I got into grad school

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I found out like a 2 weeks ago, while I was in Philly.  I told my parents, without too much bluster, and they told Joes family, and we celebrated, kinda, a little, while we were there (there were lots of things happening, Joe got tenure! its easter! its my birthday! im having a mental breakdown!).. so it was a bit of a weird reception…. and then… then I didn’t tell anyone. At all. And theres quite a bit of story to tell in that. But for once, I’m just going to keep that seperate.

This is my thing.  This is THE thing I have been trying to do for years. And I got in. I got in with a scholarship that completely covers my tuition.

I just want that to breathe. I want that to be the part of this I go back and read about in the future.

And I know that getting in and going to school does not mean that I will finish it, or that I will do well. Hell, it doesn’t even mean I will successfully complete the stats refresher course I have to take before starting the program.  And I know my therapist thinks this is a horrible idea, and I know he might be right. I know these past 2 years have basically been an example of exactly how I am not invincible to the socioeconomic effects of mental illness, and that it is not unlikely that I will spend large amounts of my future in some combination of unable to work, living in poverty, working sporadically, and maybe just feeling accomplished to hold a job of any kind.  and I get that. But I’ve also decided I can’t just let that truth dictate my goals. There is a solid argument that I shouldn’t do this, one my therapist has made many times, one that mostly surrounds failing and making myself sicker. But the financial impacts of trying are pretty small – thanks to scholarships – and I think the benefit of trying will outweigh the prospect of failing. I would forever regret not trying.

So this is it. This moment is a culmination of every fibre of perseverance, strength and that nagging sense of hope in my soul.

I’m going to grad school.

 

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mental illness, society, guilt & holidays

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so i have a strange feeling. its going to take awhile to get to, but hear me out.

i am a mentally ill person. i read a lot of mental illness blogs. i have a lot of mentally ill friends. i have even more mentally ill advocate “friends” on facebook.

and i recognize that this is a shitty shitty time of year for the vast majority of them. i wish there was something to be done about that, but for the most part there isnt. i cant replace family, or be the accepting parent, or give them a day off from the blinding depression so they dont feel guilty about not feeling happy, or whatever, that is the cause of the shitty shitty feelings. society has built this time of year into something it isnt: joyous, perfect, shiny and bright, filled with only happiness and love. and thats shitty, for everyone. because you always feel like you arent living up to a standard that doesnt exist. and it makes your strained relationships with people feel soul crushing and awkward, it makes your depression stand out that much more by comparison, it causes you to evaluate your situation not just against everyones perfect instagramed selves but also against like every possible media posting, church preaching and news outlet depiction. and theres no life, no matter how seemingly perfect, that lives up to that standard. and the more you feel like you have to, the further away from it you get. its fucked up and it fucks things up.

for years growing up i kind of hated christmas. i mean, i was still a kid who got gifts, because i come from a privileged background of sorts, so i cant say it was entirely bad or that i hated every part of it. but my memories are EXTREME STRESS FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. i remember bawling, multiple times a day, every christmas, for multiple reasons: for years before some very intensive therapy i really resented my family and a lot of my childhood and especially my brother, and my parents for not saving me. i felt robbed of something, like there was a harsh disconnect between me and them despite all this togetherness and seemingly tv family activity. and i felt guilty. when i was little i felt left out by my family and siblings because they were all older and never wanted me around while they did teenage to adult age things so i was alone when i felt like i was supposed to be taking part. and i felt lonely and like i was doing something wrong. there were crowds and crowds of people that i didnt really know and or there were so many people i couldnt breathe, or move, and id have huge panic attacks locked in a washroom somewhere. my family also has a very strange insular dynamic where for the entire week between christmas and new years, and even a few days before christmas, we were expected to be with family, and only family, and not have outside lives so it was this constant constricting force (this is still true when any family member visits). then there were other factors, like my father having an extremely high stress level and very short fuse when he was working at his high level job, that made him angry and awful a lot and christmas added to that stress level to the point where hed be flipping out all the time and he just hated it. he hated it a lot and you could tell; and he made you hate it a little too, because you felt like the cause of his anger. and then my brother didnt live in the country anymore, so it simultaneously became an even more hyped up occasion if he was coming home and also this awkward, disappointing, land of confusion and abandonment the years he didnt. and then we were all awkward ages and three of us kids were dealing with mental health issues of varying severity, and my mother’s severe social anxiety would go into overdrive and her bordering on eating disorder tendencies would come out, and my dad and whatever shit he was going through that never came up. and then there were those years were my brother had a severe eating disorder no one talked about, which made christmas especially difficult for him, and by extension, my sister and i, as we would look at my parents to fix it, to do something, and they didnt. and we didnt.

and theres a lot of things i could say or delve into that would better explain how christmas can be sort of horrible, and how it was sort of horrible. and i think that almost everyone has those stories, for whatever reason.

but this year, i dont have those feelings. and i feel really, really guilty about it, somehow, when i read all these blogs and facebook posts and talk to my friends who i know are in the middle of all this shit.

because christmas is shit. if we are honest, the average experience of christmas is stress, obligation, dread and anxiety. and i feel like im now somehow perpetuating the joyful stereotype of the day, because my life this year has been very… on point for societal views of the season. and i feel like im betraying my people.

i feel like that a lot when i talk about good things as wholly good. and thats really kind of a strange fucked up thing. like i feel guilty when my mental illness isnt at the forefront ruining everything for me because i know it is for so many people and i dont want to be that thing. and everyone with a mental illness knows what that thing is. the thing people without a mental illness (or sometimes we as people with mental illnesses) point to, sometimes meaning it in a positive ‘you can do it too!’ manner, sometimes meaning it as a ‘she can do it, you fucking loser’ manner, as a person who has suffered through your thing and is not “ruining” or causing “discomfort” or being “abnormal” or otherwise breaking social norms by being themfuckingselves. because we, as mentally ill people, cause discomfort. it is somehow our job to reduce ourselves, to placate other people, with our pretending. with our moulding to societal expectations. being unabashedly mentally ill is a political act. and thats fucking so hard to explain. that being mentally ill is a thing, its ok, to be yourself. to feel your feelings, to have your symptoms. to not be okay. and we dont need all these things glowing and pointing all around us to remind us that we arent being enough by being ourselves. be yourself. your whole fucking messy, uncomfortable, societal ideal failing self.

so i dont know what to do. and maybe this is part of why ive never written much when ive been doing well. i feel guilty for being that thing, sometimes.

part of it comes from all the public speaking i used to do. being mentally ill in a spotlight is very strange, because you’re only really in the spotlight for that stuff when youre doing well. so then no matter what you are saying, youre sort of normalizing mental illness as something removed from the symptoms. because people arent seeing symptoms, they are hearing that they happened and then starring at this person they dont equate with those things, because they are functional seemingly normal people, and thinking “wow, shes come a long way” or “im so glad thats over for her” (both of those things have been said directly to me after more generalized mental illness speeches) and they treat you like youve magically become better. like you have a secret and like other mentally ill people could find it if they too tried as hard as you did.

this is partially because some people go through one serious bout of depression, usually brought on by a very specific set of circumstances, from which they are able, through the help of temporary medication and some serious help, to get out of, and they do overcome that depression and they dont fall back into it. and then these people talking about being mentally ill. and maybe this is a jackass thing to say, but they arent. they are people who have suffered from depression, but they are not chronically mentally ill. and somehow, people think this is the norm for mental illness. it is not.

so. im sorry if you are going through shit. i am sorry if i am presenting a view of life right now like its gotten better! ta da! im sorry if this has been a thing for you to compare things to, that makes you feel worse. and im sorry that i feel sorry for not being sick enough. that is a weird, unhelpful feeling to put out into the mentally ill universe.

so let me say this, to ease my conscious, to normalize, to give perspective, or context, or whatever it is, to my last few posts.

-ive have had an extremely relaxed, low key, family oriented christmas. i am happy. it has been joyous and full of love and happy things. i didnt feel stressed, or cry, or feel crushed by the weight of something that wasnt there. i do miss my grandma, but it is ok. i feel ok. there was a noticeable lack of stress. it has been exceptional. i am very lucky. this is true.

-my family, every single member except my oldest brother, have gone through therapy. my sister and i have gone through a lot of therapy, myself going on 8 years with the same psychologist, and several misc attempts before that. we did family therapy. my brother did ocd specific therapy. we have recognized that there is a problem (or many, layered interacting problems) and worked on ourselves and also our family dynamic, from many different angles, for a decade and a half. we are a family that puts family above everything else, for whatever reason, and we have worked through some pretty serious trauma and family shit to get to where we are at. many people have said i have a “tv family” in recent years, and there is some truth to that, now, but i cant underscore enough that this was not always the case.

-i am still very conscious of my mental illness. it is a fibre of my being. it dictates many of my life choices, even when im well. i  plan around it like it is a child that i must take care of. when im sick its an infant and when im well its a grown up that you never stopped worrying about. it is always present to some degree. it will come back full force, sometime. i am not fixed.

-my family does not completely do stereotypical christmas. particularly around gift giving. my father strongly believes that we should help each other when we need help, year round, not on a misc day of the year where we buy each other shit because we are obligated to do so. he also hates shopping, malls, and generally the public in the month of december. so he has opted out. my parents dont exchange gifts. my siblings and i dont exchange gifts. occasionally my brother will send something up if he finds something he thinks one of us would really enjoy, because we dont see each other, and he is very wealthy. my sister loves the idea of giving people things at christmas, so sometimes she will give things, usually to me or my parents, and usually not expensive but very thoughtful (see: the christmas miracle tape). she also makes food based christmas stockings for everyone with my parents money. i usually help her. if we all happen to have spare cash and my parents actually need something, we will buy it for them, because they do a lot for us and are not at a point in their lives where they need much from us during the year (this year my brothers were the only ones with money, and they bought my parents a set of glasses because they needed them. in previous years we all had a lot of money and bought them a washing machine when theres broke a week before christmas. most years they get nothing.). my mom usually buys my sister and i a few items because she knows we are struggling financially and she wants us to have something to enjoy. but basically there is absolutely no pressure to get anyone anything, to spend money we dont have, or to brave overcrowded shopping malls. we feel zero guilt about this. moreover, the members of my family with children can afford gifts for their children. this combination is a luxury few people have.

at the end of the day, my point is writing about feeling normal is hard for me, for strange reasons. and i feel guilty sometimes when things work out for me, and i dont know why. its almost the same feeling i had when i was very depressed and someone i knew got cancer, and all i could think was ‘why couldnt i take the burden instead?’. i just. i feel like an outsider sometimes. like im looking in on the lives of people and i know what they are going through and i feel helpless. probably like my parents feel about me.

why am i the one that gets the good period?

fucked up question right?

maybe only other seriously suicidal people will understand. maybe no one will. maybe this is all crazy gibberish. i know it will come back, but it feels unfair that i get to be this ok, for this long, and so many people dont.

im sorry.

 

it’s a reindeer round up, at the north pole corral

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i had this tape when i was little called like “christmas is for children” or something. it was white with blue lettering that i can picture perfectly but im unsure i was ever actually able to read before the writing got all half worn off, so i cant be 100% sure thats actually what it was called. this tape included such classics as “reindeer round up” (its a reindeer round up, and the north pole corral, theyll be hitchin up that sleigh any day now dun dun dun dun) and something i thought was called “i think that i like christmas” (in which an angry old man is taught to love christmas by a group of carolling kids). that is basically the entirety of my memory of this tape, but i LOVED it. thoughts of it make my insides smile.

my sister and i had all kinds of christmas traditions; she is very big on traditions and has been since we were little, so these traditions lasted well past when they should have (see: us reading each other old childrens christmas books [barbapoppas christmas!] on christmas eve when i was a teenager. see also: going to mcdonalds every christmas eve for the first 20+ years of my life because when my siblings were little and lived in the boonies they would stop at mcdonalds on the drive in to see my grandparents), and we used to listen to this tape all through december. im sure it was a welcome break, at first, from the fred penner i blared at full volume to sleep when i was 2 and/or the backstreet boys first album (which, in case you were wondering, came out a few years earlier and is a completely different album than the first one released in the states. im sure you were wondering.) i blared to go to sleep by the time i was 8 or so. and then there was that hanson obsession… basically ive been blaring music to go to sleep since before headphones were really a thing. but i digress. we listened to it every christmas until way past when it was acceptable to own a tape player, until somehow the tape just disappeared and no one really noticed because we dont have any way to play them anyway. so now amy and i just sing random lines of a country themed christmas song at each other while sounding slightly deranged.

this tape, for obvious reasons, is not located on itunes or google play music. because it is literally the weirdest thing and i cant imagine it was ever popular. and, as amy found out, because it was a give away tape produced by the ontario lotto commission in 1984, and was all songs by local ontario singers with zero budget, hence why there were literally no actual christmas carols on the tape. (how a tape from the ontario lotto commission, produced two years before my birth, made it into my tiny little nova scotian hands remains a mystery).

but my sister. my sister is really good at interneting. the best, really. id wager money on it. so she found a site that used to have the tape on it, run by a guy who would go to thrift stores and digitize/upload random vintage tapes. the site was no longer functional because the government doesnt want us to have nice things  copyright infringement. so she found the guy who ran it on facebook, and he gave her some log in to the site to download the tape, only the files didnt work, so she harassed him again, and her re did the files for her.

so when we were doing adult christmas this year (normally just stockings, but this year my parents bought both amy and i gifts because we arent working), my sister brings out her ipad and the grumpy old man starts huffing at the carolling children.

and that my friends, is a little christmas miracle.

christmas was good this year. super relaxed. we did adult christmas (mom, dad, amy, sean, sean’s mom, and me), which was extra fun this year because we got gifts! i sound like im 5, but like, we dont normally really do gifts to begin with, and i am extremely poor, so it was extra exciting. my parents gave me three pairs of pj pants that i desperately needed (a) the ones i wear all the time now have like 4 holes in them and b) i end up wearing pj pants a lot because my niece and nephew come down all the time so when i would previously just wander around pantless, i now wear pj pants), a nice night cream and day time moisturizer, some lip balm, foot cream, a pair of leggings because the ones i own are wearing out, some canvases and a few paint brushes since ive been painting more/selling some art lately, some grocery money, and a board game ive really wanted called “pandemic legacy” (something completely frivolous so i really wasnt expecting it). my sister gave me some planted herbs too, which was really nice an unexpected.

seans mom was much better today, had normal conversations and somewhat participated in activities! so that was a nice change. she is still a little… odd to be around. she is extremely smart but also very… slow? somehow? its a very weird combination. but she is nice and has been making an effort to talk about things at least somewhat related to the persons interest and allowing people to respond.  i think shes really lonely normally, because she lives alone an hour out of the city, and she has a strained relationship with her kids and very low mobility so i doubt she gets out much. so im glad she was here and not alone for christmas. i think thats why she talks so much, shes never got anyone to talk to except when shes here. all the things shes been thinking for the past month just spew out sometimes.

to cover the basics, we had dinner super early (2pm?) to accommodate jeff and brandy’s schedule. kids came over and opened their gifts and were typical little kids and just tore everything open. unless they could tell it was clothing, at which point they angrily threw it without opening it. darling children. dad made a delicious turkey dinner, as par usual, jeff and i did the dishes. jeff and all left, i accidentally took nighttime sinus medicine and took almost a 2 hour nap. played cards and the african strategy game seans mom got them (its fun! i cant for the life of me remember what its called! very simple to learn, but lots of strategy involved.) ate a bunch of chocolate. now its 230 in the morning and im writing a blog, because me.

that was basically the day!

im happy. its so nice to be happy and not stressed and not really… any negative thing at the holidays. i know thats rare for most people, and its been rare for me even though i clearly have a great and close family, so i appreciate it more. my heart still goes out to all the people hating everything right now though, because this time of year can definitely be a double edged sword, even for those without fucked up pasts and mental disorders.

hope you all coped well, talked to someone you loved, and had something delicious to eat (even if it was chinese food and movie theatre popcorn, eddie :P)

merry christmas/happy chanukah!

New Beginnings

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Ive been gone for awhile, despite saying Id write more, because the things consuming my life were things I wasnt allowed to write about. am not allowed to write about. not yet, anyway. lets just say work hasnt been awesome.

But theres been a lot of other changes so I think I can finally scrape together something to say.

im transitioning off divalproex and onto abilify. abilify is the shit. i feel human. i feel like i understand what stress is supposed to be. i feel like i cant possibly explain the difference, but its amazing.

Im moving out of my apartment, and away from brandon (we are still friends).  Im moving out on my own. im moving into a house. a floor of a house anyway. donna and kale will live above me. we will have a pretty backyard with trees and bbqs. my kitchen is red.

I am excited, though i think im supposed to feel scared. i dont know. theres something nice about having complete control over things, but at the same time i have complete control to fuck them up and im pretty good at that. and the rent is very high. like 1.5 times what i pay now. but a house! by myself! theres a hammock! theres no grass to mow! its the best of both worlds.

i keep starting to write about work and then erasing it because even what im allowed to write about doesnt make any sense without what i cant.  the event ive been working on for months is going well. its thursday. we have a tv reporter hosting. fingers crossed for good press.

we had the first gathering of my group of friends in months this weekend and it was good. i hope if continues but im not sure it will. the split may be running deeper between a couple people who will ruin it for everyone.

its dads birthday today too. im a little blubbery about it because im worried all the time even though i probably shouldnt be.  he got into a clinical trial in arizona, so my parents will be there in may, after their ‘travel before the sickness!’ trip to china. good for them.

i guess i over estimated my ability to write something.

things are good. too much change, but not in a bad way. i need to buy a vacuum cleaner. i think ill visit gma tonight.

thats all

the flip side

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I’ve been messed up for awhile now. Really, seriously, morosely messed up. I’ve felt it in my bones, in my soul, in the pressure of my eyelids over my too dilated pupils.

and I’ve written. I’ve written all the bad, scary things that live within me. I’ve written the the shit no one talks about because it is fucked up, incomprehensible, and feels stupid and small yet vast and cavernous at the same time. I’ve written about all these things that are detracting from the life I want to lead. That are pulling me apart from the inside out.

But I haven’t written about the rest. The good, the normal, the decent… I have those too. Sometimes I don’t recognize them, or sometimes they simply cannot compensate enough for the bad and scary, but I have them, just the same as everyone else. They are the fragments of the life I know that I’m fighting for. Because I am fighting… thats what all of this is. Its the constant desire for betterment; a blind faith in something not yet experienced, a life not free from symptoms but managed, understood, and contained.

I lose this belief sometimes. Not in the fact that it exists (I know it does. somehow.), but in my own capabilities to achieve it. I know I am working as hard as anyone can work, but I am not patient. It is hard to be just scraping by for so long. To be entirely dependent on a support system of other people to ensure you make it through the day, hour, minute. And there is nothing I can do but try. So we move forward, inch by inch, through sheer force of will and the strength garnered from gracious others.

But the fact of the matter is, for all my dark and morbid, or my psychotic and colourful, there’s been a semblance of regular life. And I think, honestly, this is the part people on the outside struggle with the most– the inability to reconcile the words of a seriously depressed/manic/suicidal/whatever person, with that of a person continuing to lead an apparently functional life. You’re one or the other; you’re sick or you’re healthy. You’re perfectly normal or you’re so insane anyone who looked at you would notice. I think this is something I suffer from myself… like if I can do anything at all, I’m not that sick and there’s so many people who are sicker than me because I can still do such and such and real sick people couldn’t get through that. So I should just suck it up and get through it and stop complaining, because somebody somewhere is really sick, and I’m just failing. Stigma’s a bitch.

So I’ve decided to talk about the normal. The flip side. The bits and pieces that fill my day while I’m busy being bipolar. This is my good.

PEOPLE.

I have been moving forward. And although that choice is mine and mine alone, it’s been made with the help of many others – some of whom realize it and some of whom do not. And yet I’ve never written a thing about them. So here goes.

1. My family
My parents are extremely invested in my well being. I am 27. They not only let me, but encourage me to go home for weeks at a time when I’m not well. They drive me to doctors appointments, they pay for my prescriptions, they cook my meals, they drag me around on errands with them so I’m forced to leave the house. My dad got me to take daily walks on trails when my pills were making it hard to move without getting dizzy. They don’t push, they don’t yell, they don’t try to make sense of it. They just try to be supportive and to get me help. I am unbelievably lucky.

But aside from all that, my family.. like the whole thing… is really close. We have dinner every Thursday night out at my parent place- me, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife and their two kids. Every week. So we all get together, I get at least one full, balanced meal a week even when I’m too gone or too broke to make one myself, and I get to be in a room full of people who dont give a shit if I didnt manage to get out of my pajamas or shower that day. And my brother’s kids. I love those kids. They just don’t give a shit. It’s really hard to see absolutely no hope for the future when a 3 year old is asking you to be their friend. It just is. It doesnt fix it, or negate it, but for those 10 seconds, it helps a little bit.
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2. The Poop Circle

This is the ever so affectionate name I gave our circle of friends. There’s apparently a bird that poops in a circle and lays its eggs in the middle. If the egg is inside the circle, it protects it as it’s own; should the egg roll outside the circle, it no longer recognizes it as it’s own and attacks it. Seemed accurate.

Anyway, theres about 15 of us, give or take. We all invite each other to everything, everyone makes an effort to include everyone in plans. Everyone made an effort to invite me to things even when I was ruining everything by crying in the corner or having panic attacks at the fair. I have friends who sat in hospital waiting rooms with me. I have friends who answered the phone at 5 am and talked to me while I was literally psychotic and they had no idea I was even bipolar. I have friends who will drop everything and help me, if I really, honestly need it.

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Brandon, the roommate who actually worrys about my well being.

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Sometimes they get me to put on make up, even.

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Kale waiting with me in the ER.

3. My thesis advisor

Angie. Angie is the only reason I have gotten through this year in tact. Angie fought for me well above and beyond the call of duty. Angie helped me get my medical deferrals when I was too sick to do it myself. Angie met me over and over again, talked me through things, calmed my anxiety. Shared experiences. She made me feel ok. She made me feel like even though I may have had a massive mental breakdown, I was still smart, and still belonged in school, and was still the best in my class. She helped me when she could have easily let me slide, fail, or leave. She pushed me when I couldn’t do it for myself.

4. My therapist

Ok, so maybe this is stupid because he’s my therapist, aka I pay him and it is his job, but I have had a lot of shitty mental health professionals in my life so I’m counting it. Matthew is awesome. He gave me is cell phone number for emergencies. His actual cell phone number. And he answered it at 10pm on a Saturday when I ran home from a party, everyone else I knew was drunk and I was holding a knife and a bottle of pills. He fucking answered.

5. Eddie

Eddie is a random I met on OkCupid, but who lives in another country and thus remains a total random. And this is weird because I know he will read this. But anyway, I talk to Eddie more or less daily in the early morning hours, about nothing, or something, or somewhere in between. I don’t feel like he judges me. He’s interesting and distracting and he helps me get through the night, every night. I’m unclear if he realizes this.

6. Jon

Jon was my boss at StudentsNS, but since I had to… shall we say leave?… that position, he’s just my friend now. and that’s pretty killer. because you know what? He hired me, saw me have a mental breakdown and screw him over, and he called me up and was like I want to be friends, lets get a drink. And you know what, that made me feel awesome. That is awesome. Jon is awesome.

This is my support system. These are my people. They are many, and they are awesome. I couldn’t ask for better.
Some of them know how bad it is, and some would be shocked.

Sometimes having a support system like this is enough– you always think it would be when you’re down and entirely alone (I have been there before), but in reality, there are somethings a support system can’t do. I do my best, they try their hardest, and with any luck we will make it to the other side in tact. But whatever happens, I am someone to all of these people. And that means something.

Going, going, gone

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I’ve been sliding in and around some hypomanic tendencies this week, which is fabulous for school and very difficult for cohesive thoughts. My therapist kept asking me about my anxieties, what was making me so anxious to talk so quickly, to speed up up up and then calm. Shifting, twitching, laughing, fidgeting. But I don’t feel anxious, I just feel this weird energy in my limbs. Though I’m also anxious, because that’s what I do and that’s who I am and everything is due and I’m supposed to be better better better, but instead I’m just still me. But the weird tightness in my chest, that constant pressing feeling.. the rigidness of my muscles, the bracing for impact… I don’t know where it went. I don’t miss it. I do wish I could be more still.

The hypomania has come at a delightful time. I’ve gotten my thesis draft done. Thank fuck. Editing in progress. The next two weeks are crunch time for everything else. Easily doable, realistically. Just need to …do it.

I’ve been drinking again even though I said I would stop. Professionals always seem so concerned with my drinking. My friends dont. I binge drink. I dont see this as problematic. It felt nice to just go and be with everyone and not be seeing too bright colours or trying not to claw my skin off. The pot helped. going on a date tomorrow, maybe, they asked i said yes. probably a bad idea? with the mania? but it also makes me less of an anxious weirdo so, fuck it. why not.

I really want to write something here, something worthwhile or at least explanatory but I don’t have the words. I’m just buzzing from my fingertips to my temples. it feels like the skin on my forehead is being pulled back, my eyes are so wide; I can tell without looking at them. Kale always tells me you can tell when I’m manic by my crazy wide eyes.

Things are good, for the most part. moving forward. going out a lot, seeing lots of people, often, is helping. I’ve stopped sleeping, which is going to be problematic in a few days but for now just affords me a lot of time to watch tv and paint things and craft complex sculptures out of watercolor paper.

i love making things. nothing is calmer than making. it’s funny because im a shitty artist- no one explained the difference between being an artist and just being good at making shit to me before art school- but I am awesome at just making shit. I should have been a carpenter or a special effects make up artist or a shipbuilder. or something. can you imagine how calm life would be? i was thinking that while watching face off (this stupid stupid reality show. it was 5 am.) people watch those shows and are impressed by the talent: and sometimes, yes its mind blowing but i mostly sit there and am like i could totally do this. this is within the realm of reasonable things i could do. why dont i make things? i guess i just wish i had more opportunities to make useful objects. whats the point of sculpting something random to sit on a shelf forever.
funny, my art school education.

and my ridiculous thesis that the science world thinks is pretentious and the art world finds offensive i would imply empirical evidence would be needed.
life is funny. people are funny.

normalcy soon, i think.

emergency

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my therapist threatened to call the cops on me yesterday.

threatened sounds like a strong word.

my therapist felt legally obligated to get me to a safe place by way of a community service yesterday.

he managed to get ahold of kale instead. kale left work (took a sick day), drove here. brandon came home. they drove me to the er, so i didnt have to get a police escort.

kale has been experiencing these ‘coincidences’ of sorts. like the other day there was a depressing song on the radio and he commented. and i said ‘maroon 5 has been depressing lately too’ as he changed the radio station to one now blaring maroon 5. magical thinking, maybe. but coincidences.

this song came on the car radio as we were going down robie, the hospital not quite yet in view. me crying. them feeling heavy. this song made us laugh.

im thankful for that.

and now for something a little different.

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i’m doing alright! i would venture to say ive moved slightly (very slightly) past functional and into ‘progressing forward’ territory. but dont quote me on that as my therapist still makes me see him every 5 days, and last time he told me i had to start addressing my “inability to forge emotional connections with other people.”

surprise! even though no one around me would ever guess it, i dont form emotional bonds with people. i am however, exceptionally good at allowing them to emotionally bond with me. i dont bond back. because i dont recognize and/or feel my own emotions, the best i can do is talk about them as global concepts of emotions from my past. and thats a level of personal not meant for new friends. WHOOPS, MISSING THAT LIFE SKILL. oh well.

anyway! I am working full time.. honestly, I have been since May, though its contract work where I pick my hours, and I basically did a really shit job of it through June. Now I’m working real full time, and I’ve gone back to school full time. sort of. i’m completing all the classes I medically deferred out of when i was … well whatever youd like to refer to the past few entries as.

Not that I’m not that now. I think most people have this impression that the world sort of assumes people are better after trauma pretty quickly. like after some time the trauma isnt a justified reason for feeling things or doing things. While I dont think I have this problem… in fact I`d venture to say I often have the opposite problem when dealing with other people (i see through their im fine shells with ease, such is the life of someone who has a nearly imperceptible shell), i do apply this logic to myself. sort of. not so much that i dont think i should be having problems, but that i am so disconnected from my own emotional experience I view myself as essentially having two modes: completely fine, and full on crisis. and since i havent needed active attention to keep me from slitting my wrists lately, i must be completely fine.

I realize that sounds stupid when i type it out like that, and all, but i really dont recognize my emotional experiences enough to pretend i could think any different… but perhaps recognizing thats how i deal with life will be beneficial for me in treatment. recognition that i am likely in a grey area. that what i usually perceive as periods of crisis close together due to a failure to maintain ok status is actually a grey area of coping. that could be helpful. i bet my therapist would like that sentence.

anyway. the point is, its gloriously sunny. GLORIOUSLY. we had a massive heatwave, and everyone spent all the time swimming and by the ocean. and there is someting so amazingly healing about the sun. I know that sounds a little dumb, and everyones reactions are like well duh people like the sun and or yes vitamin d!… but theres something beyond that. its like a physical weight comes off my chest when im in the sun. it creates an instant and beautiful lift in my life. i really, really need to build a sauna filled with those fake sunshine lights for winter. i truly think it would help. and i dont have seasonal effective disorder. ive got all these pure chemical imbalance and life trauma shit happening. so i cant explain it but its fucking amazing.
i also was swelling all the time. it started in quebec (natasa says basically i was being a whiney bitch. the doctors said otherwise. my urge to rub this in her face is overwhelming, as i never draw attention to these things in real life and was not at all impressed with her reaction to it, although i was probably annoying) and has continued on and off since i got back. so i stopped eating nightshade veggies as i am already deathly allergic to one of them, it seemed like a likely source. i think thats been helping, but its a little hard to say as i’ve also been eating better, sleeping better, and started new meds recently. its amazing how much a combination of sun, sleep and vitamins can change your life. not to pretend im better or that they could solve my issues, but they definitely improve my daily life. plus ive been swimming about 4 days a week, everyones willing to walk places with me now, and ive been trying to get cardio days at the gym in 5 days a week.

and on that note, i’ve lost 7 pounds in the past 3 weeks. so thats happy. ive decided i want to try to lose the weight before grad school. its 10 months away. thats more than enough time if i lose a pound or 2 a week. and even if its stupid, even if i should just learn to love myself as i am and shit, i think it will massively improve my ability to function once i stop having this weight issue being so visible and constant. im over it.

so. i suppose. this is just a post to remind myself that im trying. in the future, when i read all these posts, i think i will need this reminder. i am trying and i am working hard on making things better. and at some point, regardless of the outcome. this part matters.