Guess you would have seen with last blog entry, several pills caught my eye. Feeling a bit more… tempted? Felt weaker? Wanted an ending, even if not a great one? Remembered some times that a drink could take the edge off that, or a ton could seal the deal.
Regardless, it’s obvious I’m off. More than usual. When I am, and I reckon anyone with MH issues, do be careful what you watch.
Patrick Melrose messed me up today… badly. I knew what I was getting into, but it catapulted me right back to younger years, and it was a doozy. I had to do some deep breathing and take a PRN. But I survived… so far.
Don’t most relationships (of any kind) have their ups and downs? Moments we want to hold onto; moments we would prefer to forget?
Sometimes, in writing these blog entries and describing things from a certain point of view, or when I’m in the midst of an episode, it can appear confusing as to how I feel/felt about my loved ones. (Believe me, it’s worse inside my head.) Do you really even have to be Bipolar to understand to some degree what I’m saying? I think so, if people are honest.
Last night’s entry mentioned difficulties with my mom and dad. My mom admits to compartmentalizing periods of her life that caused her pain. They’re tucked away so she doesn’t feel those emotions. Here’s the thing, I was around during those times, so I’m kinda put away on difficult to reach, dusty shelves, as well. It has made for a challenging relationship with her, and I do not agree with her keeping me in the house that she did with my step-father. She knows this. I’m not telling you a secret. But today I wanted to take a minute to say that she has helped me in my life and loved me in the way that she uniquely loves. She’s helped me through back surgeries and a horrible first failure of a marriage. She helped me raise my son when his father left and I was working 60 hour weeks. And we continue to get to know one another in efforts to become closer. We can laugh together, too.
Now my dad. That’s a mess. I can’t describe that right now. Not well, anyway. Problem is, I thought he was one thing, and I learned some disturbing things last year that I still don’t know how to process. Until last year, even though he died when I was 15, I felt he was at the core of molding who I have become. Maybe he still is, but with the things I discovered, I don’t know what that says about me. I’m not trying to be ambiguous here. I’m actually going to begin counseling next week to try to sort some of this because it has really screwed with my head. As I do, I’ll share more. For now, I’ll say that I loved playing catch and football with him, and he taught me to play Spades and kick butt at it.
I’m thankful I have my husband and son. I’ll share more about this journey as it unfolds. Thanks to you all, as always. xo
So, I was going through an album in search of a couple of photos in particular, and I ran across some of interest. This won’t have a tremendous amount of rhyme and reason, but there should be some continuity throughout.
First photo of discussion, I had short hair, not really dark yet, pink shirt. I was in 5th grade. Eleven years old. When I see this photo, here is what I see.
A girl who is trying. Trying to smile for the camera. Trying to keep curly, frizzy hair under control. Trying to be skinny enough, which I maintain is different from thin. Thin is healthy. Skinny is too much. In this photo, I was neither, but I wasn’t obese, either. However, people in my class called me names, especially one boy in particular named Robert. I can still remember the day Robert called me a fat pig. I stopped eating and began exercising all the time. I lost weight fast. I didn’t feel well. I wasn’t eating properly, and I had no parental guidance helping me lose weight in a healthy way. I should have been told that I was not fat, but that I could become healthier in even healthier ways. That didn’t happen, though, because my mom was busy being depressed and hiding away from my horrendous step-father, and I was busy myself ducking and hiding from said monster.
Next two photos with that weird vest thing I’m wearing, well, I was forced to wear that by my step-mother.
She often had my step-sister and I dress alike for some reason. I never understood it and was allowed no decision making of my own, even though I packed and took my own clothes along to wear at my dad’s house. And I was always made to pose for pictures.
Step-mother would chatter, “Smile. Don’t pout. Why do you look like you’re hurting? Stand up straight. Fix your hair; see how nicely your sister’s hair looks?” On and on that would go.
I ask you, if you took these photos of your kid, and the same expression was on his/her face over and over, would you want that in the photo album, and more importantly, why in the hell didn’t anyone ask me what was going on in my life? Dad didn’t. My mom didn’t. Step-people didn’t care. Lord, if you just look at a few photos, can’t you tell I just wanted to be left alone to find my own happiness?
Next photo of me in the green dress, with the purse and bonnet, I will admit I loved the dress. But that smile was fake.
Flip through most of my photo albums. Fake. Fake. Fake. I got really good at it in my later years. The pic with my hair a bit longer, pink backpack and wearing a skirt, still called fat by my step-mother and step-sister.
And hey, again, Dad, what the actual f**k? Why did you allow them to do that? Oh wait! I can’t ask you because you’re dead. In fact, you knew you were in serious medical trouble and close to dying, and you still didn’t seek help and ended up dropping dead on a baseball field. Always a good time when I drive by baseball fields. Thanks for that.
Then that fabulous photo with my mother, you see how we’re smiling at one another, that’s one of the first times in my whole life we began to get to know one another, because my step-father kept us separated, though in the same home, for years. I can say that to a certain extent only though because we could have gotten out of there, left, broken free but she chose not to do so. His ultimate removal from our lives had nothing to do with a decision she made.
The continuity I mentioned earlier, the common theme is what? Bingo! Faking it in every photo.
Pay attention to the people in your life. Treat them well. Love them. You don’t want to be left with a bunch of photos that only serve to tell lies.
I took a hit today, and the mental health community took a blow.
As I write down these few thoughts late on Monday night, May 14, 2018, doctors and family officially say Margot Kidder’s cause of death is unknown.
Here are things we do know.
We know she was THE Lois Lane. Huge thanks to her for that alone.
When later in life she had a manic breakdown and her Bipolar Disorder became known to any and everyone, she learned what she could about her “disorder” (that’s bulls**t, it’s a disease, but I digress) and how to go about feeling better.
What is known is that she became an advocate for those around her with mental health issues, particularly Bipolar, and it paved the way to help those of us also unfortunately suffering with Bipolar, like myself and my son.
What is known is that her work will live on, and that I owe her thanks, just as I did with Carrie Fisher.
What is known is the medication that most of us have to take to survive this cruel disorder is a difficult journey, to say the very least. From the decision to trying meds and surviving side effects, adverse reactions, or hospitalizations, all the way to finding the right combo. (I would not even dare tell you how many meds I have to take to survive. It’s in the double digits. That includes supplements, as well. So many people say it doesn’t have to be that way, and if you believe that, or better yet you live it, I’m glad you’re not faced with the whole ugly mess.) It is incredible to note that Margot had two extremely public breakdowns, one of which included her disappearance for four days and an attempted rape. In 2007, she said she hadn’t had a manic episode in 11 years thanks to orthomolecular treatment (nutritional supplementation), which most quality specialists who care for their patients will discuss with him/her and try if it seems one is a good candidate. (I’m on Depakote, by the way. #TeamJen 😣)
What is known is that Ms. Kidder was active in the women’s movement, as well as the peace movement. Whether you’re a #metoo believer or not, support the #Dreamers or any other work she did, the attention she drew, the things she said, the slander thrown at her, all of that helped you. Helped us.
Never forget who came before us and the work they did so that we can voice our opinions.
Look, Bipolar didn’t kill her, but this I can say with zero doubt; this I know. It certainly did not help. There is evidence that each time we experience Bipolar episodes, gray matter is destroyed. Meds, well we talked about that. ECT treatments. 😧
What I want to say is, thank you, Margot Kidder, for all you did to help me as a woman with Bipolar Disorder in 2018.
I once read that you said the scene in the first Superman movie when you and The Man of Steel flew high above the gorgeous, lit city, it was a close depiction to what it feels like flying high in a manic episode.
I know that you’re flying and free now, and I’m so happy there won’t be a crash at the end of this one.
Mother’s Day can be wonderful, or it can be a day of complexities and sometimes pain. A good relationship with your mom and/or kid(s) is ideal.
However, let’s be realistic. There are troubled relationships as well.
You want to wish your sister a happy day, but you’ve had a falling out. Maybe your mom has passed awsy. Maybe your mom warned you about wire hangers and other such insanities that somehow warranted abuse and cruelties.
Maybe you want desperately to be a mom but cannot have children. Maybe you’re a new stepmom struggling to win your stepkids’ love. Maybe your daughter or niece has died.