Daily Archives: May 31, 2013
Mental Health Month took me places with the Awkward Indie Girl that I thought I would never go.
I initially started this blog as a fashion blog. My early posts were all about my latest outfits, my stylish friends, and fashion inspiration. It began to progress into something more when I started my Body Talk posts and opened up about my eating disorder. I realized that even though I can be shy in person, I am not afraid to share personal details online. It was easier for me to carefully choose and edit my words behind a computer, and I could write and comment from the comfort and safety of my own home. Through the Awkward Indie Girl, I found courage.
After a prolonged absence from the blogosphere, I reasserted myself as queen of this domain with a post about my mental illness. It was scary, but I found more support than I could have hoped for after that barrier-breaking blog post. I finally felt proud of my content. That’s not to say that beauty and fashion bloggers don’t produce meaningful content. I don’t mean that at all. I think they provide a valid service that is helpful and a fun escape for many men and women. But my true desire was never to be a fashionista. My goal was to become a writer and to find a unique style while doing so.
I noticed that when I transitioned to a mental health/lifestyle blogger instead of a wannabe fashion blogger, my parents and friends began to share my blog with others. They were proud of me and my writing. My readership grew, and I began to have meaningful conversations with my readers. I started to take myself seriously as a writer, and I could imagine myself doing this as a future career.
Mental Health Month accelerated those feelings to the nth degree. I found a new sense of purpose in my blogging. Advocacy strengthened me. I felt like less of a victim of my bipolar, and more like a warrior princess. Yes, it was weird knowing that people at school, my dad’s colleagues, extended family members, and complete strangers knew about the most intimate details of my life. But it was also freeing. The more people that found out, the more supporters I gained. There was less pretending that everything was darn tootin’ fine and dandy. I could relax and hang up the mask that I had been wearing for several years.
Because of all this, I have decided to permanently transition this blog into a mental health and lifestyle blog. Through my words and images, I want to help end stigma and show what life can be like with mental illness. I want to make friends and spread hope. I want to be an advocate for people like me.
There still is a side of me that enjoys scoring a great deal at a thrift store and acting like a complete and utter goof. That part of me will be represented on the Internet, but not on this blog. I will be starting a new YouTube channel next week, with all the thrifty awkwardness you can possibly handle 🙂
So, to everyone who has been with me since the beginning, I am thankful for your support and patience. If this blog no longer fits your needs or interests, I understand your departure, and I respect it. To everyone that would like to be a part of this new journey with me, welcome.
Yes, it’s crude. Yes, the humor is elementary. But, it made me laugh. I must not have seen this commercial when it aired because I’m certain I’d remember it.
As my husband was insisting we got my GP to change my Seroquel to XL/XR last time, I decided I’d book in for an appointment. I guess the fates will it, ’cause we managed to get one today (take that, NHS detractors!). Cross your fingers for me that he was right, and that I won’t have to go chasing up the hospital. If I do… *sigh* I have enough of the 200mg extended release tabs for the next 9 days or so, which gives me time to try to get my head together enough to find out what’s what. Or would if it didn’t rely on telephones. *grumbles* At least I have an annual pre-payment card for my prescriptions, so it’s not like it’s costing me anything extra to get it fixed (and again, take that NHS detractors, hee hee)!
I noticed last night that I was feeling mildly euphoric… I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Of course, I enjoyed the suffusion of tingly warm throughout my soul, but as it’s indicative of moving into a hypomanic episode, I’m understandably wary. I’d like to even out now, yanno? I know there’s still depression in the wings too ’cause I’ve caught moments of ennui trying to crack through — as I’ve said before, me actually hitting a point of boredom is not a normal or healthy thing!
Anyways, I’ve got six pence to find in these accounts, so I’m going to get back to that (and starting in on a jar of lingonberry jam, om nom nom). I hope that everyone is having a pleasant day.
Holy shit, this is what happens when I try to tell my mother how I'm feeling....so I don't even go there anymore, and if anyone asks, the answer is "fine, and you?"
It’s 2:23 a.m. I should be exhausted. I got four hours of sleep last night. Not gonna fare any better tonight. But the brain has gone hypomanic and it is racing and so many thoughts and ideas and coping mechanisms and…It’s just a flurry of brain activity right now, so many thoughts bouncing around…
This is not quite full blown mania or productive hypo mania. It’s just…semi-manic thinking processes. Round and round the brain goes, where it stops, no one knows.
I folded some clothes.
I dyed my gray roots.
I finished yet another book.
Started yet another book.
Am bored by said book.
Have this neat new mental coping thing, where I picture a red balloon that is deflated and I take all my swirling negative thoughts of all that stresses me out or pisses me off, and I just jam it all into the balloon and the balloon grows big and round…And I just let it go, watch it sail off into the sky, picturing it getting further and further away until I can no longer see it. Then I picture blue bricks and stack them into a pyramid with happy or calming thoughts. My kid, cats, books, tv shows, warm rain…
And it was going along swimmingly and I was starting to mellow out…And SMACK! The brain revives into scumbag mode and here I am, with all this mental activity and yet I know I need to sleep. Hell, I wanted to take a nap at 5pm but my kid wouldn’t have it. Now I am wide awake and the clock is ticking on her waking up and…
Red balloon. Bad thoughts. Bye Bye.
Enter good thoughts.
Why not enter sandman? I don’t want take a Trazzy D, it takes forever to peel the fucking cobwebs off my brain after taking even a small dose of that horse tranquilizer. Which is hysterical, since I used to have such bad insomnia, I was on 400 mg of Trazadone and 300 mg of Seroquel every night just to get to sleep. I slept, for 12-14 hours. Can’t do that now. Don’t want to do it now.
I also realized another thing. Since I stopped drinking…I have more energy, I am not damn lethargic and sleepy and grumpy. My memory is better. My moods are better. I don’t want to go to bed at 7pm and wallow in feeling low. How could something that brings such happy happy numbness and calm also be such a fucking downer? (That’s a joke, by the way, since ya know, alcohol is a depressant. Bygones!)
Oh, an Ally McBeal reference, I am going retro.
My brain is like an amusement park in full swing, all the rides going simultaneously, all the music and lights and crowds and games and noises and…
I am big on the color trigger thing. I used to think it was bullshit. Like in the chat rooms when they said no red font because it triggered people who SI. I thought it was stupid.
Until I woke up with my house on fire 12 years ago.
Now the color red freaks me out as it is sort of the color of fire.
BUT the color blue makes me feel calm because my 1mg xanax tabs used to be pastel blue and they were wonderful and while my current lower dose is orange or yellow, I still consider blue the ultimate calm color. (Oh, wow, I only took 0.5 mg of xanax today instead of 1.5 mg, yeah, tell me I’m addicted.)
Am I making sense? Probably not. Probably a written cacophony. But this is mania, an accurate depiction. Of the good-ish manic episodes. The real manic periods are usually pretty mind blowingly awesome until you wake up the next day and have to deal with all the impulsive happy happy I-am-ten-feet-tall-and-bulletproof choices you made during your happy happy jag.
Hypomania doesn’t really have a downside except robbing you of sleep and making you kind of antsy. The productive hypo mania is the best, but that’s not happening right now. This is mental hyperactive mania.
No one is ever around for these spells, though. NOOOO, we can’t have anyone see me happy and energetic and in a positive frame of mind. No, scumbag brain has to be stressed or pissed off when around others so they think that’s all I am. But NOOO, I can damn well be happy fun ball sometimes.
On an unrelated to this post note, I ABSOLUTELY APOLOGIZE FOR FLOOD POSTING. Truth is, sometimes, I write these really long rant-y posts for myself, intending to save them to draft. Only then I see something shiny and my hand is clicking but eyes are watching shiny shiny and boom, it’s published instead of saved to draft and wow, I’m real sorry and I did entertain the notion of taking the extraneous ones down but then…Hey, I do this blog thing for me and it’s good to have a record of all the weird mental states I go through constantly. Nothing gives an accurate depiction of bipolar disorder better than a real time depiction of bipolar disorder.
Yes, I’m talking fast in written form. Mania mania mania.
I should do something to burn the energy.
I don’t want to though, I want to embrace all the ideas and thoughts in my head. I want to shampoo carpets this weekend, I want to rearrange furniture, I want to rewash all my laundry sorted by pants, shirts, socks, etc. I want to go to Salvation Army and Goodwill and some yard sales if it isn’t raining. I want to burn some cds. I want to have a water gun war with my kid and her friend. I want to check out more library books. I want to try writing again.
I want, I want, I want.
Bad brain. Overload. Brain will hurt later.
But sooo good not to be mentally lethargic, so good to have ideas and thoughts and hope and…
Hmm, this could appear like some form of hysteria, I suppose.
But it’s actually helping. My brain is bulimic. It binges on reality and bad stuff and good stuff and stress and calm and the petri dish and other people’s bullshit and more stress…
And then it throws it all up, onto the pages of this blog. Binge. Purge. Rinse lather repeat.
Welcome to bipolar.
It has nothing to do with bipolar, but playing with my kid just now, I got SLAMMED with this bitter epiphany. I’ve just been on auto pilot for so long, forcing myself to get over things I cannot change, rolling with the punches, trying not to be devastated by change…
And I don’t even know why it hit me in the middle of playing with Spook…
But I realized that my true descent into negativity and the dark side of life began in 1997, when my dad left my mom. About the same time, I ended my first marriage, partially in a fit of mania, but mostly because after 7 years, I realized I looked at my husband more as a little brother who needed looking after. He was a sweet guy, but…I married for the wrong reasons, even if my intention was good. (Who decides to get married just have medical and dental insurance? Oh, right, a young girl with a history of being rejected subjected to a litany of adults telling her not to worry about things like love and passion, but focus on a guy who’s a good provider and has benefits.)
My entire world as I knew, totally blown up, in the space of one single month. My family, fractured, never to be the same again.
I felt free on my own account.
I was even okay with my parents splitting up because all they ever did was fight and make each other miserable.
But everything changed, the home I grew up in was sold, my mom and sister hooked up with a rag tag crew of people I can’t even describe except to say “petri dish of suck”, and my sister married into it, spawned with it, and the whole fucked up mess is still in full force 16 years later. My dad went and set up house with his gf and their son. My sister had a kid.
I met who I thought was the love of my life and within a year and a half got thrown under a fast moving bus it took me the better part of a year and nearly losing a job over cos all I could do was run in back and bawl.
All in the space of two years.
Then I had the reaction to Nardil that nearly killed me.
Then my building burned down and I had like two days to find a new place to live and get moved.
And that was when I just descended into the pit of darkness. Like bobbing on an ocean full of nasty waves, every once in awhile my head would poke through the murky water…Only to be dragged back down again when the seasonal hit or the bipolar took a bad turn.
I spent six years alone, nursing my wounds, determined to keep people away and never hurt like I hurt over all of that.
Then I met someone I, in my gut, knew was “off”, but convinced myself- and allowed his hollow promises and oaths of absolute love and devotion, in. Had a child with him.
Only to be discarded two years later with a fucking phone call.
I’d say my life since 1997 has been a certifiable hell, and rather than taking or even having the time, to process any of it and come to terms with all the changes and my illness and becoming a mom, then waking up a single mom…
How can someone go through all of that and NOT come out negative and dark and harboring a lot of negative traits as shields to protect themselves?
The ONLY good to come of it all was finding a doctor who gave me the right diagnosis and right meds, getting to know myself and recognizing my flaws, and having my daughter.
Everything else was a bucket of suck and I just swept it under the rug, where it has festered and metastasized all this time. I preach about others dealing with their baggage…And yet, I’ve not dealt with mine. At least not that particular decade of suck. Life has just kept twisting and turning and I have kept hoping for the best and wanting to feel things I don’t and wanting to be happy for people when their happiness is like a six foot thorn in my paw…
It sounds petty.
But it’s also a huge breakthrough. Bittersweet, maybe. It brought a tear to my eye, remembering my family as it once was.Dysfunctional, and my parents could barely stand each other and we were broke and our stuff was crap and we lived in an armpit of redneck-iness…But it was MY family, MY petri dish, MY status quo. And it all crumbled so fast that I had no time to process, mourn, and reach acceptance. I just forced it. And the only person it hurt was me.
I was so worried about hurting others that I suppressed my own feelings and told myself to put on the big girl panties because I was 25 years old when my parents divorced, grow the fuck up. They’re happier without each other, accept it and suck it up.
Be that as it may…I lost a family. I have one faction, and a second faction,but that fucked up four person family that was mine norm for so long…That died and I didn’t give it a funeral or grieve or mourn. Losing my dysfunctional unhappy family affected me worse than having to admit and remedy my own marriage. It wasn’t that I cared less about my marriage because I really did try…But my safe space to run home to was gone. That crappy falling apart house with its sunken floors and crumbling ceiling tiles and bug problems and leaky bath tub buckling the floor…A shithole but my home. Even if I had moved out long ago, it was still my home, my safe place to return and lick my wounds when life beat me down.
I never discussed it with my mom or my dad. My mom was too busy calling him names, he was too busy griping about how she’d spent all his money and put him into bankruptcy…My sister jumped into a teenage marriage and pregnancy…My significant other after I divorced was too busy with his own shit to even think of being there for me during my problems…
So I swallow the bitter pill of reality and there it has been lodged all this time, in my throat, choking me, gagging me, keeping me from moving on. It’s like I can’t ever be the person I used to be, the kooky one who wore bright colors and a Santa hat for Christmas and was bouncy and friendly even when not manic. My reality changed, so I had to, as well.
I was always a little dark, a little twisted. I shrieked with glee at age 12 when I saw Alice Cooper spearing dolls with a sword on stage. I read Fangoria magazine from age 7. I have always been a ghoul. But that ghoul had a shiny side that tarnished under the weight of painful reality, a shine that was rubbed away and buried.
I need to dig it up, I think.
Life isn’t perfect, but I have rolled with the punches. My kid is great. We don’t have much, but we have each other. I just need to figure out where to go from here.
I need to finally mourn the past that I lost.
And maybe if I kiss it goodnight, I can kiss a brand new future hello.
Too bad all this psychological stuff usually gets its ass kicked by the bipolar before I can figure it out. Because I really feel like this is a big deal for me. I now know when all the light in me went out, when I became completely consumed by the negativity.
Now I just have to figure out how to find a balance of who I was, who I have become, and who I could become.
I will call myself cautiously optimistic.
I know what could happen.
But nothing is etched in stone and maybe just maybe I am due for some slack from the cruel hand of fate. And from myself.