Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be Goofy, Because Serious is Not Good

So, yes I am trying to post more again. We all know how consistent I am with this, but I think the point is I am trying.

Today I've been looking at goofy images about bipolar disorder on the internet. If you know me, you know why. If you don't know me, you MAY be asking why (because you're nosy like that, I can tell.) Well, I'm gonna tell y'all anyway, so buckle in and deal, or shut your browser so you don't have to read my ramblings again. Either way, I'm good.

Just like with the amnesia, I needed to understand at first what it meant. That meant asking as many questions as my brain can come up with and research, research, research. That's the time for serious and angst and trying to wrap my head around something so big you can't really grasp it fully no matter how hard you try.

Now again, just like with the amnesia, I need to laugh and joke and find others with the same problems, but different because we are all human and like snowflakes, no two humans are exactly the same. The laughter is going well, and in the process the revelations keep coming. I'll look at a goofy picture and realize, "Oh my God!!! So I'm like that because Bipolar?"

Yup, it's become my new "because....." statement. When I'm talking 50 miles per hour and my brain is very distractible: because bipolar. When my mood is up for a day or two, then down in the major dumps (No, I'm not a rapid cycler, thank God!): because bipolar. When I'm screaming on the inside and "fine" on the outside: because bipolar. When I can't sleep because my brain won't shut up: because bipolar. When I see lights and movement out of the corner of my eye, but nothing is there (I didn't realize until recently that hallucinations that small and harmless were just as much bipolar as the big grandiose ones): because bipolar. When I impulse spend, big or small: because bipolar. When I'm super creative, writing like a genius (I wish), and can't stop moving/wiggling/wriggling: because bipolar.

Anyone else see how much it explains about me. It also, in a way, explains my fugue. People with a mental illness like bipolar disorder are more prone to episodes like that. It doesn't "explain" the amnesia, but it makes it easier to accept as just another part of my "crazy."

Just so y'all know, the amnesia will never not be a thing. I will always be an amnesiac because I will never know that I "remember it all." I will always wonder what I'm still missing. I wake up with that question every day and go to bed with that question every morning (night owl, work late shift, deal with it) and I'm just learning to live with the fact that the question will never go away. I still get the occassional surprise when someone says "Do you remember...." and I don't. It's a slight shock to the system, and not at all pleasant. I have to learn to deal with it.

Just like every other issue I've had, I also don't want to be ashamed. There's so much stupid stigma attached to bipolar. People think bipolar is all bipolar I, but we aren't all full of grandiose ideas and super manic episodes. Some of us are a little more mellow than that. It's called bipolar II. Look it up, people. Google is my friend, it can be yours too. I promise it won't bite.

And now, a gift for all of you:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



I get it.

Crisis averted.

Because really, I've heard enough horror stories about people with Bipolar Disorder not taking their meds to last me a lifetime. No, two lifetimes. At least.

I will not stop taking my meds.

I don't think the point was ever that I would stop taking my meds, the point was the worry that the temptation was even there in the first place, and that bothered me big time.

Really the kicker for me was my therapist pointing out that it's all about trust. Do I trust myself? Ummmmm.......for those that can't read obvious-ese, the answer is a big resounding "NO."

I have major trust issues. If you know me, this is not a shocking thing. If you don't know me, well I don't trust people I don't know, and if you met me you'd figure it out eventually. Sure, I sound like I love people in general. I share just enough to make people THINK I trust them and will give them all honest information about myself if they want, but that's the people pleaser side to my personality. I do try to keep everyone happy all the time (you can just imagine how well that works, and how much damage it can do to my ego when IT FREAKIN' NEVER WORKS!!)

Ahem.....back to the topic at hand - Trust. Yes, capitalized in bold italicized letters. It's a big deal. Why, you may ask (if you're into talking to your computer screen and asking questions to a person who's not there. To each their own, my friend,) do I write a blog and share so much of myself in it. My answer is (because I assume anyone reading this must be a crazy as myself,) because here I am rather anonymous. Sure my friends know who I am, but we don't really discuss what I write here. I get comments and likes on Facebook, and shares on Twitter, but that still leaves me faceless to the masses.

Basically, for those that can't read Amber-ese (it's a hard language to learn, don't give up.) I have a false sense of "safe" writing things out to people I don't really know and, even knowing it's false, I'm good with that.

My trust issues started when I was young. It's one of those memories I wish I'd never gotten back. It may have a very empowering ending, but the beginning makes me cry. I hate crying. I don't even cry when I'm alone, unless the situation is really bad.  I completely refuse to actually cry in front of other people. It's embarrassing. Your nose gets all snotty and your eyes get all red and your face gets all blotchy.

Oh yeah, I'm talking about trust here, not crying. I forgot to take one of my pills this morning and my distractability is showing big time. It's the pill that slows down my 500 mph brain to a steady 75 mph. Without it, I'm basically ADD. Work is gonna suck tonight.

Geesh, back to trust. So when you're 8 and your best friend/cousin breaks your trust in the worst way someone could and the big people in your lives don't miraculously know what is going on and stop it and you are told no one will believe you by this person who broke your trust who is older and (obviously) would know because older = wiser, it's hard not to start the long spiral into a mistrusting soul. When the hurt goes on for years and years, and you scream as loud as you can on the inside, (but only on the inside because when you are still told every time you get hurt that no one will believe you or he will hurt you or he will hurt people you love even though they aren't protecting you from the big bad, out loud just doesn't happen) but no one hears your silent pleas for help, the little bit of trust you have left disappears a little at each family get together, each just because gathering. You also, through all of this, learn that crying is a bad idea, because crying leads to harsh pinches and painful hair pulling that makes you cry even harder than before when someone brushes your hair because you're afraid of the pain. Yeah, this whole period in my life pretty well screwed me up.

But, then 15 came. Then The Slap happened. (Bold and underlined because this is the empowering part.) Then you realize that the person hurting you is a coward, and once you confront them they will forever leave you alone. Bullies are like that. They will only bully someone they can keep weak, and, rather suddenly, you are no longer weak. You realize this, and you feel powerful, but unfortunately nothing can seem to break the old habits, and no one can really rebuild trust that broken.

Not stopping it for years, when it turns out it was that easy, made trust in self pretty much non existent. My own judgement is always in question. My ability to make the right decision (especially when I've managed to make so many wrong ones in my adult life) is constantly doubted. And so I worry.

Welcome to my crazy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fake Control and Contradictions

I'm afraid of myself.

When I say that, I'm pretty sure most people think that means because I tried to kill myself, or because I became someone else for all intents and purposes for 3 weeks several years ago. The thing is, not so much. Those are big things, but big things are easier to control and categorize in my head. What I'm afraid of is so much more, so much deeper, than those things. What I'm afraid of is truly me.

I'm a bag of contradiction. I'm afraid of my feelings and thankful for medication that helps me to control them, but I'm afraid of the fact that they are still there. They sit beneath the surface, waiting for the moment to emerge when my medication is weakest in my system or I'm just not trying as hard as I should. Then they rear up like a monster in a creature feature, taking over the silver screen that is my head, and I have no control.

It's then I remember how hard I had to work to keep those emotions in check. Keep them hidden inside where people didn't see them. I was screaming so loud in my head begging people to see the truth, but still afraid of what they would then think of me, how weak I am, how unable to just be human.

Then I realize that I'm losing that control, and I'm afraid of not taking my meds. I'm afraid of the me that is lurking beneath the surface of calm that is medically induced, because the exterior calm, the facade of control is slipping from my grasp, my actual control. If I don't take them I will lose the respect of those around me, because everyone who was surprised by my recent diagnosis of bipolar just never saw the me beneath the smile, and I'm not sure I will ever be that person again.

That's when I realize I'm afraid of continuing to take my meds. Two reasons for this. One is....because I am losing my control and meds should be a stopgap, not an end all be all to the issues I have in my head. Two is because, sometimes it physically hurts to have the feelings echoing beneath the surface and not feel them. I miss the highs. I miss the feeling of the smiles being real because they came from that place deep in my soul that knew I was invincible and nothing could really hurt me. I even miss the lows that were so all consuming that everything was dark around me. There was no hope and the smiles had to come from an even deeper place because they had to be physically pulled out for the sake of the world around me. I just don't feel things that way on my medication. Just the echo of what was.

So, I don't want to feel, but I do want to feel.

I don't want to lose control, but I do want to lose control.

I don't want to lose MY control, but I'm glad to have something that makes it okay to lose.

My logical side and my emotional side are having a daily argument, and I'm still waiting to see who will win out. Of course, since they are both full of contradictory arguments themselves, I don't really know what one winning over the other will mean.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.