I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish — you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
I’ve always been far too impatient about hitting the publish button around here. I think I generally blog far too often, with intermittent wide open spaces. Not many this year… Last October was quiet. Ahem. So there’s one benefit of scheduling posts; I don’t drive people nuts with rapid-fire blogging, and there are still posts appearing on the tongue tied days. I started to mark my posts as scheduled a few days ago; the reason for that is also the most beneficial of benefits – you won’t know when I wrote posts. No skullduggery there, however, it just means that I can weep, wail, whine and whinge, without worrying about the people who will worry about me. Still no skullduggery, I appreciate the worriers and warriors who care, but I’m useless at dealing with the concern, especially when I’m all fucked up and fragmented. I start feeling guilty about feeling shitty and then I start agonising over answering simple, kindly queries about my wellbeing.
Overthinking? Me? Hmmm… If you’re one of my bipolar friends you can wipe that snigger out of your larynx; not only do I know you do it too, I can smell the sizzling of grey matter from here. It’s like a bipolar brainbecue.
Bob Dylan – Sweetheart Like You (Infidels, the first freshly released Dylan album I owned, it was 1983. Not a great year for me. My mother loved Dylan a lot and so do I.)
Anonymity is a funny thing. I tend to assume it’s about hiding my name and face and suchlike, but that’s a superficial judgement. Personal data aside, to be truly anonymous, I’d have to avoid connecting with other people, which means avoiding interaction. I’d have to forego empathy (both giving and receiving). Compassion would decrease, loneliness would increase.
I didn’t start off anonymously anyway, when I started blogging last August. I’d given the url to a few close friends already. Part of starting this blog was, and still is, to find/be found by people like you. You guys either have bipolar, or are understanding and lovely about it. I’d tried a forum beforehand; although it was invaluable in giving support and info then, it wasn’t deep enough. So I shifted here completely and you lot held my hand through the initial shock and horror of my diagnosis. You told me about your issues, your solutions and you told me about problems with no solutions, which makes it all easier to handle. I haven’t said it before, but I’ve crammed you into my remission toolkit, which I keep in a sturdy toolbox. Well of course I do.
Thank fuck for you.
R.E.M. – Make It All Okay (My favourite band since 1986, when the video for Stand on tv held me spellbound. An obsession was born. This song is from Around the Sun, which I bought in Exeter in 2004.)
In other circumstances, I’d be spilling my soul to a therapist, a priest, a family member, a close friend… Whoever I trusted and who had time for looong conversations or emails or whatever. As you know, I’m very fucking verbose; I’d probably need about six listeners. Sometimes I feel as though my mouth has been stitched shut; more often, I feel a strong need to talk. If I can’t puke up the words and be heard, I feel as though I’ve swallowed a tennis ball. Not sure how that’d be possible with my mouth stitched shut. So I blog; I’ve been doing it since the late 90s. This time around, I’m getting the psycheducation and therapy I can’t afford otherwise. It’s important.
Another aspect is that when I blog, I’m not writing in a structured way. I’m either organising my thoughts around whatever I’ve been researching, or I’m just chucking the bread rolls of confusion into the pond of rumination and reaction, waiting for the mallards of enlightenment to come and swallow the confusion and quack some nice, clear conclusions (what a ludicrous metaphor, man that was fun to write). Flannery O’Connor said all of that far more succinctly, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” ||source|| It works that way for me too, I frequently waffle my way to some semblance of clarity, it’s mah process, peeps.
Leonard Cohen – The Partisan (The first Leonard Cohen song I ever heard was Famous Blue Raincoat. My mother, nextofkin and I shared a whole lot of love for the man and his songs.)
And all of the preceding waffle is a long-winded way of explaining why I need to write and how it helps me. Because of all of that, allowing myself to feel inhibited is nonsense, it detracts from the benefits I get here. I just can’t bring myself to keep spewing the amount of misery that I generally do; I feel self indulgent and guilty about it. So I think that if I want/need some fast help and support, I’ll blog “live”, but otherwise I shall schedule. By the time I read it, emotions will have shifted in one direction or another and I will hopefully have gained some perspective and insight in the meantime.
Plus, anything I do to keep the old brain active, is a good thing.
When I write amusing stuff, it’s for my ego. When I write emotional stuff, it’s for my soul. The linkdumps appease the multitasking magpie of my mind (I am on fire with the mixed and ridiculous metaphors and similes today).
And I think I finally wrote my way to confusion instead of away from it.
Coldplay – Ink (There are three people inked into the skin of my left arm, the ink means the world to me and Coldplay meant the world to my mother. I like them too, but it’s an embarrassingly mainstream admission to make, so I usually blame it on the dog.)
Got a tattoo and the pain’s alright…
Rodriguez – Sandrevan Lullaby (I’d bought Coming in from Reality for my mother at some point, and we played it daily for the last few weeks of her life. Sixto Rodriguez is part of the South African psyche and my mother was a big fan.)
Hello always ends in goodbye…