Here I am, it’s 9 p.m. I’m in my room by myself and I have nothing to do. I thought I could use this leave of absence from work to focus on my writing and focus on my brand. I have decided that I have nothing left to do in order to progress the Precarious Aquarius brand, there is not much I can write about; I’m a well run dry. It’s funny because writing this makes me a hypocrite: Dani, how are you a well run dry if you’re typing this right now?
I write out of pure boredom, that’s how I would respond to the above question. I muster up words out of thin air because there always has to be something to write about, something to argue, to discuss, to question. I am currently questioning how I could feel so alone, even though I have been keeping in contact with friends and family every day since I’ve had my operation. How can one feel alone when they simply aren’t alone?
I think physical pain isolates us. Nobody in the world can comprehend the type of pain you are in or what you’re going through after having a major surgery like I have. Since no one can relate to the pain, it leaves us feeling lonely. Certainly people can sympathize with and for us, but until they have the same knee and foot surgery that I have had, it’s Isolation Island over here.
My friend, Brent had major foot surgery in June and I was able to sympathize with him because I got the news that I needed surgery #2 and had been through one pretty brutal foot surgery already. He has been a big support for me because he has just finished his recovery when I got my foot and knee surgery done. I forgot how difficult of a surgery it was until the pain pills started to wear off. He visited me twice this past week because I was getting rather agitated with the pain in my knee being more severe than my foot, along with the stitches beginning to pull and itch on my foot.
He came over because last time I was agitated and was left to my own devices, I tore off my cast; I pulled off the Ace bandage wrap, I tore apart all the cotton and broke apart the plaster cast until I was left with a severely iodine covered foot and leg that was black, blue, and red and with stitches that were ready to come out. I left the stitches in, but scratched the shit out of them. My mother walked in on the fiasco and she dragged me to the doctor’s office the next day to try to salvage the cast that I tore apart, but I got a new one put on instead.
Everyone was either furious with me or severely disappointed. So this time around I am constantly being lectured to not take off my cast, no matter how annoying the stitches are. I have been tempted a few times to do that, but I have refrained. The stitches are very itchy. It’s a good thing that there are no stitches in my knee because I would have cut those out by the third day. I am tempted to take off the steri-strips that are holding my knee together though. But I’m being good.
My mother has forbidden me to leave the house because she doesn’t know how I could possibly get from my house to my car via crutches. I keep telling her it’ll be fine and I can figure it out. I am so agitated by staying at home all the time that I am determined to make a jail break sometime soon, just to get some fresh air; see something different besides the four walls of my bedroom.
I mean, she may have a point that I should stay home, elevate my foot, ice it, and rest, but my depression is starting to linger, especially at night time when everyone goes to sleep and I’m left to my own devices. Like I’ve said, I’ve been good and I have been taking all my medication and following doctor’s orders. But my depression is still bad.
That brings me back to the original question, oh yes! How can one feel alone when one is simply not alone? Like I stated, physical pain is a large piece that isolates me. I would say it’s my sleeping schedule that’s attributing to my loneliness, but I am keeping my normal sleep schedule; I sleep from 12 a.m. to about 7 a.m. and get up throughout the night depending on my pain levels and whatnot. I think the other piece that isolates me is my emotional and psychological pain.
I have no one in my social circle that struggles with bipolar disorder and it’s not like I planned it to be that way, it’s just how it is. But with that being said, none of my friends really comprehend what it’s like for me to be bipolar. There is nothing wrong with that nor do I hold that against anyone, but it’s harder for me to cope with my bipolar because no one else “gets it.”
Sometimes I wonder if it’s all in my head; the delusions, the manic upswings, and the severe depression. I wonder if it’s all a figment of my imagination that I am living out in order to validate the way I feel and think. Then I think, maybe that’s all mental illness is? Maybe it’s just something our heads create to either draw attention to ourselves or make things more interesting.
Then I think that’s insane within itself! I am not that creative of a person, so how could I possibly invent a mental illness?! It just doesn’t add up.
I digress… I experience this emotional and mental pain because I am bipolar and I have no one to talk about it to considering the fact that my therapist quit on me. The one person that even comes close to getting it is my mother who has schizophrenia. But for someone who is mentally ill, she lacks self-awareness in her diagnosis and all she knows about bipolar comes from advertisements on television for bipolar medication. So she’s not the best person to talk about it with.
Not to mention when I talk to my mother about feeling extra depressed, she begins to really worry about me trying to do something real stupid like plunk myself. I don’t want her to worry about me so I try not to start conversations about mental health with her unless I can say something positive or talk about situations of the past. So who does that leave me to go and talk to?
Back in the day, my person was Diego. But he would persecute me for the way I felt and always said I wasn’t doing enough for myself, which may be true to an extent, but when you’re depressed, it’s not what I needed to hear.
I talk to Brent mostly about my bipolar stuff and Brent is great, don’t get me wrong. I think he has a hard time grasping what it means for me to be bipolar. He has researched the matter, which is more than my own parents have done for me. It’s really sweet since he makes a point to try and understand, but until he suddenly becomes bipolar (God forbid), he’s just not gonna understand my adversity.
So I ultimately turn to you, my readers, and my writing to grant me some peace and serenity from myself and my bipolar disorder. It doesn’t really help with the loneliness considering no one is going to respond to my blog posts or reach out to me, but it helps make sense of the thoughts in my mind. It forces me to organize my feelings into words and sentences. It forces me to punctuate, use proper grammar, use proper syntax, and so on.
So here I am, alone again. It is now nearly 11 p.m. and the drugs are kicking in. They don’t tire me out, but give me a little bit of clarity. One can feel alone, even when they are surrounded by a lot of people because it’s about engagement. Are they engaged in the conversations going on around them? Are they trying to have fun and enjoy themselves? Do they feel accepted and safe? Do they like the people they surround themselves with? By answering those questions, it creates a bigger picture of your loneliness while with others.
My advice to those who feel alone after a day of socializing (like how I feel right now) is to use the time to be introspective and self analytical. Why do you want to be with others right now? Who do you want to be with or talk to? Why can’t I sit alone and be content by my lonesome?
I’ve learned it is much harder to be alone than it is to surround yourself with people. But if you’re never alone, how do you develop and grow as a human being? As depressed and lonely as you may feel when you’re by yourself, it is critical for your character to learn to be by yourself, do things alone, be alone, think alone. Without that time to yourself, you will begin to wonder who you truly are and what kind of person you are.
My new goal for the rest of my surgery leave of absence is to do some self reflection for at least an hour each day. I am going to make a point to journal my thoughts and views on my finances, my friends, family, my goals, dreams, and aspirations for the next 5-10 years. I think by creating a loose plan, it will make me feel better, not to mention give me something to do.
Til next time, mi amigos!