“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.”

4 Apr

We forget sometimes, that I am teh crazy.

One of the less than charming things about my brain is the delusional, paranoid thinking I’m privy to. The full list of bipolar symptoms consists of the following:

-MANIA-which involves feeling very happy or very irritable, inflated self-esteem, reduced need for sleep, yappy as all get out, racing thoughts (these are a FUCKING BALL when trying to get to sleep), crow shiny object syndrome (highly distractable), impulsive and/or reckless behaviour (sleeping around, smoking meth, drive like someone from the armpit, spend oodles of money (my personal impulsive behaviour, along with eating)

-DEPRESSION-involves feeling anxious or “sad” for a period of time (holy fucking reductive phrase batman), hopeless, pessimistic, slowed thoughts and actions, low energy, difficulty concentrating, remembering, hard to make decisions (shit, that’s me on a good day), decreased interest in usual activities, low sex drive, WANT TO DIE, generally hates life.

To add to this joy, I seem to have a side order of psychosis which flickers into my life from time to time. Which includes delusions, hallucinations and personality changes & thought disorder. I tend to keep most of this out of the ears of my doctor. It never gets beyond what I can control, and anti-psychotics make me stupid.

This is the brain that we’re dealing with.

If you think I act the martyr, that I believe myself to suffer more than Joe Public, or I believe that my pain is better/bigger/different/more fruity, you might be right. There are some days when grandiose thinking puffs up my life experience and causes me to pull out the “I’m so much more important and special than you card. I feel things more acutely. I suffer more.

But you know what? Unmedicated I have a hyperempathy so strong that I’m incapacitated by what I feel for everything around me. If you’ve been pregnant, you know what I mean. Now magnify that feeling my 100%, and have it all day every day. Deal with that constantly, and you WILL think your life is much worse sometimes.

What you don’t hear about are my calm and normal days, when I’m safely tucked between depression and mania, and I’m proud of myself for recovering from many things in my life, when I’m surprised and quietly smiling about the fact that I made it past 30, that I made it through some relatively awful things. Those days I don’t talk about much since I was not raised to toot my own horn.

I’m secretly proud of myself for not killing myself or my daughter. I’m secretly proud of myself for listening to many of you, and my husband, and admitting myself last summer, despite my cold, stark fucking terror at the concept. I’m secretly proud of myself for becoming a gentler, kinder person. I’m secretly proud of myself for accepting my very flawed body for what it is. I’m secretly proud of myself for accepting my flawed brain for what it is.

But there’s no glamour in admitting we like ourselves for who we are now is there? There’s no story there-just plain old ego.

I hate ego.

What needs to be retained is that I very rarely hold back here. There is certainly a segment of my life and mind I don’t leave proof of-and really, do you need to hear about my delusions that the world is ending, that fundamentalist boogey-men are going to enslave us all? Do you need to hear about the people who very occasionally flicker on the outside of my vision, or the sounds I’ll occasionally hear when no sounds are there?

You don’t. So we don’t talk about that.

I have this site for a reason, or at least, I have reasons now that I didn’t have before.

1. Because I needed a safe place to deal with my past, and relate to others with it.

2. Because I searched for a lot of common things about bipolar before, and I couldn’t find it. I like to think that I’m helping that a bit.

3. I wanted a place to write, and admittedly, get feedback.

I have this site for me, but not just for me. I have it to help give perspective to others, and so I can meet others and have them provide perspective. People like Kate and Bon and Kimberly, Jason, Venessa, and even Carin. Because I don’t know know what it’s like to lose a baby, to be visually impaired, to raise your children alone, or to wonder how to stretch a budget further than maybe it can go and stuff a freezer while going to school and raising 4 kids.

I yearn for perspective, even when I don’t agree with it, even when it bugs me, or I think it’s whiny or frivolous. Do I sometimes think evil thoughts about the lives of others? Hells yes. Do you? Hells yes. Everyone does it, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment.

I do not like to be judged. I do what I can to not judge others. Somedays, the creature in my brain talks shit for me. Sometimes I let it, because I’m feeling that way, or I’m conveying something from the past.

Somedays I’m just pissed off and angry and feeling entitled because I want to see the goddamned sailboat too. Because I’m tired of feeling broken and worn out. Because I’m tired of negotiating with my brain, tired of negotiating with a world that I have increasing trouble navigating. Because I’m absolutely terrified that this will get worse. I lash when I’m scared, and alone.

I’m always told to not judge, to think of others, to have caution for their feelings. Which is fine and noble and the right thing to do. But what caution for the crazy? What space, what room for them?

(And yes, I’m more than well aware that somewhere, right this very second, someone is even crazier than I am.)

12 Responses to ““Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.””

  1. Hannah April 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    I didn’t want to cause any trouble, either. It just seemed to me that you had written a brave, unvarnished post about your feelings and that the very first comment you got was attacking you for having them.

    It really upset me because I can’t stand it when people invalidate others. But that probably has more to do wtih me than it does with anyone else.

    Sometimes your blog makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes I don’t know what to say. Sometimes in the face of your grief, or Kate’s, or Bon’s, I feel small and petty and childish. I am terrified of meeting you all because I feel that my own experiences are somehow ‘less’ than yours.

    I hope that you keep writing what’s in your mind. I know that not every day for you is a bad one. It shines through in your posts about your children, your pets, your last trip south with that killer tattoo. I have learned a great deal from you and I look forward to more.

  2. sweetsalty kate April 4, 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    (big squashy hug)

  3. charlotteotter April 5, 2008 at 12:29 am #

    Keep writing as you do, Thordora. This is your blog, and it’s your right to write what you like. I hope your commenters accept where you’re coming from and remain respectful.

  4. marcelarhodus April 5, 2008 at 1:00 am #

    you are such a powerful writer.
    your words touch thoughts and feelings that sometimes we put aside, no matter what I never leave your site without food for thought and my emotions touched.

    and you do provide perspective. and we’re thankful for every word you write, even when sometimes we don’t feel worthy of reading…sometimes what is truly insane is to complain when you really have nothing to complain about (me).

  5. Jen April 5, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    One of the things I admire most about you is your honesty, your willingness to share as much of yourself as you do.
    And that even though people like me can run at the mouth about petty inconveniences, you never make me feel like I’m unworthy of someone to listen.

  6. juliepippert April 5, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    (You) I come here to read because of your honesty, and openness.

    But you said something I want to challenge kindly: you said we don’t see the calm days.

    I say we do…you show them to us. You write about the inside, the outside, the upside, and the downside. You share everyday with the kids, and also the deep depths like yesterday.

    Just saying. 🙂

    Otherwise I think Hannah said some really good things.

  7. thordora April 5, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    oh Hannah. I’m terrified at meeting everyone because I’m afraid that everyone else will be beautiful, put together, calm, mature adults, whereas I forever feel like that gawky adolescent picking at the threads of her jean jacket in the corner. I’m terrified of being “that” girl!

    We ALL have our challenges, big or small. I see your situation, going from 1 to 2, and I think about how I would never, EVER want to go through that again. One of the hardest things in my life.

    I was very upset yesterday, but her comment also caused me to think about who I am, what I’m doing here, and if I don’t explain how things are for me more often. My mindset, my perception is not always that of a “sane” person-it’s colored by the many shaded glasses my brain wears. And maybe I haven’t explained that well enough, maybe I haven’t pointed it out.

    But she made me think, and that is always a valuable gift to be handed. Even if the thinking does sometimes stop at ARGH! 🙂

    Somedays my whining IS pointless. It’s rapid cycling bullshit, liquid poo of the mouth. It flows and flows. I cannot account for it, or stop it. I hate it.

    I hope I let the other days, other sides show. It’s not all doom and gloom. I mean hey, my Dad got me a breadmaker last night. 🙂

    Thank you guys. I’m truly not trying to be a shit.

  8. Carin April 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    Hey dude, I’m glad I made you think. This is going to sound the dumbest of the dumb, but even though I *know* you have bipolar and shit like that, every word you I read of yorus isn’t coloured by “oh but she’s bipolar.” I know that you’re not just a pile of neurotransmitters that can be manipulated by pills. You are you at the heart of it, so for some reason that I can’t explain, what you said pissed me off and I didn’t think that it was amplified by the disorder. Yup, I said that would sound dumb, so there it is. Sometimes I say less than nice things to people but I don’t do it to pick on them, I’m trying to make them think. *slaps head vigorously* I forgot that sometimes you get the delusions and stuff.

    If anyone thought I was a sack of shit for something I said on my blog, I’d hope they’d say it so we could talk. Some have disagreed with me about stuff I’ve written, and it was good.

    No matter what you’re thinking at this gathering thingy doodle, everyone will love you, and you’ll probably be able to relax because you already know people better than most know the acquaintances they go drink with, etc. I hope you have lots of fun.

  9. misspudding April 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    I second the point made that even though you’re probably batshit crazy (your point, not mine), your posts don’t reflect the constant assault of your ill-equipped neurons (or maybe it’s very well-equipped…they’re just working too strongly, too well, you’re just feeling so much more than the rest of us).

    I love you for you, even if you’re crazy. You make me feel – know – that there really is a spectrum of people, and I don’t mean of crazy. I mean of intelligence, of emotional IQ, of provenance, of dialect, of class, of poverty, of skin color, of damn near everything…of life. You’re willing to bring to everyone’s attention the issues that mean the most to you. And we’re all the better for it.

    I love you. I really do!

  10. Gabriel... April 7, 2008 at 2:48 am #

    I found someone you might want to put in your blogroll…

    http://poorwoman.wordpress.com/

  11. bine April 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm #

    i’m glad to read about these calm and normal days you usually don’t talk about. and i think there is glamour in admitting we like ourselves for who we are. very few people can say that of themselves and even less can admit it. for me it has nothing to do with tooting your own horn.
    and i think you are entitled to say pretty much everything you want here. it’s your space. i don’t think you were minimizing anyone. this is about you. their blogs are about them. it’s good that we meet and share, though.

  12. Jason Dufair April 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    Thor – I’m unable to drink from the firehose that you generate here as I’d like, but I sure do enjoy it when I pop by. As the person who I consider to have lost my blogging virginity to, you have a special place in my world and it’s nice that I offer some perspective to you. You are one in a million, sister.

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