The extraordinarily ordinary moments in-between mental illness exist – I promise

But it does get better. 

Some parts of our lives are really hard, really dark, and when we look back it’s kind of like reflecting on what a long winter felt like when you’d go months without being able to remember what it felt like to feel your toes and fingers because it was so cold, and the sunsets were never there and the sun didn’t make you feel warm and everything was dry and icy-

But it does get better. 

And you won’t see it coming: you won’t notice it happening, the thawing – you won’t notice every day how you’re starting to hum to yourself again or how laughter is coming more easily than it did before or how you’ve started noticing sunsets and feeling sunshine again. 

You’ll just be sitting on your couch at 11 am on a Wednesday listening to traffic and lawn mowers and the neighbours music drinking coffee that’s too expensive but almost worth it with a book you didn’t realized how grateful you were to be reading until right this moment and –

it will be better.

casey-horner-394182-unsplashAnd you’ll suddenly realize that for the longest time you’ve forgotten what it felt like to not be ok, and that you’re excited to do… anything, really. The prospect of doing your dishes or getting started on that assignment or phoning up your parents to say hi or catching up with people you saw only yesterday is actually not a horrible idea, in fact you’re content and grateful for all of it. 

Suddenly your life will dawn on you at a completely ordinary moment, and it will bring with it the realization that you’re not exhausted by the thought of being alive, and that – that is so far from ordinary for so many of us. 

I’m not sure what it feels like to really say it’s normal for me to want to be alive, or to not be completely crippled by the daunting task of quite literally being conscious and getting out of bed and making myself a bowl of cereal, let alone all the other often exhausting activities required to be functional. Feeling kind of like being alive is a cool thing to do, all the time, is not normal for me. 

But it does get better. 

There will always be winters for me – a day, a week, sometimes many more – where I’m tired and my soul is uninterested in the world and it’s both exhausting to be a functional human AND convince myself I actually want to do that at the same time. Those seasons are always lurking, and I can never know when they’re coming or how long they’ll last when they do. 

But that’s ok, because I know that there will be many more ‘ordinary’ Wednesday mornings in my apartment when life will feel like it’s a good color on me and I can’t wait to wear it out into the world. 

Mental illness isn’t a teenager in a 5 bedroom house in ‘Riverdale’ who’s parents fight sometimes and failed a class and it rains all the time. Mental illness is war inside of us, and it’s disingenuous to romanticize it, because it’s ugly, painful, even horrific, impossible to understand from the outside, and even when it’s not happening, there’s always the feeling that it could happen again at any moment. 

joanna-kosinska-140783-unsplashBut it’s good to know from my lived experience, and that of many others, that there will also be peace sometimes, and it will be worth itit is worth it. In an understatement of the century, being depressed sucks, a lot.

But the Ordinary Days where your mind is feeling good about itself are pretty fucking amazing. 

I used to feel sad and angry that I was brought to tears with gratefulness for days that seemed so commonplace for everyone around me, because I felt like I deserved to feel like that all the time and it wasn’t ok that I responded to Normal Moments so dramatically. 

But, that doesn’t help me. Its pretty rough comparing yourself to mentally healthy people,  so, just don’t do that, it doesn’t serve you, and can bring you nothing but more unnecessary anger and pain. Making peace with our lot in life is an ongoing process for me, and I would be lying if I said the whole “accepting what you can’t change will bring you happiness” thing doesn’t REALLY piss me off, because accepting a generalized anxiety disorder and bunch of other really horrible stuff that got shipped in with my dysfunctional brain is actually not going to bring me happiness, but thank you Tumblr, it’s a nice sentiment. 

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I don’t have answers for how to work around that, because it’s something we battle all the time. But, I just wanted to let you know that, despite all of that, your Ordinary Days exist – now, or in the future – and they will be just as real as the wintery difficulties you’re living through now or have in the past. 

Peace exists, and just because you haven’t had your Oh-My-Gosh-I’m-Happy-To-Be-Alive-What-Is-This-Feeling! moment on a Wednesday morning yet, doesn’t mean it’s not coming. 

You’re still kicking, so don’t stop now – because someday you won’t have to kick anything to enjoy your day, I promise. 

– Steph (Hunting Happiness)

The Bipolar Writer Needs Help… Again

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

This is my GoFundMe under my real name David TC (I wasn’t sure if I could get the funds if I used my Pen Name James Edgar Skye.) Thank you in advance for donating!


So, my goal is $300. The cost to upgrade. If 100 people donate 3 dollars, I can reach my goal quickly (the donation button is below through PayPal.) I am going to try and keep this post going all weekend in hopes that I reach my goal. Please, if you can help it would be amazing, and if you can’t, I understand. I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here it goes!

If you can’t donate please reblog this post or share my GoFundMe link above, it would mean the world to me!

You Can Also Donate Below!

Just Click the Pay with PayPal button!

Always Keep Fighting & Thank You

James

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I don’t love everything about my body.

I wish my decoy wasn’t to look for flaws in an argument or even set out to see things from a different perspective however, I guess if I really wished that I wouldn’t be writing this at all.

Embrace your body and love yourself because you are unique and perfect.

OK- so surface level there is absolutely nothing wrong with that statement, I mean shouldn’t we all achieve to love ourselves and accept ourselves? Well, yes of course I agree. Although I think we are actually setting unrealistic expectations not for our bodies but for our minds.

Hear me! hear me! I fully support being body positive and I do believe there is no standard for beauty, I don’t even think unconventional beauty exists, because after all it is all subjective regardless of how much the media throws magazines and advertisements our way.

It’s just that I know I am never going to love everything about my body, maybe I sound negative and maybe it’s why I am not the right person to talk to about this. There are things I love about my body and I have grown to appreciate some features I used to despise. The fact of the matter is that working on self growth is something I will always support but I think it is foolish to expect everyone to fall madly in love with themselves.

I mean beyond the beauty standards there are a lot of reasons not to be the biggest fan of your body. I have PCOS, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, adrenal fatigue and if I say anymore I will start losing credibility (as if I haven’t already lost some)

Some of you might want to persuade me to see the positives. All of my problems make me stop and focus on self-care, they allow me to not take a lot for granted and in some ways they keep me healthier (can’t drink and/or eat processed foods etc)
Yes I admit that I have benefited from these sort of ailments however, I am not going to post about how I love everything about my body, because Frankly I do not.

I have accepted what cards I have been dealt and I do my best to take care of my body. Though, I think it is unrealistic and a little insulting to ask me to see everything as a positive. Life is full of positives and life is also full of negatives.

Positive movements are great but life still oftentimes sucks and it is OK to say that. It is OK to not be OK. Of course I encourage everyone to see to try their best to love themselves but I still don’t ever expect anyone to pretend they are happy when they are not.

More than anything I think healthy self-expression is more important than some feigned sense of self-worth.

So, just be honest about where you are. Maybe you really do embrace yourself completely and I swear I am happy for you but if you don’t then don’t be afraid to say that. I am not encouraging people to dwell and write angsty posts about how they hate themselves.

I am encouraging people to be honest. I am not the biggest fan of how tired and exhausted my body can get from so little. I am not the biggest fan of the bags under my eyes, I don’t particularly care for a lot of things. Now I don’t think it is really productive to list all of them and bum myself out because after all they are what make me, me.

I wouldn’t trade any of my flaws for the world, I am attached to myself and I do love myself for exactly the person I am, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy, it doesn’t mean I am always happy and that I don’t have my own problems with my body.

So, please embrace yourself but also please don’t pretend to be OK when you’re not.

Your friend,
Hume.

My blog!

My instagram!

In a Blink of an Eye…

I am in awe, and a few days late.

I have been busy, and all of sudden I look up and my blog has grown both in contributor bloggers and followers. I smile every day by those who take a moment in their busy lives to come to this blog and leave comments, likes, and views.

Never in a thousand years could I ever think when I started this blog in September 2017 that The Bipolar Writer blog would get to 6,000 plus followers. Yet, here we are, and if you are reading this blog post, there is a good chance that you a part of my growing community of like-minded mental health advocates and bloggers.

I am genuinely honored daily by the people making connections to my blog through my own writings and my growing number of contributor bloggers who now call The Bipolar Writer blog a part of their life.

I have shared the stories of others in the mental illness community, and as the blog has grown, I have been able to share so much of myself— something I never thought possible two years ago.

6,000 and growing!

I am so happy that I made the decision to start this blog and I look forward to the continuous growth of this blog. We are all on a rollercoaster that can only go up. So let’s continue the conversation.

Let us end the stigma surrounding mental illness together!

Always keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoLoïc Fürhoff

Interview Feature Story: Liz S.

This is another addition my interview feature series on The Bipolar Writer. This is the story of Liz S.

A Story of Loss, Death, and Living with Bipolar Disorder

Loss and death. We all deal with it in different ways. When those of us with a mental illness lose someone it can be an instant relapse. The thing that you have been repressing for so long comes out stronger than ever before. Death is never easy to deal with, and for Liz S., her life went through a radical change with the death of her husband.

Liz’s husband was the rock in her mental illness and his sudden death in his sleep ripped apart her world. It would leave her lost in a house full of memories of her husband.

“I began finding “old friends” emerging from under my bed–OCD, anxiety, and insomnia. With these came the panic-attacks, agoraphobia, and PTSD. It was too much for my brain to handle and I lost myself in grief for many years,” Liz recalls.

When you mix grief and loss with a mental illness it is easy to turn to vices that are counterproductive. Liz began to use drinking as a coping mechanism and used shopping as a way to forget. Liz would shop until she maxed out her credit cards during manic episodes.

“I did anything I could to forget that what I had believed to be my Shangri-La was gone. Before me stood a future of nothingness.”

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No matter what medications prescribed to Liz, it was a lost cause because she had lost her whole world. It seemed to her that she would never find her way back.

Liz comes from a small farming town in Upstate, New York and an island in Michigan. She has been fortunate to be a world traveler and has lived in different cities and cultures. Liz considers herself a citizen of the world having met people from all corners of the globe.

Liz’s mental illness journey began at the age of twenty-five. It at this age that she received a diagnosis of Bipolar Two. For Liz even with the feeling of being different than the people around her, she was able to fit in. Liz looks at her early childhood as simple. It was a childhood where she would play outside, she had steady friends, and loved nature. But things changed when she moved to a larger city when she was twelve.

“I felt like a fish out of water and hated the town. I would spend every night fantasizing about leaving once I graduated,” she remembers. “My senior year I felt a slow numbness and distance hit me. An invisible wall separated me from my friends and activities I once held dear.”

Liz believed these feelings were a part of getting older. The need we each feel that we to leave our hometown, it is common for people. Liz believed life would be great once she left town. Life isn’t always so simple.

In her junior year of college, Liz studied abroad in what she describes as a manic swing year when looks back. It was still one of the best years of Liz’s life, where there was magic around every corner. There was real excitement each day, and it felt in that year that Liz’s wish for her life to be great had come true. She had left her home and was having a real life.

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When she returned home to the states for her senior year of college Liz found herself in a relapse. The fairy tale life that Liz was living came to an end. She hated her college, “I became depressed, isolated anxious, and couldn’t sleep. I would stay awake all night and paint. While my college acquaintances dreamt about grad school or Fortune 500 jobs.”

The voice to get out of this place was once again screaming inside her head.

Liz made the decision after college to move out West taking the usual jobs for college graduate jobs as a barista and in retail. Liz was at the beginning of her adult life, and trying to “find herself.” It was during this time that Liz began to date man who she decided to start a business with.

“Soon after we began to make a name for ourselves in the wares we sold, I discovered his true nature. He was very angry. It was simmering under the surface, with me in the middle. I was emotionally damaged by this man. It led to my disease finally rearing it’s ugly head and going full-blown nuclear,” Liz explains.

It was the situation and the stress. Liz found it contributed to her foray into deeper into her mental illness. Liz lived in chaos, and she would spend days at a time staring at the walls. It became terrifying to go outside or to hear the phone ring. When Liz would rapidly cycle she should get as much done as possible when she had the energy. Liz played Russian roulette most days as she no longer knew what her mind or body would do on a given day.

“All I understood was the pain. I remember telling one of my sisters on the phone that I wanted to peel all the skin off my bones. That was how raw I felt.”

Liz was sinking deeper into her depression and it was leading her down the path of suicide. It was common most days for Liz to think of ways to end her life. Liz would imagine driving into oncoming traffic or into a tree. She dreamed about overdosing on Advil hoping that it would be enough to never wake up again. It was time for Liz to get help.

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“I went to my first shrink and did all the tests,” Liz talks about the early parts of her diagnosis. “In some ways, when he told me the diagnosis, it was a relief. It was the wiring in my brain, and there were ways to cope with it.”

It would be the path of taking the correct medicine for Liz and ending her toxic relationship. Liz decided that she wanted to become a writer. Writing became her saving grace throughout the years and she began looking for a new home. Liz moved back to a town near her old college, where she met the man that would become her husband.

“I told him immediately about my diagnosis. I wouldn’t want anyone to be in my life without knowing what may be in store for them. But, he was my saving grace. Our environment was peaceful, serene, and surrounded nature. He told me he would always support me,” she recalls.

Liz’s husband also told her that she had to do the work and take ownership of her health. She understood when her husband told her that he could not do it for her. After one of the most draining depression cycles of her life, Liz pulled herself together. She found a great shrink and therapist. Liz began the journey of CBT training which helped her get better.

Liz found in her husband the support system that she needed. It became a relationship where Liz didn’t have to hide her flaws behind a facade. For the first time, she could be herself. But life, it can be cruel. When Liz lost her husband it sent her spiraling for many years.

In the years following the death of her husband, Liz did the things she thought she had to do. She went back to grad school. Liz made the right decision and went to rehab. It was imperative to Liz to begin to work on managing her Bipolar disease which had been spinning out of control.

Liz was able to find a “normal” job after grad school and did her best to fall in “with the rest of the normal people” in life. Liz recognizes that it was never easy for her. She always felt an invisible wall separated her from others.

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“The career I chose has changed so much since those halcyon days. I thought I could make a difference in this profession” she explains. “I no longer feel as if it is the right fit. Every day is a struggle to put on the facade and face the world.”

How does Liz get through a single day in her mental illness life? It takes sheer willpower the majority of the days. Liz considers herself a high-functioning Bipolar person. In her childhood, her parents had high expectations, and her training was to be perfect.

At the moment Liz has a new partner, though they are currently living in different states. Family obligations keep him away from Liz, so she feels very isolated most days. It can be a struggle to get out of bed with little sleep. It is harder on the day where her anxiety leads to panic-attacks at the worst times. Liz took her current job in hopes to escape the toxic environment she was in, but it’s more of the same.

“I have found myself in yet another cold “work till you die position.”

For Liz it’s about her meditation, focusing on exercising, and eating right. All these things are a struggle in her life but she manages. Some days Liz zones out and binges on Netflix. What helps the most is her writing and finding others who share the agony of daily life with being Bipolar.

“Then there are days when I want to go to the hospital and have a lobotomy or locked back in the ward. To keep the outside world at bay,” Liz explains.

Our mental illness affects each of us in different ways. For Liz, having a mental illness makes her impulsive and reckless. She does her best to keep it under control. The worst parts of Liz’s illness is getting lost in the deep abyss of her depression. Along with being Bipolar, Liz has developed other aspects of her illness. When her panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia combine, they fight for the best parts of Liz’s soul.

“I feel that the freedom I once had, the courageousness, has flown away and my life has become very limited. Very confined. But because it is a disease in my brain and no one can see it. I find there is little tolerance in this country for people affected by mental illnesses.”

Liz wants to share with the community with this article this simple fact. Together the mental illness community can work to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness. Liz finds comfort in celebrities who have come out and talk about their own struggles. It reaches a broader audience and helps lessen the stigma.

“Through my own writing and this amazing blog (The Bipolar Writer), I have found a wonderful community. It is a community of people who are struggling but not giving up,” Liz explains. “It has bee one of the most wonderful discoveries of the past year for me.”

Writing a mental health blog has helped Liz though a rough last sixteen month period in her life. If it wasn’t for her blog and journaling, Liz believes she wouldn’t be here today.

“It helps me to be honest with myself and I share my writings with my therapist. It is my therapist that encourages me to keep writing. That I am not playing a “victim role.” To find what will lessen the stress in my life so I can find a way to live my dreams.”

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One thing Liz would like me to add to this interview feature is that she loves life. Liz is a firm believer that things can get better. It is important in her mind to stay away from toxic situations. It’s important in Liz’s life to maintain a schedule. That means getting enough sleep and exercise. It means getting back to the CBT training that she received.

One of the most important things in Liz’s life is getting back to the tenants of Buddism. “Which allowed me to live in serenity when my husband was alive,” Liz explains.

Liz has been on a journey over the years since her diagnosis and even before everything. What we learn from these interview feature stories is that we all have a path we walk. The journey is never easy and it is always filled with triumphs and failures. When I share the story about Liz’s struggles with Bipolar disorder it’s another step in the right direction. We continue to shed the stigma of having a mental illness. Each story brings us real life because having a mental illness is real.

If you would like to see more from Liz please visit her blog:

www.sorrowandkindness.wordpress.com

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Interviewee: Liz S.

Author: James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoKinga Cichewicz

unsplash-logoAnton Darius | @theSollers

unsplash-logoChristine Roy

unsplash-logoManic Quirk

unsplash-logoCharles Koh

unsplash-logoKaitlyn Baker

unsplash-logoMatt Artz

It’s All in Your Head

Captive, I press against the bars –

Screaming

In agony of imprisonment.

But, just as often, giving up;

Huddling against the far wall,

Ignoring the tray of rations shoved timidly into my cell.

They are stale bread and watery soup, I tell myself.

I tell myself everything;

Sobbing, always sobbing.

The world outside, super-bright; the

Unreal reality; the

Too loud

Too painful

Too much to bear

Arena of sensation.

And so I stay,

Telling myself (again) and the few passersby

I want escape.

But

Really

Crawling desperately back to its stinking familiarity

To stand again at the bars

In comforting darkness

And only give audience to fellow prisoners

Echoing my lies.

Interview Feature – Laura Sanscartier

This is another feature interview from my ongoing series. I have been super busy so it has been a few weeks since I have written one of these. I have a few in the works. You can find the series here. Interview Features – The Series

Going Through the Changes of Mental Illness

How far we have come on our journey is just one part of the process that is having a mental illness. The origins story, where we started this journey from, is where my interview features that I write often start off because it tells us how a person became who they are today. We all have another origins story— and this is the story of Laura Sanscartier— from Dracut, MA.

For Laura, her mental illness has taken so much from her life, she had trained to be an opera singer. “I will never have that life,” she explains. Laura expected to live in NYC and work steadily in the classical music world, but often mental illness changes the trajectory of our life goals.

“I expected to have a child by now. That is not possible because of medications I was prescribed as a young woman. I expected uhh and none of it came to be.”

Laura’s story began at fifteen when she was told that generalized anxiety was her diagnosis. As it often happens with mental illnesses Laura’s diagnosis grew over the years. It was just two years later when Laura was seventeen that her doctors added depression alongside her diagnosis.

In her twenties, Laura began to show symptoms of Bipolar Two, and it was after a manic episode that her diagnosis became Bipolar One. It would be a single event that would further drive Laura through the mental illness ladder when Post-traumatic Stress Disorder became another part of the equation.

“I was raped when I was twenty but did not report it or talk about it until a few years later,” Laura explains her origins story. “The diagnosis of PTSD came a bit after that, I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that I was not different. I worried a lot about things, even as a child.”

Laura reflects that she has the most loving family in the world, but at times her brain often gets in the way of enjoying life. With anxiety always a part of her life, and the fact that Laura’s intrusive thoughts are still there on the outskirts of her mind, it can make life hard.

“I began self-harming when I was twelve, and from there my real mental illness journey began.”

The daily struggle for Laura and her mental illness is a daily grind. Mental illness was always a barrier in her life, it still felt to her as if she was running into a brick wall. But, Laura is finding ways to make her mental illness a part of her life.

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“It is something to work WITH instead of against,” she talks about the present. “and it’s beginning to work here and there. My agitation and Bipolar rage make things difficult when I just want to “flip out,” but instead find coping tools to deal with the feelings.”

Laura has found ways to cope but there will always be bad days in her life, there are still days where she can’t leave her bed, but she is finding that these days happen less that they have in the past.

It’s ritual and daily routine that Laura gets through most days. It starts with waking in the morning and taking a cocktail of mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications. Laura goes to work for a few hours a day and then returns home to her husband. Laura’s routine includes writing or reading and driving to her weekly therapy and doctor’s appointments.

“I try to be helpful around the house, or cook a little (I’m awful at that) and stay in touch with friends and family,” Laura talks about her daily life. “Sometimes I revert to text only because I’m too anxious to talk on the phone, even when I take PNR’s to help.”

Laura also uses computer games as a way to temporarily “check out” of life when she is overwhelmed. Television with her husband is one of the things that helps Laura get through her day and getting to sleep at the same time every night.

“Sleep hygiene ESSENTIAL for my mood and well-being.”

It not uncommon to end up in the hospital when life becomes overwhelming, it is the same in Laura’s life. For Laura, her hospital visits came when her brain is completely overwhelmed.

“I have been hospitalized over forty times since the age of eighteen. I have attempted suicide twice. I have had nearly 100 ECT treatments. I have been to chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists. And doctors of all specialties,” Larua explains. “And still, the beast of mental illness lives inside me. Mental illness is trying to take over my life, but I WILL NOT LET IT!”

Laura wants the mental illness community to know that we are warriors, and we are fighting for our very lives. This life can be hellish, but Laura wants you to know that we must never admit defeat.

“We must keep fighting,” Laura says with vigor. “We must never be ashamed of what we go through. The more we talk about it, the less the fear and stigma will surround it. Keep talking, and shine like the warrior you are!!!”

In Laura’s journey writing a mental health blog, it has helped her see what she is honestly feeling and experiencing at any given time. It offers Laura the opportunity to look at her experiences with fresh eyes and learning that you are not alone in this journey. Laura is always learning about herself through her blog.

In this mental illness life, you have to find the things that make life worth living because if you don’t the darkness may take you over completely. Laura finds that things that make her life worth living are those closest to her.

“My husband, Paulie, is my rock and my salvation. He alone makes it all worth it. But I am so lucky to have a kick-ass family, with incredible parents and siblings. Now nieces and nephews as well! I also have a great support network of friends. Ultimately, the people in my life are what make life worth living.”

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Laura is a publised author featured in the book “Tales from the Locals.”

If you want to find more about Laura Sanscartier you can find her on her blog:

www.coffeeandlithium.wordpress.com

Interviewee: Laura Sanscartier

Interview: James Edgar Skye

Bringing Back Interview Features

It has been a few weeks since I have written an interview feature. It has been the greatest thing to start sharing the stories of my fellow mental illness bloggers. I have enjoyed writing every single one of these feature articles. I thought I had everything organized but somehow I lost some of the people who wanted to be interviewed. I think I covered most of the interviews just fine but I am sure I missed some. I apologize for that, and to make it up I want to open up the opportunity again.

I want to share the stories of others much like I have shared my own experiences. I keep thinking that if I write enough of these stories down together we can make mental illnesses have a real human face, and at the same time start to change the narrative about the stigma surrounding mental illness. I talk about it a lot as it is the most important thing and it why I write.

I want to get back to that because I feel as if I have lost my way lately. I have been so lost in my own issues with social anxiety that it really feels as if I am losing parts of myself again. So, I will what I do best. Write.

If you are interested in being one of my interviewee’s let me know. Email me at jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com

If you want to see my past interviews please see what I have written so far.

Interview Features – The Series

Always Keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoNik MacMillan

Why you always lying

You lied about the lies that you lied about.

Nothing like some LL Cool J to get this post started, am I right? or am I already overly obnoxious? Either way, I’ll take my chances.

I won’t offend your intelligence with a history of why lying isn’t the jazziest thing in the world, but if you need a refresher I think what follows will educate you youngins’ some.

I have this ‘not so great’ habit where I lie but let’s get some things out in the open because I feel I deserve a disclaimer, in other words, please be easy on me.
I was never the kid who acted out or caused my mother any real grief no, rather I was the type of kid who kept things to myself for fear of hurting people. I would hold out for as long as possible so as not to burden anyone with anything that could even potentially upset them. This sort of behavior is both selfless and self-serving. I endured guilt while also using ‘protecting others’ as a lame cover up for being deceitful and hurting others.

Also, you guys know I obviously know how people will react and because of this incredible wisdom and fortune telling, I choose the most mature option; avoidance.
Firstly I hope you detected some sarcasm there but I’m OK with some of you holding the belief that I am really the next Daila Lama (I know a lot about how they choose him and I obviously fit all of the signs.)

Usually, I’m not right (I know, I’m just as shocked) and this is because I always expect the worst. I thoroughly convince myself of a wrath so fervent and fiery it would put the scene in The Godfather Part 2, when Kay tells Michael that her miscarriage was actually an abortion, to shame. My mother is not a mafia member but the scenarios in my head tell me otherwise.

I guess it’s time to pinpoint an example without tarnishing my street creds too much. (apparently, I am the mafia member here) The most frequent, most damaging lies and (usually) lies by omission have involved relationships. Another not so great habit of mine has been ‘giving people a second chance’ AKA caving in and in reality giving them a second, third, fourth… I think you get the idea.

I don’t know anyone who particularly likes liars but I do know someone who hates them and that is my momma. I understand why and I side with her yet I have also caused her a lot of hurts. I have so foolishly withheld information for ‘her best interest’. She is the most loving, kind and understanding person and because of that love, she is a fierce protector. People talk of guardian angels, spirits, and daemons but I truly believe she embodies all three and more. (if that’s possible)

It is important and in my opinion, absolutely vital to have that person in your life who will give you the unfiltered, ugly and oftentimes life-saving truth. Unhealthy relationships can destroy anyone and as I’ve said before we all have different levels of tolerance for the amount of stress we can handle. (this isn’t a contest though) I’ve also said this before and I’ll say it again, (obviously) I am highly impressionable and easily manipulated so mix that with a mental illness and you’ve got one screwed up a drink that’s sure to send you home wobbly legged and plastered.

It’s never too late to atone for your sins, I was raised Catholic so I’ve got Christian terminology nailed. (no pun intended) In all sincerity, I do believe the above (my puns are getting top tier) and I also believe complete honesty isn’t as easy as we make it out to be. We all lie and many times it is for reasons like mine, or a white lie to get out of doing something and sometimes just because the truth sounds boring (I tend to exaggerate with stories)

The truth is (I’m getting better already) lying isn’t something you want to get into a ‘not so great’ habit of doing. This sounds ridiculously obvious but that’s why I’m saying it, it really is that simple. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel when you are mindful of what you say. Believe it or not (I won’t be offended if you don’t) I have worked on this a lot in the past year and I’ve improved. When I don’t feel up for something I don’t make an excuse I simply say either I am not feeling up to it or I’ll be doing something else because I used to lie about what I was doing in fear the person would be offended.

“Hey wanna hang out?”
“Oh sorry, I can’t I have to tame this tiger we got.”

and all I wanted to do was take a nap.

When it comes to the more important issues that’s when you have to realize your mother is not a member of the mafia (as far as you know) and trust what she tells you is because she only wants what’s best for you.

Your friend,
Hume

My blog!

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoHarman Abiwardani

When your mental illness is shared without your permission

Greetings fellow bloggers, today I am going to dive into the ocean of mental illness and explore its stigma infested waters. Kinda sounds like I’m trying to impress my high school English teacher with that descriptive and sarcastic lede, huh? Maybe. If you’re out there Mr. Marshall look at me now!

In all seriousness sarcasm is one of the only ways I know how to deal with most of lives hardships. So if you already hate my cheap rhetoric and overplayed commentary then something a little more angsty like “Catcher in the Rye,” may appeal better to your senses. (Don’t take my advice when it comes to gaining readership)

WHEN YOU REALIZE A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE ‘CRAZY’ 

First things first never make assumptions, especially not assumptions about other peoples assumptions. In layman’s terms; don’t assume.

spooky

I recently had someone very close to me tell everyone they know about my mental illness (Bipolar II) Their reason is actually quite justified considering I broke up with them and a huge driving force behind my decision was the concern for my mental health. OK so that’s that, right? No, absolutely wrong. Even if I were to write this all off as my budding anxiety I don’t think my feelings should go overlooked.

I’m not even sure it bothers me that people know so much as it bothers me that now I am the problem, ya know? The breakup is clearly all because I couldn’t handle a relationship. Maybe I sound bitter but mental illness or not no one wants and/or needs negativity in their life and that is why I left. Yet my illness explains everything and now it has become an issue for me and not them. The pressure has been taken off them and has been put all on my shoulders. It seems unfair. I think in a lot of ways it’s easier for others to use my illness as an excuse for themselves. “Yeah, the relationship was just too hard for her. She’s Bipolar so y’know.” 

Here’s another problem. Everyone I want to know knows. They are people I trust and they are also people (some of them didn’t) who understand. Because at first no one really understands, not even the people who’ve been diagnosed.
The fact that I had no control or say over this clearly bothered me. It disrupted my life as outlandish as that may be to claim. Though, the reason I use past tense is that I know I cannot dwell. I understand they never thought we’d speak again. I mean hell they can say whatever they want about me and that’s the biggest takeaway.

Of course, I feel outed but it hit me that I am actually contributing to the stigma. Why do I feel so ashamed? Well, it’s because they (the recently informed) have no idea what it means to be Bipolar but who can blame them? At first, neither did I. This doesn’t mean we all have to scream our diagnose(s) from the rooftops. No. It only means that when things like this happen our emotional reactions are completely normal and called for. No one can ever tell you how to feel or tell you, your feelings are wrong. However it is important we don’t dwell. (I am speaking largely to myself.)

It happened. I worried, felt sick to my stomach and I felt weak from the powerless feeling of knowing there are much more out there who have a new angle for judging me. Then I stopped myself and I realized I am proud of who I am. There are going to be a hell of a lot of people who have negative reactions and views on mental illness. I don’t hate them, or curse them, I don’t even like them.

I understand and I am okay with others, not understanding. I also have a new sense of duty and that is to really embrace myself. I am a pretty private person especially in contrast to our ever growing society that revolves around social media. Yet it hit me how important my attitude is towards myself and the mental illness community at large.

As for the relationship ending and the blame being put all on me, I am of course assuming a lot of how the conversation went/ how everyone reacted. Even if everyone thinks the relationship ended solely because of my mental illness well so be it! Life is too short to be concerned with the what ifs and the poor judgments from others. I realize those thoughts are my automatic thoughts when my brain is on autopilot. They are riddled with and with anxiety and self-doubt. They are my fears manifested as the possibility of what others think and/or say about me. In totality, we can all be our own worst enemies from time to time. The only way to truly know is to throw away our assumptions and talk to others. It is unfair to both you and them to talk badly because your instinct is usually, sorta, kinda, most of the time, not always right.

I’ve said it and I’ll say it again. Everyone comes to terms with their illness(es) at varying speeds and intensities. No one should ever feel pressured to be public about it and/or anything about themselves. That right is protected and we deserve respect and privacy.
I don’t plan on making any drastic changes because we can all only handle so much. I admire the advocates who can speak publicly to audiences and spread awareness, I really do. I also admire myself and those of you who make small changes in our own ways.

I see this now as an opportunity rather than a loss. I have the power and advantage to educate others if they so, please. No matter how it turns out I have more control and power over my life than I ever imagined and all that changed was my perspective.

Your friend,
Hume

My blog!

unsplash-logoKevin Fernandez