One night in high school I went out with some girlfriends. We lied to our parents about where we were going and we went to some older guy’s house to hang out. We took shots of Captain Morgan. This wasn’t too out of the ordinary for us back then. My memory of this night is blurry, but here’s what I find important: as far as I know, none of the girls I was with had any sort of mental illness (i.e., “crazy”). We separated. I forget how. It wasn’t a big deal. I remember being outdoors at a patio table with two guys and I’m pretty sure the other girls were somewhere nearby with the other guys. I think I continued drinking (more than the other girls?), but maybe not; I don’t remember. But I do remember sobbing. I do remember phone calls involving my high school “boyfriend” and his best friend who I was also seeing.. at the time. It was all ridiculously, embarrassingly dramatic. I remember them picking me up. Hysterics. Attempting to jump out of the car on I-95 and someone physically restraining me. Somehow my mother must have been called because then I remember being in the hospital.
So I invite you to make up your own opinion about what points in the night I was “free,” when I was not, and how that compares to when my girlfriends were “free” that night.
In my opinion, we were all in some stupid-but-fun high school state of rebellious freedom up until we separated. I don’t know how “crazy” I was before that, but it certainly wasn’t enough to warrant concern. At some point after we separated, I believe my insanity took over. And I just described what exactly I mean by that. So that “crazy” point, whether you consider it the sobbing, the self injurious behaviors, the hospitalization, or something else.. Was I “free” at those points? I don’t think so. So fuck you all. Fuck Jimi Hendrix and Lana Del Rey. Craziness is not freedom. Insanity is not freedom. Fuck. You. All.
Be nicer to my boyfriend.
Call my mom more.
Finish decorating my apartment.
Stay out of the hospital.
Get rid of my raggedy sleep/loungewear and replace with grown-up clothes.
Look presentable near-daily.
Eat significantly less dairy.
Increase my physical activity.
Take advantage of nice days by spending time in the sun.
Don’t deny when things are difficult; allow myself put myself first at those times.
“It is the way it is” is no longer acceptable; actively work toward improvements.
Continue to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts and that I can separate myself from them.
Actively work towards socializing more.
Actively keep in touch with friends.
It’s always the same nonsensical cycle. You forget to take your meds, you’re out when you remember, but you feel fine so does it even matter? Nah, no big deal. I’ll take them tomorrow. Tomorrow you sleep through your alarm, have to race to get dressed and out the door. You’re in the car when you remember – shit, forgot to take my meds again today. Whatever, I’ve got more important things to worry about! That assignment your boss asked you to do last week that you still haven’t submitted, getting to the bank before it closes, paying rent, and that sale at Urban ends today! How can you worry about four little pills when you have So Much To Do? Besides, you feel fine. You wake up the next day, roll over and go back to sleep. No use checking the time, no use checking your calendar, or your oh-so-important to-do list. None of that matters. What’s the point of it all? You roll over and close your eyes with no intention of opening them again. The next time you wake up, you briefly consider getting out of bed to take your pills. But why? You feel like shit. Worthless, stupid, can’t form a complete thought. Obviously the pills aren’t working, so why bother taking them?
To those stuck in bed, stuck in their heads, stuck on a rollercoaster… Keep fighting xx
Taken from namimass.org:
“The vision of World Bipolar Day is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day will be to educate the world population about bipolar disorders and help improve sensitivity toward the illness.”
I don’t know how to educate you on bipolar disorders without reciting textbooks and statistics. Honestly, I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. I can, however, educate you on my illness. (Note: Educate you on my illness, not me. There’s a difference.) I hide it. You won’t see it so much unless you’re really, really close to me. When my [medicated] illness is showing, you’ll see me quiet. I may seem a little “out of it.” Other times I may be talking too fast. You may think I’m a little drunk or high. In a way I am, but the substances are supplied by my brain and I never asked for them. Sometimes I may seem irrationally irritable or annoyed. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be. When things are bad, you won’t see me at all. Finally, sometimes, occasionally, you’ll just see me.
“It’s hard to talk about so much so that no one is talking about it.”
I have mixed feelings about my scars. Anyone who’s ever self-harmed knows you don’t do it where others will easily see and because of that, the majority of my scars aren’t too obvious. Those scars I’m okay with. They remind me how real my past was. If I ever forget, everything is there permanently written on my body. For the most part, these scars blend in with my fair skin and are only really visible when I tan. And, of course, I have a story for every one of them. I’ve told the lies often enough that the stories slide out of my mouth without a single stutter or any hesitation.
My issue is with a pair of scars located on the inside of my forearm. They are pure white against my pale skin and slightly raised. Two scars about half an inch long, running perfectly parallel to each other. It’s completely different than the mess on my calves. It’s perfect. How do you account for a perfect pair of scars? I don’t know. The only story I’ve ever been able to come up with is that my friend’s cat scratched me as a child. Does it get any more cliche? Does it get any more obvious? I’m chronically self-conscious about them. And the worst part? Comparatively, it is incredibly rare that anyone ever asks about them. That must mean they know the truth and are too polite to bring it up in conversation, right?
So what do I do? I’ve looked into scar removal and haven’t been told any answers that I’d like to hear. I have no interest in wearing long sleeves year-round. So what do I do? I don’t know. I suppose I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out. Until then, my dark past is written in white on my arm for the world to see and to judge; dirtying my otherwise bright and pretty appearance. I hate that.
originally written May 28, 2013
They say “People are happy because they choose to be”. Well, I call bullshit.
Don’t you get it? I want to be happy. I want to work hard all week and then go out and have fun on the weekends. But it’s not enough to want it. Wanting it doesn’t work.
People say you choose happiness. But what about when it’s not an option? When you want it so bad, but for some reason out of all the things in the world that you can choose to do and be – happy isn’t one of them. What then?
originally written April 9, 2013