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”
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.
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.
I asked my Twitter community if it was possible to be in denial about depression, and the consensus was yes. I am experiencing a depression without my most typical depression symptoms. I have some of the normal ones: difficulty showering, isolation, trouble getting out of the apartment, lack of affect. But I don’t have my usual sadness, hopelessness, lack of appetite, increased or decreased sleeping. What I’ve concluded is that I might be in a mild depression. My therapist has been pointing me in that direction. It’s not hindering my life too much right now, but she worries that it will continue to worsen until I’m not functional at all any more. I worry about that too but I don’t see it happening right now. I’m generally in too good of a mood.
In times of trouble, I always find myself writing. I journal, I write to people, I blog, I tweet, I go on Facebook, etc. Written words are how I exhale my feelings. I can process them because I put names to faceless feelings and give them life. It allows for a conversation instead of a monologue. It’s the best way I know to work on feeling better.
Yesterday I used a lot of words. I wrote, I talked to people, I saw my therapist, I was honest about the place I was in and the needs I had and it paid off. I feel better today. This is probably also because I’ve been taking my Xanax every day and doubled up on my Abilify, but I’m also sure that it’s a combination of me actively working to feel better and my meds helping me to get there.
Right now I am just afloat, waiting to see how functional I can be. I’ve talked to some incredibly thoughtful people in the last few days and they have helped support me tremendously. Even a bunch of likes on Twitter makes me feel better because I know I am connected to somebody (somebodies) and I’m not alone in my struggles. I want to help people, but sometimes I have to ask for help.
Reading really helped me get through my times in the hospital. Our apartment is littered with books because one day I was manic and decided to order everything I might want to read while I was away at the new psych unit. When I was able to focus, when the meds weren’t draining my brain so much that I couldn’t make sense of the words, I ate books. They were great escapes. They let me leave the walls of the psych ward, escape the eyes of the staff, forget that I was feeling trapped in my own feelings. I like to read memoirs in particular. Continue reading “Great Escapes and Silver Linings”
So, my memory isn’t exactly what it used to be. Between years of drugs, hardcore meds, and ECT, I am operating at a surprisingly high level of memory. However I do repeat myself, and for that I apologize in advance (or maybe I already said a lot of what I’m about to say, so in that case I apologize in retrospect). In many ways repetition is good. As Zenyatta says, “Repetition is the pathway to mastery.” Anyway, sorry if I repeat myself. I am trying to become excellent. Continue reading “Forgive me if I repeat myself”