Before the stardom that comes with being Freshly Pressed, most people found my blog through the usual bloggy means, or …
Before the stardom that comes with being Freshly Pressed, most people found my blog through the usual bloggy means, or …
As I’m feeling decently balanced and human today, there’s not much to impart. I know it’s not true balance, ’cause I snapped at someone over a triviality last night, but it’s close enough. And, to be fair, the person was being slightly pushy, so my response was sort of warranted.
I think about filters a lot lately, and my lack thereof. I have people in my life who are often put out because I don’t want them enthusing at me, or filling my space with ambiguous angry. I think most of us with bipolar would agree that our state is easily polluted by these things, and that while I don’t think any of us would ask people to deny themselves their full range of emotions and experiences, I bet a lot of us would be happier if people did it outside of our bubble. Having said that, I can deal with peoples’ emotions if I’m being their therapist quack, but that’s obviously a very certain situation, and it’s not foolproof either.
And, of course, it’s not just emotions, but definitely experiences and people and well… everything. I was talking to my youngest sister the other day and filling her in on bits of family history that she wasn’t aware of. Oh, she was around for some of it, but she fully admitted that her filtering works fine (lucky dear!) and that she’s often amazed by the depth and breadth of my remembrance. Our other sister has historically accused me of making things up, which is only valid insomuch that all memories are faulty and are shifted and recoloured by each remembrance. I know my own recollection of things tends to be murkier and probably more paranoid than it actually occurred, but then, that’s the filter under which I am stuck labouring more often than not. I’m still fairly confident that I have the facts and details right, but then, so do everyone else, ha ha.
I think that my filtering situation is probably compounded by my introversion, though. Mind you, I said introverted — I am neither shy, nor socially inept. Friends who have spent time with me are often surprised by my assertion because of those two facts (though I feel that education on the subject of introversion has been on the rise lately, and lo, it is good!). I think it’s fair to say that being introverted, peoples’ energy and extroversion is draining enough. Add that to the commonalities of bipolar, and it’s a pretty nasty mix to swallow on the regular. I don’t know about anyone else, but this emphatically extends to online activities; even if it’s ‘merely’ text, I have always been very sensitive to the energies behind it (to a degree that I have been accused of making it up or overreacting on numerous occasions). Maybe I have, or maybe I’ve just given more power to other people. I refuse to think of people online as non-existent; everyone behind the words is a person with feelings, and deserve to be treated as such. Sometimes I am not gentle, but then, that’s probably an extension of how ungentle I am unto myself — I am sure very few people realize just what a whip-cracking bitch I am to keep myself in some semblance of order.
Anyways, that’s ramble enough. Hope everyone is having a nice day.
I was up half the night with anxiety attacks and feelings of absolute dread.
I am cleaning house for a woman today and it’s not the first time I have done it. She is generally satisfied with my work.
But for some reason, the night before, every single time, I become a damn basketcase of jitterbugs.
My stomach is upset. (I drank half a gallon of milk last night trying to get the stomach acids to settle.)
Why can’t I just shake the stupid anxiety? I’m 40 fucking years old, and still going through the same shit I did at 12 years old.
And if, as the shrink says, the xanax just masks the panic, why am I taking xanax and still having panic attacks?
why why why why why.
I know I bitch a lot in this blog and it can become redundant but I am just so damned frustrated.
I don’t want to deal with this woman, I don’t want to clean her house, I don’t want to do anything but make this bloody panic stop. Breathing exercise, counting, blah blah blah blah.
It’s like putting a pinkie band aid on a gaping gun shot wound.
I began the day blah.
An hour later I was almost manic, just not in a happy love-the-world way. I was talking fast, and a lot, to the point I point blank asked the person if I was irritating them. Mania can grate uponst the nerves if it is not the good kind.
Then I ventured into the petri dish, kid in tow. Everyone tells me how well behaved she is for them at stores. I hate Wal-Mart, but we ventured there, and omg, she would not mind, she just did what she wanted and if I spoke to her or tried to carry her, she said “You hurt me!” I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why she would say such things, because the cameras could plainly indicate I didn’t harm her in any way, and I don’t know why I am the ONLY person she so out and out defies.
She makes me a basketcase full of dread when I need to go out and run errands.
A kid says “You hurt me” the powers that be take action and you’re guilty til proven innocent. It has made me terrified of my own child. And yes, I have tried the whole be firm/be consistent thing. She is just defiant of me. I often wonder if this is some post traumatic thing from her father leaving and if my child will grow to hate me, thinking I am the reason he left.
Neither here nor there.
I have been up and down the mood gamut. In public, the mania dipped into a “coping but nervous wreck” state.
I’ve been driving for years and while it is always a little anxiety inducing, it is even more so with a kid kicking the seat, whining they dropped this and that, GET IT FOR ME NOW, and asking 4 dozen questions that amount to nothing. Yeah, I know, welcome to parenthood. The kid is normal. I, on the other hand, am NOT. And the harder I try to be, the more I fail. Some things just escape me.
I’ve never been calm a day in my life (minus the gallbladder surgery drugs and the epidural.)
I am, by nature, a livewire.
For whatever reason, my central nervous system just spontaneously fires impulses that tell me to shift into fight or flight mode. Sometimes, I can override these shifts. Sometimes, they kick my ass.
It is not a matter of “grow up” or “snap out of it.”
People who say shit like that make me feel violent impulses.
And thing is, I am generally not violent, I am actually quite the pacifist. I would rather walk away from a fight than engage in one because no one ever wins and it seems, psychologically, pointless and immature.
There was a point today, with six power company trucks outside tending to some downed wires, and people coming and going and horns honking, and engines revving…that I actually felt overloaded. My mind just sputtered and came close to shutting down because my heart beat was so loud in my head, I couldn’t focus on anything but the noise and the throbbing.
THAT is panic.
That is the livewire I am talking about.
Only people who live with it constantly get it.
The people who only feel it occasionally think it makes them special.
What it makes them is lucky. Live your life that way then talk to me.
Do I sound snotty?
Maybe I am.
Because this is not affectation or drama. This is my fucking life.
Day in, day out.24-7. My life. It affects the good things, the bad things, the stressful things, even the soothing things.It taints how I feel and makes me doubt myself at every turn, as if I don’t have any true emotions, everything is an overreaction to the mood swings or anxiety. It makes me feel utterly useless and hopeless.
When every day of your life feels that way, then you can talk to me.
Otherwise, your panic attack or two every ten years means fuck all to me.
And that may make me a bitch, but I will own it. I can be a bitch. And when it comes to mood swings and panic, after 29 years, I have earned my goddamn stripes and right to judge others who have no clue.
And ya know, I probably wouldn’t be this way if there was an ounce of bloody empathy in this world for “mental disorders.”
But I was watching TV at the shop the other day, and it was coverage of this shooting in Connecticut and the elementary school kids, and they were speculating if the shooter had mental illness and if maybe anyone with a mental illness should be considered a risk, no matter how minute…and I said, “it’s more acceptable to admit you fuck sheep than to have a goddamn mood disorder.”
Most people who commit such crimes aren’t mentally ill, they are emotionally damaged. And if the powers that be had a fucking clue they’d get that.
And then you have your Bundys and Dahmers who are just fucking sadistic sociopaths because they like it.
Most people with “mental issues” are harmless and in emotional anguish.
Yet mental illness is the first thing to be blamed when anything horrid happens.
Not “oh he was bullied and snapped” or “he got into a fight with someone, drank too much and went off.”
Never “Oh, he just decided to kill people for no good reason.”
“Mental illness” must rear its ugly head, making anyone with so much as a depressed day to their names feel like they have fucking ebola and will end up on some government watch list.
Did I stray from my whole topic?
But I’m telling the truth, and anyone who disputes it is in denial.
Like it or not, society treats people with any sort “mental/mood” disorder as less than human.
This human finds it reprehensible because my entire life has been about empathy, dignity, and not allowing my disorders make me behave like a monster.
Even with mental illness there is choice.
We should not be punished because *some* make the wrong choice.
That should get me on some government watch list.
My last posts have been heavy. Good grief, how can anybody keep reading this heavy shit? It freaks me out, and I’m the one that’s writing it. So I’m gonna try to write a lighten-up post. Let’s see if I can do it.
OK, right off the top, I am very proud to say that after I got the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal accomplished, I kept right on writing the novelized memoir I’ve been trying to write for 40 years. I just decided, hell’s bells, I’m totally disabled, I’m stuck in the middle of East Bumfuck, North Carolina, with shitloads of time on my hands, and what better opportunity to finally go ahead and write the damn thing? Not to mention the constant triggers. Why not turn that to good use, and novel my ample ass off? I’m just shy of 69,000 words/227 pages right now, and gaining. I’m writing two to three hours a night.
But I want to talk about Pandora, the internet radio that you customize yourself. That link might just lead you to my radio station, “Joni Mitchell Radio.” It has all the stuff I was listening to in 1970, the year I’m writing about. So you know, the oldest sense in your “reptilian brain” is the sense of smell, and after that, sound. I’m sure you’ve all experienced the phenomenon of hearing a song, and BAM you’re right back where you were when you first heard it, or that time you heard it during some significant event. Like for me, The Eagles’ Best of My Love takes me BAM back to the first moment I heard it in 1976 when I was a cutter in a small factory that made very high end leather clothing. I was cutting a fine piece of suede and I had to run to the bathroom to cry, because if I got a teardrop on the suede it would ruin the piece and I would get a whole lot of shit from the owner, justifiably really, because the paper-thin hides were incredibly expensive. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and musical partner of four years, and the song precisely described the entire situation. So even now, many many years later, the minute I hear the intro, I burst into tears.
The point is, this ability to design a radio station that plays exactly the music that formed the soundtrack for my life as a teenage runaway in 1970 helps immensely in my efforts to evoke the pictures in my mind that I hope will come out my fingers on the keyboard, and might even help somebody else feel those crazy mixed up things that happened to a very naive sixteen year old at the mercy of a hard, hard world. So far I haven’t incorporated too many lyrics into the text, but I think that will happen in the rewrite. This writing is strictly to get the damn thing down and out of my head. It’s incredible how much shit is pouring out in the writing, stuff I have repressed all these years: so many sexual assaults of many varieties and levels of violence. Oops, sorry, I said I was going to keep this light. Well, this is reality, so I can’t really censor it, can I? But I can listen to the radio.