Monthly Archives: July 2014

Yesterday I was needy.

10492432_711357135578899_6147988034710848580_n

 

Yesterday I was needy. That’s pretty far up there on the things I hate most in this world list. I was mightily annoyed with myself for feeling needy which made me feel even more inadequate which made me even more needy….and so on. Infinite loop of need. Blech.

There were two ways I could handle it. I could internalize it, which is what I usually do (put on my big girl pants and get over it), but in this case I suspected it would have spiraled me into a depression which I quite frankly don’t have the time for right now. Alternatively I could reach out for help. I’m always terrible at asking for help. It literally makes me nauseous. Some days I think all I have going for me is my lack of needing help. It makes me feel safe. If you need nobody, nobody will disappoint you. I know this is irrational and self-defeating and not a healthy way to live, but the irrational me was in charge yesterday.

I can count on far less than one hand the people I am willing to reach out to when I feel this way. Yesterday I decided to reach out. The person I reached out to knows me well enough to know I don’t wave the flag unless I really have to. So he dropped what he was doing and made time for me. He talked me through it, said all the things I needed to hear to feel whole and balanced again, and spent time just listening. And the thing that really helps is that I think that he genuinely believes the kind and caring things he says. He wasn’t just placating me. He cares. Some days knowing there’s at least one person who cares is all you really need when you’re needy.

So to you, my dear friend, this is your Thank You note. Thanks for putting me back together…..again.

The Wind Sings

I’m sitting in my bed right now binge-reading on WordPress and I just noticed how intensely the wind is blowing. I’m on the 19th floor of a high-rise apartment building in a space that is literally wrapped in windows. Yes, I live in a fishbowl. So, when the wind is blowing, I know it.

The sound is always amplified in a much more dramatic fashion than the reality of the weather. It usually sounds like impending doom. It is always a bit frightening, the rattle and the howl of it all. But tonight, in addition to the rattle and the howl is sort of this peaceful chiming. It’s difficult to explain. It sounds a lot like one of those Tibetan singing bowls, this lovely soft-pitched ring whistling sweetly to me.

And just now it has occurred to me what an apt metaphor this is to illustrate my life with bipolar. It is simultaneously frightening and beautiful. It can be dangerously seductive. But when the wind settles, night is over, and the sun comes out….the quiet rolls in. The quiet isn’t as beautiful as the dangerous siren’s song of the wind, but it is peaceful. And we all need a little peace now and then.

Date yourself. Take yourself out to eat. Don’t share your popcorn at the movies with anyone. Stroll around an art museum alone. Fall in love with canvases. Fall in love with yourself.

Cannot find the original source but love love love this!

Things I Won’t Apologize For…

I won’t apologize for being sarcastic.

This is my social coping mechanism. It is a part of my personality that has built up in layers over the years as a way to safely interact with a world that can be scary and hurtful.

I won’t apologize for laughing inappropriately.

It’s a reflex. It’s my escape hatch. It’s a way to throw people off of their game and get them to potentially laugh along with me. If they are laughing with me, the aren’t laughing at me.

I won’t apologize for spending my money.

I know I’m not good at saving money. The mania doesn’t help but it’s not a blanket excuse. I work hard. I am single. I have nobody to support other than myself. If that pretty patent leather purse or that trip to Morocco help me feel better,  then let me have them please.

I won’t apologize for not talking about my childhood.

It sucked. I’ve talked about it enough. I’d rather talk about the future and the things I can change, not those that I can’t. My past has made me who I am today, for better or worse. I prefer to leave it alone.

I won’t apologize for not having children.

Children, for many reasons, did not fit into my life story. I’m ok with that. You should be too. I refuse to buy into the misconception that this makes me any less of a woman or any less of a whole, successful person.

I won’t apologize for having to take meds.

I have to take them, I do not have a choice. No, I can’t “taper off of them over time” or “practice mindfulness instead”. They are a permanent fixture in my life whether I want to take them or not. And trust me, I hate it way more than you hate it for me.

I won’t apologize for my independence.

My independence was forced upon me. Not in a literal way but in a way to keep me from going over the edge. If I have built walls, they have been to keep me in, not to keep you out. Ok, maybe a little to keep you out, but only because letting you in scares me.

I won’t apologize for the way I look.

Yes I am a work in progress and yes I care about the way I look, but if I’m not up to doing my hair or wearing makeup today, it’s because I have a good reason. If I’m in inappropriately comfortable shoes it’s because I want to be appropriately comfortable, not because I don’t care about being feminine. If I hide behind what’s left of my extra weight, don’t take it personally. I’ll come out eventually.

I won’t apologize for being angry right now.

This post may read as defiant and defensive. I don’t let it out often but I’m learning that letting it out allows me to let some of it go. I’ve experienced what happens when anger is kept inside and it is not a healthy thing.

And most of all…I won’t apologize for my mental illness.

If I could wish it away, I would. But I’m stuck with it and it with me. Don’t let my “highly functioning” lifestyle fool you. I struggle daily. I struggle along with everyone else who has ever been judged or pre-judged by the label of their disorder. I struggle to get out of bed. I struggle through the work day. I struggle to maintain my close and not-so-close friendships, and I come home at night and struggle to fall asleep. Then I do it all over again the next day. We are all climbing our own mountain so let’s not push each other down. I will keep my illness a secret from you if I feel it is necessary. If you know about it, then you are a trusted confidant.

What I will apologize for is if any of the above traits have caused you pain or sadness.

I do not wish those on anyone, even the ones who have hurt me. At the end of it all, I’m just trying to get through the day and find what joy I can find out of life. And there is joy to be found, I have seen it.

62 Pounds – Yeah, I’ll take it, but what next?

So, it’s been 4.5 months since the weight loss surgery and I’m 62 pounds down. This is about average. I can see the number on the scale drop and most of my clothes look ridiculous (even the smaller ones I had saved “just in case”) but when I look in the mirror I still can’t see the difference. I wonder if there will ever be a time when my perception equals the reality of my new body. I still have a long way to go on the body part but that’s a breeze compared to the mental work I will need to do. Will I ever be able to look in the mirror and not see a fat person looking back? Is the constant berating from my childhood permanently affixed to my self-perception? Will I ever admit to myself that I’ve been hiding behind my fat suit in order to avoid intimacy? (OK, well I guess I just admitted that, so check one thing off the list)

What if people (men) start to notice me in “that way”? I’m not sure how I would react. I would probably be terrified or have a high school flashback and just assume they are mocking me. And what about…….lord help me……dating? Ugh it makes me nauseous to even think about it. But there’s another part of me that craves that elusive companionship and wonders what it’s really like to fall in love. I mean, I’m 44 and have never had a truly, mutually loving relationship. That’s messed up. I really don’t want to live the second half of my life never having experienced that feeling. It just seems so hollow to live this way, but I don’t know how to change it. It’s like I have the romantic relationship maturity of a 14 year old. My logic-brain gets it but logic-brain is easily usurped by low-self-esteem brain and gets it’s ass kicked regularly by set-in-my-ways brain.

I guess I’m just going to have to go with the flow on that one. My mom used to say “Every pot has a lid”. So, Mr. Lid, if you are out there, drop me a hint. And if I run away just grab my handle and hang on to it until I simmer down.