Tag Archives: happiness

Lessons

17 Aug

“A moment of consideration often prevents a thousand apologies”
― Kevin J. Anderson

I apologize for not writing more often.  My head has been all over the place this year, and it’s been hard to want to write about… anything, really.

This past month I spent my time “down unda’” – in New Zealand and Australia.  It was an amazing trip – beautiful country, adorable animals, and wonderful people.  As much as I loved this trip, I was reminded of how much we still need to teach people about mental illness.

For me, when I get too overwhelmed/anxious/nervous/etc, I tend to retreat to a space that I have (wherever I am) where I can be alone, to calm down.  My parent’s are well aware of me doing this, so when I randomly just walk away, and curl into a ball in my room, they understand that I need that time to recoup.  I didn’t think about this for my trip.  My mom was worried about me going and I couldn’t understand why – I mean, I’ve told people in NZ that I’m living with a sometimes debilitating illness, so I thought I’d be fine.  I guess for me, I don’t see myself on the outside – I don’t know what it looks like to someone else when I ‘disappear’, or don’t want to partake in activities because it’ll just be too much for me.

I don’t think I made the best first impression for meeting my partner’s family.

Anytime I was around someone, my heart would would try to force it’s way out of my chest (I swear, haha), but I’d try really, really hard to keep my cool.  Questions would race through my head, all day – every day, “Am I standing right? Do I look awful? Should I be doing this? Maybe I should be doing that? Maybe I should help with this? Maybe I should say that? I wonder if they think I’m good enough? I wonder if they think I’m overweight? I wonder if they think I should talk more?” etc etc.  This alone – is exhausting.  And you can’t tell me, “Just stop thinking like that.”  It doesn’t work like that.  I don’t want to feel or act like that, but I was on edge most of the time.

I realize going into this trip, that I wasn’t the most ‘picture perfect’ partner to bring home to meet mom.  Currently unemployed, ‘ill’, and on top of it, people viewed me as being ‘lazy’, because my comfort zone, was often the bedroom that I had wherever I stayed – as it was a place I could shut the door, and then shut down myself.   But I thought that shouldn’t matter – I make Matt happyTHAT’S what should matter.

A month is not nearly enough time to get to know someone, though.  It would have been nice sitting down with everyone and talking about what goes on in my chaotic brain, so that they would hopefully see me in a more positive light.  When you’re travelling all over a country, a month sure isn’t long enough to explain anything about yourself, so I guess that was my disadvantage.

I think when it comes down to it, it’s all about learning, and wanting to learn.  I’ve always said, if there’s ever a question you want to ask me – ask me!  Nothing is too intrusive, stupid, obnoxious – just ask me.  I’d rather people learn about me, than to judge me negatively before getting to know me.  I understand that if you were never faced with the issue of mental illness, then why would you spend the extra time to learn about it?  It’s kind of like learning to fix your car – I’ve never had the desire to learn, and haven’t been faced with having to fix it on my own (despite my ‘awesome’ luck with cars needing to be fixed) – so why learn about it?  The less you know, the easier life appears to be.   I sometimes wish I didn’t learn about half the things I’ve seen and done – it paints an atrocious picture.

There are people in my life that are still learning about how to live with me and I hope they will continue to learn.  It’s hard every time the wrong chord is struck, but I have to realize  that no one knows what it’s like to be in my shoes – and so I can’t expect them to understand me all the time.  I just have to keep teaching them about myself, and hopefully keep a good flow of communication.

It’s never easy though..

Don’t get me wrong – the good far outweighed the bad, and I absolutely loved this trip!

DSCN5429Fur Seals in Kaikoura

Through the Looking Glass

26 Mar

“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

This past weekend really made me think.  It’s one thing to go through my own adventure, it’s another thing to try and explain it to someone else who will be reading through my eyes.

Trust.

Honesty.

I realized it is one thing to explain something to someone –  that has nearly destroyed your life – to actually being able to live through hearing this.

It’s not only about telling “my” story – it’s about telling the story of those who have lived it with me.

How can I explain to someone, what it’s like to love someone with bipolar and depression?  I’m not the one looking from the other side of the glass.

It’s not even about me.  This is about those who love me – who love you.  It’s one thing to be able to say, “This is how I am feeling right now”, – but what about the people that are living with us – loving us – trying to understand and comfort us.

How can I explain to someone “What It’s All About” – when I’m on the wrong side of the mirror – What is it like for parent’s to see their child going through this?  To hear that their child has been admitted to a hospital because they tried to kill themselves?  To know that something is going on wrong chemically inside a loved ones mind?

I’m not on that side of the mirror.  And it hurts me to think of being on that side of mirror –  even more, knowing I put people on that side of the mirror.

When will it be ‘okay’ to talk about mental illness?

When will it be okay to actually live with a mental illness?

xo

“Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?” – George Carlin

20 Feb

Hello, and welcome back to the RING – OF – INSANITY!

*crowd cheering*

Anyways,

Tonight I want to talk about “relationships”.

Oooo some of you giggled and some of you quivered in fear.

I’m talking about all relationships – from friends, to lovers, to family, to coworkers, etc

Picture this:  You walk into a bar, you see someone you want to talk to, they look in your direction, they casually walk towards you with a smirk on that sexy face, you start to sweat … quick! You have social anxiety – what do you do?

Obviously, you don’t go out in the first place.  Come on, now.

Alright, alright.. I have had my share of times out dancing the night away – ONLY if my good friend, alcohol, is coming with me.  Let me explain..

Relationships are hard work regardless of what’s going on in your life.  Throw in a mental illness and you’re in for a show – whether it be a party or a ‘I’m going to curl up in a ball in this corner, now, please leave me alone’.

For the most part, making friends for me has been easy.  When I need to be, I throw on my disguise of, ‘strong, tough, bitch’ when I need it (and trust me, you don’t know how many people come up to me and say, ‘when I first met you, I was afraid of you’).  But deep down inside, all I want to do is be by myself.  Or maybe with a certain few people.

Let me tell you about some of the people in my life, first:

My family – I have the greatest family in the world (and no, I’m not being biased, they really are the greatest family in the world).  They have been through just as chaotic of a trip as I have, and have stuck by me the whole way.  No one will ever understand what I have been through, and will continue going through, but I will always have them there to support me.. and sometimes say, “Have you taken your meds?” “Are you sure you’re ok?” “You’re surprisingly happy, please don’t spend any money (etc)?” 😉

Someone else who is a very important role in my survival is my wonderful boyfriend – who had no idea what he was getting into when he started dating me, and for some crazy reason has still stuck by me for over a year.

He is the main reason why I wanted to write this.

Meeting someone is the easy part – getting to know someone is very hard – especially if you are dealing with things that ‘most’ people don’t understand.

Simple questions like, “So, what do you do for a living?” can send a shivering blade down your spine if you’ve lived like I have.

Do you go into details about why you just lost another amazing job?  Do you try and make up something like, “oh, the drive was brutal – I had to quit”? Do you try to explain how your boss discriminated against you, and there was nothing you could do about it?

Back when I was still very sick, on benzos and alcohol, I could lie up a storm – with being more clear headed, it’s harder to hide what’s really going on.  I cherish every new person that accepts me into their life, but it’s still a struggle to meet with someone one on one, in case I’m put into that situation where I have to talk about what’s really going on with me.

I don’t expect anyone to understand what is going on with me, why I react the way I do, why I do the things I do – but it’s hard, and tiring, to try and explain it to everyone I meet.  I wish I could just wear a badge on my forehead that said, “BIPOLAR” – wait, new tattoo idea?  (Just kidding, mom).

What I’m trying to say is.. I’m sorry if I don’t come out to your parties, I’m sorry if I don’t come over to visit, I’m sorry if I don’t always do the things you want me to do, I’m sorry if I’m not available (ever) – I’m literally shaking scared with anxiety because I don’t know what to do or say anymore.

But trust me.. I AM better than I was – and will only continue to get better.

..and I leave you with a picture of my (stuffed) STI’s and me. 😉

Image

For now, I bid you farewell,

xo