I start projects and never finish them. I'm afraid of most people. I aspire to greatness, but sabotage my success.
I like bacon and Doctor Who and post it notes. Actually, I love those things.
I write long ass posts about what's going on inside my mind and my heart. I reblog things that make me laugh or think.
Apparently Wednesday was suicide prevention day. As a result, my Facebook newsfeed is full of people posting about bullies.
And I can’t figure out if I am more sad or mad about it. Disappointed maybe?
Mental illness faces a lot of stigma. There is so much fear, shame, confusion and frustration in living with a mental illness. Do you tell people? How/where do you find treatment? How do I cope with this?
And people around you will tell you to “just get over it” or ask “isn’t there a pill for that?”. If you are in treatment, they’ll be frustrated that you “still have that thing”.
Unless you have someone to blame. It is okay to have a mental illness in the following circumstances:
-you are being bullied
-you recently had a traumatic experience (like rape or violence, like really severe stuff and recently like as in the last year or so)
Exceptions to the one year expiry date to be “allowed” to have a mental illness? It is okay to be an alcoholic if you were in a war or suffered from childhood abuse.
Also if your anxiety or mood swings leaves you “quirky in a cute way” but not yet “completely psycho” you’re good.
How fucked up is this?
We know very little about mental illness in general. We know even less about suicide. We actually know next to nothing about suicide.
We know that smoking can lead to cancer. We know that a sedentary lifestyle coupled with high sodium and sugar intake can lead to diabetes.
And no one would dream of saying to someone suffering through chemotherapy “well you knew smoking was bad for you”. No one says to a diabetic “would it have killed you to go for the occasional walk?” Maybe sometimes, but almost never.
It’s just not okay.
So why is it okay to tell someone suffering for depression or schizophrenia or a personality disorder that they’re just not trying hard enough to be well?
Why do we make suicide an “acceptable” response to bullying?
The world is full of inconsistencies.
Me, I’d be allowed to live guilt free if I had just chosen a life of alcoholism. Man, if only I didn’t hate drinking so much.
I am happily single. I have a full life with wonderful friends and school and work and my volunteer endeavours. I love the flexibility that being single gives me.
I love the control that being single gives me. I can go where I want, when I want. But more than that, I feel in control of myself. I am smart, I am strong, I am focused.
In a relationship I become this lame, insecure, clingy stupid person. Like pretty much the exact opposite of what attracts me to a person. I hate the uncertainty and the accountability that a relationship brings.
And this has been my life. Happily single. Successful robot.
Now all of my friends are in brand new relationships, so all of them have that “new relationship glow” to them. And these are friends I love and who truly deserve some love in their lives. I am so happy and excited for them to have found something, so why do I feel so sad?
"Girl’s night" turned into me watching them all text their boyfriends and listen to them read the text messages back.
And sometimes it sucks being friends with an ex. Just because I’m no longer being a complete bitch about him dating doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t hurt. I mean, I am really happy for him. It is wonderful to see him happy. So why do I feel like I am being drop kicked, punched in the face and stabbed repeatedly? Why would I rather avoid him than end up in a situation where I have to look at him and his girlfriend together?
I feel guilty for my feelings.
I do feel so alone though and so awkward. While my friends are talking excitedly about their lovers, I’m sitting here like “so, I made this sandwich today…”
And everyone seems to think that because I am happy being single, I am impervious to rejection and I don’t really care about being the odd one out. And somehow, it’s just easiest to let them keep thinking that.
I got to Nova Scotia with this idea and this hope that I could somehow reinvent myself. Here I was with no history, no friends, no connections, no preconceived notions. I could be whoever I wanted to be because no one knew otherwise.
It was an opportunity for a fresh start and for trying new things.
So I went out with my camera and ran every day. I went to the beach. I was quiet. I tried all the activities. I went to parties and social outings.
And then I had a panic attack. It really snuck up on me out of nowhere, but the teacher called on me and I choked. But rather than run out of the room, I sat there trying to power through it, gasping for breath trying not to cry, praying no one would notice.
To me, it was devastating that panic attack. It screamed at me that I could never run away from who I am. It told me that wherever I go, anxiety awaits, which set off a chain reaction of anxiety and panic attacks. I sunk deeper and deeper with each one refusing to tell anyone what was happening because I wanted to be someone else. I didn’t want to be anxiety girl.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the dreams I had of reinventing myself and being someone different were absolutely crushed.
And so I settled into my social networking group, made obscure references to TV shows, songs and movies no one knows, buried my face into French episodes of Doctor Who and sang at every talent show, disappointed in myself that I just couldn’t be better. I felt the weight of my insecurity about my looks, my abilities and my accent.
I was so frustrated with all of the things in me that were staying the same, that I didn’t see the value in anything different I was doing. I ran a 5k. I let myself develop true, honest to god feelings for someone. I went out to the bar. I made small talk with strangers. I asked for help.
But was any of it reinvention? I mean really, I was still the crazy, moody horribly dramatic person I wanted to get away from.
After 3 weeks of what felt like one long panic attack, I broke. I spent my last 2 weeks in what felt like a total out of body experience. As the time to go home got closer and closer, I felt more and more disconnected. But being completely disconnected from my body made it easier to survive. And with the number of days to go declining, I had nothing to lose.
And then the last day came. After 5 weeks, I was finally going home.
I was surrounded in people full of tears saying their goodbyes swearing that they’ll be friends forever. I stood there part annoyed with their naiveté, part admiring it, part wondering if believing in the delusion actually makes it easier.
And it broke my heart to see all of these people so upset. So I just got on the bus.
The girl sitting next to me made some comment about how I am such a robot. Like how could I just be sitting here feeling nothing while everyone else is in tears?
She’ll probably never understand that it was the single nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.
I got home exhausted and a little broken up about a girl I really liked but never really did anything about it. After two days of continuously thinking about the girl, I realize, I must have really liked her.
I make some comment on my Facebook about how I regret never saying anything to the girl and I get all of these messages from people asking who the girl was.
You mean, no one knew? I was so terrified that everyone knew and that surely I was being terrifying and creepy.
I email the girl to apologize for any creepy behaviour on my part and confess my crush. She responds that she had no idea I liked her.
And then a few days later, someone I lived with out there comments on my Facebook that he loved my joy, my enthusiasm, my confidence and my love of life.
And I think to myself, is it possible? Have I actually grown that much?
I pride myself on how far I’ve come. Farther than I ever thought possible. I felt huge overwhelming emotions and no one knew about it. Even the panic attacks, no one knew. My anxiety was no worse than anyone else’s.
I was normal. I got to be normal!
I knew it was there! I knew it was there all along and I finally got to prove it to myself!
A friend of mine is celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary today. He’s been with his wife for 25 years.
I have to give them mad props. 25 years is a long freaking time.
Like props for finding someone who wants to spend 25 years with you.
Hell, props for being the kind of person who would be worth 25 years of life.
Props for finding someone you want to spend 25 years of your life with.
I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it. Like how do you find that? I mean, it’s like finding a freaking unicorn.
And what’s that like? Finding someone who doesn’t get sick of you and hate you?
I can’t help but feel a little jealous of the people who are normal and healthy enough to pursue relationships at all. That must be pretty fricken cool.
Not every reaction I have is a symptom of my BPD.
Not every feeling I have is a symptom of my BPD.
My BPD is not a scapegoat for when you don’t want to confront a problem.
You can’t open up Chrome without seeing something about Robin Williams. Everywhere I go, people are talking about it.
"Robin Williams… can you believe it? It doesn’t make sense… why would he kill himself?"
You can have everything and it still not be enough. You can be surrounded in people and still feel along. You can have critical success and still not feel good enough.
But that’s not really the point.
These last few days I have been navigating an emotional triggerfest minefield between everyone’s 2 cents on the internet and the endless chatter about it around me.
I have so many of my own thoughts around it.
He was 63.
Man, I’m 29 now and a huge fear of mine for a long time has been that I never get true reprieve from fighting mental illness. Sometimes it hides, but it’s always coming back.
And I know for me in the throes of my darkest times, I can’t help but feel exhausted not just in the moment, but at the very thought of the rest of my life.
Knowing that anyone who gets involved with me doesn’t just get involved with me. They’re dating anxiety and borderline personality disorder. How could I possibly in good conscience let anyone I care about get involved with that?
And Robin Williams was 63 when he succeeded in killing himself after battling with depression and addiction.
I know it’s awful, but my first thought was “I’m so happy for him.” My second thought was “what hope do I have of ever being free of my mental illness?”
I mean, it’s a tragic loss and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends and everyone else who mourns him.
But for him, after so many years of fighting, he’s finally free. The fight is over for him. His pain was stretched out over years and years of anguish and torture, worsened only by watching the effect on those he loved.
For me I sit here knowing that for now I’m better. I’m just over a year suicide attempt and self harm free. But it doesn’t mean I’m not still fighting. And I’m terrified of being taken over by my emotions again.
For Robin Williams, he finally couldn’t fight anymore. But now he’s free. He can finally rest in peace.
For me, I still wait for my mental illness to kill me.