Icarus Rising

Her head buzzes, her sinuses ready to burst.

It’s pressure.  It passes.  She knows.

She knows it like sunshine, like rain, like something that can be predicted– because it’s something that can.  Titrate the meds up by just one little white pill (so pretty, so innocent, smaller than baby aspirin), sleep well for the first time in weeks that very night.  Two days later, it’s different.

There are small steps and large in the titer.

Increasing thirst.

Anorexia, although that’s not a problem since the last drugs made her eat like a cow.  At least this is a move back toward the weight she had when she was in college.

A certain unpleasant need to stay near the bathroom, though that’s dealt with by just taking a day off from work.

At day three, she has dreams like Busby Berkeley musical numbers, overhead camera angles on bizarre combos of lions and tigers and old tv show characters and family and friends reciting Shakespeare and Auden before she wakes, panting and sweating.

She also regains that feeling of urgency, the words falling out of her mouth in their haste for expression– never mind that her brain can’t keep pace with what’s being said.

There’s anticipation and anger and angst, anxiety too– all that will pass, that and the feeling of pressure, like something inside her head will burst out, some internal Athena that will flower out of her skull and bring back the brilliant expression and wit that she’s lost in the days pre-titration.  In the meantime, it’s impatience, frustration, withdrawal and depression because with the increased titration the lesson’s once again driven home.

The pills aren’t fucking magic and they’re never enough.

The pressure will level off and she’ll gain cruising altitude, Daedalus and not Icarus if she just follows the plan, keeps to her meds, keeps her diary too and makes all her appointments, but the whole process is just one big reminder.  Someday, maybe soon, the little white pills (they look like baby aspirin, so very harmless) will stop working again, and the clearness they bring just for now, the wit and the banter (can something so pharmaceutically-driven be called a personality, even?), they’ll all disappear and she’ll have to start over again.

The pressure will start over again.  What dips rises again, troughs and crescendoes– maybe she’ll fall, maybe she’ll fly.  Feathers and wax don’t last forever, and arms do get too tired to fly, legs too stiff to run off the cliff.  Daedalus only wanted to get home.  Icarus made the mistake of looking up and dreamt of the sun.

It’s raining and grey out today.  The sun peeks through the clouds on occasion– a small white tablet that somewhat resembles an aspirin.

Her wings beat upward for now.


7 thoughts on “Icarus Rising

  1. phil

    just remember, Icarus didn’t have friends to help catch him…anytime you need to talk or whatever, I’m available by phone or email or whatever…you’re not going through this alone, you have a support structure to lean on

  2. kate

    I came by way of Blog This Mom. I am moved beyond words. My ex-husband, my children’s father, is bipolar. I am panic disorder.

    This post was a long time ago. I hope you’re alright.

    1. bipolarlawyercook

      I am– thank you. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do on this blog right now. There’s a lot going on– good and bad– in the background, and I’m trying to decide what, if anything, to say of it here, as I try to take stock of where to go with things.

      But I am okay. And thank you for reading.


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