Change

When Parker and I first got this house we got a few cheap cube units, and along with the cube units we ended up getting a decorative box that became our change box. It was on clearance and it kind of looked like a treasure chest.
 
Pretty quickly the buckle broke off, and I saved it for a long while, saying I was going to glue it back on, but of course I never did, so it was this plain brown box covered in pleather.
 
Countless times we raided the change box for money for cigarettes or a soda or to get something to eat because the bank account was in the negative and the stamps were gone.
 
Bus fare, mobility fare, a few dollars for Kidlet to get something because he’s a kid and should have some money for something.
 
We never could keep quarters in the thing and we knew we were doing well if we threw a few dollars in there for safe keeping.
 
Kidlet knew he could raid it when he needed something and I knew he raided it occasionally just cause he wanted something but he never took enough to cause any major harm.
 
So many times we’d be completely broke but at least we could scrounge up enough change to get one last pack of smokes so that we didn’t lose our minds that night, maybe it would keep us going just that much longer.
 
Life seemed so much different, priorities were different.
 
I’m still shit with money, being so so poor for so so long means I don’t actually know how to save because I’m afraid of it. Bipolar adds another twist.
 
But I keep cleaning out my purse and throwing money in the change box and the other day I was moving it and noticed the hinge had popped.
 
It had gotten too heavy to hold all of the weight.
 
This has never happened before. There had never been enough time without needing to raid the change box that the amount of weight was able to reach that level.
 
Last night I threw the box away and switched everything over to other containers.
 
Today at PHP I broke down over the change in my situation and how she is not here to see it. How it may never have happened if she was here.
 
We would still be counting change the day before a holiday to get enough cigarettes to make it through. Wondering if the lights were going to get shut off on a holiday day, or if they had to wait till a day later. Wondering if a heat wave was enough to make them leave the electric on.
 
But at the same time I’m afraid that nothing really has changed and that at any moment I’ll stop being able to cover the bills, that I’ll lose the help I have, and that the lights will go out or I won’t be able to fill the fridge or that I’ll be scrounging through that change box.
 
It’s horrible when every single positive has this ghost of the past hanging over it, this fear that at any moment it could all be taken away. That everything could change again.
 
I know I would survive it if it did go back to how it was. I’m a survivor, it’s what I do, Resilient as Fuck, and all, but I don’t ever want to go back to that. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
 
Change is such a hard hard thing to deal with. It’s incredibly heavy sometimes.

Check In

Every morning in the Partial Hospitalization Program we have a check in group where they go around, one person at a time and talk about the night before and where our moods and mental health are currently.  I feel like I can recite the whole page by heart now.

I find that when I wake up now, I almost automatically check how many hours of sleep I’ve had, and then start checking to see if that’s more or less than normal.  (Last night was a full 8 hours, which is more than normal, the 1/2 of an Ativan is working well, thank you for asking).

Then I do a check through my mood in the last 24 hours as well.  Depression (2/10), Mania (3/10), Anxiety (6/10, yesterday was pretty rough but not as bad as it’s gotten in the past), Irritability (4/10, but I was able to control it), Mood swings (6/10 but could have been due to being over tired yesterday).

I’ve love to see a chart for all of the moods while I’ve been in PHP, I wonder if that’s something they have.  I know that I’ve gone up and down over all of the scales but as a whole, I’m down quite a bit and far more stable.

But it’s scary because as of a week ago I wasn’t this stable at all, but I wasn’t quite as bad as I was when I started.  And who knows where I’ll be in less than 2 weeks when I discharge from this program and start another, less intense one.  The suicidal thoughts can come and get out of hand pretty quickly and it doesn’t seem to matter how stable I am when they show up, it just takes something knocking me sideways.

I could spend this time worried about the next time that happens, or I can enjoy the calm of stability and focus on learning more coping mechanisms and getting as much done as possible, resting as much as needed, gathering as many resources as I can in the next days or however long I have until the next storm that may or may not come.

I hope for the best, while planning for the worst.

And each morning I can keep checking in with myself to see if I ever catch a pattern, is there something that can give me a warning.