Handling stress

I’m fine when it comes to handling stress but it’s after the stress when I go into a deep coma of depression. The mania is kicking in hardcore and I have to literally do mind over matter and talk myself down.

Constant battle.

When your battles are all in your head, who can really save you? Only yourself. Which then leaves me in this fucked up predicament of how am I going to get out of this?

I’ve received numerous texts today from wonderful friends who have given me sound advice. Whether or not I listen to it and take it is another thing. It’s like when you’re young and you know you shouldn’t do something but you do it anyway! Pretty much all the time for me. My body tells me no and my mind says yes. I guess the opposite of R. Kelly is what I face each and every time my mind races and wants to have a mood swing.

I wonder sometimes if all this blabbering makes any sense to you.. Especially since I don’t edit these posts! However, just typing this out now on my phone makes me realize what I need to do.

Get rest. And that I will. Maybe my mind will be clearer tomorrow.

Chaos is simple.

Constantly I hear the words ‘unconventional’ and ‘crazy’ fly out people’s mouths and being used in the same sentence with my name or some pronoun to replace it. But for me, chaos is simple. Difficult is easy. Complex makes sense. It’s structure, stability, and sanity that are a struggle. Why? Is it because I’m a lefty? And I think with my right side of the brain. Or maybe it’s because I’m allergic to chocolate and strawberries. Oh no, maybe it’s because I’m a hybrid. Nope, I’m pretty sure I know why.

I mean, let’s face it – bipolar people strive on drama and chaos. Not that I’m into drama per se, but I need some sort of drama in my life. And if that means waiting until the due date to pay a bill or scheduling three events in one night – that’s my fix. That’s what I need. It makes sense to me to feel overwhelmed than to actually live life like a normal human being.

My sister asked me today why I always wait until I have 3-4 loads of laundry to do instead of just doing it once a week. I told her because that’s what makes sense to me. Of course, it’s not logical to most people – but it makes fucking sense to my brain. I didn’t need to defend myself, but she always feels the need to make me feel incompetent even though she isn’t trying to.. She’s telling me what she believes is best. And maybe that’s why I become uber sensitive to others’ words. Because what they feel and think is best isn’t what I think. My perspective is skewed. Better yet, my perspective works for me. Someone like me.

Think about it, if my normal is a rollercoaster for most, then wouldn’t their normal be my rollercoaster? If we could just reverse things and look at everyone’s views in a more empathetic fashion, we would judge less and accept more. Living in a world where my norm is the irregular, I have always thought that my brilliance was something amazing. But really, it’s just our normal. I can’t explain why I feel the way I do, so I shouldn’t need to feel as though what I do feel is eccentric. It’s just different.

I wouldn’t go too far in saying that my brilliance is sheer genius, because it’s far from it. But for me, walking into a room and creating a catchy song on the spot out of a few ideas someone throws at me is simple. For others, they would need years. Looking at a piece of wood I can create a beautiful artistic piece in my mind and go about it and possibly finish it within a few hours. For others, they would need weeks. What I get done in a week, most would accomplish in months. So for me, chaos is simple. I always see a way, a solution, an intricate, yet doable path. For a straight line with structure, I see boring. Slit my wrist now.

Life is an empty canvas I want to fill with color. I don’t wish to take a beautiful painting and cover it with white paint.

Pretty on the outside, Damaged on the inside.

My mother told me tonight that she doesn’t think I have bipolar.

Three words.

What.

The.

Fuck?!

Just because you can’t physically see that someone is hurting doesn’t mean that they’re not. This saying could go true for just about anyone and I am so hurt. My oldest sister had a freak accident (I have yet to really talk about this and probably will hold off for as long as I possibly can) on my 30th birthday last year and everyone is coming to terms that her life is forever changed. It’s apparent (because it’s physical) that she is handicapped. For someone like me, with a mental illness, if you haven’t suffered in a similar way, everyone expects for you to heal because they can’t see it. So if I am smiling or have a good day, a good month, or a good year, I am fine. But that’s not true. Very far from it, in fact.

Denial.

To know that the person who loves me most in my life honestly believes that I am completely fine and don’t suffer pains me. How can my mother believe this to be true? She has known about most of my psych ward visits and all of the depression I have suffered, because I tell her. But because she can’t feel it or see it, it doesn’t exist. Not to her. She honestly thinks that because I live a somewhat normal life (granted, she lives over 200 miles away from me), I must be fine.

If someone like my mother believes I am okay, I wonder what most people think who know that I suffer. Probably most. They probably just feel as though I am emotionally high maintenance or that I am a complainer. I’m pretty exhausted at the moment and slightly on a high because for having a day where almost everything went wrong, something went very right towards the end…

I’ll continue this again at some point. There’s much more to be told. For now, I will accept the fact that my mother will never fully understand me. Three more words.

Fuck.

My.

Life.

Mania is waiting around the corner.

When I am busy and have deadlines for work he’s always there to help me. Like a close friend who jumps out with a trampoline to save me from the fire whenever I’m in need. Except this friend is the asshole fireman because once I jump out of the window they remove the bouncy object and I come crashing into the ground. Then he watches me bleed paralyzed and walks away before spraying me with his water hose.

That’s mania for you. It’s unforgiving and manipulative. It’s sweet and sour. It’s the life of the party who’s a crack addict. It’s your employer who gives you a raise and hires a new employee behind your back with a shitty résumé. Welcome to the world of the high.

Because what goes (up, up, way) up MUST come (crashing) down.

I have a busy week ahead of me and I’m so fearful of becoming manic, losing control over the weekend and regretting something. Or not showing up for work on Monday. I purposely planned more events next week at work so I wouldn’t crash. But I hope I don’t get wiped out. I started on a few more side projects (as usual) and need to just maintain this stability.

Cross your fingers I don’t fuck it up.

Crossroads & Crying.

Something has been bothering me lately and I am not quite sure what it is. There has been a lot of trauma in the last six months to my life. Turning 30. Sister’s tragic accident. Grandmother (only grandparent I’ve ever been close to) dying. Finding new family. Dealing with the norms without having my sister to cope. Med changes. New job position. I mean, it’s a lot of changes and I have been “acting” really cool about it.

Today I was watching this movie of what I thought was going to be a romantic comedy and boom, she dies. A romantic comedy turned drama in an instant. Something triggered emotions inside of me and I lost it. I was hysterically crying. And I just let it go. I needed it. Like what the fucking fuck!? Who loses it while watching an Anne Hathway flick? Answer: me.

I imagine I have been holding a lot inside of me, and it’s natural to just have it all surface at once. My own emotions ambushed me and it wasn’t pretty. My eyes were bloodshot and swollen and usually I feel better after a good cry. But I didn’t. It was one of those I wouldn’t be able to talk kind of cries that occurred. I think I have been letting a lot of feelings build up inside of me.

One thing that has happened is my love life. It’s non-existent; I’ve been so focused on my music.

Today is one of those snow days where you get stuck inside, a surprise blizzard per se, and for me… it gives me time to think. The worst place for me is an idle mind.. its’ the devil’s playground, and it’s not pretty. No matter how much I tell myself how much I don’t need a relationship (because I’m not good at them) or how much I don’t want to be in love, I suck at it. I want so much to be in love. I have fucked up so many of my romantic relationships, whether they ended because I did it or because they did it – I am terrible at it. I’ve only been truly in love once and now in hindsight, i realize it was mostly my fault.

As someone who has bipolar disorder, you are emotionally high maintenance. It’s up to the other person in the relationship on whether or not they are tolerant enough to handle your craziness. I was needy when I was depressed, I was bossy when I was manic, I was all over the place when I was in a mixed episode, and when I was having a panic attack – the last resort was to commit suicide. I mean, who in their right mind can be with someone like that?

I realized that I was crying because I feel unworthy to be loved. Is it true? Who knows, it’s probably the depression talking. Apparently there’s someone for everyone – but I need someone who is going to be able to handle my lows. My highs and my middle-ground is great, my lows aren’t that often. But when they’re there, they must be scary for the other person.

So many crossroads in my life at the moment and I’m unsure of how to handle them all. The old Trinity would just go head first and not look. But now, I have a lot at stake. I treasure my relationships with others, and that means I need to think of what’s best not only for myself, but for everyone else as well, in the long run.

I am frightened. I wish I could force myself to cry. I wish that after I cried I would feel better. But I don’t. My fears and emotions are buried underneath a huge ass pile of shit. It wasn’t the best snow day. If I could, I would just cry myself to sleep.

Stability = No drama = Boring = Missing Something

Once you are diagnosed with a mental illness, you constantly find yourself trying to heal yourself or rid yourself of something. Picture yourself sick with the flu and vomiting out the bad and the next day just feeling much, much better.

vomit

Well, it doesn’t work like that.

Especially when something’s fucked up in your head. In my case, most of the real hardcore changes came during sobriety.

My first sponsor told me, “The drama will cease at some point and you’re going to miss it.” Smart woman because 1) I didn’t think I had drama! (little did I realize, or does anyone realize when they live a drama-filled life?) 2) she was totally right, I do miss it. As strange as it might sound, sometimes I try to find a reason to cry. I don’t know if that’s a crazy-person thing or just a person-crazy thing. Tonight as I lay in bed and my head is spinning around a million and one ideas (racing thoughts), I think to myself, maybe I’m sad. And I tried to find some tears, and instead all there was was empty.

insomnia

Am I depressed I thought? No, I had a pretty great day. Maybe I’m manic, that’s why I can’t sleep. I mean, maybe those are possibilities, but I began to dig deeper and what I realized was that I don’t have any drama. I haven’t had true drama in a very long time. Granted, there are things that happen in my band from time to time and at work someone may piss me off, sometimes I get a call from a 1-866 number about a debt I didn’t pay off years ago that is now haunting, but when push comes to shove, my life is a million times better than it ever was years ago.

That can definitely say one thing about me – my life was one fucked up mess if what it is now is heaven compared to let’s say 2007?

However, it does tell me that I am maturing somewhat. As I sit here typing away furiously, my son is passed out snoring next to me, and my stomach hurts because all I put in my stomach was a slice of pepperoni pizza (too lazy to cook tonight), I realize that I am doing something healthy. I am feeling like a complete and total shit, regardless of how things really, truly are (aka fantastic) and I am writing about it. Blogging is nothing but cathartic… for me. In the past, a moment like this probably would have never presented itself because my life was a constant ball of drama, but if I did feel an unknown emotion and didn’t quite know how to handle it – I would cut. I would slice. I would punch my hand into a wall. I would scream. I would yell. I would cry. I would drink. I would smoke. I would take a bunch of pills. But I don’t do it anymore. I write.

Why is it that with the absence of drama, I am going stir crazy? It’s the same type of feeling when you’ve been locked in your house because you haven’t escaped because you’re either broke or snowed in or sick. It’s like my body craves it. My mind is addicted to it. I find myself almost shoplifting from time to time little things from the store so I can get some sort of a high. The void of drama is hurting a piece of me. The insanity part of my being needs to be fed and I am not quite sure how to rid of this feeling. Yes, writing will only hold me over for a few hours until I doze off and wake up tomorrow to the hullabaloo I have created in my life of work and music. More importantly, how do I handle these emotions when I am older and not full of energy? What do I do then?

How do I channel my nostalgia for drama into a healthy appetite for sanity?

Parenting: Breaking the Cycle on Religion.

As humans we tend to think that how we parent our children is the best and most correct way. True and untrue when you really put it into perspective. We know our children best, who could raise them better? But the reasoning on why we think we are truly doing it better than our parents is plain bullshit.

There are cycles we should definitely break as the generations continue and change (not necessarily improve always). Slapping and choosing your switch isn’t done anymore as that is known as child abuse. But our grandparents would swear by it. Other parents knock using the time out system, but in some cases with my parenting–it works.

I had a run in with my mother the other day about religion and it really got to me that she just could not see my point. Then I had a very pensive attitude about the entire conversation on repeat in my head on the way to New York a few days ago and came to one of those “ah-ha” moments.

Let me step back into the story a bit and go over this with you, so you can gain a clearer picture of the events that occurred just last weekend.

Mom: I think you’re straying away from Christianity. (meanwhile she has no idea I am a practicing Buddhist–I’ve tried to steer clear from this conversation because I am attempting to create more healthy boundaries with my mother)

Me: No, I found myself.

Mom: I don’t understand what I did wrong. You don’t love God anymore.

Me: I don’t understand what that means. How so?

Mom: You don’t attend church. It’s so important for you to raise your son with God. I was a teacher for 38 years. Children who were religious were such good students. Children who had no religion had no conscience and were terrible.

Me: Don’t you think that has everything to do with bad parenting, not with the fact of whether or not they were raised in church?

Mom: (silent)

Me: Just because I don’t attend church every Sunday doesn’t make me less of a good person. Take this for example, many Christians I know attend church every Sunday and have miserable lives where all they do is judge everyone who doesn’t share their same ideas. To me, that’s not “Christ-like” whatsoever. It’s small-mindedness. I don’t need to prove my love for God by stepping into a sanctuary and paying tithes every month. I’m quite content knowing that what I am doing in my heart and loving the way I should love makes me a good person.

Dad: So let me ask you this.. If your son died, where would you want him to go? Can you answer that? (becoming more defensive)

Me: Are you saying that I should say Heaven?

Dad: It’s just a question. If you don’t believe in our religion anymore, where is your son going to go if he dies?

Me: So basically what you’re saying is that you want me to raise my son in your religion so that YOU can feel better about yourself in the long run? So that believing that there is a heaven we all go to after we die will make you sleep better at night? Are you trying to manipulate me?

Mom: Raising your son in church is the best thing you can do. I don’t know where I went wrong. You used to preach when you were a little girl. You loved God.

Me: And I still do. But God is different to me. He is not some man in the sky anymore who I will fear. He doesn’t judge me. To me, my Higher Power is the universe. Everyone has God inside of them. God is in all of the energy we have. It’s humility. I know I’m not the biggest thing out there. But I also need logic. A man in the sky who waves a wand around and created everything is not faith. That’s just a replacement for our human answers unable to give us a solution. So in turn we rely on faith-based organized religion. And in the long run, it destroys our society in so many ways. It also creates biases. It creates judgements. It creates wars. It creates hate. It creates hypocrisy. It creates ignorance. We are using religion as a means to allow us to live blindly without investigation. That’s not what I want to do with my time. I hated walking into a church every Sunday being forced to listen to some man who was just as fallible as me telling me how to live my life according to a book created by people who wanted to use church to control society at that time.

Mom: Every verse in the Bible means something. It’s there for a reason. God wrote it.

Me: Men wrote it. Men just as imperfect as us.

Mom: God wrote it. How can you say that?

Me: Because it’s the truth. You can’t even argue with that. Yes, it was inspired by God. Jesus wasn’t Christian. Buddha wasn’t Buddhist. Religion is created by followers, not leaders, who need something to rely on. Instead of being religious, Mom. I’m spiritual. I go by my own journey, not the stories of others. Theirs are inspiring, but not mine.

Mom: So you think all of the stories are false?

Me: I think the meanings behind the stories are what makes the Bible good and those meanings get lost because people are so wrapped up in over-analyzing it. Take the story of Adam and Eve for example. There most likely wasn’t a piece of fruit, it was probably greed or sex.. it was symbolic. Evolution created men over time, not seven exact days.

Dad: What do you think the Bible is then?

Me: The message of Jesus was love. Love yourself. Love your neighbor. You will suffer. When Jesus was on earth the Pharisees condemned him, people disliked him, he was crucified. That is a sign of what humans constantly do. They praise, they destroy, they forget, and continue the cycle. I can’t do that. Jesus’ life is very important to me. Do I think he was the son of God? In a way, we all are. But he taught so much to us. He maintained relationships with people who were outcasts and asked many questions. He was inquisitive. He spoke his mind. His actions were his message. Everything he did was also culturally relevant to his time period. I will not follow his actions and words verbatim, but I understand the message he was trying to send. Similar to Buddha’s message. And I seek enlightenment. I seek a shift in my inner soul and inner being. I’m not worried about what everyone else is doing. For you, it works to attend church every Sunday. But for me, most of those people think that my sister/your daughter’s being homosexual will condemn her to eternal damnation. That’s ignorance! I refuse to associate myself with that sort of thinking. I wasn’t put on earth to judge. I’m just living my life. As freely as possible. I pray all of the time. I absolutely love my life so much more now with a clearer mind. I know I’m not alone. I will not raise my son in that environment, one on the surface that seems peaceful and loving but really is full of judgment and cruelty. I will break that cycle and I hope you can respect that.

Was I wrong? Most likely, the fact that I am open about my forward-thinking probably crushes my mother. And I understand that. But I have suffered enough in my life to belong to something where I don’t have to. I am old enough to choose which beliefs I would like to continue to have. I will not allow a religion to control who I am. It was freeing to say those things because once I said it, I knew I had forever made up my mind. And damn, it felt good.