Saturday, May 24, 2014

Call Me Crazy, But Please Understand

I just got through watching a movie titled Call Me Crazy. It's five short films interlocked with one another, all dealing with mental illness. Schizophrenia (in two of them), bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD. This movie...right in my feels.

I spent the first 13 years of my life wondering what in God's name was wrong with my mother. At 13, I realized that it wasn't her. It was something inside of her. I knew this because it was inside of me, too. The screaming, the yelling, the hysterical was all because she bipolar. This disorder has manifested itself in myself and all of my siblings. The younger two more outwardly than my older sister and I, but there is no denying its presence.

Call Me Crazy was just trigger after trigger for me - the fights, the tears, the reminders. In one scene, Lucy the schizophrenic and her sister Allison are talking, after Lucy is released from a psychiatric facility:

Lucy: "Is that why you never came to see me?"
Allison: "No, it's because that place has always freaked me out "
L: "Of course it freaks you out. It freaks everybody out. It's a loony bin."
A: "Well, it scares me to see you like that."
L: "I need a sister that's going to be there. I need to know that you're not just an illusion in my head. I need to know that your voice is actually really happening."
A: "I'm afraid."
L: "You need to stop being afraid of me."
A: "I'm not afraid of you. I'm afraid of becoming you."

That was one of the many times during this movie when I had to pause it and cry for a little bit. I'm terrified of becoming my mother in regards to this disorder. She's an amazing woman in every aspect that isn't her being bipolar, and that...that is what scares me. I don't want to be someone who goes days at a time without a breakdown. I couldn't imagine it. She medicates herself, she has medicated my younger siblings, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't feel normal and be okay with it. I accept it, I expect it, and I deal with it.

Outside of the walls of my parents' house, I've never talked about it. I've never talked about the rage that's always built up inside of me, I've never talked about the days upon days of work that I've missed because getting out of bed was damn near impossible. I've never talked about the way I can go from being the happiest girl in the world to instantaneously throwing myself to the floor and crying hysterically for hours.

I've read so many articles that talk about "the stigma that comes with mental illness," but do you know who writes those articles? People without mental illness. People who think that the only people who suffer from it are the ones who talk about it, the ones who are open about it. The daily struggle, the daily battles that I fight inside of my own "stigma" could ever destroy me any worse than they do. There are days that I wake up and I know it's going to be a bad day. I know that I'm going to lose my shit at someone who hardly deserves it or doesn't deserve it at all. Nine years of living with this, and I know when I need to stay home, I know when it's not safe for my disorder to leave the house, I know when I'm not okay.

The last year or so, the depression has worsened. I was living by myself when I got fired, and I didn't leave the house for a month except to go to the bar. My safe place. Where everyone knows everyone else is there for their own reasons, but nobody cares about those reasons. I shut myself off from the world, and looking back, it was the right thing to do. I learned a lot about myself, and more importantly, I learned a lot about how to be there for myself.

I hear and see people talking about their bad days and I wish my bad days could be as good as theirs. I really do. I wonder how many of their bad days have involved throwing every knife in their house away because of what might happen to the next person who bothers them. I wonder how many of their bad days have involved cooking a five course meal for all of their friends and then throwing it all on the floor at the thought of what happened last time they had people over. I wonder how many of their bad days weren't as bad as they think...

Coming out and saying all of this makes me feel...well, crazy. So give me your judgement, give me your "stigma," and give me your stories about your bad days, but before you do, please try to understand.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Evaluate, Determine, Cure.

I think you learn a lot about yourself when the one person you’ve relied on for so long begins to see you as insignificant. You can’t help but sit and wonder what you’ve done wrong or why things have become as they are. You can have today, and you can have tomorrow, and you can have the rest of your life, but having something doesn’t mean that you want it or know what to do with it. A necessary lesson that is being taught in the harshest of ways – being forced to stand alone, both literally and figuratively.

I’m learning. I’m learning to be alone. I’m learning to not expect anything of anyone. I’m learning to count on myself. I wish I didn’t have to, though. I wish these lessons could just be written down and lectured and I could take notes and then suddenly I know how to be a person again. I wish I had an explanation for why my life has to change, why I was always the bad guy, why I can’t get any answers.

You trust yourself to love, but you can’t trust yourself to let go. Codependency – a habit that I am determined to break. Every victory, no matter how small, will be celebrated. I gave up on a part of my life that I always thought was necessary to my existence, and now I have to teach myself how to be without.

Isolation is the first step. I have to completely take myself away from everyone else. Not physically, just emotionally. I can’t put all of my faith into those around me. I have to learn to be on my own, and then everyone else can slowly be brought back into my life.

Support is the key. Not support from others, but from myself. I must support and encourage myself. Affirmations will get me through this.

Success is the goal. I don’t want to have to rely on others in order to complete anything. I need to achieve things on my own.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Seven Things

1. Sometimes, silence is more of a comfort than any words you could offer.

2. Any amount of time spent with the one you love, be it a minute or a lifetime, is something that should absolutely be cherished, every single time.

3. Trust os one of the hardest things to earn, so once you have someone's, you'd better hang onto it with all that you've got.

4. There's always something to look forward to.

5. Bad things, awful things, tragic things - they happen, but very rarely is it something that we can't get through.

6. Traveling alone isn't as terrifying as I thought it would be.

7. When their feelings are hurt, most people don't mean a single word that they say.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Seven Things

1. If you believe that something is easier said than done, then you aren't trying your hardest to do it.

2. When something is wrong, and someone asks you if something's wrong, "Nothing" is no longer an acceptable answer.

3. At least once in your life, ice cream should be okay for breakfast.

4. You can't make someone love you. You can't even make someone like you.

5. Retail jobs are not as horrific as people make them out to be.

6. Do what you love, and love what you do, and if you don't, then maybe go try something new.

7. Psych is the greatest show to ever be on television. Don't even try to argue with me on this.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Seven Things

1. - You can give everything to someone, but you absolutely cannot expect a single thing in return.

2. - There are times when silence is more effective than any words you could find.

3. - Sometimes, their phone really does die.

4. - If you can't handle something, say so. There are plenty of people who are willing to help you.

5. - Sometimes, -not too often, but sometimes- it's okay to keep a secret or two.

6. - People will talk about you. That will never stop, no matter how little they know about you.

7. - You don't have to be somebody important to do something important.

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