Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger etc; these are normal emotions and they are apart of every day life. In order for you to grow as a person you must hurt. In order for you for you to learn what is danger is you must experience fear. You get a promotion it is expected for you to feel overly joyous. You get your heart broken it is expected for you to be destroyed. These are things that are suppose to happen. Cause and Effect. Now, when does the normal become abnormal? The thing is that “normal” is relative to a degree. I personally am not a make up user so when I start reaching for the make up kit that I got eight years ago that I haven’t had to replace a single product in it since I got it for a wedding then that’s a red flag for mania. The other thing about “normal” emotions they can trigger episodes in the mentally ill. Prolonged stress can break anyone down but in ramblers episodes may emerge which complicate things.
At times it may seem that ramblers do not have valid emotions. That they are out of control and that they are always in a episode. The reality is that nothing can be further than the truth and when you view them this way what you are really are doing is view them as a condition and not as a person. At that point they are not human in your eyes. When that occurs that is truly when the stigma starts. Where the miscommunication becomes prevalent. Where we turn away from working towards providing adequate psychiatric treatment to all. When that happens then do we in turn loose our own humanity?
In two weeks it would be one year since my attempted suicide and first hospitalization. I would like to say everything has been peachy since then but this isn’t that kind of story. Problems are like a hydra, cut one down two spring in its place. This post isn’t about the short comings of this year. Its more about what I would have missed if I would have ended things that August night.
I would have never seen my mother’s face when I gave her the game system she wanted on christmas. Her face was lit brighter than any of the christmas lights I saw that night. I would have missed my significant other’s unwrapping his birthday gift as he was guessing what it was the entire time. Hehe he never guessed until he saw what it was. The first snow fall, rainfall, the blooming of the season’s flowers and the summer’s hot embrace. My fancy birthday boat ride adventure of all the manhattan islands. All the hugs and kisses and love throughout this year. The disappointments and pain that forge me into a stronger and smarter person. I would have missed the despair that my loved ones experienced when they saw how sick I was. So sick that leaving them behind was an option I explored. Now, the memory of their swollen, red eyed, wet, grief stricken faces is that keeps me from exiting.
Its been a year and I still look at things in terms of what I would have missed. I believe that suicide attempters never truly forget. I believe that the world they attempted to leave behind is not quite the same when they first tired to run from it. For me life isn’t just this mundane road where you have absolutely no choices. There are choices even when you’re in the middle of your depression cycle. In these moments of despair it is imperative for you to learn to love yourself completely. For you to hold yourself and scream at the top of your lungs, “You’re Ok!!” repeatedly. Thats what I do now and it helps. It certainly helped last week when I was idolizing death. Its been a year and while everyone else has gone on and resumed everything is normal, I live that moment from time to time. Each time I look at that person with pity because suicide was the only method she saw for release. That isn’t me anymore.
For a better part of my life I’ve always avoided difficult situations concerning the people I cared about. I do not like conflict and would practically do anything to resolve the issue at hand even if it meant that my voice was never truly heard. This censorship that I had placed on myself improved the situation but never truly made my feelings towards the issue go away. This is how I dealt with my family and anyone close to me for years and to everyone else this was ideal. I was dying inside and they were content so as long as their world was intact nothing else truly mattered. At least that’s how I viewed it.
I would like to say that I know when my dissociation began but that would be a outright lie. When did I exactly start leaving consciously in the middle of conversation? When did I start sitting down for hours staring at nothing for hours without realizing it? The truth is that I am not quite sure. Dissociation can be a full blown disorder or a coping mechanism in response to trauma. It was only years later that when I went in or treatment for bipolar disorder that dissociation, especially during my depression cycles was present. My dissociation was in response to the trauma I’ve experience in my life. This is something that no medication can help me with. This is something that with talk therapy as well as developing healthy coping mechanisms to pain I could possibly get relief.
During the time of treatment my shrink would ask me what is one of my greatest source of pain. After thinking about it for some time I have decided to acknowledge that my family is my cancer. Destroying me from within all while they are just doing what is in their nature. The bottom line is that I am an after thought to them while I would love nothing more than to have a feeling of belonging. The more I push for it the more I feel the feeling is one sided and that makes things worse for me. Is it such a crime to be sought after by the people that you love simply because they feel the same? I would think not and while I may wish things to be different they will never be. It is this that hurts me so much that it sends me into a retreat into my own mind so that I could be completely numb. A descend into nothingness to be null and void of the hurt radiating from within. The brain so desperate to heal me to save me that it rips me from reality.
This is a learning process and on this night where I have been hurt yet again from my family I did not dissociate. I am here feeling the disappointment and the hurt because I know that is how I’ll grow and learn as a person. One day I’ll be free of this control and though my dissociation may never go away, I do not need to be shielded from the hurt. Not anymore.
The general population is raised with the notion that pregnancies are often accidental and are well received ultimately with little to no consequences. This is a situation that overtime shaped our society. Thanks to Hollywood magic, I am sure this idea has contributed to the rise of unplanned pregnancies. However, this blog is not about the normals its about the ramblers living in a normals world. Have of you asked yourseleves what is the process a rambler takes to have a family? Better yet why do these pregancies need to be carefully planned? Well, I’ll tell you why! Some if not all of the medications being consumed by ramblers causes birth defects. That’s right birth defects, in some way or form. If a rambler decides to concieve they must inform their psychologist/psychiartist prior. Therapy is bumped up to insure that whatever disorder/illness is kept in check. Now, the million dollar question is will you or will you not continue to medicate yourself knowning of the risks? Now, there are people that do but special precautions must be taken in order to ensure the safety of the fetus. I personally feel that my fetus should not have to suffer for my illness so naturally I would refuse medication.
Nine months of no medication (more than that if you breast feed) with your body’s fluctuating hormones and no medications. Its a scary thought for us who already have a mental illness. Its not quite like the movies potrayed. I sometimes dwell on whether or not child bearing is worth it. For one I always saw myself as a potential super nervous mom. Then I was diagnosed and I wrote it off as possibly not an option. I am sure there are avocates out there that say “You can do anything” but I just think whats the point if your endangering yourself? Perhaps what I am referring to is whether or not stopping medication and reverting back post meds worth it? With my hormones flucuating will my brain be strong enough to handle it? I want it to be as easy as it was for my friend’s and relatives. I am not ignorant, I am sure that pregancy comes with its own issues. I just want those typical issues and not the add on of the mental illness issues. Which by the way I am sure there will be additional costs for the extra visits to the white coats and if you have severe episode. Will my insurance cover that? The ignorant would say, “You’ll be okay”, “Don’t worry”. What these people do not understand is that once stability is reached with the use of medication and therapy we’d rather die than to go back.
Its amazing how so many negative images can be conjured up by just one word; bipolar. My experience with telling others has varied over time. I went from never telling a soul until I was on my death bed to telling everyone that I knew on a personal level. I believe that my shameless approach has allowed people to think that perhaps mental illness is not what they believe it to be. This is when I began to think that perception does not only impact the sufferer but also everyone around them.
Even with that knowledge in hand, I find it that some of us are tortured by our perception of how broken we are. We become so narrow minded and surrender to the idea that whatever we get is as good as its going to get. We blame everything on our disorders which creates a bigger stigma and removes responsibility from the sufferer. Well, I say nay. Nay to the idea that the only relationships we can obtain is the scraps society doesn’t want. Nay to horrific friendships that seek advances and manipulate our lives. Nay to the individuals that irresponsibly refuse to work on themselves and worsen the mental illness stigma. We deserve better than that. The minute we start behaving as such then perhaps everyone else will follow suit.
This change isn’t easy. Trust me you will stumble and fall. Question whether or not you are worthy and want to forfeit the good fight. But us ramblers need love too and that love starts from within. Even if you find yourself on the road alone facing your own demons you are stronger and more cunning than you imagine to be. Keep fighting warriors and don’t forget to love yourself.
For as long as I could remember I’ve had the ability to detect patterns in people. Behaviors which go unnoticed by others and sometimes even the person exhibiting them. Due to this I’ve failed to see the beauty in humanity. Don’t get me wrong, there is beauty out there but it is as rare as finding a diamond on the street. All things after a while become trivial to me. Shows, movies, friends and even relationships become predictable. This is why it was so fascinating to me when I failed to realize my disorder. Perhaps l’ve spent my entire life looking outward and not inward.
After assessing my personality type (INFJ) I realized I’ve yet to etch the surface of myself. My personality attributed to my ability to see patters easily. It also attributed to my relentlessness of always striving for something/learning more. I got the answers who I was and also the reasons why I felt so distant with the human race. My entire life I’ve encountered individuals that one way or another displayed untrustworthiness. INFJ’s are suppose to the sensitives, the healers but I feel more of a cynic than anything else.
What happens to the sensitive types when they’ve lost their way? Do they break character and become something more sinister? At least for me, the answer is no. Try as I might I am who I am and theres no changing that. I still bitch out on sad flicks. I get really amped & martial artsy type even though don’t know any martial arts on action films. Suspense is a mind fuck and comedy is a god send. I typically avoid most stimuli except comedy due to the emotions I experience in the other genera. I have a strong sense of justice. I still constantly observe my fellow human being for patterns even if I don’t mean to. Due to that I live in a perpetual world of not everything is what it seems. In my experience it never is.
Many many moons ago I remember looking up at the stars and wishing for my special someone. I would ponder who they would be and how epic our romance was going to be. I yearned for an individual that understood me on every level and shared my interests as well as carried their own interests. I wished that whomever this person was would lift me away and we’d live happily ever after. I was full of hope and wonder but as most children learn, life is anything but a fairy tale.
As an adult I have yet to find prince/princess charming as described to me in children books. My significant other is your typical man, he’s is stubborn with minimal passion. Sure at the beginning he had passion, hell, we all did. Eventually it all fizzles and you’re left with two people that either are compatible or they are not. The tragedy occurs when they are not compatible.
There are two types of people, alphas and betas. Alphas are obviously dominant and the betas are the submissive. I believe that in order for two people to have a healthy long lasting relationship they’ll have to find their opposite counter part. For me and my significant other we are hardly compatible and it is because our natures are purely alpha. Over the years we’ve gone through some rough patches and close calls. All which has left me wondering where the heck was my happily ever after? It was only when I was riding on the train one night and saw etched on the seat, “No happily ever after” that things began to make sense to me. Every fairy tale ended in a happily ever after but thats not just realistic.
Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Loving and loosing without the possibility of making it right. Letting go when you want things to work so badly but they just aren’t. Along with the amazing breath taking days there are dark days. Days that will make you wonder where is the light switch is. Days where you feel so broken and wonder whats you’re next move. Sometimes your happily ever after is moving on. Finding the courage to start over and perhaps allow yourself to love and be loved again. For me, in this lavish journey I find myself at the crossroads where things can go either way. Some journeys are as simple as being realistic (within reason) with your counter part. Life isn’t always easy, so don’t expect your relationship to be.