Without faith

It is late, and snow is falling. It is very light, and it won’t stick anyway, but neighbors have bought their emergency milk and bread regardless. It’s not like the north where we were buried in snowfall, and I still had to walk to school. I remember the real cold, the brisk and bitter wind, the icicles hanging from the sad-looking houses. I miss winter. I miss the fall there. But I do not miss that town.

 

I’ve written about many people in my life, and some I’ve written about many times. I’ve written lives over, dreams over, nightmares over. I’ve rewritten songs to beats I could not keep and have cried over a thousand one too many melodies. Too many lyrics. Too many words. Too many thoughts. Millions. Millennia, all swimming in me, as if this moment will never matter, but it still hurts.

 

There are shadows I grasp at. There are apparitions too heavy to hold. I am a bearer of many observations, and I see things other people have not, cannot, and will never see. I hear radio interference, hissing voices bullying the airwaves. I pick up on pain you never knew you had.

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So, we fall; but we can rise again, as well.

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, guys. Truth is, I came back from my eleventh hospitalization yesterday. That’s right: I was hospitalized. “The Plan” didn’t go too well. In an effort to make things easier on me, Bf ate a big plate of steamed vegetables at work so I didn’t have to cook for him. I wasn’t cleaning. I was so tired from crying and so overwhelmed. I wasn’t putting away the laundry that was still in the dryer, because my back hurt so badly, and I was so tired. All these excuses kept circling in my head, because my depression was hungry, and I felt the need to feed it, so these excuses kept feeding the monster. They kept fueling the vision that my life and self were worthless.

Continue reading “So, we fall; but we can rise again, as well.”

Taking my own advice 19 October, 2017

Just a quick update to let everyone know how “The Plan” is going. I said I’d start, and I’m proud to say I actually did. I tend to procrastinate and come up with excuses, especially when it comes to postponing recovery, because I’ve said before, the illnesses are hungry, and they ache to be fed. They’re persuasive. They’re angry. But I punched them in the face today.

Continue reading “Taking my own advice 19 October, 2017”

How do you break the cycle?

Many mental illnesses, like many other chronic illnesses, are often cyclical. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this means that at times the illness softens or even goes into a state of “remission,” in which the illness is not as prominent, invasive, difficult, and/or et cetera. This is especially true with mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder. I think a full “remission” is rare, but I’ve known people who have reportedly (or rather, self-reportedly) gone for years without symptoms who end up hospitalized after an episode returns. Still, many illnesses are cyclicallike fibromyalgia for example.

The uni-cycle from hell

Continue reading “How do you break the cycle?”

The month of gratitude

Another apology for a lack of posts. October was so hard on me, and truth be told, positivity is hard to maintain. I’ve been more social than perhaps ever before, which is good, but I’ve also been mega stressed. I have many complaints, but this entry is not going to be a place for those complaints. Instead, I’m going to write about what I’m most grateful for. I feel everything has at least a duality to it. The human experience, when truly lived, is neither singularly joyful or melancholy. It is complex. It is both. It is all. It is neither.

Chronic suicidality makes gratitude hard for me, because every good thing, event, place and/or person is often enough proof to me that I should stay and bear the pain. I don’t resent these, but it makes gratitude itself more complicated. I love, and I am grateful, and I have always loved and always been grateful, but allowing that gratitude to be a positive motivator is something new to me.

My blessings:

  1. “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell ; This is one of my favorite quotes, particularly because of the subtle implications. I don’t believe friendships always last forever, real and true or not. I used to have friendships with people who abused this sentiment but never wholly grasping what it meant–at least to me. To me, “walks in” means “supports;” alternatively, “walks out” means “disowns,” “neglects,” or “betrays.”Real friends are hard to come by, but for me any friend in general is particularly hard to come by. Despite this blog, or tied into this blog I guess, I am in reality a very sad person who is easily triggered. This is something I am working on, both via the blog and life.  Books. Classes. Therapy. You know, many methods and mediums. I am difficult for people to handle, because I am intense. That is something that will not change no matter how hard I try. Intensity is tied with me, and so it is tied with my sadness.

    I have had two (2) friends I have experienced this sentiment with. I am luckier than most in this. Maybe luckier than anyone. Although our friendship is more or less over, my first best friend is one of the most important people in my life. I say “is” because I still and will always love her. She showed me what friendship really is; what platonic love really is. She ran to my house through a blizzard in her pajamas to ensure my safety for the night. She ran to my rescue every time I needed her at such a crucial age.  I was 14ish when we got close like this, and I lost this bond as early as 15, due to life-changing circumstances on both our parts. We still talk occasionally, but we were absolute best friends for a singular year. It feels like a lifetime. She defended and protected me. She listened. She reasoned with me. She was my rock, my guardian angel, and my best friend.

    The second friend is my mother, who will always be my mother first and friend second, but she and I are friends nevertheless. She has grown. We both have. Significantly. Our interpersonal relationship has improved, and she nurtures me and loves me.

    My heart bursts with gratitude for both.

  2. I can eat well and often enough. I have a roof over my head, a pretty safe environment, a loving mother, nice clothes, supplies for creative expression, healthcare, and to sum it up: Enough to live well at this moment.
    I have great battles every day, but I’m grateful I do not sleep on a dirty floor or in the streets. Despite financial troubles, I am richer than many and have a lot of support.
  3. “…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” – Vincent van Gogh ; I suppose there’s a dark and serious irony here, since the Impressionist painter committed suicide. But he had a beautiful soul from what I know of him and beautiful ideas. And truthfully, in these moments, there are few things more important than these. I am grateful for human expression and creativity.

  4. My “gray matter” in many matters. I have strong education however informal, I have great creativity, some awesome skill sets, a knack for art, an immense love for the world, and am able to see beauty in small things. I suffer from mental illnesses that are heavy and complicated and painful. I suffer from chronic suicidality and other severe symptoms that impact my day-to-day living. But yesterday I bought a bag of apples and found one still with a leaf on it. The sun is shining beautifully, and I am not overheated, despite my hyperthyroidism. I am happy. If just in this moment, I am happy. I am hopeful. I have a break from my suicidality. I can breathe. I know what I need to do. I know how to plan to achieve those goals. I am grateful for my flawed, beautiful, and capable mind.
  5. “When you know in your bones that your body is a sacred gift, you move in the world with an effortless grace. Gratitude and humility rise up spontaneously.” – Debbie Ford
    The body I’m in is not limber or ever comfortable. I have days during which I am bedridden and crying out in pain. But it is a vessel to carry me, and I can still–on most days–paint with it, dance with it, and hug with it. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to create, dance, and express affection.

I choose gratitude today.

NOTE TO SELF (Read, reread, rereread, and rerereread, PRN)

Dear Crashing Me,

As routine in our illnesses, our moods will often shift like tectonic plates, leaving earthquakes and casualties and violence in their wake. Sometimes, these moods are forward-thinking, alight with possibilities, effervescent with energy, beautified by determination, and brave and faithful in goal-setting. Sadly still, however, they often brim with shrieking and violence and sometimes bodily harm. They’re the wingéd sicknesses crashing into the thin and delicate skin of our sanity, leaving potholes and puddles and shaping our landscape into valleys without mountains, destroying our interpersonal relationships, our wonder, our love, and our purpose.

During this, you must remember our purpose.

People who have not suffered these global quakes might take my description of them for melodrama; a self-pitying maudlin romance with our own diseases, perhaps. But you know better. You know what you are feeling at this moment. You know what you are thinking. know death and despair are overtaking you, accruing you like a stray and feeding you more reasons to be wild and untamed. Here, the term “broken” seems paradoxical, but we know what I mean when I say “broken.” Not “broken” in the sense of a monster of mediocrity, not “broken” in the sense of a domesticated horse. “Broken” here means “hopeless;” “unable to continue;” “lost;” and “better off dead.”

These crashes are becoming less frequent but are gaining in gravity. Have you noticed? Sometimes for hours you will weep in our bed, unaware of where we are or who we are, full of distrust, frustration, and confusion. You will confuse our mother with a prison guard and our body a jail cell. You will throw our things against the wall because you will not know if they even exist in the moment before the fractures.

I know what you are feeling. I understand. I am the only one in this world who can tell you this, because we are the only us in this place. You can trust me. I promise. Nothing is hunting us. No one is testing our responses. We are not hooked up to a machine. We are loved. We are treasured. We’ve been hurt–and brutally–to the point at which we can’t turn back, but we will be okay. We suffer because it is important to suffer. We suffer because we grow through our suffering. We suffer, because that is how we learn what we want to teach: Love. Tolerance. Respect. Honesty. Responsibility. Solidarity. Greatness.

I am happy we have lived this long. I know you aren’t. I know your mind is terrorized with the regrets of not jumping off the Hilton Hotel when you had a chance and not swallowing all of the pills in the cabinet when we were 40 lbs lighter and so much younger and so much more naïve. I get that. know. But you must understand: We are learning the lessons of who we are and what we are capable of achieving despite the bellies of the beasts we have had to claw our way through. There are monsters in us but also the greatest capacity for creating safe spaces that I’ve ever seen. We have helped so many people. We have touched their souls in ways no one has ever touched ours. Do you understand me? We have a reason to live because we have the tools and experience to give. We will leave the world better than when we came here, but we have got to get through this.

The depressive episodes are hard and heavy. Maybe not as awful as they once were. The psychotic episodes are getting almost unbearable. You see things in ways we cannot forgive or understand or tolerate. But do you know why?

I am developing a resistance to our depressive symptoms. Last night, we slept all late afternoon, and I still got us into bed early. I awoke early, despite wanting more sleep in the pursuit of rest I realized I will realistically never have. I got us to wash our face and brush our teeth, despite feeling like falling over. We were hurting and tired and we are kind of bored with the mundane goal-setting, but I set goals anyway. I cleaned the litter box and did some cleaning with the thoughts of living better in mind. Bored also with music, I made the decision to run while we watched Penny Dreadful. I chose to pay full attention to the poetry, expression, and cinematography instead of withering in the characters’ conversation of death. I kept running. I ran through two episodes. I made breakfast. I ate breakfast. I cleaned up. I showered. Was any of this easy? No. But it’s getting less difficult. It’s getting less difficult for me to take care of us. To love us. We have a lot to give to the world, and you can’t bail on it now. Not after all we’ve been through. Not after all I’ve learned to feel. We are sick, but we are not dead, and as long as we are alive, we are a part of this world, even though we feel we are not. Let us not be afraid.

The psychotic components of our disease are trying to tear us down. My defenses are getting tougher, and I am learning to fight off the infections of sorrow that break into us. The intensity of these new hallucinations and delusions present a new(ish) challenge, then. But I am not scared, and I want you not to be scared either. We are paving our way through the world and no longer is this world paving a way through us. Do you understand me? We are freer than we’ve ever been. I’ve got this. I’ve got us. We’re not going to let our diseases destroy us. We are better than that. We are better. We deserve to win this war.

Fight with me. In solidarity, despite our sadnesses and our sicknesses, let us be the hero of our story. You and I are nothing less than brave. That violence that is inside of us will be the determination that saves us. And remember,

you are not alone.

 

With indeed great love and warmth,

 

Happy Me