So universities are closed for Winter Break… therefore, inevitably, I’ve made my way back home.
Home is hard. All the time. But especially during holidays. Especially during Winter months.
Bipolar disorder and Winter don’t exactly mix well. Actually, mixing the two is similar to putting an umbrella up in a hurricane. The umbrella can try all it wants to withstand the wind and torrential downpours, but it’s not a battle that the umbrella is fit to handle–if fact, said umbrella actually has an advantage to flying away, since it is shaped in a manner suitable for taking flight. That’s kinda how this break feels.
I am trying to prepare myself for the hurricane that I know is coming.
I’ve gone out an bought a cheap umbrella and a poncho and I’ve stocked up on bread, water, and non-perishables. I’ve found all the potential evacuation routes I can take if needed. I’ve even started down the road of evacuation, cause damn, I would love to avoid this hurricane.
However, I can feel the rain begin to fall. I put my umbrella up, but there are holes in it. My clothes are getting damp and my hair is beginning to become frizzy. There’s very little doubt in my mind that a hurricane follows these rain showers.
But part of me hopes that I’m just expecting the worst. And that I can just throw my poncho on and brave the rain that is here, and afterwards, there may be cloudy skies and it may be cold, but there is no hurricane to follow.
But then again, who am I kidding? I’ve weathered enough hurricanes that I know when one is out in the Atlantic or Pacific or Indian Ocean brewing.
People who live on the coast and experience hurricanes more frequently than we, who have never experienced a hurricane, can probably predict when one is on its way. I bet there is a shift in temperature and a certain smell in the air and a certain way the wind blows and the rain falls that essentially warns them, “Hey, here it comes.”
That’s where I’m at. The temperature is shifting. Wind is blowing and rain is falling in a familiar way. I can smell the onset of a hurricane as it makes its way to my front door.
So I have taken an evacuation route. I’ve never taken this route before because I didn’t know it existed.
It may lead to a dead end. If so, I have a few other routes.
All of them may leave me in the path of the storm. I may not even leave town. I could very easily just drive in circles and exhaust myself to where I’m sitting on the side of the road in a car when the storm comes out of gas.
But there is likely a hurricane on its way to where I am. It’s likely to be a category five hurricane.
I’m still weak from the last hurricane that hit and in the midst of attempted recovery, this storm may destroy me.
So I have to get out of town. I have to try every evacuation route. Not because I am strong or wise or anything.
It is simply because I fear the storm more than I fear getting lost somewhere on the road to evacuating.
I fear that this storm brings with it a flood. I fear that in this storm, I will be blown away. I fear that this is the one that will drown me.
So I’m not taking any chances. I’m leaving town.
They say exercise and eating healthy affects mental health. They say therapy is beneficial. They say taking your meds and having a consistent routine is a good idea. They say thinking positively and having a good support system makes life a little more bearable.
I’ll try any evacuation route.
So here’s to this season of escaping the hurricane. My life is worth preserving.