I feel like I have ossified overnight. My muscles and joints are tar and glue. I can’t get out of bed. I want to eat and eat and eat until I’m sick. I wish I wasn’t so sludgy, I’d genuinely love to exercise. I feel ok, I’m zen about it as far as I can be because it’s just a shift, but I’m sad. I had a big flurry of memories listening to The Beatles.

I’m pissed off about all the rational explanations I’ve been getting off people. Realised it’s not helpful. Just need to accept that I’ve got bipolar disorder, for better or worse. Read this on a forum and it rang true:

“Mental illness [can be] incredibly lonely and depressing… he will definitely notice people pulling away over time and inevitably blame himself. Being mentally ill is depressing and overwhelming: you feel out of control of your life; your entire life trajectory has changed; you’re probably pretty miserable; and, on top of that, everyone is avoiding you.

If you know someone who is mentally ill, it’s difficult to sit with your own discomfort and uncertainty and avoiding them can help you avoid those feelings. But even being a physical presence that shows the other person that they are not entirely alone is truly meaningful. My experience is that many people think they have to “fix” the illness and make everything better, then get upset when their efforts don’t work. They might be very supportive at first but quickly give up and feel resentful of the person with the illness. I think it’s a destructive mindset. You need to set boundaries to make sure you are taking care of yourself as you offer what support you can give. Even if it’s watching a movie with the person or reading a memoir on their mental illness and telling them about it, it shows you care.”

 

We’ve been talking a lot about empathy at uni. We jump in and talk to people rather than listening because we’re concerned about our own ego – a person we care about feels sad so we feel sad and want to fix them really so we don’t feel sad anymore, even if we have the absolute best intentions. I know because I do it myself all the time. True empathy means turning off our own thoughts and putting ourselves in that person’s position, listening and thinking about what they want. Silence can be so helpful. I just want to talk and not be explained – that’s why ringing The Samaritans is so helpful. That being said, I don’t want anyone there at the same time. I go from ultimate extrovert to introvert who hides under the covers binging on cereal.

Speaking of which, can someone bring me some more Cinnamon Grahams? Or some Pop Tarts?

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