Category Archives: hope

upswinging

It’s funny, people asking me if I’m okay now that I finally feel okay.

One of my very best friends has found the love of his life. Or so he thinks. He also found Jesus. A few months ago, he found Jesus. After wanting to be a Youth Pastor when he was in college, to going to seminary, to realizing God is fucked up and church is fucked up and people in church are fucked up. Then a staunch atheist for a long long time. Then a quiet atheist. Then, Jesus.

But I haven’t seen Jesus in awhile, only his new girlfriend. Almost fiance. After a few weeks, he has bought the ring.

You’re an addict, dude. You’re addicted to something, always. To drugs, or alcohol, or me, or work, or Jesus, or her. I guess it’s not okay to say that, at least not before I’ve met her and not before he asks and not over text message.

I spend too much time thinking about loss. So many friends gone this year, but the choosing kind of gone. I know I’ve said it before. It’s just always there, the holes, and more added every day it seems like. It’s okay. I have new friends, or old friends who have stuck around, and I try to focus on them. I try to remember the holes I’ve left in other people’s lives. Try to convince myself I mattered to someone as much as these people matter to me.

I don’t even know her last name. Did she keep hers? Add his? Take his only?

She said Happy Birthday and some other kind and thoughtful things. I didn’t respond. What would I even say? What could I even want from her? And do I risk responding only to find that her message was just…a thing, and not an attempt to get me back.

I feel okay. It’s pretty cool. Of course I anticipate the upswing to keep going straight on to mania, but for now it’s awesome, and welcome.

Thanks, beach time last week! You put me on the right track.

 

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complete mess.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

Cynthia Occelli 

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if I could be different

If i could be different, i wouldn’t be so accessible.
i would remember what makes me solid
and not disperse
and lose my pieces.

from http://aproprose.wordpress.com/

the versatile blogger award

Thank you so much to blue lily storm for nominating this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! If you haven’t yet checked out her blog go read it right now – she’s pretty incredible herself and just received noms for both the Very Inspiring Blogger and the Versatile Blogger awards.  She’s definitely deserving of both.

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So, the rules: first I will share with you fifteen of my favorite blogs and nominate them for the award as well, and secondly I will tell you seven things about me.  Only I’m going to tell you the seven things, first, because I do things backwards sometimes.

I believe anyone can change any behavior he or she wishes to change; I don’t believe in an unbreakable habit.

I believe in women’s health, reproductive rights, informed consent, time-unlimited therapy coverage, and that we need more men in the feminist movements of today.

I love school.

In real life I abbrev every word that can be shortened and I give everyone I know a nickname. Frilz, I’m totes serious. Don’t judge me.

People tell me I should quit academics and go to art school.  Some days I agree with them.

I am living in recovery from anorexia nervosa.

I learn more from my clients than I could possibly teach them.

.

So here, in no particular order, are my favorite blogs – versatile, challenging, inspiring…enjoy.

Vague Recall

shajenjoyaziz

Lautopolis

Known is a Drop, Unknown is an Ocean

Thoughts on Theatre

Faithandmeow

untitled

ahaikupoet

vividreality

Laments and Lullabies

Check out the real rules at the Versatile Blogger Award wordpress

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Previous Post

Thoughts on Theatre

You may think that the walls you’ve placed around you define you,

or  protect  you, or at least provide some sort of structure  to  your

life. But in reality? You don’t need ’em. Break down those walls and

explore  the  parts  of  yourself  that   you’re  unsure  of,  that  you’re

tentative  to  trust,   that  you’ve  always  dreamed  of  being  able  to

embellish.  Don’t just step, but  leap  outside  of  your  comfort  zone

and  see  what  happens.   Something  unexpected,  no  doubt.    Seek

out  those  things you  never thought you’d be  good  at,  and play in

the wide open spaces which once scared you…            and, oh yeah…

don’t

                  box

                                                 yourself

   …

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Mood tracking

One of the steps in learning mindfulness is to “check in” with your moods (and your reactions to them and the thoughts that surround them) throughout the day.  Homework in various counseling approaches include mood diaries, feelings charts, etc. because so many of us don’t take the time (or don’t know how) to name our feelings and identify how they affect our behaviors – which in turn affect our thoughts about ourselves and then our feelings.  It’s a complicated cycle at first (because sometimes it’s the automatic thought that triggers the feelings that trigger the behavior, and sometimes it’s an external trigger that brings up a feeling in our body that makes us act a certain way that makes us think a certain way that makes us feel a certain way…..et cetera).  But over time the cycle gets broken up into smaller parts that are much easier to deal with, and the best part is that when you adjust one part it causes the rest of the pattern to be interrupted and you can choose how to adjust them, too.  Because it’s a cycle.  You get it right?

So here is a great way to track your mood on your iPhone or other smartphone.  My professor recommended it and I already love it:

http://t2health.org/apps/t2-mood-tracker

On your phone you can just search for “t 2 mood tracker,” and it’s FREE.  It doesn’t just ask how you feel, it asks you to rate different levels of anxiety, stress, tiredness, loneliness, etc.  It charts these over time and you can add notes whenever you want, such as “I just got run over by a bicycle, not feeling so great” so that you can account for sudden or dramatic shifts in mood.

The best part?  It reminds you to do it! In the settings you can ask it to check-in with you and at the allotted hour(s) it pops up on your screen with a “how are you feeling right now?” reminder.

So easy, so not intrusive, and so helpful.

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on living without the mania

I can trace symptoms of my bipolar as far back as the seventh grade.  I wasn’t diagnosed then, and I was misdiagnosed as having depression for a long time.  But the same cycle of extreme highs and terrible lows can be seen throughout my life, especially if you read the journals that I have kept since middle school.

I crave the highs.  Don’t you?

So many of us do, and the literature clearly shows that bipolar disorder is one of the hardest to consistently treat because when we are doing well we take ourselves off of our medication…and while we are on the medication we never quite get to that indescribable feeling of elation, invincibility, creativity, and passion.

The unfortunate part is that, even before my diagnosis, I always knew the highs would end.  I thought it was just something wrong with me, some sin I had committed to make the Universe take away my happiness. I never quite trusted the high; I resisted feelings of happiness because of my certainty they would end and I would be so sad once again.  I trusted my depressions as the true me, the real part of me that everyone would hate should they know how I truly felt inside.

I know now to embrace all of me, the pained parts and the joyful parts, but I don’t trust it.

My partner and I have been together through over a year of an incredible and ever-deepening love for one another.  As we slowly move toward the post-honeymoon phase of our relationship, I find myself questioning his love for me.  I’m afraid that the end of a high means the end of our happiness, the end of our relationship, the end of us. Not because I actually doubt him or his word, but because the obvious, overt passion isn’t as prevalent.  Because he loves me quietly, truly, deeply…not irrationally at four in the morning after hours of Skyping, but rationally, when I’ve removed my makeup, when we’re actually paying attention to the movie (well, sometimes), when he’s people-watching at lunch instead of constantly gazing into my eyes.

But when I choose to trust it, to trust him, I realize I don’t have to seek a new high just to avoid the heartbreak of a depression. I’m not afraid to be in love with him, to move on to new phases of life with him, to experience the newness of stability rather than the newness of relationship.

I am, for the first time, learning to love without needing the mania. And it is so worth it.

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