Daily Archives: November 27, 2013
I know, I know, I do a lot of Carrie Fisher quotes, but I absolutely love her:
I’m fine, but I’m bipolar. I’m on seven medications, and I take medication three times a day. This constantly puts me in touch with the illness I have. I’m never quite allowed to be free of that for a day. It’s like being a diabetic.
– Carrie Fisher
Becky reminded me that I’ve gone a bit silent. Well, I think that time of quiet is nearly past, but not quite. The pregnancy nausea lifted last week, which is yay. But I’m still feeling really fatigued and brain-dead; I’ve got network-related emails building up that I *really* need to find the spoons to respond to. If any of you are reading this — I am incredibly sorry to not have gotten back to you yet. I was really hoping that today would be the day, but I got slammed by a migraine first thing this morning, atop two annoyances on Facebook from my chère Maman. She probably wasn’t trying to be annoying… I don’t really know. It’s hard to be impartial on tone when one wakes up feeling crappy!
I think there’s another migraine coming on, which suuuucks (especially when pregnancy means I can’t take codeine), but I’m still trying to keep as cheerful as possible. I might be feeling like crap, but my husband is doing worse right now. He dotes on me pretty much every day, so it’s pleasing to be able to turn the tables and take care of him. I’d prefer him to not be sick, obviously, but I feel like this is the especial time that I’m able to remember how to lock off my feeling terrible to do what I love do to — help other people.
There’s also the coming off of my meds factor which might be contributing to my spiking ire lately. We agree that, should my pregnancy follow the path set by the previous one, my mood should be stable enough for me to come off so I can have less worries about the effects on Microbutt, as well as enabling to have a home birth; hospitals stress me out so badly that I can’t make it an hour without hitting hysterical sobbing from the ‘way too fucking much stimulii’ factor. Worst comes to worst, I know the local health care proviso includes a homebirthing centre that’s the best sort of middle ground between hospitalized and not, but… we’ll see. I’m fingers crossed it will all work out. But I did know that coming off the antidepressant could be a bit difficult, so I’m going to attribute the slight spikes to that. I’m to see my psychiatrist again in the next week or two (waiting for the appointment card) to determine what the next course of action will be. I’m glad I’ve not gotten the card — my first scan of the little fetal one is Monday, so that will let me know that (hopefully) the kiddo is doing fine at 12 weeks, and is only one (ESPECIALLY only one; my broken-ass brain can’t handle twins, of this I’m sure).
So yeah, still out here somewhere, still alive. *smiles wanly* I hope everyone out there is doing well.
I just had an interesting experience. I am a member of a few online support groups now, which is something I was afraid to take part in earlier. I think like so many others I had fear of being judged, categorized unfairly, or just unsupported. In this exchange I had with someone in a group I experienced everything I was hoping to avoid. It was a good learning experience though.
This person decided that I was in fact manic because I had enthusiasm for my work. He decided I was unable to lead this project, and would undoubtedly fail at my task. He did this based on my diagnosis alone. That is discrimination! Discrimination amongst my peers, means that others have internalized this notion of permanent limitations based on this label alone. He was basically saying, albeit indirectly, that HE had limitations, so I must as well. I haven’t created walls like that around my life.
It is TRUE that bipolar causes massive disruptions in one’s existence. There is NO doubt that there is struggle to overcome for all of us. But for me, that was only true until I found a treatment protocol that worked (medication, exercise, sun-lamp, no drinking, therapy, and meaningful work). I have been so fortunate to get to this pinnacle, with the help of my patient doctor, lots of personal strain and effort, and the unconditional love of my family (namely my husband).
This brings up another point, that I have often faced, with friends and family alike — so the people that really matter to me. I’ve found on many occasions the need to “prove” some sort of state of mind. I think the sad truth is that people do not trust your reactions *permanently* after this diagnosis has been bestowed upon you despite your actual level of health. I understand why, and I am not even suggesting that it needs to be change. I am really just pointing out the existence of this internal conflict. No one wants to be “checked in on” like a child. No one. I do understand that an important part of stability is letting go of one’s ego, and accepting that those around you simply care. But still, as someone who has learned to accept help, it’s irritating at best.
I’m realizing that if stigma and discrimination is found amongst my peers, then I will face it head-on in the larger society around me. This will be particularly true as we move through the production process. I imagine I will be sized up and my capabilities judged quite often. Now I was prepared for this obvious scenario, but I was less prepared to be cut-down by someone who shares my diagnosis. I was expecting more empathy and understanding, which perhaps makes me naive.
The sad truth is there are people who will never see themselves as a full person, an equal, in the eyes of society. I can only say that this notion makes me even more firm in my resolve to make this film. The truth of the illness, the truth about possible recovery, the truth about treatment, stigma, and healing alike all needs to be visualized to comprehend it. Perhaps I can help my accuser realize that they are perpetuating the very stigma that holds us all down.
To anyone reading this, who has been doubted. Don’t internalize a word. Keep striving and taking action towards being the best version of yourself possible. Let your gifts of creativity, numerous talents and skills, run wild. I’ve seen some of the most profound artwork and humanity derived from people with so called mental disabilities. Make realistic plans, be inspired, and don’t temper the innate creativity that lives in so many of us, and you will succeed at your given task. I believe in so many of you out there.
The statement that was made by this poor disgruntled soul said something I’m sure others will consider, so I am addressing it here. He states, “You want to find more out there, but there’s not much to be found. There’s nothing out there to find. It’s a mental illness. It’s all been researched before. It’s all out there in open books left and right.” *note I’m leaving out the swearing and name-calling shenanigans because it wasn’t creative enough to share*
I feel like this couldn’t be further from the truth, and I look forward to compiling all of the research, the people we capture on film, and compiling it into something meaningful for people in the bipolar community and those well beyond that cohort. This close-your-eyes-and-accept-it approach doesn’t settle well with me. There is so much out there to learn and share, and we will.
My love to all of you at Thanksgiving. I hope it is filled with love and peace in your homes and minds.
Out of all the things that can make your life hard, the things that people say can be the hardest. The funny thing is that they come from those closest to you. It makes you lose faith in humanity that it comes from them. Like, if those close to you hurt you like that, who needs people?
And you want to say people, please, for the love of God and peace and love and cute little pink ass bunnies, STOP.