Fear of the Month Club

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I feel like I am always nervous about something. Whether it’s “simple” like going outside or complex like getting into nursing school, there’s always something weighing on my mind. Today is a good day because my piece was actually published on Bring Change 2 Mind. I’ve spent the last couple of hours talking to people and tracking it on social media to see how it does. I’m pretty proud of it. But there’s still a nagging feeling that I’m missing something, that this is an illusion, that I shouldn’t actually feel good about it happening. I was so happy I could cry and then I realized I was overwhelmed and actually wanted to cry. I have such mixed feelings when things go well for me (I actually typed when things go badly first, if that says anything). I feel like a fraud, I feel like no one should actually be reading what I write, I mean, who am I to speak out about this stuff? I’m just a bipolar, borderline, depressed agoraphobe sitting at home in her pajamas, too afraid to go outside because I might have a panic attack.  Continue reading “Fear of the Month Club”

Bring Change 2 Mind

I wrote a post for Bring Change 2 Mind, Glenn Close’s mental health charity, and it got published! Now you all get to know who I am. I am conflicted about this but I’m proud of this piece so I’ll share it anyway!

http://bringchange2mind.org/2017/08/07/invisibility-mental-illness-jess-bick-law/

Agoraphobia and The Great Indoors

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I bet sometimes you feel like you just don’t want to leave the house. You’d like to stay in and do nothing or goof off or just chill. Imagine feeling like that all the time, except it’s pathological and the mere thought of leaving the apartment is terrifying. This is what it’s like to live with agoraphobia. I am bipolar, I suffer from bipolar depression more often than mania, and I have panic disorder which has led to me sometimes falling prone to agoraphobic tendencies. It starts slowly, with me falling deeper into a depression and ends with me literally trapped inside the apartment because everything outside is panic-inducing. Trying to explain this to people is difficult, which is why I thought I’d give it a shot here. I read one account, a book called “Agorafabulous” which was an excellent description of what it’s like to live with agoraphobia, and one that I recommend if you’re curious about the subject. But aside from that book there isn’t much writing out there about living with agoraphobia, just “how to bust agoraphobia with this one trick,” etc. Yikes. There is no one trick. I’m sorry. It requires work. Therapy, meds, work. Lots of work. Did I mention work?

Continue reading “Agoraphobia and The Great Indoors”

Impostor Syndrome

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Have you ever received a compliment and laughed it off? I do this all the time. I have learned how to accept compliments with genuine enthusiasm, but I am instantly dubious of the other person’s intent. I can’t possibly be worthy of a compliment, so what’s your angle? What are you trying to do to me by telling me this false nice thing? I’m a fraud, an imposter. I’m not good at anything. I’m not even good at being alive. I feel very ambivalent about it. Today, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I spent hours trying to tell myself that my small goals were good enough, that I showered, went to my therapist, went to my psychiatrist, practiced my Ukulele, etc., which is more than I’ve done in weeks. I try to say well I’m back in school so I’m working on that goal. But it feels too slow and I still feel like I don’t know anything. I feel like I won’t be able to do the work in the fall and I’m just faking my way through these courses. Nevermind my actual grades. They don’t mean anything. I still know nothing. Continue reading “Impostor Syndrome”

Energy, Parents, and Charities

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Yesterday I had an energetic epiphany and decided to take a shower for the first time in a while. I will refrain from saying how long because it’s sad, and I don’t want to be sad. Suffice it to say this was an accomplishment for me, and I feel better for it. I had my cousin over for hang-out time last night and that was refreshing as well. We goofed around on my Ukulele (which I’ve been spelling wrong forever??). Today I got up and actually went to CVS to pick up my meds. It was the first time I’d left the apartment in over a week. It was nice to be a part of the world again. Sometimes I forget that it’s not the end of the world to leave.

This is a friendly neighborhood reminder that no matter how rough shit is, you just have to keep going. Eventually things will get easier. Continue reading “Energy, Parents, and Charities”

You are More

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Sometimes I feel as though my mental health issues rule my life. Bipolar can take over whenever it feels like it, sending me into spirals of mania or depression of its own will. I do lots of preventative things, like taking my meds, going to therapy regularly, sleeping appropriately, etc. But that doesn’t always keep the demons at bay. BPD is similar, because the rapid cycling moods and sensitivity can be more than I feel like I can handle. It makes it easy to write a blog about mental health because mine is constantly shifting, but it doesn’t make it easy to live in the world. It’s hard not to get my identity wrapped up in these diagnoses. For one, as someone with BPD I’m prone to an unstable sense of self, so sometimes identifying with a disorder is grounding, but it can become all encompassing. I want to remember that I am ME in all of my flawed glory. I am more than these disorders.

Continue reading “You are More”

Get Your Shit Together

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My therapist brought up agency the other day. I have a tendency to say, “Oh, things will change,” instead of “Oh, I will change things.” I need to get my shit together. I know the things that will fix this low mood but that doesn’t help me when I can’t motivate enough to get anything done. I thought she had a good point though. I have to maintain my agency and say that I can do things instead of waiting around for things to happen to me. I always say there will be a catalyst that spurs me into action (and for the most part that’s been true), but what if I could shift it so that the catalyst was just me? Can I do that? Will these disorders let me? Will I let myself?  Continue reading “Get Your Shit Together”