Daily Archives: February 19, 2015
The cold winds pass through me and the days seem to drag
The pain I had hoped I could hide returns
Even when the sun shines, I feel lost in my thoughts
The best part of me seems to have drifted away
Always alone with my feelings, I am so painfully aware
I am met with silence when I long for laughter
I love like no one ever has
I hurt like I hoped I would never
My brain works overtime when my heart is broken
I look back at the life of the party and wonder why
Age, time, regret, grief, pain
It all steals my joy
My hopes and dreams are shattered
It takes all of my remaining energy just to be
This is a novel I wrote while manic. The first part of it at least is semi-autobiographical…the rest of it gets sort of wild. (Like my mind).
Trigger warnings: tedious whining and whining tedium.
So, another reason this blog is important to me, is that I can say the stuff I can’t in meatspace. Mostly because people are too busy or bored with me to hear the same whinge ad nauseam, ad infinitum. (I’m trying to avoid ad hominem.)
Occasionally I’ll get a comment that makes me feel guilty, but it’s so infrequent as to be negligible. It’s also, I think, good for me to see those things and get past them. Offline, I generally withdraw and go so silent that my throat starts feeling rusty. I just can’t seem to voice stuff very well at all. For an eloquent (verbose) creature, I can be incredibly slow to process stuff and incredibly clumsy at expressing it.
Today my neighbour said I looked pale around the gills (she tends to slice and splice idioms endearingly). I feel it too – and green about the gills when the intermittent nausea gets its mittens on me. I am
and yes things are finite, but 18 months of depression and occasional mixed episodes have taught me that it’s wiser not to presume that it’ll all be okay anytime soon. Or at all. Or whatever. Finite is no effing guarantee of fine.
Disclaimer: the following applies to me and me only, despite all my blanket statements and generalisations. I am genuinely glad if they’re working for people. Other people. They’re doing squat for me.
It gets better said a campaign for us queers. Well, I am extremely fortunate enough to say that for me, it never needed to. But the rest of my country and continent? No. There are still 37 or so countries where it’s illegal, places where it incurs the death penalty and here, there’s the horrific concept of ‘curative’ rape. What got better? Our constitution (after Mandela was released) is liberal – we were the 5th country in the world to instate gay marriage. On the ground, eff all has changed really. Some horrors have shifted around slightly between various populations here, but they’re still happening. And home affairs officials are entitled to refuse to perform gay marriages and there are places where they are decidedly shitty about it. It gets better? Fallacy.
You’ve got this ohhhkaaaay. What the fuck does that actually mean? I know I have bipolar, I know I understand it sooo …
Remember when you were first diagnosed with Bipolar? You may have felt frightened and unsure about the future. Now you have the opportunity to give hope and advice to those by telling them, “You’ve got this.”
Yeeeees, but what does it actually mean? Naturally, I googled:
1. Inf. I agree to what you asked!; You will get what you want! You want a green one? You got it! This one? You got it!
2. . Inf. You are right! That’s exactly right! You got it! That’s the answer. You got it!
Erm … ? I googled further down the rabbit hole and found the explanation of the bipolar you’ve got this campaign on a site that wasn’t the official campaign site.
The meaning of You’ve Got This is two-fold. On the one hand, it means you have MS (or HIV or bipolar disorder) but it also means that you can handle this, you are not alone, and you’ve got this.
Whut? I frequently cannot handle it and am even more frequently alone with it. You’ve got this? Fallacy.
I actually think those catchphrase campaigns downplay the severity of things, causing all sorts of misconceptions. I also feel that they’re about as erudite as fortune cookies and thus an insult to my intelligence. If I sound pompous, too damn bad. I’m tired of a society that can’t take care of its sick, hurling fluffy marketing spin and platitudes at me.
I love and agree with the following …
I know how to locate silver linings, but I also know that there isn’t anything over any rainbows. Society, I’m tough, but ffs stop invalidating my struggles.
Updated my Resources page, adding Child Welfare Resources, in preparation for tomorrow’s post about compassion and childhood trauma for #1000Speak for Compassion. Child Welfare Resources Prevent Child Abuse America Healthy Families America Child Welfare Information Gateway Child Welfare Related Organizations Mental Health…
Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
Ben Huberman | Longreads | February 2015 | 13 minutes (3,354 words)
For the past ten years Frank Warren has been collecting and publishing other people’s anonymous secrets, sent via postcard, on his blog, PostSecret. The stories behind the postcards span the entire spectrum of human drama, from tales of petty revenge to accounts of abuse and severe depression. This richness of experience — along with the secrets’ visual design, by now a recognizable mishmash of Americana, well-executed kitsch, and ironic arts & crafts creations — has kept the site popular through multiple waves of internet fads. Originally a local mail art project in suburban Maryland, the site has spawned several books, including The World of PostSecret (released in November 2014), as well as a play, a TED talk, and numerous live events.
I have a longstanding fascination with the history of the Post, a system of communication based…
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I didn’t realize it at the time but when I posted my blog yesterday it told me it was my 400th post. I’m actually pretty impressed with myself. :)
Today I slept til 10:30 but am planning on getting all the laundry done so I can pack most of it up. It’s 7 days until we move into our home and I want to be prepared.
I’m feeling ok today, it feels like it could go above that if things align right.
Tomorrow we go for our second last walk thru of the house. We will be pointing out anything we need fixed before next Thursday when we close. We’ve been checking it out at least once a week, so we already know what we want fixed, which is honestly one thing, the door to the garage. So that should be fun and quick.
I’m so excited that I am going to be able to post from my house in a week. I think that is going to help a lot with the mood swings because my stress is going to go down a lot. I can’t wait to get all my stuff and unpack! I haven’t seen it in 8 months so it will be like opening presents.
Well I’m off to finish the laundry!
At the beginning of this week, Terezin – a woman who had been horrifically abused by a mother diagnosed with manic depressive psychosis – read my poem Suicide Infanticide and was understandably enraged. My poem described a fleeting and deeply disturbing psychotic thought I had…
Fiction. Reality. Both mirror each other in many ways.
I just watched a show where a serial killer was targeting the mentally ill. He viewed it as mercy killing because anyone with bipolar, borderline, schizophrenia et al has the potential for violence and live miserable lives in general.
In light of my current state….
It makes me want to scream I AM NOT MENTALLY ILL.
Denial to eliminate oneself from a targeted group seems a fairly natural reflex (even if threat is fictional.)
It would be a lie. I don’t like being mentally ill. I spent many years denying it. But if the true meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome…Maybe learning to accept my own limitations and faulty wiring signifies I’ve broken the cycle and stopped the true insanity.
For all that we have become, as a so called prozac nation, the ignorance is still rampant about the mentally ill. The stigma attached remains as if mentally ill people should all be placed in an isolated colony like lepers. Because if we aren’t dangerous and wearing tin foil hats while walking naked down interstates, then obviously we’re not really ill but in the event we are and it might be contagious…
I think one of my biggest issues is the blanket notion that mental illness is a synonym for “dangerous” or “violent”.
In my case, I am so panicked by conflict, so determined to use my brain instead of fists, I’m far less a threat than most of the non mentally ill people i know. They have zero qualms throwing a punch or committing a full out assault. But they’re not mentally ill and they were made angry so it’s okay for them, they don’t get labeled as dangerous.
I don’t think big pharma or pill pushing doctors or even malingerers who think a week of being sad equals chronic depression are the problem with the mental healthcare system. (What little one we have that is affordable and competent to those of us not rolling in money and excellent health coverage.)
The biggest problem is plain old ignorance.
Information and knowledge are power. Yet I see very few people out there with any true power based on their utter lack of information and knowledge on mental illness.
If you want to know about mental illness, you can read some literature, some case studies. You can get sage answers from yahoo (note the utter sarcasm). But if you really wanted to learn and be educated…You’d ask someone who has a mental disability.
They are the only ones who can tell you what it is like to walk in their shoes.
I don’t see it happening, though. So much misinformation and ignorant attitudes are out in the world, it would never occur to those not in the know to directly ask a mentally ill person, “So, what’s it like? Do you hear voices or do you see aliens dancing the chacha while juggling tiki torches…”
Ok, humor break there, but point remains the same.
My former husband had a condition that formed tumors randomly inside and outside his body. I read the literature. I read his lengthy medical files. And then I asked him what it was like for him. You’d be surprised how the same conditions impact each individual differently. Literature and science cannot account for what one’s personal experience is.
Physically or mentally.
For me…I equate the bipolar disorder and all its ever changing episodes to having a fever. You know when you get the flu and have chills even though you’re burning up and you’re hungry but can’t keep anything down and your entire body aches and no amount of rest makes you feel less drained…And of course, you can’t talk yourself out of physical illness and most wouldn’t even have the audacity to suggest it. It would be, “Get some rest, take care of yourself.”
The instant it’s run its course, you eventually spring back to good health, fever gone, appetite back, body thermometer working properly.
And it stays that way until you catch the flu again.
That’s exactly what bipolar is like for me. When I am sick, it encompasses every aspect of my existence. It courses through me like a fever of unknown origin and it can last days, weeks, months.
Stable periods indicate it’s run its course and I can get back to life.
But like sickness of the body, sickness of the mind revisits and it takes a toll on every aspect of your existence.
So if you don’t have a mental illness but want to understand..Think of it that way next time you get the flu. How worn down, achy, uncomfortable, unable to function properly you are while sick. Then how nice it is when it clears your system and life can resume as normal.
Just imagine having the flu forty weeks of the year.
That’s what bipolar depression is like.
I won’t be arrogant enough to presume it’s like that for others. I just know for me, it doesn’t matter how functional my body is…A sick mind sending out the wrong signals that taint every thought and action….is no different than trying to function at a hundred percent when you’re running a fever of 104 and can’t keep food down.
All you can do is try your hardest and let it run its course.
At least with the body those fevers of unknown origin can eventually be traced down to a cause and dealt with.
With mental illness…You just go through life wishing your mind was as strong as your immune system. Being sick once or twice a year is way better than spending three quarters of the year with a debilitating illness.
Functionality for one quarter of every year of your life is not optimal.
It is for me, however, reality.
I go through life with raging fevers of unknown origin and my recovery periods are brief and few and far between.
I think I’d prefer chronic physical illness sometimes.
No one questions physical illness.
No believes mental illness because they can’t “see” it.
Fever of unknown origin. I don’t think there’s a more apt description for bipolar disorder.
I think this particular poem speaks for itself
A wet blanket
Covering my shoulders.
Cold water drips down my arms
And seeps into my clothes
Making me wonder if
I’ll ever be warm again.
The wind blows against me
Making me wrap myself tighter
So that even if I wanted
to throw it off, I couldn’t
The ends tangle in my feet
And drip icicles onto my shoes
Sticking them to the ground In a grotesque game of freeze tag
And you wonder if the sun will ever come out again.
Oliver Sacks on learning he has terminal cancer. Read it.