Every day, I go to war with my mind, an organ that is in a constant battle to kill me. Every day, I get up and grin at the monster that looms before me. Black and stinking, with bloody fangs and pebble eyes, it grins at me, hoping that today will be its day to win.
The monster has never won. Every morning, I stand firm and grin at it, sending it scampering back to the place from which it has come.
You can't see the monster. But I can. This is the dark side of my brain. The place that tells me I can't do something. One of the haunting, horrible parts of having Bipolar. And whenever something good starts to happen, the monster makes an appearance, snarling and laughing, ready to snatch away whatever I've been building.
As you know, I've been working on several projects recently. Some of them are nearing completion faster than others. And this is when the monster decides to visit.
If you were reading last year, you may remember the Great Pumpkin Delivery of November 2015. It was an event that made me look myself in the eye and finally push beyond the fears that have been building for many years. That event was several hours of pure Hell. Of crying, of not eating, of being on my hands and knees as I fought with every ounce of my being to put the monster to sleep once and for all.
And it's here again. As pieces of the next project fall into place, the slumbering monster rises and stands before me.
You don't deserve this.
You can't do this.
You can't have this. It's not for you.
Crawling behind the blackened beast is the pain. Pain so harsh and so violent that, in the past, it's caused vomiting. It's like your soul is being dragged from your body. Desperately you try and cling to that precious fibre of your being but eventually the searing pain becomes too much to bear. You give up. You sit and cry before closing your eyes and hoping never to open them again.
And all the while, in the back of your head, that rasping voice hisses, Do it. It won't hurt for long and, when it's over, the pain will be gone forever.
Life becomes a battle of wits as I try and piece together this next book while artfully dodging around a creature that would like to see me dead. But, as happens every time, I can feel myself going in to my shut down mode. The mode where I don't talk, don't eat, and don't do anything other than go to work. I push people away and refuse to acknowledge anyone in my sphere. Because, as the monster has told me, I don't deserve any of this, not even people who care about me.
This is probably the hardest post I've ever written. It's also one of the most freeing. Rarely am I honest when it comes to how I truly feel. I much prefer to plaster on a smile and pretend that everything is okay. Because I'm healthy, right, and what more is there to life than that? But... There's always a but...
I don't want to lie to anyone who reads this. Life is hard today. Today hurts and aches with a pain that tears straight through the body. It feels as though I'm slowly being cut open. My eyes are dry and my face aches from the crying. Where there was once light at the end of the tunnel, there is now none. Darkness has settled and, in the distance, I can hear the monster cackling. Its claws are whispering over my skin and its putrid breath is trickling my cheek. I've given this battle my all and now I'm on my knees. The time is nearly upon us.
Yet tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow the sun will rise, and it will set. Life will happen all over again and it's another chance to battle the black monster. To stand up it, and smile, and say, “Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. You don't control me any more.”.
But I'm scared that one day I won't be strong enough to battle the monster that lives in my head.
Rae is an award winning author with several books to her name. When she's not battling the beast inside her head, she enjoys seeing how far life will take her. She's currently running a Kickstarter to help fund her first non-fiction book: