Listening to a little bit of Nirvana while I write. Stay tuned 🙂
Just now in a fleeting moment of thought I realized that my life has always revolved around the word survive and any of its derivatives.
I survived the past.
I am surviving the present.
My future depends on my survivability.
Persistence, Succeeding, Survival.
And so I survive, and so do you.
After all your track record for surviving is 100%, you are still here, I am still here. We survived.
I am a survivor. I have thought those words so many times during my life time. I have survived things that many have never had to endure. And I say that knowing that there are people out there who have endured worst than me.
And my heart goes out to anyone who are struggling with any sort of struggle.
I have gotten back up, dusted myself off, screamed inside my head to “shut up and survive”.
I have not always been the kindest person to myself.
That was probably an understatement.
Actually no, that IS an understatement.
I am one of my biggest and harshest critics. For everything.
For my writing. For my coping skills. For everything that is going on inside my “pretty little head”. I criticize everything. Every aspect of my being has been at one point or another picked apart and critiqued by me.
And it has been harsh….to say the least.
Somehow I have not only survived the things that life has thrown at me, but I have had to try to survive the way my mind picked the situation apart, bit by bit, layer by layer.
Surviving my own mind…..How does one even do that?
In the beginning, when I needed you the most, you were there for me. You held my hand, you held my heart, you held me. You told me that you would always be there for me. I told you everything, my deepest darkest secrets. You knew. You knew what you were getting into when you took me into your arms and into your life.
And you promised.
You promised you would always be there for me.
You promised that you would always hold me.
You promised that you would always listen to me.
You promised that you would always talk to me.
But I was very afraid. I was afraid of how incredibly fucked up I was.
I was afraid I would hurt you and in the future I just proved how worthless I was in that department. I did hurt you, and I took responsibility for that and I beat myself up every day over how incredibly fucked up and stupid I was.
I was afraid because I could keep my own secrets, but having someone else know them meant that it was possible for someone else to tell them.
For the longest time I was afraid that you would tell my secrets. And you did to some extent. But of course I forgave you, because you were my everything.
It meant that this giant wall that I had put up all around me could crumble even more at any possible moment.
It meant that someone cared, and they cared deeply about me.
I could not understand that, I had never had it before. No one was ever there for me like you were. No one cared to get deep enough into my mind to try to figure out what was going on in there. Except doctors and therapists. And that was their jobs.
But you, you meant it when you said you wanted to be there, you meant it when you asked how I felt, you really, truly wanted to know what was going on inside me and you did everything in your power to help.
It was hard what I put you through. I know that. I did not mean to put you through anything like that. But it was hard what I went through too.
I did not ask to be dealt this hand in life. I did not ask to have mental illness passed on to me through some fucked up genes in my family.
I did not ask to always have to struggle and fight with the things that go on inside my mind.
I did not ask to be sexually abused, molested, raped.
I did not want these things, I DO NOT want these things.
And I damn well do not want the memories, the flash backs, the nightmares that are associated with them.
But unfortunately after years and years they are still there fresh in my mind. And I wish they would just fuck off and I could forget it. Truly.
I cannot even go to certain places without being triggered, I cannot see certain things without being triggered. Stupid things that should not bother me end up being something that causes my body to shake and my heart to beat faster and faster. I wish this would just go the fuck away.
In more recent years I have been afraid in a different way. I have been afraid that we are living some lie. That the closeness that we once had is gone.
And I realize that you are sick too and I try to not cause you any extra stress and I hold things in instead of talking to you about them.
And this is causing me stress.
It is like blowing up a balloon, there is only so much air that can fit before the balloon explodes.
I no longer tell you my dreams, my inspirations, my fears.
I hold things in, pushing them deeper and deeper down some deep dark endless pit.
Then I explode. I hurt. I cry. I swear. I pretend not to care.
But truth is, I care too deeply, because if I did not, it would not hurt.
And it hurts.
I don’t mean to be a burden. And that hurts too. Because I am afraid that if I tell you anything or bring up anything that I am going through that this will be the cause of another seizure. That I will be the one to make it happen.
So I hold it in. I struggle. I hate myself. And there are days that I barely live.
Then I know that there is so much more of the time that I am so in love with you that I just want to hold you and do anything for you.
When I say “I love you” it is not out of familiarity, it is because each and every time I say it, I truly mean the words. “I love you” does not come out of my mouth unless I mean it, and then it comes from my heart, somewhere deep within in, with a deep honest feeling.
And I do love you, but I am struggling right now, in ways that I cannot even begin to explain. In ways that you have told me you cannot handle.
And I am sorry if I need validation. That is me, it has always been me, ever since we have been together, and nothing has changed there, nothing.
A long time ago…well truthfully a not so very long time ago….even a short while ago, I would have cared, and I would have cared deeply. I would have frantically tried to fix whatever the problem was and smooth it over. Because I was a fixer. That is what I did. I was always afraid of confrontation. I did everything in my power to make sure everyone around me were taken care of and that no one was hurting because of something I did or something I said.
I always took a step back from myself to fix someone else’s problem. After all I never cared about myself as deeply as I cared about other people. It was mostly because I knew I was not worth the trouble. Why take time to try to fix the unfixable?
I used to want to be liked. I used to want to be accepted. But oftentimes I felt out of place. I always cared too deeply about what other people thought about me.
I was afraid to say no. I was also afraid to ask for help when I needed it the most.
Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes held on to grudges, and I sometimes cried over them. But I always tried to smooth them over as best as possible.
Nowadays I have learned to try to help myself a little more. When I am ‘sick’ I choose not to put myself in situations that make me feel more agitated or make the hypomania/mania symptoms more visible. I try to hide them and confine myself to my house when I am able to. But when I try to hide the symptoms it causes the irritation and agitation to become worst and I tend to get more and more frustrated with my surroundings and even more so with myself.
It feels like I need to crawl out of my body to get some relief.
I have learned that I am who I am and I am beginning to not care what people think about me anymore. I have let go of the feelings of wanting to belong, of needing to be liked and accepted.
I am who I am, accept me wholly or not at all.
I no longer give a shit!!
I wish I knew how to properly explain what I am feeling right now. I keep wanting to write. But the words won’t form the way I want them to. The writing does not measure up to the standard that I have set in my head for posting on here. But yet the urges to write are so strong that I keep finding myself drawn back to the keyboard to write here, or drawn to my journal to scratch illegible sentences into the pages in blue ink. I know I will take out that same journal and read over it at a later date and think about how the writing does not look like my own, and try to pick out some of the words that were written in a scramble.
This happens more often than not. My writing changes from mood to mood, the style and even the font. It was first noticed about 15 years ago by a therapist. She asked if I had ever noticed that my writing changed from mood to mood, day to day. I hadn’t noticed up until that point, but as I started to read through my journals it was very obvious. Mania or depression played a part in the way the words were written, in my choices of descriptive wording, and how my paragraphs were styled.
Sometimes when I was angry the wording and paragraph structure was angry too. It was visible. You could look at it and know that I was angry when I wrote it without even reading the words.
My journals were personal. For me. Well really for my psychiatrist and therapist. They deserve the credit for me and my writing. Without them I would never have known that writing was my creative outlet. I am very grateful for the gift that I found because of necessity to express my feelings to them because I found it hard to talk. Writing and then reading it to them was easier because I could disassociate from the fact that I was reading my own story.
So many things that I needed to express to my psychiatrist, but my mouth would not speak the words. My writing became my voice. It described scenarios that I was unable to articulate otherwise.
This became a way of expression for me. I get drawn to paper to write, or more recently I get drawn to the computer to write out what I am feeling inside. Which is why I keep getting drawn back to this editor, I need to express myself and the urge to write is so strong it is like craving something.
So I sit, and I write.
On Monday the 27th of April 2015 I was published on Imperfect Cognitions. I was contacted by them to write a post to be included in their series of monthly posts by experts-by-experience. I decided to write about my writing and how my bipolar disorder is related in some way to it. I took part of a post I had already published here and added to it. On that day I wrote a post linking you directly to that post so you could go and read.
Today I am sharing that post because I like to keep track of my writings here on the blog.
Please take a moment to head over to Imperfect Cognitions and check out their blog and read the great articles.
Bipolar Whispers on Writing
They say that many people with Bipolar Disorder are creative. I always wondered if this were true. Within myself I could never see my creativity. I could not play music, I was not crafty. In retrospect I can see my creative outlet has always been writing. My love and knack for writing began around the time I experienced my first true mania, although I never knew it was mania at the time. Retrospect is a very powerful thing.
I never knew I could write, or rather, I never knew I wrote well. I went to appointment after appointment with my psychiatrist or my psychologist for therapy and they always praised my writing. I just thought they were being polite.
You see, I found it hard to talk during these appointments. So we decided I would write between sessions and during my sessions I would read what I wrote and they could ask questions if need be. Reading what I wrote made it much easier to express myself to them because it was like I was disconnected from the situation, reading someone else’s story.
I continued writing through my teens and into my adulthood. I have written pages and pages, books on top of books worth of my thoughts.
I never shared my writing with anyone except various therapists or psychiatrists through the years. It has only been recently, during a manic phase that I found the courage to begin Bipolar Whispers and began putting my writing out there.
At times when I am writing and my pen flows across the paper so freely or my fingers fly across the keyboard so quickly that I re-read it days later and I do not remember writing it. Yet there it is, staring back at me in my hand writing or illuminated on my computer screen.
It is like my hands have a mind of their own and they know that the words are inside my head waiting to be formed into some semblance of coherent sentences.
Then there are the times when my mind is so crowded with manic thoughts and ideas that my fingers are going across the keyboard making mistakes because they are going so fast while I am trying to form paragraphs that make sense.
Half started ideas, fragments of paragraphs dancing across the screen. Black letters swirling, flying across the editor as I write, correct, fix the mistakes my fingers are making.
To say it is frustrating would be an understatement. But I am writing. I am in bliss and I am happy.
Writing is a form of therapy for me. When I re-read what I have written I can feel what I have felt, or even feel what I wasn’t able to feel at the time it was written.
You see, writing for me is like breathing. It is not a want, but instead a necessity. Each letter, each word, each sentence, each paragraph, all a part of my existential self.