Present Day – Christmas Day, 2016

I don’t want to live this day.

Not…I don’t want to LIVE this day.

I don’t want to live THIS day.

I have almost been out of the hospital for 120 days. Almost four months of medications, therapy, piecing together broken fragments, sleep logs, mood journals, and trying to live a “normal” life. Probably the greatest emphasis of my therapy time and coaching has been learning to live authentically.

My life pattern is not that different than most of the worlds in my opinion. Bury your problems. Cover them up. For many people who do so the embers slowly die out. For others, they eat away in the form of an ulcer, stress, or social dysfunction. For myself, with Bipolar, they simmer. Stir. Await an eruption. A volcano if lucky. A nuclear meltdown if not so much.

So I have been attempting to live authentically. What you see is what you get (within the confines of adult maturity). Keeping it real…as they say.

Christmas is not about that. At least, not in my life. Not where I come from. Not today.

If I were to “keep it real” today, I would stay in bed. Manage periodical trips to the bathroom free of the gaze of others. Pretend that I don’t exist so that I didn’t have to spend too much time dwelling on the reality of truly wishing I didn’t exist. That would be keeping it real.

I don’t want to fake smile my way through greetings and “how are you”s? (Well…not bad for a guy who was hospitalized a few months ago with a full mental breakdown in a land far away)

I don’t want to eat larger quantities of higher quality food than I will feed myself for another 365 days. (sans Thanksgiving and possibly my birthday)

I don’t want to act over the top enthusiastic about the gifts I open as others look on so as to be sure not to hurt the feelings of the ones who gave them. (nevermind the fact that I probably love them but simply don’t succeed at expressing it in the manner they are looking for)

I don’t want to listen to another carol that talks about how much it looks like Christmas (I grew up in the midwest where 60 and sunny as forecast tomorrow does not look like Christmas) or how 2017 will be free of troubles. (which they sang a year ago regarding 2016 and look what a fucked up mess this turned out to be)

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m perfectly fine with the fact that the other handful of adults in the room are making no effort to pick up the wrapping paper, bring the dirty dishes to the kitchen, stop talking over each other, or leave me sitting on the most uncomfortable chair in the house rather than my own damn couch.

And I definitely don’t want to pretend this day can in any way be complete without my birth son and daughter.

Seriously. Honestly. No one wants me to be authentic today! No one wants to deal with the large, white Bipolar elephant man in the room. They want me to be “normal”. Which, ironically enough, means we want the same thing.

But I didn’t get that for Christmas. Maybe next year when rumor has it “all our troubles will be out of sight.”

For some reason, I’m thinking not. Nor wanting to live THIS day.

2 thoughts on “Present Day – Christmas Day, 2016

  1. socialworkerangela December 25, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    Wow I couldn’t say it better. I think living authentically with bipolar is impossible we have to pretend to function. Though maybe they mean living authentically within oneself not outwardly???? I’m guessing here. Anyway merry Christmas and may you get one thing that brings you joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • themanonatrain December 25, 2016 / 3:50 pm

      I guess it is about some balance between “faking it” and just being totally raw outwardly. Not having to always act overjoyed, but being able to show joy. It’s been a very rough weekend. I appreciate your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

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