I love this infographic although I suspect if I was feeling low it would piss me off with its simplistic positivity.
I’m not a fan of positivity. Then again I am. I believe in positive self talk. It can really help with anxiety that is not founded in reality. If I’m wound up about something that might happen I can often talk myself down using this technique. I teach it to clients as a strategy to manage anxiety.
The positivity I hate is the passive aggressive pseudo spiritual psychobabble bullshit positivity. The kind that says ‘kick cancers ass’ and ignores how this might be interpreted by the loved ones of cancer victims whose ass got kicked instead.
The kind of positivity that tells someone that if they smile enough, believe enough, then their problems will be solved. Try telling that to someone with a chronic health condition. Or to the parent of a sexually absurd child. Or a rape victim. Or me.
I’m calling out the ridiculous and troubling belief that anyone who works hard enough can be a millionaire. Oh really? That explains poverty and low pay. Fuck you moron!
Karma is bullshit and PMA has limited capacity to change our lives.
Some realities just ARE. Life can suck. Being positive can help. Shoving your ideas of positive down someone else’s throat is insensitive and bullying. Post your pictures of fairies and meaningful quotes. They’re cute and even inspiring. But the minute you imply that my reality could be improved by adopting your superficial bullshit… We’re done.
Just a quick hello from the lazy nothingness going on right now.
Sometimes I just have to bow out. Take a mental, physical and emotional break from the world.
It’s not pretty. It’s days of lounging in bed or the shed in pyjamas wrapped in a blanket and hugging a hot water blanket. I’m on day two and fully intent to emerge only on Tuesday when I have to go to work.
In the meantime I’m wallowing. I’ve read a load of books, listened to meaningful music, ignored my phone, eaten easy food and dozed on and off.
I have no interest in or energy for interacting with anyone. Conversation drains me.
I’m not unwell or becoming unwell. I don’t feel depressed. I simply feel as if I have reached saturation point. My tolerance for reality has reached its limit.
Life is stressful and busy and inexorable. The constancy of existence is exhausting. If I didn’t opt out now and then i would start to get crazy. I’d lose the capacity to juggle and manage and function. I’d become overwhelmed. Is self harm. I’d be sectioned. I’d be suicidal.
Right now I’m so far from anything dramatic that it’s an impossible phantom. I’m good at self management and I keep myself well (with lots of help).
So what’s it all about?
I feel guilty. I feel terribly guilty when I opt out and distance myself from everyone and everything. I’m a woman; guilt is part of society’s gift to me.
I can rationalise that it is sensible to put my needs first because if I become ill I’m no good to anyone. Intellectually I know that everyone needs ‘me’ time and to recharge their batteries.
I still feel guilty.
TW domestic abuse and mental illness
My blog is personal and about everyday struggles of being bi-polar in a world of stigma.
So much of my work impacts on me and my experiences shape my work so sometimes domestic abuse topics creep in.
Inevitably, at work, we deal with lots of mental illness. Whether caused by, triggered by or exacerbated by the abuse, it is really hard for clients and staff.
Yet again today I had a client with a Bi-Polar diagnosis and I really wanted to reach out and say… Me too, I get it.
Where do you guys stand on being ‘out’ at work?
I took a client to a psych appointment today and the psychiatrist came out to the waiting room and said ‘hi, aren’t you under Dr …… Now?’ Effectively outing me to the client. I know it’s not the end of the world but I am so pissed off about it. I just said ‘actually I’m here in a professional capacity with a refuge client’ but all through the appointment all I could think about was being outed at work and getting that feeling that people have stopped judging my work and started seeing my illness. Bleugh :-( I wish I felt able to just go ‘yeah, I’m bipolar’ and not stress about stigma :-/
I’m guessing that most people prefer summer to winter; long bright days to dark, cold nights.
My Bi Polar disorder is seasonally affected. This effectively gives me a wonderful cocktail of Bi Polar and SAD (winter blues). Basically, if left to my own devices, I would be fine in spring and autumn, fly high all summer long, and hibernate in winter when the smallest effort feels like climbing Everest.
But fortunately, I’m not left to my own devices. I have drugs, mood mapping, support networks, a self management plan and a SAD lamp. This combination of protective factors ensure that I mostly function ok. Getting up is hard, like pulling myself painfully slowly through a treacle haze, but mostly I manage.
Even so, winter is anathema to me. It worries me so much that I carry a survivalists dream stash in my boot. I have WD40, blankets, torches, a folding shovel, spare socks, gloves and scarves, space blankets, space rations, food, water for me, water for the car, jump leads, tow rope, first aid kit, seeing kit, tissues, spare meds, screen wash and de-icer. I am prepared for every emergency,
Every emergency apart from being unable to get into my frozen car, with everything I need, including de-icer safely locked in the boot. At 5am. In the dark, in the snow. :-(
This was my situation in the depth of last winters freeze. Waily waily.
My first action was to warm the key. I rubbed it briskly between my frozen palms and tried again. Nothing. Boy that lock was frozen up tight.
Next I knelt in the snow, cupped my hands around my mouth as if to shout; and gently huffed into the lock in the hope that my warm breath would melt the frozen heart of the lock. It didn’t budge.
By this time I was frozen (it was -5), wet (kneeling in frozen water will do that for you) and cross.
I needed to get to work. The WD40 was in the car. What was similar? I had it! The olive oil spray was surely just the same. I crept back into the house (everyone else soundly asleep) and pilfered the cooking spray. I squirted each lock liberally. It didn’t work!! I began to despair. I had to get to work. I was tired, not fully awake, cold, wet and miserable.
My last attempt was cleaning spray. It dissolves in water, I reasoned, it will therefore dissolve ice. More liberal spraying. Sound logic would get me there. Not.
At 5.45am I admitted defeat. The poor, abused car, streaks of cooking oil and Flash cleaner streaking the doors, stood as frozen as it had almost an hour earlier. It would take a higher power than me to resolve this. So I woke her up.
My long suffering wife emerged bleary eyed from the house dressed in pyjamas, doc martins and a winter coat. She flashed me a small smile and walked off up the street.
“where are you going?” I asked
“to unlock the car” she replied
My jaw dropped. I pointed silently at the car outside our house. I looked at it. It was blue and it was small.
Our car is large and green. A different make. A different model.
Without a word of reproach, she handed me the keys, dropped a kiss on my cheek and went in to bed.
Yes. It’s all true. I had spent 45 minutes on my knees in the snow, trying to break in to my neighbours car. The evidence streaking it’s now clearly dark blue paintwork.
I’m in bed feeling sorry for myself with a migraine, a cold and nausea. I wish someone would wrap me up in a snuggle and stroke my hair. Meh
Sometimes people who have been abused, controlled and isolated can struggle with the responsibilities of freedom. When another person has dictated your every action, understanding what is ok for yourself can be hard. I met a client today who was feeling rather desperate. On talking to her, I realised that she has no boundaries. Her friends, her family and her children do not know what is and isn’t ok. It’s no wonder she is overwhelmed. We discussed boundaries, how to set them and how to enforce them. It’s a skill and like any other it takes practice.
Another client today is being driven crazy by her ex sending abusive texts. She is afraid to act to change her number. Frozen and trapped, unable to take control in even this small way.
It’s been an odd day. I’ve been off work so long and even this last two weeks I’ve seen no clients. Today I joined the survivor group as they made cupcakes. It was amazing, this mixed bunch of women from different backgrounds and experiences whose only common bond is abuse. I had a coffee and a cake with them and they told me how much our service means to them.
The conversation moved onto mental illness and again I felt a fraud for not disclosing my own diagnosis. I estimate about 75% of our clients have a mental health diagnosis that emerged as a result of their experiences.
I wish I felt able to say, me too, I’m bipolar and yes, it’s tough. But together we can get to better times.
But until things change I will stick to being ‘out’ to family and friends and a liar at work :-/