Daily Archives: May 17, 2015

You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things to compete. You can just be an ordinary person, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.

Originally posted on Don Charisma:
«You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things to compete. You can just be an ordinary person, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.» — Sir Edmund Hillary Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible…

You Are Not a Burden, and 4 Other Things I Wish I’d Known About Mental Illness

The image features an androgynous person, trapped inside a pill bottle, looking at a map that says

Illustration by Jessica Krcmarik.

This might as well be part two, because quite a while back, I wrote a pretty exhaustive list of things that newly-diagnosed folks with bipolar might want to know. This might just be an ongoing series where readers have the privilege of learning from my mistakes, because I’ve made more than a few along the way. Lucky you!

While I’m writing from the perspective of someone who grapples with bipolar and generalized anxiety, I feel like much of this could be applied to other mental health struggles as well. I hope this is helpful to anyone who needs it.

Lastly, a content warning: There is some discussion about sexual assault and consent, so if that could be traumatizing for you, feel free to skip over #2.

So let’s chat! Here are some things I wish I’d known about having a mental illness:


1. You are not a burden.

Biggest lie ever told. Not just by others but by the nasty voice in my head that likes to encourage me to do the exact opposite of what I need to do when I’m depressed. It’s the same voice that tells me I’m worthless, the same voice that tells me to stop taking my meds, the same voice that tells me to skip town… you get the idea.

It’s not really a voice that I should trust. And neither should you.

Mental illness, or any kind of struggle with mental health, does not make you a burden. If people offer their support, compassion, and love, take it. And if you’re worried that you might be asking too much of them, have a conversation about boundaries.

“I’m in a rough place right now, and I don’t want to overburden you. Can I trust you to let me know if you need space?”

Don’t push people away assuming that you know what’s best for them. Respect their autonomy and allow them to dictate the capacity in which they’ll be involved in your healing. As long as you’ve had a conversation about how to best support each other, it isn’t your place to decide for them what they can handle and what they can’t.

When I’m depressed, I have to fight every urge to self-isolate. But I know that being alone is often the worst thing for me. Let the people who want to stand by you be there for you. If they truly care for you, you’ll be anything but a burden. I promise you this.


2. You may not be able to consent to sex while manic.

First of all: Why the fuck aren’t we talking about this? Time for me to get up on my soapbox for a minute.

I’m not sure how the law weighs in on this, because the idea of “insanity” from a legal standpoint is a complicated (and often oppressive) idea.

But I can tell you from personal experience, there may be times when your inhibitions are so low from a manic state that there is no way – I repeat, no way – that you can reasonably consent to sex with another human, no matter how riled up you both are.

As a teenager, I had unprotected sex that, when stable, I consistently refused and would never have engaged in. There are acts that I said “no” to emphatically while sane, but enthusiastically said “yes” to when I was manic or experiencing dissociation.

This is one way in which an “enthusiastic yes” model of consent fails many folks with mental illness.

It’s a painful thing for me to talk about, but it needs to be said: There may be people in this world who will knowingly take advantage of you because they are convinced that mania is fun and not at all dangerous.

Some people will argue that manic sex is just regrettable sex, or that manic sex is just acting on impulses that you’re too prude to act on otherwise.

But I call bullshit on that. More specifically, I say that this is just a larger part of rape culture and victim-blaming. If I’ve said “no” a thousand times while sane, that “no” still applies if I’m not sane, just like that “no” still applies if I’m drunk.

I know now that if I am especially manic, I cannot give consent. And now, the partners that I have know this too. I only wish I had realized this much, much sooner.

Maybe this applies to you, or maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, this is why having conversations about consent, boundaries, and the like are crucial so that everyone is on the same page and the boundaries are made explicit. Sex should be safe, sane, and consensual – always.


3. You may be the last to notice the progress that you’ve been making.

Sometimes, when we’re in therapy or we’re trying out new medications, the progress we’re making is so incremental that we don’t notice it as it’s happening.

It can be tempting to call it quits when we aren’t seeing the magical transformation we want to be achieving. However, in my experience, sometimes I’m the last one to notice just how much progress I’m really making.

For example, when I was dealing with really intense depression, I was so focused on the sadness that I felt that I hadn’t even noticed that this new medication I was taking was helping immensely with anger and irritation.

But my parents definitely noticed. My friends noticed. And they didn’t hesitate to remind me that while I may not have noticed, things were definitely changing.

They were right. After a few more weeks on this medication, I began to notice some really significant progress.

This applies to any kind of healing work, whether it is psychiatric, therapy, self-love, or outside of the realm of Western medicine. When we’re in the midst of it, sometimes we’re actually the last to notice our own progress.

It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s a very real phenomenon.


4. To hell with anyone who tells you that your pain isn’t important, valid, or real.

Literally. They should be consumed by a bath of fire. Cut them out of your life. Run far, far away and very fast (if you can).

If you couldn’t tell, I have really strong feelings about this. That’s because I’ve been told by people in my life, folks that I cared deeply about, that my disorder was made up, that I was “playing the victim,” or otherwise invalidating my trauma.

Instead of lending any credibility to what they’re saying, listen to me: Your suffering? It matters. Your pain? It’s real.

You need to surround yourself with people who validate your struggles – not folks who try to tell you what YOUR lived experience is, what YOUR trauma is like, what YOUR burden feels like when you have to shoulder it each and every day.

They aren’t you. They haven’t lived through it.

No one can know what it’s like to be you. But if you’re anything like me, grappling with mental illness, we both know that it can be devastatingly painful, and leave us at our wit’s end. It’s the kind of hell that is inescapable because it’s happening inside our minds.

You deserve compassion and respect, as someone who is brave enough to continue living, each and every day, with something as difficult as this.

Fuck anyone who says otherwise.


5. You may feel like you can’t trust in yourself or in anything that’s good. But you need to rebuild that trust.

I’ve often said that living with mental illness has created a chronic condition of “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Sometimes, I don’t trust that the good things in my life are here to stay. Sometimes, I don’t trust myself to make big decisions (like transitioning or going to grad school) because I’m afraid that I don’t have clear judgment. I don’t trust my own happiness because I fear I might be hypomanic.

Bipolar disorder (and mental illness more generally) has left me with some serious trust issues.

After going through so many episodes of depression, and losing many of the good things I had in the process, in recovery I still find myself terrified that nothing good is permanent or safe.

No one told me that I’d have this kind of perpetual mistrust of all things good, but I kind of wish they had. I also wish I could say I’ve overcome it and impart my super awesome wisdom to you.

The best I’ve been able to do is talk about it – with people I love, with a therapist, or sometimes I just talk through it alone in my shower. Being aware of the ways that I question or mistrust the good stuff has helped me to recognize when it’s happening.

I eventually end up asking myself the same question, “Who’s going to make this decision? Me, or my fears?”

Knowing when my chronic mistrust is creeping up on me allows me to see it for what it really is: a learned condition after years of trauma. So I tread carefully, holding myself in compassion and moving forward knowing that I cannot allow fear to rule my life.


I kind of wish that, after a diagnosis, we were given a guidebook for how to deal. Sadly, we’re usually just given a prescription and a reminder to call if there’s an emergency. Often times, we have to be our own advocates and teachers as we figure out how to manage these illnesses.

Part of why I and so many others write is because we’re trying, little by little, to create the resources that we really wish had existed for ourselves. Resources by the community and for the community are often the best ones; we have the scars and the lived experience that can be so invaluable for those of us who are in the midst of it.

I hope that showing you some of my scars can help you to heal.

As always, I am wishing you the very best. Comment with questions, more advice, or just drop in and say hello!

 Sam Dylan Finch is a queer activist and feminist writer, based in the SF Bay. He is the founder of Let’s Queer Things Up!, his blog and labor of love. With a passion for impacting change through personal narrative, Sam writes about his struggles and triumphs as genderqueer and bipolar with the hopes of teaching others about his identity and community. When he isn’t writing, he’s probably eating takeout and dancing to Taylor Swift.

Connect with SDF: Website ; Facebook ; Twitter ; Tumblr

I Just Don’t Understand

This is going to be short. I do not understand why people have to be so nasty and hurtful to others when it is actually they themselves who are the ones who are unhappy with their lives. If you are unhappy with your life, do not blame others, do not respond to emails meant to […]

Time For Another Random Poem

From Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime:  “Sunset” by Rainer Maria Rilke Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors which it passes to a row of ancient trees. You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you, one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to the earth, leaving you, not really belonging […]

The Three D’s

report card

Wow, did the shit ever hit the fan yesterday.

Some of you will remember the story of Danny, my youngest child. Danny was the one who came back from a year of pot smoking and working at McDonald’s to attend college.

Danny has had a 3.2 GPA. That’s not bad for a kid who had a LOT of trouble in school. Danny struggled all the way and wound up going to a “special” high school, designed just to get the kids to graduate. Believe me, it was a proud day when Danny got his high school diploma.

So back to current times. Danny decided (after some encouragement from us) to try college.

College for Danny consists of two parts: the community college and the state university. The community college costs $1000 a semester and the university is $7000 a semester. Danny is lucky enough to be able to live at home and go to either of these. He’ll have no loans when he gets out.

Now my husband is pretty tight with money. His first response to anything is “how much does it cost?” In the end, he is generous with the kids and me, but it’s usually a process. So you better believe he chose to send Danny to community college and not the university for his basic lower level courses.

I agreed the community college was a good idea. Around here the community colleges are lower key and are sort of a step between high school and the university.

So we have Danny with a 3.2 GPA and it’s the end of this semester. He’s just had his finals.

He’s starts acting a little funny and I had a feeling he had a bad grade. He finally admitted to me he had a D in math. This was a surprise to me as he had an excellent tutor for this class. The tutor was a mature woman who had taught 16 years of high school math. She had tutored Danny for his previous math class and he earned a B. On top of this, I JUST called her to say thank you a few days prior. She was bragging on Danny and how hard he had worked, etc. So the D surprised me.

I asked Danny about the rest of his grades and he told me they had not been posted yet.

Danny’s dad had a bit of a meltdown. He didn’t yell but he was really mad about the D. He couldn’t understand how you could earn a D with a tutor in a community college math class. I reminded him that our daughter had dropped out of the state university for a whole semester and yet went on to get her Masters. I tried to calm him down.

Danny went off to spend some time with friends. I thought the crisis had passed. But I received a text from Danny (he was such a chicken) informing me that the other grades had been posted and he had THREE D’s and 2 A’s.

I was worried my husband’s head would explode.

Danny’s second D was in a class called Food and Nutrition 205. It was the second course of this subject and Danny said it was hard. But going into the final he had a 78. He must have absolutely bombed the final.

His third D was in some type of computer class called Java. Now here is where I got mad. Danny told me from day one this class was really hard. I called around and found a FREE tutor who could have met with him two hours a week. He dismissed this idea. He went on to the middle of the semester before he finally agreed to the tutor. Once he got going with the guy, it was much better. But so far into the semester, I’m afraid it was a lost cause.

My husband just kept repeating how he was glad this was not a semester at the university. He said he saw $7000 floating out the window.

So where does this leave us now? Danny has lost ten credit hours because D’s do not count as class credits. He is either going to have to go another semester to community college or go to the university and pick up those hours there. We all decided another semester at the community college was the best idea. He has the option of repeating the courses to raise his GPA, or to take different courses. Fortunately, none of these classes were required by the university.

This is all sort of a shame. Danny was already admitted to the university. I don’t know if he has to apply again or if they’ll hold his admission for a semester. His GPA, even with the D’s is still good enough to get in. But I am really worried now. He was doing so well and now this. I wonder if this was just a blip, or he will be over his head at the university.

So we’re going to the advisor at the university to see what all the policies are. My husband attends all the advising appointments to make sure Danny is on the right track. My husband is particular that his money is spent correctly. And Danny is very shy to ask questions. Plus, you can see three different advisors and get three different answers. Then we’ll head to the community college to see what he should do. Should he retake those courses or try something new and easier? I hate to see three D’s on his record.

Danny still wants to go to school and graduate. I think he is serious about that. He says these classes were just way too hard. Obviously, he needs to be aware of how tough the classes are before he takes them as these were electives. But if you’ve been to college, you know that even an innocent sounding class can be a nightmare.

So this is where we are. I was glad I was calmly able to run interference between Danny and his dad. My bipolar did not get in the way. And Danny is still determined to go to school. And dad is still willing to pay so far.

Let’s all pray this was a little blip on the radar. Sigh.


BP Magazine Interview

Back in December, I mentioned that I was interviewed for the spring issue of BP Magazine (Bipolar Magazine). Well, that issue has been published! Check out my interview below. It was really cool seeing my story in print. I've been published in online outlets over the last few months, but there's nothing like having a finished product to actually hold in your hands. Call me old fashioned, but I still like print.
In the article, I discuss how difficult it was navigating my life around the depression. But somehow I managed to do it for an entire year. It helped that my employer was understanding and accommodating. I know that's not always the case.
Note: The article accurately captures my depression. However, they get my age wrong. I am 31 not 35.

Inconvenience Store

11:05 am. I showred (for what it’s worth, I’m drenched in sweat again) and went into the dish. I anticipated the worst part would be Aldi for the place is always packed and lines are long and even when they’re not, there’s something disconcerting about the place…

Noooo. Panic disorder decided to throw me curveball today. I went to the gas station to get my first Dr Pepper in days,bought some beef jerky…There are maybe four customers milling about, two employees…And I go to swipe my card and suddenly all the beepy things go off indicated people need approval to pump gas. Like TEN of them all at once, incessant beep beep BEEEEEEEP. It was like knives in a  blender for me. My fight or flight instinct kicked in, I was just on overload and overwhelmed. People waiting behind me, more coming in, BEEP BEEP BEEP YOU ARE APPROVED TO PAY INSIDE BEEP BEEP BEEEP. And I’m just a customer who has to do little more  than swipe a card and enter a pin number…And I PETRIFIED. I can’t tell if my pin number went in right because all the other beeping covers the keypad entry tone. I wait, thinking, what if the card is rejected due to some glitch…It was ninety seconds of my life and yet it was grueling and terrifying and I fucking hate the petri dish.

I left, in tact,  but rattle to all hell. Didn’t want to waste gas and make a second trip for food so I forced myself to trudge onward. Aldi was blessedly not packed. Not empty, but no line and I got out fast. Got it all carried in. I am marinating in my own sweat and I’m not entirely sure if it’s perspiration sweat or sheer panic and fear sweat. Jebus. I can’t even manage a simple trip to a gas station without spazzing. It was too much.  I worked two months at a convenience store in the late 90’s and I curled up in my closet and cried every single day I had to go in to work there. It wasn’t a busy store, but it was…Overwhelming. Like having six jobs, one title, all by yourself. I never feared robbery, oddly Just the wide open space and all the light and noise and…God, I was glad when my old boss called me back to wait tables. On graveyard shift. Dead enough to handle, but able to make some tips too. (I lasted three months before I melted down on that one.)

I feel so ashamed and weak and stupid. Yet I know it’s no affect, not deliberate, “I’m gonna get myself worked up so I can write a post and get sympathy.” This is just my life. They want you to identify the triggers so you can be prepared. Ha. What do you do when everything is always changing, even long patterns of triggers? And yeah, at home, trying to go to sleep, the STOP sign method is good. In the thick of petri dish with everything so bright and loud and moving so fast…It’s ass trash. Maybe it works for a zillion others. Just not me mid panic. Of course, there is a huge difference between having a panic episode in your own bedroom and staring up at the stop sign picture you printed out, repeating the mantra. Out in the open…Like wearing a bulletproof vest made of tinfoil.

I’m done with the dish for today. I am so overwhelmed now I can’t stand sound, no music, no tv. My kid will eat me alive as she returns in the next couple of minutes. She’s been an ass all morning and I should give her some sort of consequences, but after six days…it’d be punishing myself more than her. GO PLAY OUTSIDE WITH YOUR LITTLE GREMLIN FRIENDS. (Seriously, there’s one, then like getting a mogwai wet, that one morphs into a popcorn bag full of ’em.)  I need to breathe. Have quiet. Get my equilibrium back.

Fuck. I used to think I was improving. Now I think I’m decompensating. Maybe the Latuda thing, maybe having a kid just finally sent me off the deep end. Whatever it is, I am going to reward myself today by reading a book and NOT obsessing over how disgusting the house looks.

Clown shoes.

spam! (uhn! goodgod y’all!) whut izzit good for?

absolutely nothing (say it again!)

(scheduled post)

Search Terms

Psycho couch
As a noun and adjective, psycho is short for psychopath/ic. As a prefix, it’s anything to do with psychology. As a couch, it’s mind boggling. Boring analysis: it’s a couch upon which you recline when enduring psychoanalysis. Fun analysis: it eats psychologists and then burps to the tune of Rapper’s Delight. Scary analysis: it’s a couch with the potential to head up a major corporation, or kill you without remorse.

Housework bipolar
When typing it into Google, the auto suggest thingy says ‘bipolar housework’, but of course, it gives the same results regardless of keyword order. And the tl;dr of it all is, housework is shit. Especially when you’re depressed and it just seems too hard. Especially when you’re manic and it just seems too boring. Especially if you’re a human being minus some sort of housework fetish. Housework is just shit. End of.

People I love make me feel manic
Oh me too. Wait, we’re talking eros rather than agape, right? Step awaaaay from the credit card, ask before you fuck, slow your speech down. If s/he says darling I think you ought to have a rest, just do it. Don’t get pissy about it, mkay? Talk to your doctor/s about it too. If you have an anxiety prn, take one. Prn is not an abbreviation of porn. Go and have a cold shower.

O.o just k? The other letters of the alphabet say fuuu.

Refuse to be a bipolar stereotype
This makes a change from the daily keywords about negative stereotypes – that post is at well over a thousand views now, but I find its popularity sad. You could try doing the reverse of everything in this post, but tbh you’d be letting yourself down if you did, because they’re grossly unjust. If I gave you joke answers now, I’d be guilty of bigotry myself.

Spam Email (thanks akismet)

I rеally lіke үour blog.. rattling decent colours & stem.
Ɗid yοu cгeate tҺis web site youгself or diɗ you lease mortal tο do
it fօr yοu? Plz reply аs Ι’m sounding to
produce my ain blog and would care to knoѡ աhere u gօt thіs from.

Yes! Finally someone writes about website.

Well now, what (as they say in the classics) ho! You’ve been here before, haven’t you, dear boy? There’s simply no mistaking your liking for the word ‘rattling’, indeed there is not. The vernacular ‘ain’ however, would suggest a Scottish influence; perhaps you have an estate up there? Och ay the noo, dear boy, whatever that means.

I did indeed lease a mortal to build this site, a Mr Word Press, and if you need a reference, feel free to use my name. No thanks necessary for my discussion of the aforementioned site of webbiness, I am always ready to put quill to parchment for the elaboration, elucidation, education and excavation of gentlemen such as your fine, upstanding (and dare I say well shod) self.

As always, it is a positively well upholstered delight to hear from you, dear boy. (Old chap? It suddenly occurs to me with all the alacrity of a tarnished teaspoon, that I am not acquainted with the facts vis à vis your age. Perhaps you would do me the honour of enlightening me by return of post,or whatever terminology one employs when discussing mail of the electronic variety.) Good heavens, look at me digressing like a Duchess!

I remain, as always and eternally, your fond and faceless servant.

*indecipherable signature*

Stephen “ruddy good toast” Fry

Postscript: In future, would you mind awfully if we left discussing my stem to a more private environment?

In the event you expand knowing about it in search engine optimization, You can even examine the world of wow systems. Make use of the event job to recover leather-based, Holistic products and solutions, Ore as well as, fishing all of the event sector, You can possibly generate other parts of the game. Along the lines of, In a position to accumulate textiles, Made of constructed from wool, Mage interintegration, Flaggallboulders not to mention other jewels.
wildstar gold

This is about World of Wankraft? I was sad to discover that flagallboulders is flag all boulders, rather than something mystifyingly amusing. Oh well. I’m off to interrogate an integrated wizard. With a spork.

Just about every culture have their own number of quantities. You’ll ten predominant qualities and a lot of less advertised. As you are grow derived from one of the even to another, Owners uncover newer herbs along the route. 1) Harvesting up enemies This is a terrific way to make all glowing

Um. BRB harvesting my enemies and watching for the glow. On a number of quantities. Or a quantity of numbers.

It’s the best time to make a few plans for the
future and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this put up and
if I may just I desire to recommend you few interesting things or tips.
Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.

I wish to read even more things approximately it!

Blahpolar the bipolar blog, enjoying a two year depressive episode, I can see exactly why the words ‘happy’ and ‘future’ were chosen. I think it’s good to challenge myself to tackle the sort of things that usually send me screaming and running. You want interesting things or tips, and you want them linked to your comment.

Here are my tips…
1. Take your damn meds.

You might consider me cynical, but I suspect your real motive is to entice me to buy fitflops from Singapore. Not. Gonna. Happen.

No rest for the wicked or moms

I stayed up reading until one a.m. I finished one book, pondered a shower, couldn’t bring myself to do it…So I went in my bedroom and started reading another book. Of course, my kid’s time in her own bed was up so once again she was in my bed. I don’t sleep easily with others. If I am half asleep, maybe I’m not so bothered. But I was still trying to calm down the mind enough to sleep and with her there, snoring, and I was restless and up and down…Not conducive to sleep. And yeah, okay, I could probably “help” myself with the sleep issue between Trazadone and Melatonin. Thing is, since I had Spook, I no longer have the luxury of 12 hour sleep marathons nor being too drugged to be roused or having a two hour hangover when I wake. So…Catch 22.

Darling child woke me at 6:10 a.m. talking about br0ken red crayons. I thought she was still asleep. Then I opened my eyes and had five cats staring at me like they were waiting to feed on my corpse. (CREEPY.) I got up and fed them then lay back down, thinking hell no , I am not daywalking this early. Kid had other ideas as did my bladder and thirst. So I got up at 6:25. On a Sunday. Ughhhhh. I am going to do a quick dish trip to the grocery store while she’s at Sunday school. Aside from that and contemplating housework…It’s just going to be a very long boring day filled with yapping uzi child and…Nothing. Which is good, I need a lot of nothing to recharge, but the noise means it will still be as stressful as any other day filled with dish dwelling. I still haven’t gotten a shower. When I was trying to fall asleep last night, I swore I’d it this morning, five minutes, in and out. It ain’t happening. When did basic hygiene become so much work? Oh, right. The depression makes breathing feel like work. Gotta admit, I am feeling very frustrated. The seasonal affect should be lifting, I shouldn’t even need an anti depressant at least for four months. But that pattern has broken, for three years it’s altered and the depressions start earlier and last longer. Nightmare experiences with shit like Latuda just make it worse.

This morning’s wake up tun: “Deep Six”by Marilyn Manson. Aggressive music makes me happy. I dunno why, born metalhead I guess. All the mental health deities have deemed my love of harsh music, the color black horror movies and Halloween decor as some facet of my depression. The opposite is true. This is the life’s blood that’s kept me going. I was reading Fangoria at age 7 and first album I ever bought was Quiot Riot’s Metal Health. When we moved and had a going away party, one of my classmates gave me a ceramic Ace Frehley statue he’d made. So yeah, even at ten, that’s who I was. Metal girl. I resent being told it’s part of the depression. And when that one doctor put “schizotypal?” in my file, I was infuriated. Just because I like stuff outside the banal? Like breathing air? Much like an ap, there’s a personality  disorder for that. (Now we’re playing “In The End” by Black Veil Brides, maybe I misunderstood the day of sabbath as some sort of rock music reference?)

I am quite proud of myself. I grounded my kid last Sunday after she was so awful on Mother’s Day…And not once I did I cave, even when I was coming off Latarda and my nerves were screaming and I wanted desperately to let her go outside and play just to get a break. My resolve held. My kid is a manipulative little bully and about the only thing that is ever going to work is standing up to her, consistently. I see the err of my ways. But it all hinges on my mental state. Latuda taught me that even medicated, I’m rarely in the sane frame of mind. But being bullied is a trigger for me and it inspires me to stand up to my kid. Progress even while drowning in the abyss.

Of course, she came out of the gate swinging this morning. Six days locked inside grounded, and she started screaming at me and throwing wardrobe fits right off the bat. It’s like she can’t draw parallels, which isn’t unusual, most people can’t. I like to think even the smallest brain critter can come to the conclusion “If I do this and it hurts me, I should stop.” Apparently not with my child. She’s hell bent on proving right the adage “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” Ha, she’s right on schedule with the rest of society then. She has simmered down. I let her wear a pretty frilly dress and put her hair in braided piggy tails (piggy braids). Her hair is so fine, it’s hard to do anything with it. I have such thick hair, I don’t know how to deal with thin hair, let alone how to style it. I sometimes think I’d have been more suited to a boy since my fashionista days died when I got the brain damage. Nothing’s been the same since my week long catatonic state at the rubber ramada. Not that the doctors care. I apparently had the IQ points to lose. Idgets.

(Stitched Up Heart- “Frankenstein”…”I’m gonna call him mine…I’m gonna call him my Frankenstein…cut up and bleeding from inside…”)

My dad called me last night, pretty much confirming my notion that “family” is a synonym for “awful people you wouldn’t otherwise speak to.” I told him about mom and sis and their “we’re hungry” situation…So he and stepmonster offered them a bunch of stuff they had in their deep freeze- pork chops, pork steak, chicken. My spoiled brat sister said, “Oh, we’re sick of all that, we’re just gonna borrow money to buy the stuff we like.” OMG. Ungrateful bastards. Spoiled fucking adult brats. Whining about hunger then turning down free food because it isn’t what you want? No wonder I have zero empathy for them. About the only food I turn down is deer meat or ramen. If I am hungry, I will eat something. Hell, I once lived on eggs and water for three weeks. Some people are so spoiled they deserve every bad thing that comes their weigh including hunger. I suppose I sound cruel, but this has been going on 17 years. At some point you have to face that your spoiled tastes and lack of money management skills are the problem. Family. Makes me wanna be an orphan.

Ah…pretzel gut has commenced. My body knows there’s a trip into the dish in store. As well as one of the busier grocery stores simply because it’s closer, but I am hoping it won’t be packed because people are in church.

I’ve been thinking about religion. Mainly because it’s shoved in my face at every turn. It’s not faith I have a problem with. It’s just that organized religion, to me, seems like designer labels or “trending”. It’s just so shallow and uniform. I’d always hoped I might find my place at a church, so I tried many. (Best one, I can’t remember the denomination but it was a church started by the local gay community and it was run out of town FAST but the appeal was zero judgment and zero hypocrisy, it was all about love.) I just don’t feel at peace in a church and it’s agoraphobia to some extent (fear of wide open space and crowd) but it’s so at odds with my personal beliefs I feel like a charlatan stepping through the door. What’s worse, not going to church or going and professing to believe things you don’t believe in at all? The hallmark of most religions is the “man shall not lay with man” thing and there is never going to be a point in my life where I castigate people for their orientation. How can you go to a place when you don’t share the core beliefs and actually find them repugnant?

R has especially helped cement my views on religion. He grew up Catholic, despised it, but found a place in the Episcopal church. And they accept gay congregants because “they’re going against what’s in the bible and are sinners so they need church more than the rest of us.” Yes, he says shit like this and it’s all I can do not to throat punch him. (What is with the throat punching, Sass, you’ve brainwashed me). He had a tissy when the church put a gay man in as bishop,says he finds it wrong because the bible says being gay is wrong but he has nothing against gays. (And he doesn’t, one of our best friends is a gay man and we love him to pieces.) I am just not on board with this selective judgment based on a book that has umpteen versions and interpretations. “You can be gay, but you have to come ask for forgiveness.” WTF is that?

Just one more place I don’t fit into in the world. And I don’t even want to fit in anymore. I won’t sell myself out that way, nor will I sell out the rights of others to appease some deity. But my opinions are my own, this is why I let my kid go to Sunday school. She has to be allowed to form her own judgment. At this age, it’s just one more activity for her, it’s fun and a place to go see other kids and they give them candy. But it’s to my credit I am at least open minded enough to let her go. I won’t force my beliefs, or lack of, onto her. That’s her choice.

Personally, I want to start the church of the godless heathen. I started that joke back in the msn chat room days but the notion of a religionless anti religion, a place for people to simply share thoughts and feelings and give support regardless of color, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, past mistakes…Base it on human condition, not some ancient text that’s been edited and rewritten a gazillion times so who knows what it was initially. If it was anything at all. I am sorry if this offends some, but I hope you will respect my beliefs as I respect your right to have yours. One size doesn’t fit all. I just can’t see praying to a deity. I can, however, see putting faith in humankind and forming a support system of love and acceptance. Wow, I sound drunk. I wish.

Okay…I need to do something. No. I am setting the one goal, trip to the grocery store, and giving myself permission to do nothing. That way something may get accomplished.

Hell, if I can just talk myself into a shower, I’ll consider it a successful day. Sad but true.


Where’s the Anger?

Depression used to be defined as anger turned inward. Now we consider depression to be a biochemical imbalance in the brain. At least that’s the current thought as the pendulum swings back and forth between brain and mind.

There is a case to be made, though, that anger is at least one component of depression. And that anger may indeed be turned inward.

Take, for example, the anger you may feel when a loved one doesn’t understand what depression makes you go through, or when a coworker says something clueless and cruel. These are incidents that can make you justifiably angry.

It’s all too easy to turn that anger inward. You say to yourself, “I’m crazy or I’m broken or I’m damaged and it’s no wonder they don’t understand. Maybe they’re right. Maybe most people can just cheer up and I’m defective because I can’t.” These thoughts, in addition to prompting anger, are likely to depress a depressed person even more.

When anger masquerades as depression, it becomes difficult to recognize the anger for what it is. After a difficult relationship ended – badly – I was unable to see that I was indeed angry. I could have sworn that I wasn’t. In fact, I told people that I wasn’t angry. It took a long time for me to recognize and acknowledge that anger. By then it was too late to do much about it, except work through it with my therapist. But that’s all right, because that’s what I needed to do with the anger anyway. I’m at that awkward age when I can be tried as an adult.

So while I don’t think that depression is caused by anger turned inward, I do believe that depression can cause you to internalize anger and beat yourself up for things that you can’t control, like your brain.

Depression makes a hash out of feelings. Is it anger? Is it pain? Is it loneliness? Is it despair? The answer, usually, is one from column A and two from column B.

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: anger, depression, emotions, feelings, internalized anger, mental health, mental illness, my experiences