Daily Archives: July 8, 2015
It’s easy to get stuck into thinking you won’t be able to achieve your goals. Many know me to be a positive person and generally I am. When it comes to my own issues, I often put myself down, like so many of us do. You know how to motivate others but struggle to do […]
I am being bombarded with self improvement “hear me roar” messages at every turn on the internet.
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals?
Why can’t you have a career, make more money, have nice things?
Believe it is possible, make it happen.
The only thing holding you back is you.
OMFG. Just stop. Knock it off. Shut the fuck up already. Choke on your pompoms. Give yourself an enema with your pep talks.
Life is just different for those with chronic mental illness. It’s not an excuse. It’s a fact. And frankly, I am tired of having sunshine spewed all over me, even by supposedly “mentally ill” people who find the magic cocktail and their year of “suffering” is abated now hear them RAWR. I am not in a bad mood. I am not being negative. I am stating facts, those annoying little things the masses shun because it’s just so much more chipper to say we all have options, choices, nothing can hold us back.
This is asinine. Like comparing someone with a limp to a marathon runner and saying the one with a limp has no disadvantage, they just need to try harder, limp faster.
No one wants to admit they have limitations. It would be super fun ball happy day if we were all exactly alike and on even ground from birth. But we are not. Some have physical challenges (which even if overcome, still factor in). Some are born into poverty and never catch a break no matter how smart they are or how hard they try. Short people can’t reach the high shelf without help. Tall people can’t fit through a four foot hole without stooping. And chronic mental illness is not a matter of “self sabotage” or “not trying hard enough” or “letting the past hold you back.”
It’s time to take off the shiny happy people blinders and acknowledge these facts. Not everyone can be extraordinary and go on to cure ebola and create a computer that also makes toast or build a method of feeding starving countries out of a jellybean and sun lamp. It’s not “lack of effort.” Sometimes it’s being behind from the start of the race, tripping over shoelaces, falling down, catching up only to get behind again…THAT is reality for most people.
Dreams, goals, it’s all a wonderful thing.
Until the world starts forcefeeding this one size fits all menu of positive affirmation and “you can do it!” crap. It sets up so many for failure, for judgment, for self loathing. Rather than allow us to feel free to figure out what our limitations are and how best to make do with what we can do limitlessly, we are constantly browbeaten into “I am such a loser because Jack Sprat’s only 25 and has one leg and a robotic eyeball and he’s worth a jagillion dollars for creating that virtual masturbation ap!”
ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH.
Call me negative. Call me nasty. It’s the hazards of being a realist in a world where people only accept sunshine spewage or negative nelly-ism. No middle ground to simply say, “It’s rainy today.” Nope, because that would be a negative, a complaint, and because we, as human beings, are magical, we should be able to MAKE IT STOP RAINING. If born with one eye, you should be able to regenerate an eyeball!
Am I being ridiculous?
No more so than telling people there are no limitations except those in their own minds. Of course, no one would say something so idiotic to one with a brain tumor, because, duh, you can’t cut open your own head and remove a tumor. You have to get medical professionals and treatment and whether you live or die really ISN’T in your control.
Kind of like mental illness. No matter how many doctors, meds, therapists, hear me rawr articles and pep talks…Whether you respond to any of it is NOT within your control. If it were, then it would be a personality quirk, rather than an illness of the mind.
Maybe my biggest problem is that I’m not ambitious, never have been. My only goal ever has been to survive. Make the best of what I have. Hope for the best, be aware the worst could happen. REALISM.
And what built this monster of realism, seemingly incapable of even digesting super shiny positive thought second hand?
About a dozen attempts at “accepting no limitations”. Over and over again, get manic, go insanely happy. Get stable, think that I can finally be cured. Fall down the rabbit hole, think I am a lost cause. Recover. Relapse. Lather, rinse, repeat. Always charging out of the gate with my can do attitude and “I am not weakling” stubborn streak. Always thinking, “Oh, it’s been four months, I am s0 fucking cured and now I am gonna go back to school, learn a trade, get a great paying job, live the american fucking dream!” And at the time, I mean it, I believe it, I live it.
Right up til a med combo conks out or the depression storms the door. I’m not defeatist. I am a realist. Which means I no longer crumble under my illness’s false highs, the hopes it gives me that vanish in a second flat. That’s the thing with bipolar. You only THINK you’re all recovered. Too easily you can come unglued, especially if other diagnoses are involved. It’s a delicate balance for everything to work in concert and align so you start on the same stable ground as others. Keeping that stable ground…isn’t always possible. No matter how determined, how fierce, how badass you are…Mental health issues simply don’t care.
I am happy to be a realist, to have finally learned a lesson about my own mood cycles and how they lie to me. Four years ago, I woke up to being a single mom. I was gonna prove everyone wrong. Go back to school. Find a job. Get meds and therapy that works. And I did most of it, at least looked for a job even though no one would have me. I tried to go to school (even though what I applied to learn was sooo not in my interest, just a way to secure a job in a limited job market here) but the loan wasn’t approved. I tried learning computer repair with a book, disc, and a friend willing to teach me and even pay for the certification test. I failed big time. I kept going. More meds, more therapy, more effort.
I was a badass. The Donor was gonna see what I was made of, I wasn’t gonna fall apart without him.
As it turned out, it was never about him. It was never even about me becoming successful by society’s standard. It was a manic fallacy I fell for, convincing myself I was all fixed when in fact the next cycle came within seven months and I fell apart, had bad reactions to my meds, and became utterly non functioning and flaky again. Even as I was doing the job search thing, telling people I was stable because I wanted to be and was expected to be and if I just kept telling myself that, it’d become fact….
But I have limitations and I have come to accept them. Not complacently, mind you. I still have goals and thoughts and ideas. But I’ve been anhedonic for so long, it just gets away. You keep looking for that med combo that’s gonna glue it all together as a cohesive unit so you can focus on the dreams and goals. I’m not deluding myself that there will ever be a perfect time. Much like having a child, I waited til I was nearly 40, always thinking there’d be a better time, when I was cured of bipolar, when I had more money, when when when….
And then it was out of my hands and I have a kid, like it or not, and for four years, in spite of all my struggles…She’s a happy healthy monster which means…I may not have accomplished all that other pie in the sky stuff..But I’ve managed the one goal that was the point all along. Taking care of my child.
Considering how many parents without mental illness can’t handle caring for their kids…I’d say I’ve held up remarkably well. I won’t be wiping my ass with hundred dollar bills any time soon, but we’ll leave that to the next Fuckerburg who creates an anti social media site to control the sheeple.
And little known fact…There was a time I’d clip out little inspirational quotes from Reader’s Digest and I would tape them to my mirror so when I looked at myself, I’d have to read some positive tidbit. I’ve literally tried everything but shock therapy and accupuncture. (And if the insurance would pay, I’d go have needles stuck in my frickin skull if I thought it’d help with this depression.)
I’m not negative or positive. I am a realist. I know my flaws. I try to improve on them. The major thing is, I don’t agree with others (DSM) on what my flaws are. So while I am focusing on not being a domineering loudmouth, they’re having litters of possums because I wear black and like coffin decor. Now in my view, they’re the ones embracing limitations. Because the color and decor I like has nothing to do with the fact that my brain chemicals can’t maintain a happy medium.
So…Believe the mania, believe the sunshine spewing party line, it’s your choice. Hate me, hate my blog, move along. Just for the love of pegacorns put a dimmer switch on all your bright light of shiny happy joyness.
Realism isn’t ugly. It’s just…REAL.
Originally posted on Terminally Intelligent:
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Well, it’s me on vacation again. No, I am not in the forest. I found this image and thought it worked pretty well.
You know that saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? I think this might be me.
I look at all of these things I might be doing and can’t decide. I HAVE to find something constructive to do with my time. I am going batshit.
I am trying to see my overall life and failing miserably. I can just see these trees that are sort of standing in my way. There are a lot of obstacles out there. I have no idea what is even on the other side of the forest.
I am still struggling with this idea that I have limited time left in my life. And damn it, I don’t want to settle for boring and unhappy. I want a spring in my step. I want some things that are just for me. I want something exciting going on.
I wonder sometimes if I have been married too long. Now don’t get me wrong…my husband is a very nice guy. He has stood by a lot of bipolar crap. But he really gets on my nerves. A lot. Now that I am not “sick” anymore, he has changed a little. He is not as supportive. He wants to go to poker and game night instead of hanging out with me. And I can’t blame him because I am BORING.
Part of me would like my very own condo or apartment. This is my fantasy. I would not have anyone living with me. No pets or kids. And no man.
One of the joys of this would be my things. If I put something down, it would stay where I put it. People would not come along and “clean up” and move my stuff.
Case in point: I have a lot of duffel bags and travel bags. I stored them all in a plastic laundry bin in my closet. I go in there the other day and they have been dumped on the floor. The bin was gone. Well, my husband took it because he “needed” it. I got mad about this and was told I was overreacting.
Now many of you out there are saying “big effing deal”. Someone moved your stuff. But it is such a common happening it is incredible annoying.
I envy my single girlfriends. They do what they want when they want to. If they want to buy something it is their decision. They don’t have to worry about what someone else will think. My husband is pretty generous with money, but it all flows through him. I hate that. Before I was disabled, I had my own account and all. Now I really have no money. I DO have money, but it is subject to supervision. Does this make sense?
Okay, let’s move on from my husband because that is a boring topic.
Do you ever have a girlfriend who won’t listen to you? Maybe you are excited about your new shoes. She sort of dismisses this in order to tell you about her new sweater. And she doesn’t stop talking about this sweater. It goes on and on. You can’t even stop her if you try. You try to act enthused but it wears thin.
So maybe you NEED her to listen to you. You’d at least like a 50/50 split of the discussion. So you try to tell her. And she says “Sure! I hear your problem, but how about my sweater?” By this time, you’d like to unravel the sweater and tie her up with it.
So what does this have to do with the forest and the trees? That’s a good question. I have no idea. I am losing my mind.
Did anyone notice that this blog is coming up close to 1000 followers? Can you all see that when you pull it up or is that just something I can see? Anyway, I think we need like ten more or something to hit 1000. Really surreal. I found a post that I wrote when we hit 100 at the end of December I think. I’ll have to pull it out of the archives to get a kick out of it.
Thanks for listening to the rant. I needed you guys.