What makes me MAD (and why I strive to be an “Emotional Robin Hood”)

I’ve been planning this post since yesterday morning, since I was sitting in my therapist’s office talking about work and getting angry and then talking about whatever other stuff and getting angry.  My therapist pointed out what types of things seemed to be making me feel that way, that fiercely passionate way.  We talked about it, and she suggested that I write down other things that make me, for lack of a better phrase, fucking pissed off.  Those weren’t her exact words haha (although she does curse sometimes which I find incredibly cool).  I need to find patterns, figure myself out, all that stuff.  I thought about it at work yesterday, and I kept thinking about it when I got home and cooked dinner, and I was trying to type this out yesterday night while Andrew and I watched this documentary about flat-earthers because holy SHIT that made me angry.  Like, too angry to formulate a coherent post despite wanting desperately to write.

It’s a new day, though.  It’s a sunny, bright morning, not even 9am yet, and I’ve been awake and enthusiastic for nearly three hours already.  I got iced coffee even though it’s freezing, and came to my parents’ house to do laundry, which means I hung out with them for a while before they went to work and now I’m sitting with my doggo and I’m comfortable and yeah, good things.  These seem to be the perfect conditions to think about what makes me mad.

And I guess I’ll start by telling you how we got on the subject yesterday.  I was explaining to my therapist that my boss is sometimes really terrible to the older ladies I work with.  She treats them unfairly and unkindly, and it kills me because these women are not only the nicest people but they’re really really old.  Don’t be fucking mean to old people.  Don’t pick on them unnecessarily just because you want to feel powerful.  That is lower than low.  Imagine if someone was mean to your mom or grandma for no reason.  It is disgusting to me.

As you can see, I got angry on behalf of these women, my friends.  I got mad because someone was mean to someone else for no reason.  And there’s a common theme of things of that nature making me mad.  I don’t like when people are mean like that.  I don’t have tolerance for people who are bad or unfriendly.  People who are intentionally not good.  My therapist reflected back that injustice makes me mad.

We talked more while I was in that same fiercely passionate mode (I’d even call it violently passionate?  If only because of how it sounds?).  I mentioned conversations about abortion and it sparked that rage deep within me, because how DARE idiots have opinions on something that doesn’t involve their own body.  I mentioned people not understanding mental illness.  More specifically, how someone told me while I was in the middle of a panic attack that I just wanted attention.  Let me just tell you how much that pissed me off.  Because I DO like attention; that is an obvious and given thing.  But I don’t seek attention by struggling to breathe between the sobs that shake my entire body, because when I want attention I fuckin’ ASK for it like an ADULT.  I learned in a very life-changing way that that’s the best way to go about it.  So don’t you for one second think my PANIC ATTACK has anything to DO with that.

I hope what my therapist saw in me yesterday is coming through in these words here.  I have trouble standing up for myself and speaking up.  But when it comes to this shit, I have NO problem channeling the Incredible Hulk and raging out.  And then I revert back into my nicer demeanor.  And that’s that.

Right so let’s analyze.  Ignorance frustrates me.  Like the abortion issue and the flat-earthers and their ridiculous conspiracy.  You shouldn’t be allowed to be ignorant when it so clearly has a negative impact on others.  Along those lines, you shouldn’t be allowed to make someone feel less-than over an issue you don’t understand.  Particularly when you are LUCKY you don’t understand.  If you’ve never panicked yourself into a dark corner and melted into a black hole, don’t comment on it all.   Also.  It angers me when people act superior.  When they’re condescending.  When they make me feel stupid.  When they insult my intelligence, basically.  Because I’m not self-conscious about my body, really (points to me there), but my brain is something that I feel I have to protect.  Similarly, don’t be rude for no reason.  Have consideration.  Have manners, you should’ve learned how when you were fucking FIVE.  Be respectful or go to hell.  That’s why I hate customers at work; they are so incredibly disrespectful.  Therefore, I don’t consider them to be humans.  They are savages.  I think of them this way to protect myself.  Lastly, overall unfairness pisses me off.  Things should be fair.  End of story.

The general gist of that preceding paragraph, I think, is that large, philosophical issues make me tick.  And maybe that sounds mature or whatever (maybe?) but then these stupid, minor things send me flying off the handle too.  Like when the WiFi doesn’t connect.  Oh my GOD does that annoy me.  Just WORK, is that so DIFFICULT?  Or when things don’t work out how they should (because things never just work out, everything is constantly being messed up by life).  When people drive too slow?  Just gooooooo.  Go!!!  Time limits make me insane.  Because it’s so stressful when the clock is ticking and you’re waiting and you’re trying to be on time or get something done and it just isn’t fucking working and holy shit the anxiety.  Nine times out of ten it’s not my fault if I’m late for something.  So yeah.  Time makes me angry.

[update: apparently these all fall into the category of “lack of control”]

I really can’t think of anything else that I’ve gotten mad about lately.  What makes NORMAL people mad???  Comment with responses, because normalcy alludes me…

Anyway, my therapist and I continued talking.  I said that I sometimes use both sides of myself in combination.  I stand up for myself in an aggressive way but mask it with niceness so as to not cause too much trouble.  I also remember saying something along the lines of “I’m gonna take my emotional baggage and beat the assholes with it,” because I want desperately to protect others from pain.  I referenced how it’s always a shock when happy people commit suicide but that in reality, those people may seem super happy to others because they don’t want other people to feel the hurt they feel inside.  I called myself a sort of “Emotional Robin Hood.”  I wanna help those who’ve been hurt like Robin Hood helped the poor.  I want to steal undeserved confidence from insulters and give it to the insulted.  And do things like that.

Wow, so I dunno if writing has helped me process any of this, but I have therapy again tomorrow so we shall see, I guess 🙂

 

Sunny Sunday! Relaxing at Starbucks before work.

So I didn’t post quite as many things as I planned on posting yesterday, but ya know, there’ll be plenty of time to get all my writings out there. And that’s an exciting thought!

I wound up taking a nap yesterday, which was much-needed. I’m always tired. But lately I haven’t been sleeping well at night. My snoring boyfriend aside (seriously, he sounds like a fuckin foghorn and it’s the most obnoxious sound ever Lol), I just can’t stay asleep. I’ll pass out fairly easily around 9 (or earlier because I’m exhausted by 7) but then I’ll be awake again by 11:30 or 12. It’s infuriating. I just want to sleep.

But it’s morning now!! I’m pretty sure mornings are my favorite time of day. I always wake up enthusiastic and happy and motivated. Sure, sometimes it only lasts like an hour, but it’s something still. Mornings are just great because there’s so much potential still. Also, mornings mean coffee, which coincidentally symbolizes potential and possibility and renewed energy (to me, at least). And it tastes so damn good. Especially fancy coffees and lattes and stuff. Yeah, I’m “basic” or whatever the phrasing is. Haha.

I have like an hour before I have to leave for work at my pointless retail job (oh boy, there’s so much to unpack about that job and why I’m there still). Plenty of time to finish this post and then record stuff on my super detailed mood chart. I have a google spreadsheet where I keep track of everything I think I need to keep track of. I used to use this cool app called Daylio (I have soo ma y useful mental health apps!), but I have major ADHD issues so I tend to jump around in terms of how I record everything. But I definitely do record everything. I’m trying to find patterns and make sense of all of this mood shit. I’ve come a reeaaally long way so far. I know when I’m gonna get set off, how it feels to get set off, what’s gonna send me spiraling down and as opposed to rocketing up. I know the overall patterns and how long it usually is between episodes. I can think back and remember it all with slightly more clarity now. It feels cool to be able to do that. It feels more controlled (at least somewhat). I mean, it sucks to know SOMETHING BAD IS COMING and to know you can’t stop it regardless, but time to prepare for emergencies is always helpful. I guess what I’m saying is knowledge is power. Right?

For an incredibly long time, my bipolar disorder wasn’t in check. It’s a complicated issue. But I was basically up and down every three months for, oh god, years. Lemme take you back, though.

I was put on Abilify when I was in the hospital for the eating disorder. Stayed on that until my psychiatrist declared me “fine” at 19. So I was free and didn’t have to take meds and it was great. Buuuut then I went insane. I went back to the psychiatrist and his exact words were “are you on cocaine?” To which I said no. To which he said “then you’re bipolar.” I don’t remember that period too well. I don’t know how he just figured that out. But it sure as hell makes sense.

I mean of course it makes sense. I am bipolar. It’s definitely a thing I have.

So I went back on Abilify. And I stayed on it until a few months ago. And ya know, it really didn’t do much for me. Because as I said, I lost my fucking mind every three or so months for years.

Back in September 2018, so like a few months ago, I went on birth control for the first time. And now, I totally anticipated mental turmoil. But I didn’t anticipate how fucking bad I’d feel. I called my gynecologist and was like “hi yeah is this supposed to make me feel like I wanna die?” And she was like “uh no go to the ER” and I was like “I’d prefer not to” so I called my psychiatrist who didn’t answer so I went to the ER. Yeah.

It wound up being a good idea anyway. I mean I was in a rough state. It was fucking bad and I’m gonna get to descriptions of how that shit feels at some point soon, because I think it’s important to get that out there, but for now I don’t have the energy to put myself back there. Just picture BAD.

So then in October, I finally got on a new mood stabilizer (atypical antipsychotic, but you get me). I was still pretty messed up as I picked myself back up and cleaned myself off. But by November I was mostly fine. Normal. Or my version of normal. I wasn’t insanely depressed is what I’m saying.

I got into therapy (which I obviously should have been going to in the first place, but again, that’s another story). And luckily the therapist I found by happenstance is the COOLEST EVER, and is super helpful and smart and awesome.

She said something to me that I swear changed my whole life (not to be dramatic). I went in one day super upset and down because I was agitated and emotionally itchy and had that old “I wanna rip my face off” feeling happening yet again. I was like “it’s gonna happen again” and she told me that IT DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN AGAIN. Or at least not every three months. I swear that had never occurred to me.

I mean I haven’t had a really major issue since the one Sept/Oct/Nov 2018. But (as she points out to me frequently) I’m “white knuckling” life, holding on with everything I’ve got because I’m so scared of losing it again.

I have a new psychiatrist now. And she added something for anxiety (an anticonvulsant med actually). I’ve only seen her once so far but I’m still feeling relatively okay?? I think??? I mean I’m up and down throughout the day WAY more than a fucking regular person, and it fucking sucks a lot, but if that’s as bad as it’s gonna take I can handle it???

Like. I’m trying. I take my meds, I record my moods, I reach out when I need to, I take supplements that are supposed to help anxiety, I’m open about my issues… I mean yeah maybe I could meditate more or whatever. Gotta give that a wholehearted shot eventually. But I mean. I’m trying here.

Alrightyyyyy I think that’s enough of an update for now. I really want post some real WRITING later, so when I get home from work I probably will.

If you’re still reading this, I’m sending you hugs and love and thanks. And I hope you have a great Sunday 🙂

Starting at the beginning, I guess?

My first major mental health thing (aside from feeling vaguely “off” and emotionally “different” at the age of ten or eleven) was the eating disorder I developed in high school. That disorder was a tremendously strong force in my life for like, a reaaaallly long time. It was my disappearing act, resulting from crippling depression and anxiety, where I shriveled into a shell of who I once was and lost all sense of how to relate to my body, my self, and my loved ones. It was crying in what felt like every bathroom stall of my school as I hid from anyone who might figure out what I was doing, what I was being made to do, for fear that they might try to intervene. Because if they did, I would just EXPLODE, so I had to stay away. It was throwing myself into my schoolwork, distracting myself with the drive to get straight As and 100s and be perfect so I could graduate and go to a good college and get a good job and be successful and not fail out of life itself because how fucking shitty would I feel if that happened, I already felt shitty enough! The eating disorder was a lot of things. None of them particularlyyy good.

To speak in a way that isn’t full of words that are me just trying to be a fancy writer… I fucking starved myself for three years. In ninth grade, at fourteen years old, I met Depression. My friends didn’t like me anymore, I was lonely and sad, I was stressed out with school, and I was a teenager so like, my relationship with my dad was shit and it caused me a great deal of stress. I stopped eating because I wasn’t hungry. I was anxious and panicky and sad. And furthermore, I was consumed with schoolwork and advanced classes, and the pressure was crushing me. I worked through lunch instead of eating because I thought it’d alleviate some of the ever-present dread, maybe chase away the dark cloud looming above my head or the sense of impending doom. It didn’t, but I wouldn’t eat anyway. Then, weirdly, I was compelled to skip breakfast too. So I skipped breakfast too. And then I was told by some omnipotent presence to get on the scale. So I got on the scale. And thus began the competition I had with myself to make the number I saw get lower and lower and lower. Cue body image problems. Enter physical issues. Bring on the bitter, biting, painful cold that settled in my bones and didn’t leave me the fuck aloneeeeeee.

No one really noticed, or so I assumed, but if they did notice, they left me to it until I was too far gone. By the middle of eleventh grade I desperately wanted to stop. I had realized there was a word for what I was doing, a name for this THING eating me from the inside out, but I didn’t say it. I didn’t write it. I tried not to think it. Because with the awareness that this was anorexia was the feeling inside of me that I was consciously doing wrong. And I wasn’t a bad kid. I was and always had been a good girl. I wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t bad, I couldn’t HELP IT, ughhhhhh.

I was thrown into the hospital in an eating disorders program in April that year. I say “thrown,” but I guess it was my choice? I was brought to this appointment as this office far away from where I lived, and I mean, I had a feeling it was about this eating issue thing of mine. And my stomach went sour when I realized that feeling was right. But the doctor who talked to me and examined me was so nice. I trusted her immediately. And I mean, I wanted to get better. So I was honest with her, said the dreaded word anorexia, and even more said that that was what I had, that anorexic was what I was.

“Laura is very mature,” the doctor told the nutritionist when she walked in. “Came right out and told me she’s anorexic.”

I beamed with pride, but the happiness only lasted briefly, because now we had to “talk about options.” Oh, god. Oh god oh god oh god. “Because you can’t stay sick forever. You can’t stay stuck in this forever. I think you know that, Laura.” Ughhhh, I diddddd, but I was scareddddd.

“You can leave here today. And you’d have to come back in two weeks for an appointment. And during those two weeks, you’d have to try, really try, to eat and gain weight.” The words she spoke hit me like a ton of bricks. “But patients I send home never do as well, and every time I let someone go home, I regret it. I’m afraid that…” she shifted in her chair and leaned towards me. “I’m afraid that if I let you walk out of this office today, you won’t walk back in.”

The subtext of that being, of course, that I was going to drop dead. I knew that was what she meant. I struggled to breathe, I struggled to see straight without dark clouds spotting my vision, I had no energy, my body hurt, I was cold, emaciated, I was going to die.

“Or,” she paused to look at me, “you can stay here. We’ll admit you to the hospital.”

Somehow, as this brilliant doctor and I were talking, the decision was made that I’d stay. She was extra brilliant because she somehow made sixteen-year-old me believe that I had made the decision. Which was important because it made me work extra hard over the coming months in the hospital and the program. It was what I had decided I wanted to do, wasn’t it? I mean, it truly was what I wanted. But goddammit, eating??? Gaining weight??? That shit was difficult. Almost as difficult as processing the emotional shit and talking about my secrets and opening up about my disorder whileeee eating and gaining weight.

I made friends in the hospital that helped me back into my skin and reminded me who I was as a person. My friends back at school (the ones I’d made and grown close to over the prior three years, the ones who came to love me even though I was a miserable, starving mess) were so incredibly supportive. My teachers were incredible, I can’t understate how helpful they were. My family I can’t even begin to describe. And like, holy shit, just feeling such extreme love after having felt the exact opposite for so long…it was enough to catapult me into recovered life.

Not that the “road to recovery” was all skipping through fields of flowers. I gained 50 pounds, yeah, but uhhhhhh that didn’t mean shit? I mean, I gained higher comprehension and understanding and became more self-aware and able to process shit. But I still felt like the sick me. Even though I looked like a “healthy” me. *Identity crisis intensifies*

I held it together as best as I could. I never really had a major relapse and never wound up back in the hospital, but it was a wild ride from there to here.

I’m realizing now I’ve never thought extensively about my actual recovery. I know how I transformed in the actual hospital, and in the very early stages of recovery. But I’ve never truly thought about being in college and grappling with both eating disordered thoughts and the determination to kick the shit out of those thoughts.  Put a pin in this, that’s a blog post for later.

Long story short (not really), I’m 27 and the eating disorder is an issue anymore. I’m thankful and lucky and proud. So yay 🙂

Some people don’t believe in “full recovery,” but I mean, I don’t have an eating disorder anymore, so I think it’s a thing I believe in. I totally get that people are talking about the ongoing process of recovering. And I understand that. I dunno, maybe it’s different for everyone.

It’s also currently eating disorder awareness week, and I posted about it on facebook, so I’m gonna post here what I posted there. Just for funsies, Lol.

I usually like to tie posts and writing up in a nice bow to end things, but my brain isn’t brain-ing right now. So no super-great ending. I just hope you enjoyed my ranting here, internet 🙂

Snowy Saturdays mean coffee and writing (especially when I’m off from work)

Good morning, internet!

I slept late today (which for me is until like 7:30) and woke up to snow. It’s a gray day, which makes the snow seem far less pretty and exciting. I mean, I don’t loveeee snow to begin with; I hate being cold, I have no tolerance for it. But when it starts at night and then the next morning everyone wakes up to the sun shining brightly, reflecting off that glittery white snow that no one’s walked or driven in? So it’s still fresh and peaceful? Yeah, I like that.

But like I said, it’s gray and gross today. So I’m gonna stay here, sitting at my desk, where I am surrounded by colored pens and markers and notebooks and stickers that all make me happy, and I’m gonna write write write. I have coffee, so I’m happy. It’s like a “make your own sunshine” type thing, I guess? Gotta find the good parts of a day, every day. Coffee definitely helps me do that. But I don’t wanna go on and on about my love for my favorite caffeinated beverage just yet (I can and will do that later).

I have a lot of work to do with this blog of mine. I want this to be a place where I share my writing and my story and the lessons I’ve learned or am still learning. I wanna do what I think it is I do best: put words to my intense and often-incomprehensible internal state. Which I do so that I make sense of it. I think I have the ability to describe the chaos in a way that’s graspable to everyone, whether they’re struggling or not. Maybe I can give those struggling something to identify with so they can make sense of the bullshit along with me. And words are power in those situations, I know this for a fact. When I was a teenager, this little anorexic mess of a human, I did things I was compelled to do and I didn’t have the language to describe it or understand it or make sense of it. Having the words necessary to talk about a mental health issue is crucial to a person’s ability to survive that issue.

Right, so I can do a lot by writing about what’s in my bag of crazy. Maybe I can help some people. Maybe I can shed a certain light on mental health stuff, help educate people who wouldn’t otherwise know or care about it all. I know I can definitely have a ton of fun with this blog. Because writing (perhaps for an audience?) is my favorite fucking thing.

Sidenote, real quick: I used the word “crazy” up there, and I think I’m gonna use that word quite a few times throughout this blogging adventure, and I want to clarify why I use it so as to not offend anyone. I use it because I claim it as my own. It’s how I identify personally, and I don’t use it to describe myself with any negative connotation. I like the word. Don’t know why, not fully at least. I used to call myself things intentionally so others wouldn’t have fun calling me those same things…so maybe my use of the word comes from that? I just don’t want other people to be like, “oh she things people with Bipolar are crazy,” because some other people may not particularly like that word. Okay, good, moving on.

I’m gonna post a bunch of things today. Some essay-type things and some things I’ve posted elsewhere on other social media and some things I generally like. I kind of want to catch this blog up to where I am in my “journey” or whatever you wanna call it. I think it’s important. It’s important to me, at least, to have this be a place that knows how I got to where I am right now.

‘Cause I have a lot more places I wanna go after here. But I think I have work to do still before I’m gonna be able to get too much farther.

Okay, ready for an onslaught of posts? Annnndddd, here we go…

Bipolar Mermaid Writer!

Hi 🙂

I’ve been dying to buy a blog domain for the longest time, so here I am, I guess!

All I’ve ever wanted to do is write.  Since I was a kid, carrying around a wide-ruled notebook and thick Crayola markers, I’ve loved it.  I think I’m pretty good at it, especially when I really put my mind to it.  Lately, it’s been more of a compulsion; I have to get the words out of me, out of my brain and into the ether.  It’s therapeutic.  Writing helps me make sense of the messiness inside my head because as you may have guessed from the domain name, I am in fact bipolar.  Or I guess I should phrase it “I have bipolar disorder.”  Since I’m more than just that.  But my main issue right now is my mood issues and my mental health.

That about sums up my domain, except for the mermaid part.  Which is easily explained: I just dyed my hair blue and purple, and it looks veryyy mermaidy.  I was feeling rebellious and wild and I wanted my outside to match my inside (it’s a thing I have, where I wanna match…I’m sure I’ll explain in more detail later on), but long story short, yeah.  Blue and purple hair.

I’m gonna leave off with that, for this moment at least.  I have big plans for this website thing, and I’m suuuuper excited to have a place to put all my writing and to document my journey or whatever.

So yay 🙂

It takes rain to make a rainbow ❤