Let It Glitter - reprint from 2012
This month is March Madness, and I ain't talking about basketball. I have had sick children, husband, cats, it has been all about vomit and diarrhea and sleepless nights and with that deteriorates my mood and in the last few weeks I have fallen into a pit. The only good thing I can say about it is that I am able to realize it is falling into a pit. I know that intellectually but not viscerally. Because when my mood descends, when the horror of every moment is all that makes itself known to me, I do not have the strength to imagine otherwise. You suffer when you are bipolar, like I imagine you suffer with Alzheimer's or cancer. I would venture to say that my personal mental configuration, when suicide looms as a wonderful alternative, the most seductive thing in the world, I would venture this configuration causes comparatively a lot of suffering.
And with it comes a drop in competencies, I don't eat as well, I don't exercise, I miss appointments, I forget things. And with it comes, at least it seems to me on this run, sort of a radical drop in the strength of my immune system. This plummeting mood is hand in hand with garden variety viruses, but three of them in a row. Owain and I have both had them and take turns being sick.
And work, well, the evidence of my life stands in stark contrast to the conventional wisdom that part-time work is never really that challenging for bright women. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
So things have been stressed and sad, and there have been pale children and hundreds of wash cycles and scrubbed toilets, and there have been cancellations of big events that mattered to me and many evenings of exhausted collapse. Things fall apart. On Sunday I asked if Rhys could go through the McDonald's drive thru for dinner on Sunday. It tasted so good. There are hours of television, and me so short tempered and sad, but there are also good moments, good moments to explain to Owain about bipolar and why it is this and not him that is making me sad. This is tough stuff, but, you know, he can handle it. And there are good times too when they really help out when I am fragile and they believe in their own ability to help and make a difference when they see it in my face. Yesterday Liberty put her own diaper and pyjamas on and brushed her teeth by herself. She is three.
She is very Joan Crawford at the moment. She will put her hands on her hips and shake her finger at you with the most dramatic delivery, telling you exactly what you should not do and why. But that same passion translates to everything, good things, what she plans to eat for lunch. Just planning what we are going to eat for lunch can cause that girl shivers of delight. She is painting a lot, and since Christmas has requested access to a glitter shaker we got for her birthday. She puts some glitter on the paintings as accents. But last week when she got her shaker, she shook every piece of it on to the floor. I didn't see this. I was probably posting something bitter about the Olympics on Facebook. Anyway, when I saw it I sighed and looked at my daughter ruefully and said I did not want to clean it up.
Hands on hips, finger in the air, "NO MOMMY! NO MOMMY! LET IT GLITTER"
I left it there in the rug, the little Chinese pugs glinting here and there, I left it and looked at it. So I am letting it glitter, all the broken pieces of my life, all the parenting mistakes and shortcomings, all the tears streaming down cheeks and vomit reflecting in the toilet bowl, there it is, it is glittering, it is my life. Letting it glitter is the best antidote, the best antidote to my personal mental configuration. I am going to let it glitter. Then I remember that now I am typing away to my heart's content, and that the play will come, and Spring will come, and all I need do to honour this life is to let it glitter.