The Costly Mistake


“A mistake was made.  Dr. G. needs a half an hour with you, so you have to come in at 4:15PM.”

The third attempt in three days on my doctor’s part to reschedule me.

I panicked.  The plan was for Xan to come home and cart me off to my 5:30PM appointment.  That in itself was stressful enough.  Xan rarely gets off of work on time anyhow.  I would be playing this pacing game where I wear a rut into the corkwood floor of my eroding living room.

“But, I can’t.  I don’t have transportation.”

She was uncompromising.  “Dr. G. leaves the office at 5PM.  It’s 4:15PM or she will not see you today.”

I anxiously stammered, “I’ll see what I can do.  I’ll call you back.”

In her cheery, patronizing voice she said, “Okay, we’ll pencil you in for 4:15PM.  Hope to see you then!  Bye!”

And the phone went dead.  I was cast off that easily.  Complete disregard for my needs.  She’s one of those people who is just doing their job and nothing more.  Patient care doesn’t matter.  My threads started coming loose as I desperately grasped at the fabric that remained.  Hope was dimming.  Trapped in my head, trapped in this perpetual hell called my life, completely alone with this demon so inadequately named Bipolar Disorder.

For a moment, I let the wholeness of the situation set deeply into myself.  I read my prescription bottles closely and they said in big, haunting letters NO REFILLSWaves of panic nipped at me at the shoreline.   The tide suddenly grabbed me, and ripped into murky, black waters with the undertow.  There was no sense of what was up and what was down.  The air escaped me, as if being viciously sucked from my lungs, and they shriveled into nothing.

My fingers flew fast as I texted Xan.  The idealization took control as my head filled with these surrounding waters.  My mind swam around my skull, looking for solutions.  Grasping at the fabric, the tearing fabric holding my sanity, my hope, any kind of connection to reality and sanity.

“Hold for a moment on this.”

I am a business call.  Twenty minutes elapsed.  It was like standing in a queue for my husband’s attention at a clear crisis.  Those glimmers faded as I clung to anger.  Anger, my failing life preserver as it began to deflate into complete hopelessness and despair.  I trashed with distress, but to no matter.  Anything.  Anything . . .

“I’m calling the scheduler.”  I warned him that wasn’t wise.  The ultimatum was set forth.  4:15PM or not at all today.  4:15PM I could see this new doctor, and maybe in coming days, I could exit the tunnel of misery and dimness.  I could reclaim myself, my life, and everything that awaited me on the other side.

I wanted to beg him.  I wanted to get down on my knees and plead with him to leave work early.  He would have put his eight hours in that day, and it would have been alright.  Be my knight in shining armor.  Save me.  Save me from myself.

I started crying, huge, loud sobs belting through my house.  My son, my little four year old son with autism spectrum disorder approached me.  And he said, “Mommy, are we okay?”  I cried even harder, despite any efforts to control myself.  My son’s first four word sentence, his first appropriately placed words relevant to the situation, occurred because his mother was hysterical.

I said to him, wiping the tears from my face and pushing everything down, “Yes, Beast.  We’re okay.”  I wish I could have meant what I said to him.  His first question, and I had to lie to him.

The phone rang, playing a melody that I hope meant promise.  Promise that someone had conceded or made an exception for my desperate pleas.  I answered despondently, even with my head overflowing with idealistic notions of the outcome.

“Here’s the good news,” he started.  My heart seized up, anxiously hopeful.  “The nurse agreed to put a fill in for your prescriptions.”

“And my appointment?”

He continued, “It’s a bit of bad news.  Dr. G. is booked up until December 11th.  I scheduled you in for that day.”

I choked on my own voice, the bile rising from my stomach and the wires of my brain sparking as they frayed.  “December 11th?!  I can’t wait until then!”

“It was the soonest she had.  It was the best I could possibly do for you.  But, at least you have your medication until then.”

The tears finally came, screaming down my faced as I sunk against the sink.  “I need a doctor.  I need to get this fixed.  I live every single day in this perpetual hell.  This was my last hope, my only hope.  It has been stolen away from me.  Is there nothing we can do?”

He started to become cross, “What do you want me to do?  What more could I possibly do?”

“You can’t leave work?” I pleaded desperately.

“It wouldn’t matter anyway,” he informed me, “The scheduler already complained to me about your poor attendance record, and gave your appointment to someone else, anyway.”

My poor attendance record?! I screamed.  “I have no way to get to appointments!  And people keep blowing me off, like I don’t matter!  Like I’m not in a bad way! Like this can wait and as if I’m doing so well.  The only time I get to go to an appointment is to get this stupid medication that doesn’t even work filled.”

I paused, only for the brief moment it took for catch my already shallow breath, “I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I haven’t been well.  I have spent almost my entire year in one episode or another.  It’s beyond discouraging.  It’s thrown me into the jaws of despair and hopelessness that I will never get any better!

We sat in silence for a few minutes.  I sobbed violently, just waiting for some kind of word.  Some kind of solace.  Any rescue from the deep, dark recesses of my own caged mind.  Finally, I asked, “Are you still there?”

“Read your text messages,” was all he could respond.

I have people three feet from me.  I can’t talk about it.

My being shattered so deeply that I had felt fractures of each bone in my entire body.  I became enraged at his choice.  Work.  Work over his ailing wife.  No exceptions could be made.  And in his mind, I’m sure the thought had occurred, This too shall pass.

“Goodbye,” I choked out without another word.

The anger, the scraps that remained, boiled in the water.  The blackness around me turned scarlet and thick like the blood coursing through my veins.  I grasped my phone with a crushing forced and launching it against a wall.  It exploded into three pieces, the unit, the battery, and the backing.

Screams erupted out of shrieking sobs, “I can’t go through this hell anymore!!!  Why do I have to go through this?!  Why?!  Endlessly, I raved and ranted like a mad woman.  A mantra repeated, “I can’t do this!!!   I can’t!!!”

“That job!  I hate that f***ing job!  His work, his work!  Nobody cares!  Nobody!” I grabbed my “Teacher”coffee mug from the cabinet and smashed it against the linoleum floor.  I’m not a teacher anymore.  It is a lie every single time I drink from that mug.  I am a nothing now.  I am a nobody.

I stood there staring at the pile of the remaining shards of ceramic, heaving panting sobs.  I slid down against the stove, next to the pile and pulled me knees to my chest.  A ball.  Nobody can hurt me.  I can’t hurt me.  No one can come near me.

Alone.  I am slated to be alone.  Alone in my own mess.

I WANT TO DIE.

It’s all I could think.  There is no life ahead of me that I want to live.  It’s only a life full of pain and misery, where I am tragically locked in my head.  No one wants to hear of these complaints.  I have no perspective to gain.  No more words left to give the world.  No hope for myself or anyone else.  I have nothing.  I am nothing.  I will always be nothing.  To anyone, anywhere.

And if I were to say goodbye, I would be wished well.  I would be let go without another word, another prayer or any thoughts left for me.

There is no treatment that will make better.  I will always be like this, with this crushing weight upon me.  My eyes are constantly fixed on the rear view when I’m not navigating the endless series of trials within this tomb of a labyrinth.  Even in the fleeting happy, peaceful moments, I will always be cautiously watching over my shoulder for the monster who will eventually gain on me, and overtake me.  I will never find happiness.  I can never find a place of peace and solace within this madness.

A plan started hatching.  There will come a day where I will take my life.  I can’t truly know when, but the day is inevitable.  I must make preparations.  I took a handful of Xanax and considered washing it down with a swig of rum.  No, it would be bad enough that I am doped up around my child.  My child.  My beautiful baby has to witness this in his already confused life.  It fueled the fire to hate myself even more.

I will get my house in order.  I will not leave a mess to clean up, because there will be enough of a mess when I am gone.  I will get my son into a program and have him taken care of.  My belongings will end up in boxes, so that they may easily shipped off.  I will leave nothing but mournful whispers behind.

I wish I had something inspiring to say.  I wish I could tell you that I went on about my life, went to class last night, and came back in better shape.  I wish I could tell you that the rays of hope descended upon me, and I am determined to hold out until December 11th.  I wish I could tell you that I look forward to better days, where this awful, gnawing feeling dissolves into some kind of happiness.

But I can’t.  I can only give up and start to let go.  I can only start to say my goodbyes and write my heartfelt letters to those that I love.  Because in the end, whether I want it or not, this is my fate.  To eventually succumb to my illness.  To eventually self-destruct.

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31 thoughts on “The Costly Mistake

  1. Lulu, I so badly wish I was your neighbor right now. I wish I could be there to help you out when you need to get somewhere. To be a shoulder when you are sobbing and feel that you don’t want to go on. It hurts me so bad to identify with your pain. Please don’t lose hope sweety. Don’t prepare for the end, prepare for the beginning, even if it a freaking lie. It may change. I have been in your place and I have held on and things did change enough for me to want to live my life. To live for myself whether anyone cared or not. I am praying for you my friend. (((hugs)))

    • I wish too. But, being here is enough. It’s not even 9AM here, and I’m crying already. It’s tears, big sloppy tears at least once a day. I want to go into my bed. I want to stay there for awhile. Just awhile. I want to feel safe and well again. But, I feel like I never will. All I’m doing is free falling from such a great height into this dark hole to nowhere.

      I’m not even worried anymore. I used to be worried about not being able to function or how my kid is going to catch up developmentally or when my husband will finally stop working twelve hours a day. I’m not. I’ve given up. I won’t function. I won’t get better, because there is no better. There is scraping by and hitting the wall. I’ve hit the wall Lala. I’ve hit it so hard that I’m just completely shattered.

      I want to live for myself. I want to do all of those things that they tell you to do. Be your own best friend. Don’t let your self-esteem hinge on others. Take pride in what you do, no matter what you do. I don’t want to say “I just can’t”, because there is no “can’t”. I’m not able to. Maybe just not right now, but I know that I am not able to. I don’t have the capacity to do those things.

      I feel like I can’t carry my own weight. I feel like others around me have failed me. And I feel like I’ve been sentenced to a place of complete isolation.

      I go from distressed to being dead inside. It’s the only way I can cope.

      • You have come this far and been through so much since I have known you. You’ve made it so far. I also think that you should think of yourself for a bit. Don’t feel guilty for doing some things for just you. You have to do that occasionally to survive. I hope you can think of something that will make you and only you have a good day. If you need to sleep, put Beast in the bed with you and sleep. I think hiding away for a bit actually helps things. I say all I can to try and help but I feel that I am so limited on how I can help just by typing a comment. Just don’t give up or don’t allow yourself to keep feeling like you are giving up. Do something for yourself. Live for yourself a min. It is ok, I promise xx

        • I don’t know how to ask anyone for help. I’ve been holding this in for so long now, just surviving each day. I try to come here and gain some perspective. I try to help others, because sometimes, it helps me. But, I’m so entangled in all of this awfulness that I have no idea how to break free. This valley is just so empty and so deep.

          You are not limited to a comment. You are not limited with your words on this screen or any screen. Just being here, just sitting here reading what I have to say, telling me that you understand this kind of deep, aching pain, it helps. It helps draw the poison out from me.

          I don’t know how to keep trying. I don’t know how I’m going to keep surviving each day. Every moment feels like it bleeds into another agonizing moment.

          I don’t want to be like this in front of Beast. I don’t. I don’t want him to get distressed because I am. There is no one to take him. Nowhere he can go to get a respite from my madness. And when he asked me if we were okay, my heart broke. My identity as a mother slipped away from me. What kind of mother does this to their child?

          I’ve been trying to hard to break free of this. I’ve been hanging on a promise that I will see a doctor, and that we can get this medication problem sorted out so I can get back to my life. I miss my life. I miss me. And yesterday, that promise was broken. I’m going to have to wait another month on a doctor that I’ve already begun to hate. I don’t even want to see her. She screwed me.

          I don’t even know if I have a choice. And I can’t seem to get it across to anyone that I’m in this bad of a way. It just seems like another one of my episodes. “It’ll pass” and all of the things like that. This won’t pass. It’s been almost a year. I can’t fathom the idea of another year….

        • maybe you could call the office and ask them to please call you if anyone cancels their appt? I have done that before because I was so desperate to see my therapist.

        • No transport on the fly, remember? I’m thinking about calling to schedule with a therapist. I can’t do it alone anymore.

        • that is a good idea. My therapist gets things done if I need a change in meds, she gets ahold of the Dr. and finds a way to work something out. Mine can tell after talking with me for our 45 mins what change I might need. She then talks to my doctor on the phone and they have it called in for me.

        • I’m sure that’s not the way it works here, but I’ll give it a shot.

  2. I’m not gonna pretend to understand what you’re feeling right now…but there is hope. Just hang on one more day. And then another one. Just wait.

    • I’m trying. I really am. I just feel like this thing is never going to get any better. Nothing is ever going to get better, and I’m going to be stuck in this place for the rest of my natural born life.

  3. Keep going 🙂 Surviving the bumps, walls and mountains that come up in our life just later prove how awesome we are 🙂 xoxoxo

    • I don’t know how I can hang in here. I really don’t. I don’t know how to get past this. I feel like I’m in too deep to pull myself out. And there is no one left to help me.

      • Maybe a new strategy is needed?

        • I’m at a complete loss. It feels like everything I try, it doesn’t work. Sometimes, things backfire. My pleas for help fall on deaf ears. I’m just… I don’t know.

          Thank you for listening.

        • Oh it’s my pleasure! I wish I could do more.

          Keep trying 🙂 More bad things happen if you give up.

        • I keep trying to remind myself that if my son doesn’t have me, then he doesn’t have anybody. And that might be the most cruel thing I could ever do to anyone.

        • Any motivation is good motivation I’d say. You still need support though. I would hope that maybe people in your life are just busy right now, needed to step back for a bit or don’t know how to help?

        • I’m not discrediting them when I say this. But, I really see them as seeing me kind of limping along. And they think to themselves, “I guess if she’s still moving.”

          The reason why I’ve cultivated these awful outbursts in my life is because I go between extremes. Either, I don’t want to bother anyone with my problems, because I don’t think that they’ll listen or I’ll just make it worse for myself. Or, something seriously major has to happen to shake the people around me into getting it.

          Admittedly, this is a little attention-seeking, but not in “that” way. This is what I was feeling at the time, and I told absolutely no one but those who read this. Instead, I took some Xanax last night after dinner and went to bed before the 10 o’clock news.

  4. Sounds like it’s shit for both of us right now. Hang in there, maybe it will get better. And if it doesn’t, we’ll still have each other.

    • Yeah I guess that’s true. I just feel so alone. I feel so stuck and so alone with all of this madness. I’m back to the old things I used to be doing before I started treatment in the first place. I’m throwing things, breaking things, screaming, crying, being irritable all of the time – I’m out of control.

      And people keep telling me that if I can recognize that, then I should be able to have some kind of control. I don’t. I had to focus all of my willpower yesterday into not cutting. I took six xanax (triple my dose) to get myself to a point where I could be just – numb. Just under control. And even then, I couldn’t stop myself with the suicidal ideation. I just couldn’t do it.

      I took the phone off of the hook yesterday. My FIL had to come to my house because my husband was freaking out. I just wanted left alone. I reached out, and I was denied. It seems like all I can do is go after these self-fulfilling prophecies reaching out to people that just can’t be there for me. And I keep thinking that they should be. They should be….

  5. You aren’t alone, I have felt these same feelings and I’m sure others have also. I wish I could say the magic words or give you a glimpse of hope, but knowing where you are from experience myself I know it isn’t enough. I just hope you can find a reason to hold on, something to hold you over till December or a new person or just any relief. May you could call a crisis line? I heard you opened a skype the other day, if I’m ever and you need someone to talk to feel free to send me a message. I may not be able to give answers but I’m willing to listen and help as best as I can. My skype name is mm172001, same as my blog name. Wishing you a glimpse of hope and a little reassurance knowing others have been there and are still here.

    • Interestingly enough, whenever I call a crisis line, they usually wait until I’m finally finished crying to tell me that my time is up. Yes, I’ve had that happen twice now.

      I’m not looking for the right answer. Hell, I’m not even really looking for answers. Some things are the way they are, and I need to figure out a way to cope with that. It’s the lack of coping mechanisms and the deep seated depression that prevent me from seeing things clearly.

      Thanks for opening up your skype. I promise I’m not a weird stalker or anything. You’ll be surprised when you actually see me. Everyone has to question whether I’m closer to 20 when in reality I’m closer to 30! LOL!

  6. Thank you for writing out these feelings. You have a clear articulate voice that zips straight to the heart. I grew up with a bipolar mother and remember all to clearly the earth-shattering pain and numbness that occurred each time she attempted suicide. At that age all I could think was “I’m not enough for her” and I’d feel her despair and pain in a way that only kids can. Please don’t give up. Do what you can. Looking for a therapist is an important step as well as committing to that December appointment. But there is also a lot you can do around the house to take preventative measures.

    Exercise regularly: Exercising makes you feel accomplished and biologically releases chemicals that make you happier. It doesn’t even have to be something huge like going for a run…sometimes that can feel to hard to work up the motivation. Just find some floor space and do an ab workout. Maybe convince your husband to exercise with you. I always used to take my mom running because without my help she couldn’t work up the motivation.

    Monitor your emotions: Keep a close eye on how you are feeling and the signs that indicate when you are leaning to a depressive state ad when you are leaning to a manic state. Have your husband write out a list of signs he sees, because your emotions may make it hard to recognize them yourself. Use this list to analyze your emotions and your state of being.

    Listen to happy things: When you recognize yourself leaning towards a depressive state do little things to perk up your mood. Such as, listen to happy country music or maybe pop if thats your preference. Play with your son, because I’m sure that, as a mom, he is your greatest pride and joy.

    I hope I didn’t come off too preachy… I just want the best for you and your son. So please find ways to help yourself. Even if my suggestions are too off base for you, please find something.

    • I cried when I read this. My husband said to me this morning, “You have to get that s*** under control.” It infuriated me, as well as made me so guilty. I said to him, right in line with a post I made sometime recently, “You act as if I can just snap out of this. It insinuates that I do this on purpose. Do you think I want to scar our son? Do you think I want to hurt him when he has enough on his plate? Why do you think I’m trying so hard to get him into a program? He needs to get away from me, because the only thing I can do to him is harm him.”

      I don’t want to destroy my family. Sometimes, I think that just being alive and insane is enough. Sometimes, I think that I won’t be able to control myself, and they’ll have to leave me. And sometimes, I wonder how much better off they would be if I were to just be gone. Dead, away, missing, out of the picture in any way.

      I bury these things. I bury them so far down that I can’t even drudge them up if I wanted to. They appear at the inopportune times. But, then again, when is an opportune time for them to arise? Never.

      You’re not preachy. Not at all. You are just trying to remind me that I need to take care of myself. And it’s like, I’ve been in treatment for three years now. You think I’d be able to remember these things. But, there is nothing that brings me joy right now. I am in the jaws of this thing. I don’t even want to do things that I like to do. It’s too much. Everything is too much.

      So, I force myself to get a shower, do my hair, and get dressed every single day. And for some reason, I think it should matter to someone. My husband said to me this morning, “You have to make sure that you’re dressed by the time we (he and my BIL) are home, so we can go right away.” I replied, “There was one day this week where I wasn’t dressed by the time you two made it back, and that was on Wednesday when all of that awfulness threw down.” He said, “Oh, really? I don’t remember.” I started naming every outfit I wore that week.

      I don’t know why I’m letting my self-worth hinge on other things. I don’t. I just feel so transparent. So unappreciated and undervalued. And I know, I know. Who should value myself more than me? It’s hard to get there when I’m in a state like this.

      I’m making it a point to go shopping this weekend for winter clothing so I can stop looking like a schlub. I keep thinking that if I keep pretending like my life is going on okay, then maybe one day, I’ll wake up, and I’ll feel okay. It probably doesn’t work like that . . .

      • I know all too well how hard all of this is and I hope you know I really do feel for you. I have lived it in a way. But the one thing I have learned is things don’t magically fall into place and life will never be perfect. You will never just wake up and not have emotional problems. That unrealistic expectation will just cause you to get depressed when things aren’t perfect.

        There are some things you need to work on because medicine will never be enough. No doctor will ever tell you that medicine is enough. But another thing I have learned is that if you want to help yourself and ask for help in small ways, the people around you will step up to the plate.

        Have your husband recognize when you’re starting to feel down and help you remember all the things you treasure in your life. Because when you’re sinking into a depression you need a shove to think of anything positive at all. Have him write down all the things he loves about you so that you can always read it when you need.

        Can you do something for me? We can turn this into a sort of blogging project. This way you have all of our support. Even when it feels like the world is against you and nobody loves you, we will be cheering you on.

        Lulu’s Blogging Challenge: Choose ten SMALL changes to your everyday life that will make life better for you and the people around you. If you have trouble thinking of them, ask your followers for ideas.

        Focus only on one at a time. Then give updates daily or every other day. Even if you have nothing to say, updating will give your followers the chance to send support your way.

  7. Oh Lulu, I wish you didn’t feel so awful! I’ve been there and it’s a miserable place to be. Please, please don’t hurt yourself. You are a wonderful person and a great mom and you have so much to give to this world. You have to learn to help you a little bit more, ad I think that a therapist is a great start. Please don’t give up. I’m always willing to listen. You know where to find me if you need me. *hugs*

    • Thanks, Monday. I really appreciate your words.

      I was able to stabilize myself enough to prevent self-injuring. I’m at a point where I’m – what’s the word? Okay isn’t really correct, and neither is stable. I’m not in a bad way. There, that’s a good fit.

      I’m not in a good way, either, but I’m taking it easy and tredding lightly over this shaky ground. I’m taking great strides to be honest with the people around me, so I don’t find myself having another meltdown. I learned my lesson about keeping my head by stepping on a shard of ceramic and having to pick it out of my foot with a pair of tweezers. I almost thought I’d have to have an embarassing ER trip out of the deal.

      So, right now I’m working on interventions and preventative measures while I’m in a less distressed place. I’ve joined a couple of forums and programmed a couple of numbers into my phone. The focus is on solifying a support network, especially for those particular moments.

      I can’t blame anyone for that, with the exception of that god awful scheduler. I know she screwed me on purpose, because just the day before, she was trying to get me to move my appointment for someone else. Why the hell should I do that when she already rescheduled me once?! She has never done me any favors, and I’ve always had to fight her tooth and nail for anything that I’ve needed!

      Ugh, I probably should avoid this topic…

  8. (((Hugs if wanted))) I so wish I could take away this massive pressure of pain. I really do xx

    • Hugs are always welcome.

      Thank you. I needed that medication change, and it was so urgent. I mean, it still is, but having that little shard of hope yanked away was too much for me. I’m dealing, but I’m afraid to say that my interventions aren’t all completely healthy. I’m adjusting meds myself, and I’m skipping doses (mostly accidentally). I’ve all but stopped my antidepressant. I don’t see the use in it, and it’s making the anxiety worse.

      That’s where I’m getting snagged. The anxiety is overwhelming, and the xanax only goes so far for it. The xanax is really only useful for calming really bad waves of it. As for all of the underlying anxiety, now a lot of it surfacing in PTSD-like symptoms, it remains and torments me.

      And I’m a little delusional right now. Anxiety overload does that to me. I’m trying not to hold a grudge, because I don’t really know whose mistake this was. But, it is really difficult when I’m staring at the rammifications of all of this bad patient care.

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