the night. (This morning's selection being "Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do.” Thank you Mr. Winwood!) And in my circular thought process, I was reminded of a conversation my college roommate and I once had…
Needless to say, we both classified her as a Day person and me as a Night person. (I hadn’t been diagnosed at that point in my life as Bipolar, although Borderline Personality Disorder had been mentioned…)
But how do you explain this to someone who’s never floated in that midnight sea? You can’t, really. To someone who has never fought for their life…with themselves…there can be love, acceptance, and support, but never true "knowing."
For years my family just thought I was a little “odd” for my occasional outbursts of “SHUT UP!” until recently when they realized I was talking to my head. They’re not afraid of me, but they do sometimes worry about me. Because, sadly, this bullshit makes them feel just as powerless as it does most of us. (Yet another reason I fight so fucking hard!)
I want to be a Day person. I want to be steady and dependable. I was to smile and truly be at peace with all that I am. The physical illness I can stare dead in its shit, understand it, and accept it. I can even embrace it as a part of my life and hold its hand as we walk along a metaphorical beach. It’s part of me…and I’m OK with that.
But this? This darkness that hides at the edges of my vision, threatening to overtake me if I let my guard down…I will NOT make peace with this bastard! I will never again embrace it or offer it a hand. I’ve learned the hard way that yes, it is a part of who I am, but not a part I can easily accept or ever really make peace with. We cohabitate…but we dance around each other in a dark tango, me doing my best never to let it take the lead.
“Don’t you know what the night can do…” Yes. Too many of us do. And we know how far too many others view the night. (Ever seen a horror movie where the monster only comes out in the daylight? Yeah, me neither. People fear the fucking night for a more than one reason.)
So we keep silent. We hide in the darkness and pray for dawn. We hope we hide the shadows we carry with us well enough that no one ever notices. We find ways to fight and use smiles to camouflage the battle scars. And all too often, we believe we’re alone in the fray.