“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.”

18 May

Lordie I’m tired.

Going from working 7-3 to 4-12 doesn’t go down too well on an old lady. The sudden inability to sleep before 2am isn’t helping either. I like the nights, but I liked them better before children.  I’m happier now though. I don’t bring stress home with me. I don’t feel a burning in my stomach like I did before. I don’t cringe when the phone rings.

It’s so nice.

I’ll move beyond what I’m doing eventually, but right now, for me, it’s just fine. Although I could use more money. Send money, m’kay?

It’s weird, feeling so closeted about the bipolar though. I keep hearing the word “crazy” in jokes, in “doooode, I got CRAZY messed up last night!”, in all the casual ways people (myself included) use it in casual conversation. It’s been bothering me, in this relatively inane way, how often it’s used, and how no one ever has a campaign against it like they might for the word “retarded” or “cripple”. And maybe it’s different-maybe no one has ever looked at crazy in the same light, but I can feel it. When I say crazy, I mean batshit, not drunk and peeing on a wall. It’s almost like the use deflates the meaning, makes it less of a problem. Simplifies it.

Or maybe I’m just petty. I can’t put my finger on why it’s been bothering me so much. Maybe because I don’t feel safe to talk about it with most people, preferring to be judged solely upon my merits right now. Maybe because I’ve grown tired of hearing people called “crazy” because they’re loud or dress weird. Crazy to me is work. It’s effort to stay together, to not break, to take meds daily, to hunt down a doctor. Crazy is ill, not fun. Maybe that’s my problem.

I’ve been stable though, blessedly so. I’m watching, hawklike, for the summer surge of my mania to crack through, but so far, aside from being a little happier than usual most days, I’ve been safe. What scares me is that part of me misses that wave of joy, the bliss of loving the people in my life just that much more, the heat scorching my body. I don’t miss what happens when I start to crash, but the body wants what it remembers, right?

So I’m hoping I just won’t climb up, and that all will be ok. I have a doctor, I have a plan if something escalates, and I have a job that isn’t stressing me out to the point of tears once daily. It can only be better now.

I worry about that too-that I’ll never keep a job with responsibility ever again. It’s frustrating to have the talent and the brain, and just not the will or ability to keep it going. As a coworker once said “There’s no one better then a Dora on a good day.” Problem is finding those good days. I always want to be in charge, to own projects. But I always unravel if they go on too long. I lose my momentum, I run out of steam, or I crash from manic to depressed, unable to move. My smaller cycles of hypomania to depression have never helped.

Being desperately unhappy at my last job didn’t either.

I just wish I could talk about it more. I feel much better, talking about it. I wish I could do advocacy work at least, talking to groups, schools, workplaces about living, working, thriving with mental illness. I wish I was doing more.

But, for now, having the day off tomorrow will suffice. If only I was drunk in the bush somewhere, peeing on my shoes against a pine tree.

Ah, Canadian adolescence in the woods. How I miss thee.

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7 Responses to ““Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.””

  1. Pamala May 18, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Have you thought about maybe even starting some sort of support group in general and by starting one helping others?

    My husband who is BiPolar has been going through a month long manic episode which finally has ended with a hospital stay to fix his medication (found his lithium levels were insanely low). Anyhow through all this he’s realized how important it is to have a support system in place. And apparently the support system of myself and family wasn’t enough (seeing as he no longer wants to be married or have anything remotely to do with responsibility).

    Anyhow maybe even starting something for the support of families who have family members with this disorder so they can have some help.

  2. Cynthia May 18, 2009 at 5:35 am #

    I worry I’ll never be able to do any job well for an extended period of time. I feel like there will never be a time when I can be consistently focused and dependable. Eventually, depression will take over and the anxiety will heighten and I won’t be able to get out of bed or even leave my house. I’ve kind of lost hope of ever having a normal life.

  3. bromac May 18, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    If it is making you so unhappy to keep it to yourself, then you should go ahead and make it known.

    I totally hear you on the “crazy” comments. My students do it all the time and it makes me cringe. Worse, they use “bipolar” on anyone who ad a good day yesterday and has a bad day the next. People can be so completely ignorant; teenagers more so.

    I always try to explain to them that they are being ignorant and do not have the right understanding of that disease. I also try to make them see that they couuld very much be hurting someone’s feelings by their comments, and that one day they may have someone in their own life who has mental health disorders and it would hurt their feelings if someone used these words so callously. But, as is usual with teenagers, most of the time they just stare at me with eyes glazed over.

  4. Jennifer May 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    Oh hun. For one, you have to remember that you are not crazy. No one thinks of you as crazy. ‘

    You have a medical condition. Like diabetes. Except it can affect the way you think (actually, so can diabetes).

    Why not see if your local mental health association needs some volunteer help?

  5. Marcy May 19, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    It’s so hard to correct people who have no idea what they just said or why it matters. Sometimes straight confrontation can work, but it seems real change and understanding comes through experience and relationship.

    Your blog continues to be part of your campaign. I hope you find some other outlets, and wisdom to choose them well.

    And, especially, so glad that stability continues, and that the job’s stresses are so few.

  6. patois May 20, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I do openly cringe when I hear “retarded” used so casually. Thank you — really — for making me aware going forward about the use of “crazy.” I’ll do my best to correct those whom I can correct without being punched. (‘Cause I am sometimes chicken like that.)

  7. FloumpWotrorm June 4, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

    I’ll be watching you . 🙂

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