So today I have been thinking about friendships and one in particular. My boyfriend has a female friend that has known for a couple of years long than he’s known me. Well over the summer last year they were talking all day every day for about a 3 hours a day. When I’ve asked him to not talk to her he said no that he wouldn’t stop. I’m supposed to be his partner, but I don’t feel like it.
Well the last time I had asked him to not talk to her she threatened to go behind my back to see and talk to him. This hurts a lot, but what makes it worse is that he did talk to her behind my back. Which hurts even more. I don’t know if I can trust him to not do that again. I really wish he just would block her on everything. He doesn’t need her all she does is add stress to him and then it gets turned around on me and he’s an ass to me.
I’m not even sure what to do with these emotions I feel like crying and ignoring his call later today. I feel like that would be a bitch move but I’m not sure what else to do. He has asked me to not talk to my family before and I can’t ask him to not talk to her. I’m not even sure what to do about my relationship with him. I already feel really bad lately about the way I am. I feel bad about myself in general and put myself down a lot. I understand that you are not supposed to do that, but I have such low self-esteem lately that I don’t feel capable to tell him how I feel.
Blogging will always have a special place in my heart, as it was here, within the confines of this blog, that I found my place with my writing. I found a group of people with like-minded ideas about sharing the stories of mental illness. The encouragement I got allowed me to write my memoir. I wonder, though, will I always be able to write here or will a time come that I will move on.
I think that is why I am pushing so hard lately to get a great list of authors on the website to always have words written here. I don’t mind paying the yearly fee to keep this blog going if it is still a safe place for mental illness/mental health advocacy writers to call it home. If I can swell the number to fifty members to end 2020, it might be the perfect storm where this blog goes on without me.
Where is this coming from? I have been dealing with stress more in 2020 than at any other time in my life. I know everyone is dealing with anxiety, depression, and stress. The list is probably longer than that if I am honest. For me, it is many things at once. Starting my business. Finishing my Master’s degree. Publishing my novella. Writing projects and writing this blog. Going through Life Coaching while still trying to find the confidence in my writing. Then, of course, losing my mom. Almost a year has gone by. How do I deal with that in December? My hope is to not be a mess.
I love what I have created here, and for the foreseeable, I will continue to write as much as humanly possible so that things will be in the right place in my life. The need to share my story continues here, and the magnetic pull is still here. Writing blog posts is my center, and it helps me continue throughout my day, so a baseline would be an accurate account of why I still write here. When that day comes when I am ready to move on, then I will. There is too much as stake to give up this space for good because the mental illness stories we share help fight mental health stigma. Perhaps someone reading this post will find their place among the writers here. Stay strong in the fight.
Life with X (we will now call him Xander as it will make it easier to follow along) was fast & wild. We were sexually active really fast. We became close very quickly. We had our ups and downs, but we were both really young. Xander was a grade ahead of me. I remember that summer like it was yesterday. On the last day of school for that year, four of our friends were in a very bad car accident. The med flight had to be called in. Unfortunately, one of them didn’t make it. I remember that being a very traumatic time for everyone. I think it brought Xander and I closer together, because we realized how precious life really is. During this period I was relatively mild as far as my mood swings, a little depressed, but nothing like the year prior. Life went on and we were pretty much inseparable. We got to know each other’s families really well and were doing pretty good. Christmas came and Xander gifted me with a promise ring. Mind you, I was 15 years old and he was 16 years old. Subconsciously, I think this kinda freaked me out. I wouldn’t have ever told him that though.
After Christmas, a group of my friends (minus Xander) that I had met within the last year at school were hanging out at my house. We were all having a really great time. There was one person there I did not know well. He went to school with me and was in the grade above me. I will refer to him as Zeke. As he left that night, I told him to be safe going home as he was on a snowmobile. I guess that made quite an impression on him. Zeke and I started hanging out whenever Xander wasn’t around. I had a big crush on Zeke – our chemistry was explosive. Well, as you can imagine, that didn’t go so well. When Xander found out, he was beyond pissed to say the least. I’m certain I was hypomanic during this time, as I loved all the attention, even though it was chaotic. I also loved feeling wanted and that I was worth fighting for. The bad part of the hypomania is that I had no remorse for anything and I was completely selfish. I did not care about anyone’s feelings but my own!
Over the next couple months it was a roller coaster ride. Pretty young to be in a love triangle, but that’s where I was. My emotions were up & down so much. My feelings for Zeke grew really quickly and exponentially and I pretty much decided that I wanted to be with Zeke, not Xander. Oh my – Xander was so angry his eyes turned black. I recall that they got in a fight in front of one of our friends house as Zeke and I were hanging out. Xander showed up and they started arguing and then punches were thrown as they were in the street.
We all went to school together and Xander & Zeke were in the same grade and actually friends before all of this happened. It got pretty intense at times. I remember Xander punching a window at school and breaking it when he saw me & Zeke together. My 16th birthday was in February. Both Xander & Zeke showed up at my house (at different times) with flowers and presents for me. What was supposed to be a wonderful day, had me in tears and so confused. I was pretty flattered, but very emotional. My group of friends had a party for me for my birthday. We were drinking and having a good time, just hanging out. I was with Zeke and completely smitten. All of a sudden, Xander showed up uninvited and unannounced. He literally came in the house, drug me out, threw me in his car and drove me to my house. He yanked me out of the car when we arrived and pulled me up to the front door. My parents came to the door and he brought me in and told them I had been out drinking with Zeke. Within a couple of minutes, Zeke showed up at my house. They got into a fight in my house with my parents standing there. I was hysterical. I told X to get out of my home and I never wanted him to come around again. Zeke stayed around for a while to make sure I was ok after seeing Xander drag me from the house. It all happened so fast!
From that night on, Zeke and I were together all the time. Our relationship escalated rather quickly and we were sexually active within weeks. Ours was a forbidden love, as his family was very prominent in our city. I was not from a wealthy family, we were middle class, and I had a past that I could not outrun. My parents were upset, because they really liked Xander and didn’t like how the whole thing with Zeke came about. Regardless, Zeke and I both fell in love with each other really fast. Stay tuned – I will tell you more about our 7 year relationship in the blog posts to come. Be blessed! Stay divine!
Hebrews 10:32 “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
Bipolar is a debilitating brain-illness. Rapid Cycling is even worse. After my traumatic experience, I was determined to be in control of myself and my body from there on out. Unfortunately, that took a destructive path. I was very promiscuous and did everything I could to get the attention of older teenage boys to seduce and have sex with. A twisted way to be in control, but I was calling the shots and it felt good. I was out partying all the time, drinking, smoking pot, and taking pills (no idea what they were). I was living a reckless lifestyle to say the least.
I was depressed, but I think I was also hypomanic, which is called a mixed state. My depressed state materialized as anger and terrible judgement. My hypomania resulted in little need for sleep and feeling indestructible. I felt like I could do anything and had no regard for what anyone thought. Being in a mixed state is not a great combination, especially with alcohol and drugs in the mix. I struggled in school exponentially and skipped a lot of school by signing my dad’s signature to the excuses (I had perfected his signature). I worshiped metal hair bands (Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Guns n Roses, Metallica, and Poison, just to name a few) and my goal was to get the attention of any & every guy I could. I didn’t seem to have a problem in that area considering I had built up quite a reputation. I suddenly had an appetite for sex. I don’t know how many people I slept with in that 6 month period, if I had to guess I would say 10? Not something I’m proud of now, but I wore it like a badge at the time. I was in control and that’s all that mattered.
I didn’t have many close friendships with girls at this time, except for one friend that I happen to still be friends with today (love you MW). My relationships during this time were more superficial and built on partying. I obviously was not in a good state and it was catching up to me. I was severely depressed at the end of this period in mid spring. No longer was I angry, I was sad and wanting companionship. I was suicidal and had thought of many ways to end my life. I felt like nothing, didn’t like myself, had a great void in my soul and didn’t understand why I was even on this Earth 😦
Thankfully, I met someone, who for whatever reason understood me in a way no one else had even tried to. My first boyfriend who I will refer to as X. (Remember X for later on in this blog). I was elated to be with one person. I was still depressed, but it felt different with someone to actually talk to. I would bounce back and forth between being hypomanic and depressed, but he seemed to be able to ride the roller-coaster. Our relationship was fast & furious…
Some people might ask, “Where was your God while all of this was happening?” and to that end I would simply say, I didn’t know him yet. Despite me not knowing Him, He knew me and was with me! He carried me every step of the way through my brokenness, even if I didn’t know it at the time!! He knew I was a survivor and a fighter and that I would eventually surrender to Him!
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Guns N’ Roses Welcome to the Jungle blaring on my Dad’s state of the art stereo system. A fifth of Peach Schnapps and two 14 year old girls looking for a good time. We invited two 18 year old guys to come over since my parents were out of town. We had met them previously at Star World, which was a teen dance club/hangout at the time. We were still young and somewhat naive, but we were oblivious to the desires and intent of 18 year old men. Our definition of having a good time was completely different than their definition. We were all hanging out and drinking copious amount of alcohol and it didn’t take long for me to become fall-down drunk. Bipolar, which now I’m convinced I already had at the time, and alcohol are not a good combination. The next thing I knew, I was in my bedroom with one of the guys and kind of in and out of it from all the alcohol coursing through my veins. He proceeded to get me on my bed. Next thing I knew he was taking my clothes off. I was frightened, but didn’t want to seem childlike, so I just went along with what he was doing. I just remember being in a lot of pain, dazed and feeling really ashamed and dirty. When he was finished, I stumbled to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding. I was scared, crying and did not want to leave the bathroom. I was spinning from the alcohol and remember vomiting several times. Once I had the courage to come out of the bathroom, I asked my friend to tell them to leave. I couldn’t even look at him. They left and I confided in my friend what had happened. She tried consoling me, but there was nothing anyone could say to make me feel alright. I kept this a secret from my parents, as I didn’t want to get in trouble and I was scared of what they would do. This one act would change the trajectory of my life and send me spiraling down a path of destruction, hurt and pain…
Prior to this event, I was already on a path of wild abandon. I can remember me and my best friend at the time experimenting with kissing, touching and going down on each other at 10-11 years old. Gasp! I know, I can hardly believe it myself! Our maturity and capability to understand what we were actually doing and the implications were severely lacking. I also remember being suicidal during this time frame. I again, never told my parents, because I did not want to upset them. I struggled internally on my own for a long time. I would run away from home for days/weeks at a time. I was running with the wrong crowd and was exposed to alcohol and drugs. Not a good combination for someone with a mental illness. I remember my parents calling the cops and they came looking for me at a friends house and I was hiding in a closet not wanting to go back home. I don’t know why I was so rebellious, I didn’t have a bad upbringing. My parents were both loving and worked hard for us. Nevertheless, I always felt lost and like I didn’t matter. I think that is why I was always seeking attention – even if it was negative.
In future blogs I will document the course of my life and all the crazy, wild things I have been through! I am sad I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus during my early years. I did not grow up attending church; although, I did go to a Baptist church with my cousins every now & again. Those encounters just made me scared of Jesus – fire, hell and damnation were preached. From there on out I just thought I was going to die and go to hell. I now believe that Christ took me through this journey so I could be a testament to his love, grace and forgiveness. It was not until the age of 25 that I was saved. The events that took place until then are quite unbelievable and I’m very lucky to be here today to tell my story! I strongly believe in living your truth and not being ashamed of your past. I had a brain illness that I had no idea about at the time. I try to give myself grace and compassion for my younger self. I did not get the treatment that I needed, as my parents thought I was just being a rebellious teenager. A lot of damage to my soul and agony ensue on my journey to forgiveness. If you or anyone you know is lost and searching, please reach out to me! I have been there tenfold and I am here for you!
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; The old has gone, the new has come!”
“God has more in store for you than you can even imagine.”
Imagine being on a roller coaster. You sit down and you strap in – there is no turning back at this point. You are stuck and face the inevitable. Now you’re heading up the first big incline and it’s steep. You can’t stop it and you’re feeling overwhelmed and scared. As you approach the top of the steep incline, you are apprehensive about what comes next. All of a sudden you are plummeting down the steep hill with wild abandon. You feel exhilarated and unstoppable.
Such is my battle with weight loss amidst my mental illness. When I’m depressed, I am on an extreme trajectory toward weight gain and lots of it. I usually gain 30-40 pounds in a couple of months. I eat everything that is bad for me – sugar, carbs and processed foods. Then as quickly as I tumbled into a depression, I change direction and I’m hypomanic. I am super focused on my health & weight loss. I eat healthy foods and I’m very intentional about what goes into my mouth. I exercise every day and I’m always moving – I can’t sit still. And just as quickly, I lose the 30-40 pounds I put on when I was depressed.
It’s a vicious cycle and according to Medical News Today, “Losing weight for a short period and then regaining it bears the name of yo-yo dieting, which some people refer to as weight cycling. Previous research has pointed out the potentially damaging effects of these repeated cycle of weight loss and weight gain.” So not only is it frustrating, but it isn’t good for my health either, particularly my heart health.
Below is a picture of my weight fluctuating during 2017. This happens every year, but I happen to put these pictures side by side so thought I would share!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“You gave me the best of me, so you’ll give you the best of you,” are the lyrics to “Magic Shop” by Korean pop group BTS. I have been listening to this song over and over because I keep thinking about these words.
Sure, it’s not the most eloquent phrasing but I think that they are on to something here.
For ages we have all been told to give everything our best whether it’s academics, athletics, music, art, relationships, etc. That if we give anything our best effort we have a higher likelihood of succeeding.
During the many times I have sat and contemplated these lyrics, I understand it as we so often give the best of ourselves to others but have a harder time giving the best for ourselves.
I try to give my best to my family, boyfriend, pets and friends but when it comes to giving my best for me, that’s a different story. I know that eating well, exercising and having human interaction is good for me but I don’t always put in the effort. If I had a paradigm shift, I would try harder to do the things that are good for me so I could be at my very best.
If I gave my best for myself, what would my life look like? This is a question I have been focusing on, digging deep into it to find a possible answer.
I still don’t have an answer but during these weird times of social distancing and staying home basically all the damn time, I have time to really think about it. I also have the time to focus on giving myself the very best of me.
What do you think of these lyrics? Do you have a similar interpretation or not? Do you think you give yourself the best of you?