The Realness

Language warning

The most difficult aspect of mental illness for me to come to terms with has been its control.

I have been able to categorize life with mental illness as far as my case is concerned.

  • Living with mental illness: days of bliss when you would have to convince me that I have mental illness.
  • Maintaining my mental illness: days of monitoring my feelings and “controlling” them so they do not reach extremes.
  • Mental illness is a part of me: days of empowerment where I share with the world about my recovery from mental illness.
  • Not feeling right: days of aggravation that can lead to anger outburst if not closely monitored. source? never apparent or definable
  • Struggling with mental illness: days where no matter your coping mechanisms, you are shown that while you would like to think you can control your symptoms, you are proved wrong. You have no control whatsoever.
  • Sick: hospitalized

Of all of these days, the worst for me is the struggle. No matter what you do to try and distract yourself from what is going on within you, it makes itself known. You try to implement the coping mechanisms you’ve been taught. Your attention may be elsewhere but guess what?? It will remind you through ways of struggle. Struggle to breathe, struggle to focus, struggle to think, struggle to communicate, struggle to find the will to live. The fucking struggle!

My personal stats for today do not look too good. My mind has once again brought me to my knees reminding me that no matter what I do, it will always be more powerful than me. No amount of counseling or coping skills can change this. Sure it lessens the blow but it doesn’t change the fact that I am basically …. mentally ill.

Have you ever been out of control? Has your mind ever tried to convince you that you are a waste of space? Has your mind knocked on your egos door and ran away laughing? Have you ever been reduced to nothing, by your mind? Have you done everything in your power to ensure days of living with mental illness when in reality you are met with days of struggle?

Life with mental illness ultimately means that you are not in control. You are at the mercy of your molecules, your unbalanced chemistry which has no sympathy for what you had planned for the day, much less how you wanted to feel. Mental illness is real and for those of you who question it, fuck you because today I am struggling.


My life lived with bipolar 1, mild OCD and anxiety

oh, how dare I forget? and a substance abuser!

Today, they all fought for attention

Today’s personal stats:

Mental illness: 10

Me: 0

For All to See

Acceptance is

Rare.

Nothing can compare.

She’s used to them stopping to stare.

Judging with a snare.

Liberating and free,

it is to be her,

they claim.

Not knowing she despies

the fame.

An image to maintain.

On display her character

must remain.

For a moment she hides the pain.

Like a mannequin, she stand still

not revealing her lack of will.

Momentum she can not gain.

A life she can no longer sustain.

A brittle glimpse of courage

ignites her soul to set free.

She speaks of wanting to not be.

Society turn their back,

for all that she lack.

A mind of chaos first experiences peace,

eluding solitude.

She question

“Is this rude?”

Self-care forbade with many

to entertain.

Once again on the platform,

a model suffering in vain.

I Get It

I get it.  I do…

Not everyone is like me and you.

And I get why the doctor’s do like they do.

They can’t possibly allow “sick” people to run about.

It is for our protection.

Our chemical makeup tries to destroy us.

Naturally taking us out of limits and then dropping us without a net.

Of the drugs, I have digested

none quite took me there like mania.

A euphoria we are encouraged to contain.

If not we are labeled insane.

Because not everyone sees the different energy levels on this Earth,

or talks to Angels

or

hears God calling their name,

for that matter.

We do.  Me and you.

We share a connection to this space,

and they will see when we are beyond its grace.

For now though we must be medicated to save face.

Ideas others deem impossible yet they won’t give us a chance,

a bipolar life is about this dance.

It is the discomfort others feel in our presence.

We come off as a force, and they fear those who aren’t afraid to appear.

Are you following me, my dear?

Now take your meds and know it is ok to be you,

but you must be you this way,

our way.

It’ll be okay.

 

Middle Ground

Have you ever stood where it felt like middle ground?

Life continues to go around.

Balance is unknown,

living in the bipolar zone.

In between failure and success,

ceasing to express,

instead, I suppress.

True to alcoholic character,

fleeting in a moment’s stress.

I confess.

Will the chains of failure

break if I stay?

Stay to see a successful day.

Defaults stand in my way.

On middle ground do you choose?

If you win or lose.

Not ever being here I stand confused.

Lost and scared

dare I share?

To others, I compare.

Broken and beaten,

strength I have gained.

But pressure is different to maintain.

These fears I contain.

Trusting one’s self after a life of shame,

rather I continue the pain.

Pain self-inflicted,

highly addictive.

Why can’t I see that it is I that do this to me?

With a broken brain and tormented soul,

middle ground is no place for me.

When left up to me,

I chose the pain and its familiarity.

Can’t I choose just not to be me?

Feelings of Freedom

It’s been a while since I have written here on TBW blog. I haven’t had much of anything to say and nothing educational to share leaving me silent. I can’t help but wonder if anyone noticed. I am not an attention seeker by any means, it is my curiosity that wonders aimlessly. I’m sure I am not the only one who wonders such things.

The content here continues to flow at a steady rate with some profound writers adding their insight. As I peruse around the net I can’t help but notice the influx of mental health focused blogs. That is wonderful news for the mental health community. People are stepping out and speaking up about their experiences with mental illness. We can only go up from here.

Being a part of this mental movement makes me feel included, something I’ve not ever felt. Many of you do not know this but I run two blogs, a personal one and another I am trying to monetize. I didn’t realize how welcoming the mental health community of WordPress was until I ventured out into this other arena. Let’s just say they aren’t as welcoming.

It sounds like I expect to be coddled but I don’t, I only now realize the impact the mental health community has had on me. I allow myself to be vulnerable because y’all seem to accept me for me. I allow myself to be honest and raw because y’all respond with kindness. Most importantly, I am me with this community because I have been embraced.

We are a different breed of human and I am slowly beginning to acknowledge there is no other place I need to be. In other places, I don’t feel free. Instead I feel restricted and monitored, weird and uncomfortable. I want to crawl out of my skin.

That’s the thing. I’ve finally been accepted for having bipolar, OCD, and anxiety. I’ve finally been accepted for being me. That is a great yet foreign feeling. On most days I try my hardest to not feel but being a part of this community has taught me that it is ok to have feelings and more so share those feelings.

That is what brings me here today. Feelings of gratitude for each of you. Regardless of your diagnosis, I hope you too feel free in this space.

The Boiler Within

I often like to imagine that if I do not discuss my mental illnesses they will fade away.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Such isn’t reality.  Living daily with a mood disorder reminds you of the lack of control you have over your own mind.  This reminder can be challenging for a control freak like myself. Pretending all will dissipate only works in Hollywood.  When I wake, it is still there.  Weighting me down on my best days.  I wake happy.  I fluctuate between happiness and aggravation every day blaming others stupidity, stupidly.

The fun part of it all is ignoring my symptoms.  Only to be reminded of them slamming me into a brick wall.  Time after time I lose a battle that only I am fighting because only I am stubborn enough to believe I am in control.  Who am I kidding?

Medication does its part which I am grateful for.  Without it, I am a hot mess express barreling down the tracks at a rate of speed comparable to lightning.  Striking every individual emotion along its way.  At that point, my illness is out of control fighting against itself.  Shew! I don’t miss those days of chaos!

closeup of mirror shards

Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Days spent in la-la land remind me of a time before I was told I was sick.  Me with my illnesses were normal, my normal anyway and who else matters?  I mean, really!  My Ma will tell you I’ve always been special, meaning my explosive moods will catch you, guard, because they are disguised with love and innocence.  An innocence that is childlike.  Others may call it clueless but that isn’t it.  I never know what will make me tingle.  But what I do know is that when I tingle, I get mad.  I hate it.  I despise that part of me.  I hate the removal of taste from my taste buds.  I hate that damn tingle!  And then afterward I am embarrassed and hate myself.  It’s a cycle that can’t be broke but luckily it is tamed.

I’m a girl.  I’m not supposed to be so mean.  So I’ve been told.  I’m too pretty to be so angry.  Funny thing is, everyone claims looks to be deceiving.  I don’t know why I am mad at the world but it sure as hell pisses me off.  That’s the thing about anger, it’s an issue.  An issue that I live with and not because I asked for it.

Living with mental illness is challenging enough without all the added stressors, questions and doubt.  I just want to be me.  I just want to feel ok enough to be ok with who I am and who I’ve always been.  I live with another side of myself that I can’t explain why it is the way it is and that’s tough.  I’ve never met anyone with an anger problem who is proud to have it.  It’s a battle.  Yes, we learn how to cope but to say it is easy to implement would be a lie.  In a fit of anger, all goes black for me.  How am I to think then?  I try.  Man do I try.  I’ve gotten better because of medical assistance but I’m not cured nor will I ever be.  I hang onto hope.  Hope for self-acceptance.  Hope for understanding and hope for compassion.

I’m sorry you piss me off.  Imagine how pissed I am at myself!

Today, September 10th

Today.

A day of prevention

I must mention.

Raised voices chant.

Families grieve

for their loss.

The suffering hide in silence.

A world unites

to claim a day

in honor of those who fallen.

Many acclaim a selfish

act

yet they do not know the impact.

Alarming statistics rise each year.

There lies a fear.

A discussion never had

leads to a life uncertain.

Afraid you’ll see beyond

the curtain.

Thoughts of death torment

with promises to solve.

Enduring an unexplainable pain

wishing to end it all.

One doesn’t deserve to bear

such spiraling sadness.

There is no secured solution

for this tragic act.

Communication ranks high on ways

to prevent suicide.

For those suffering there is hope

and for those family members,

have the conversation.

It saves lives.

Listening

What do you do when the silent space of your mind decides it wants to be heard?

Screaming in echoed holler, I hear the vibration of words.

Muffeled and stifled

Humming in my head, reminding me I’m not dead.

I can’t decipher what is being said.

Damn crazy head!

I stay on alert waiting for the silence to strum up the courage to speak.

It isn’t silence that I fear.

I’ve sat in that year upon years.

For the chatter, I wait.

Luring it I dangle bait.

My intentions are pure, hoping the words offer a cure.

If ever a whisper,

or even a howl,

I’ll interpret it

best I know how.

Me. OCD.

Words clutter my mind. It seems they duel it out until one wins. As of late, I have done “brain dumps” before bed. I grab my travel notebook, write the most prominent word down and from there I branch out the others. It’s crazy because somehow the words are intertwined with each other. Somehow connected yet they were separate thoughts while battling in my head.

This has helped me with obsessive thoughts more than I realized it would. I’ve only done this two nights in a row and I must admit my mind seem clearer and my sleep has improved. After days of repetitive thoughts, writing them out helps alleviate the cycle. Catching these thoughts early may be the solution I never knew I needed.

Society has a misconception of OCD. Tragically everyone assumes it is all about organization and cleanliness when those are just a smidgen of symptoms. Racing thoughts occur with bipolar and those are a breeze compared to obsessive thoughts. Once I become fixated on a subject it isn’t until I’ve read myself to sleep before receiving relief only to wake ….obsessing.

Numbers represent so much of my life and occupy so much of my brain space that I wish for a moment they didn’t exist. But oh no without numbers I wouldn’t amount to much so instead I will combine numbers until they are the sum total of 11 and then subtract them until they are 3 and then pray I don’t get stuck on 41 because I don’t like 41. Prime and odd. Repeat.

Rituals occur for me in finger stretches. Extending my fingers stretching them beyond their capability because they need to be stretched. My toes never stop moving, not even in my sleep. They are in rhythm with my heartbeat, in fact, I can convince myself that in order for my heart to beat, I must tap my toes.

Most mornings my brain picks up where it left off the night before. Breaking these patterns is near impossible. I am amazed how my brain shut off after my brain dump. Ok, it didn’t shut off completely but the thoughts quit fighting over which is most important.

All three of my Ma’s children suffer from some form of OCD. It is terrible watching your sister have an anxiety attack because her OCD has told her her heartbeat is off rhythm and she is going to die. My sisters fear of death and obsession with it has caused her to live in a horrible headspace. She frequents the doctor’s office, on a weekly basis. Her anxiety cripples her and she struggles with taking her medication. She is a hypochondriac. She has it the worst of us three.

Bits of my story come and go. My memory of past events is cloudy and finding words to describe the now can prove difficult. When I have a moment of clarity I quickly type it up so others who experience the same thing know they are not alone. For those of you who suffer with OCD I would like to apologize for the light made of it by society integrating it into organization. It is so much more than that. You know it. I know it.

…… Just like the thoughts that tell me I have to explain my writing style to The Bipolar Writers audience because if I do not they will think that I am uneducated and do not deserve to use his platform.

Silly thoughts.

Flames of Life

What is to come of a life doused in confusion?

The flammability of kerosene will destroy with one strike

Tasting the sulfur curiosity engulfs me

As do the flames of life

The power of powerlessness intrigues

Dancing flames

Uncontrollable

Unpredictable

And wavering

Imagine…what we breathe gives life to a destruction we cannot comprehend

Once ignited a challenge to win

Temperatures soar to extremes

Burning yet tempting

Freedom of the flame produces jealousy

Untameable, wild

You’ll see

Don’t stand to close to me

Life gave me no choice

But gifted me with a voice

Silently I scream

The fire and me are a team

Dancing a slow dance

Romanticising

A dangerous affair

Maintenance through air

Despair we share