The More I Read, The Less I Actually Know

Be it blogs, links, or articles, every time I go in search of education on mental health issues…I find myself more confused than I was before reading.There are so many variables, so many anti medication types, so many opportunities for self flagellation because others manage to function in spite of mental issues SO WHY CAN’T I?

Which leads me down the rabbit hole of uncertainty. I’m sure it comes off as some sort of self esteem issue but my self esteem is fine until everyone starts telling me I’m weird and lazy and all that crap. I like me fine. Everyone has the problem and I can’t fix that. All I can fix is me, so every time I read something and it seeps into my tormented brain…Self doubt begins to rampage.

Because like it or not, humans can be very oblivious to their flaws and behaviors. Especially the negative things. If not oblivious, there is denial which can become a lifetime of living the lies you tell yourself. THIS is where my weak spot is. Because I spent many years manic and depressed and improperly treated and I was a monster at times. I was a selfish arrogant bitch. And I never want to be that person again.

So no matter how much progress I make, as a person, without regard to the mental/med thing, it’s easily shaken by any insinuation, real or self imposed, that I am somehow malingering or becoming that awful monster again. I’m mental, so wouldn’t I be the last to know?

Yet that hyper self aware part of me knows who I am. I’ve fought against conformity my whole life because what others see as being “wrong” with me are traits I like and find awesome. Few and far between agree with that but it could just be a meshing personality thing. I appreciate all the comments people leave, telling me I am awesome, not to be so hard on myself, that my writing is both funny and heart wrenching. These are the people i want to know and connect with because they’re not too shallow to see the ugly side as well as the Snarkasma side.

The breaking point, where all the insecurity and self doubt seep in, stem from being berated by those around you on almost a daily basis. I don’t want to be that oblivious arrogant brat again, so its very easy for tiny little things to make my security in myself weaken. It’s less weak personality and more…I know what I used to be, I was a borderline sociopath with little conscience or empathy at times. So if you want to get in my head, that’s pretty much all it takes. I can own being a bitch when I intend to be one. If I am just wonky and being a brat without cause…That I feel bad about.

Which means in spite of my issues, I’ve made more progress and become more self aware than a large percentage of the population.

“But what if you’re using your bipolar as a way to simply avoid the things that scare you?”

“How is it others do fine and work and don’t complain incessantly yet you never can get your shit together and shut up?”

“Why do you think being bipolar makes you so special you’d even think to blog about it? Arrogant.”

“Maybe it’s that Dr. Pepper you had the other day. Maybe you’re too sedentary. Or that Mangorita the other night…You make your own problems…If you’d just straighten up and quit whining…”

Mind you, I dispute it all to the death. It doesn’t keep that little worm of doubt from crawling into my head. I never want to be a monster again.

I am also well aware I can, at times, be too hard on myself. Mainly because those around me really are harsh. These are people who d0n’t believe mental illness is real. My dad calls my disability check my nitwit pension. My mom constantly snarks about how I need to grow up and stop being depressed cos I have a kid counting on me now. R has me half scared to show any emotion lest my attempts at humor with my flat affect be met with a, “Are your meds not working?”

It tears you down, no matter how strong you are. Because it’s a bitter pill to swallow when the most supportive, caring people in your life are basically strangers on the internet as opposed to those close to you and who allegedly love you. That’s why it’s so easy for me to doubt myself. Everyone else does. God knows I’ve given them reason in the past. There is no forgiveness. My dad keeps bringing up my speeding tickets- which were over twenty five years ago. Someone saw me go into a liquor store the other day and reported it to my mom who went off on me about being a drunk. Never mind I was getting a pop, nooo, it’s a booze store, I must be a drunk.

I think in light of all this, the miracle is that I have any self esteem left at all, not that it wavers and can be low at times. People far stronger than me have caved under such things. I keep going like that crazy battery bunny.

So please don’t take my self doubt as some sort of attention seeking/low self esteem/feel sorry for me thing. I really have spent all these years trying to atone for my manic past and learn how to cope better. It just gets torn apart at times, especially when my mind is in a “fragile” zone.

I think it’s time for me to stop reading a lot of stuff. Not because it’s offensive or I dislike someone or I’m negative…But because if it’s not part of the solution, it’s part of the problem. Less denial than it is simply trying to save myself from the abyss. I didn’t work this damned hard to improve myself to have it all undone because Biff in Timbuktu doesn’t need meds and thinks it’s mind over matter.

The only story that I can tell is my own. It is my story. And it is my truth. Naysayers have got to go.


16 Responses to “The More I Read, The Less I Actually Know”

  1. Fuck Biff. I suspect that all those assholes snorting fish oil don’t have serious bipolar in the first place.

  2. I love you and the honesty that you tell describing YOUR ride. I love Snarcasma and the mom that fights to keep it together for Spook. I don’t read or research anything because 1) it’s a lot of shiny happy harpy bullshit 2) it makes me feel like shit 3) I question the validity of a lot of it. If ignorance is bliss, then that’s the moto is Sasstopia.
    And the fact that your “loved ones” say shit like that makes me want to shove shit down their throats until the choke. You have so many loved ones here in cyberspace that cheer you on even if they don’t always reply. The Femmes are a badass group of bitches and a butch, and you know we will fight to the death for each other. Now, road trip?? I’ve got cooooookieeeeeeeees!

  3. I always always always appreciate your posts. Every single one. To me you’re not complaining, you’re telling me how your life is and I can relate to it, even if we experience it all differently. Because I get it. I do. People assume the worst, but when you have a mental illness, you don’t even get the benefit of a doubt.

    I only started dating recently after my last relationship in 2008. Yes. I was alone from 2008 until now, but that doesn’t matter. I have a man and I’m a whore. If I order a drink with my seafood for better digestion and enhancement of taste, I’m a drunk. Never mind that I hate alcohol, that it’s what’s destroying one of my most loved people. Nope. I drink one fucking glass of wine and I’m drunk.

    If a friend manages to talk me into one night of dancing, I’m a hardcore party girl. No matter what the fuck I do or what the truth is, none of it matters because I have a “record” and “stigma” tattooed inside my ass.

    But because others are hypocrites and hide their dirt under a rug, they don’t get pointed at. They’re good, hardworking assholes who just do a better job at pretending. Fuck the world. I’m so tired of people who think they have a right to judge anyone. We are all fucking flawed, mental or not.

  4. This… thing followed me fire up a camelraffe and let’s go burn it down.

  5. I’ve been beaten down so bad (bullies/society) & saw (like you mentioned) look ‘bill’ had bipolar,,, X has depression, so much that I beat myself up to ‘keep going/seem normal’ that I don’t think my body would fall over if I was DEAD. With that said, when everyone (including heathcare) sees me & I appear to be a normal functioning person, i assume they don’t realize I’m dying/struggling,,, inside & it’s taking all I’ve got just to breathe sometimes. “WELL YOU LOOK FINE/GOOD/WELL/OK,,,”

  6. I understand this post so well. There are a lot of reasons that I don’t go out looking for a lot of information. I get overwhelmed. I get pissed. And I get to the end of the paragraph and have to start over cause my memory is shit. Just not worth doing all the time. But I like the blogs, and the people I have found here. I’ve had many people on Facebook tell me that I’m not trying hard enough, I should exercise more, take fewer pills, JUST TRUST IN GOD. Those are people that I know who should theoretically be supportive. My parents pretend my issues don’t exist.
    I like reading your blog because you are real. You tell it like it is. Without the watering down happy crappy bullshit. You can tell me you’re doing great and everything is coming up sunshine, but it’s more useful to you (and me) if you tell me the truth.
    So, that’s my two cents. I’m glad I found you.

  7. So much fucking truth in this. My family used to call my SSDI “Psycho money” and if I displayed ANY emotional variation at ALL, it was “are you taking your meds?” Like fuck off.

  8. Just Plain Ol' Vic Says:

    There is no “one-size-fits-all right” way to handle mental health issues. The only “right” way is the one that works for you. Stay true to yourself.

  9. I love you girl and I love your writing. I am sorry that your real life family and friends are not supportive. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family especially. My mom watched me and told me when to go back to the drs because the meds weren’t working and I didn’t know it, because I couldn’t feel anything when I was that out of it and she was right. I needed her help, someone’s help, wasn’t getting any from the jerk I was married to. Take it easy on yourself. ❤

  10. The amount of horrors in my life that I could have avoided had there been any mental health awareness such as there is even now, which is very limited still, or had I known that I could have help from medication are beyond counting. I have to constantly steer my mind away from thinking about them. It makes my mind boil. Looking back in the little I remember I had symptoms since I was three ffs, and nothing was done about it.
    When I say I celebrate that I survived, I MEAN survived. Every year. I cannot look back for more than one second at any time of my life, even one that starts off as a good memory, because ten horrendous ones follow closely linked.
    If I could swap my drug-free (well, medical drugs at least) years for well medicated, properly diagnosed ones, I would swap them in a heartbeat.
    My life is now that of a beloved, pretty much socially disabled, work alienated psychologically messed up person who is lucky to have one strong anchor: the love for my kids, which has always brought me back to protecting them and therefore keep the chaos at least away from them. I am SO relieved that I now have Propranolol to help with the anxiety and that I had the Diazepam for those couple of years (plus, I know it exists and can always ask for it again if my depression should “settle”).
    I am in a very unusual and fortunate situation and that makes me want to defy relying on regular meds if I can, but I will most definitely get some prescribed as soon as we find out what they think exactly is wrong with me.
    It’s like treating cluster headaches: sure you can sit in the dark, have loving thoughts and mantras and om singing and wait till it gives you a breather, or you can take the lovely cocktail of drugs my doctor gave me and be rid of it and function. It’s a choice, and you may alternate your choices but nobody in the world can tell you you should “grow up and live with them” for fuck’s sake.

    As for the rest of your “real-life” people not understanding you… I have three maximum four than know more or less what I am going through, but in depth like this? Nobody. A few summaries I “force” upon my husband. And I consider myself privileged and unusual in the amount of support I have.

    If I had to live your life right now, and mine was similar at various stages in the past, and I had the choice, I wouldn’t think twice about it. I’d try all the meds until I found the right one that would help me function less destructively.

    Sorry about the long ramble but it pisses me off that people tell you stuff like that.

  11. A nitwit pension? Okay, where the hell does the line start to punch your dad in the face. Geez! ¬¬

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