When Conformity Isn’t The Best Medicine

Now, I don’t purposely let things go in one ear and out the other, but due to attention span and short term memory issues, I may think I read something but actually dreamt it or I may take things out of context. For this reason, I name no names (as I can’t really remember who said what or wrote what) and use no quote marks. I just seem to recall a post or comment or something about how the mentally ill should not expect the world to accommodate us, we should feel obligated to conform to the McMuggle world.

I can’t begin to say how strongly (venomously) I disagree with this mentality. Especially coming from a mental health community.

It never ceases to amaze me how the politically correct Nazis lobby against everything from jokes about mental retardation to how the use of the word “gay” in the context of scoffing at something silly as bias against the LGBT (did I miss a letter there?IDK) community. We have the Americans With Disability Act to ensure no one is rejected for a job due to their disability as long as they are qualified and able. Bathrooms and buildings have to be wheelchair accessible. People/kids with diabetes are allowed an extra break to eat a certain food if their blood sugar drops or whatever.

This is all well and good, I am not saying anything to the contrary.

BUT, and I really wish I could enlarge that a thousand times…What protection against discrimination do the mentally ill have? What accommodations are made to our illness so that we can hold jobs and function amongst people with the same expectations when we are at a disadvantage?

The answer, of course, is none. Oh, the law may say otherwise but let’s face it. People can be scum. And in all fairness…It makes more sense to hire someone with an impeccable work record as opposed to someone who has so many gaps in their history due to mental instability it could strain pasta. The problem with this is…we are never able to escape our past,never given a clean slate. We are lepers.

Conforming does not change this. Our pasts ARE held against us. No one cares if you went bankrupt due to a manic episode. No one cares that the six months you had no job, you were holed up in a crippling depression barely able to draw breath. Mental illness is the bastard child of the medical community.

So here’s a thought…Rather than have us bury ourselves in denial by conforming to unfair expectations…How about we educate society about mental illness? Ignorance can be cured. You will not sway all, but with the correct information…A difference can be made.

(Steps down off soapbox, dusts self off.)

Okay, now the reasoning behind that rant.

Since my kid was born, I have tried so very hard to adapt to what is considered “normal” , what the shrink says is “healthy”. For someone who is a night owl and hates mornings, this has been…grueling. Going to bed before 1 a.m. depresses me. Getting up before nine a.m. depresses me. But I’ve been on auto pilot for six years and the depression has gotten worse. I feel bankrupt when all is said and done. There is no me left because I’ve lost myself in this “be normal” thing.

So what is normal? Because to say that 9-5 is the norm for everyone is stupid. Why should we all be forced to keep the same schedule, including when we sleep.

My last post, I believe, was Sunday night/Monday morning when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep so I vented. I kept trying to lay down, go back to sleep. (Not so easy with a six year old elbow in your head.) It wasn’t working. So I fought the cold, escaped the warm blankets…And stayed up. I did laundry. I watched my new shows. By five a.m. I was getting tired but it seemed pointless to risk oversleeping so she’d be late for school. I remained awake.

Ya know what? My mood was better, my patience better, my humor better, for when she got up. So much easier to be already awake at 7 a.m. than peel cobwebs off my brain just waking up. Maybe it’s part of my faulty wiring, maybe it’s circadian, I don’t know. It’s just always been like that for me. I used to work at 5:30 in the morning and I couldn’t seem to function properly getting up early. So I’d stay up all night then sleep when I got home. And it worked well.

So yeah, I stayed up all night, got her off to school, watched some shows. Felt pretty good about all the little things I’d gotten done. By 11 a.m. the anxiety over school pick up started in. So did the “omg, I am gonna be a bitch if I don’t get a little sleep” feeling.  I set the alarm, curled under the blanket, and eventually drifted off. I woke up at 1 p.m. having only slept seventy minutes, waking before the alarm, and once I shook off the cobwebs..I felt pretty damn good. Better than when I get 8 hours of sleep at night.

I was more patient with Spook. We did her homework. I played with her a bit. We ate supper, she got a bath, I gave her ice cream for being so good. (Then she decided she’d met her goodness quota and started spewing pea soup). Point is…Most days by six p.m., I’ve been up 11 hours, relentlessly pounded with anxiety and outside stresses so I often can’t bring myself to run her a bath, I throw her in the shower with me. But because I had that seventy minute nap…I wasn’t so overly taxed.

By 8 p.m. exhaustion set in and my mood crashed. I took xanax and restoril. It didn’t kick in until after 11 p.m. I slept most of the night aside from the normal wake cycle. Got up this morning.

So maybe conforming isn’t the best medicine when it goes against who you naturally are. Maybe not adhering to the so called “normal” schedule of society isn’t the answer for some of us. Making it some facet of bipolar or depression is insulting. Especially when I’ve wasted all this time trying to be something I’m really not. Maybe a few nights a week I DON’T sleep all night but nap in the morning. So what? If it energizes me more, makes me more tolerant of my child instead of so stressed, why is wrong?

FUCK CONFORMITY.

Think outside the box, color outside the lines. Stop feeling obligated to be what everyone else is. Sleep when you are tired. Be awake when you feel awake. Not everything is byproduct of bipolar.

Would I like to sleep six solid hours without waking once? Of course.

But since that’s not happening right now…Maybe this outside the box thinking and schedule is just what I need so I don’t feel stretched so thin and unable to do things I enjoy.

Now, we return to the regularly scheduled programming of anxiety and “Ugh, I gotta go deal with R.”

Can’t be helped. I am almost out of smokes and that is NOT a good thing. Heads will roll. Not in the awesome Judas Priest way, either.

So…fuck conformity, fuck sleep disturbance, fuck McMuggles and fuck normal.

Four days til Halloween, people. GIMME CANDY.

Evil needs candy, too. Pop Rocks, cream soda flavored Dum-dums, and flavored Tootsie Rolls are favored. 🙂

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31 Responses to “When Conformity Isn’t The Best Medicine”

  1. I just…I’m trying…trying VERY hard…out of respect, Morgue…for you, the tribe…still trying…doing my vipassana…observing sensations arise and pass away…remembering the teachings…No “me”, no “I’, no “mine”…breathing, breathing…Fuck it. Can’t do it. That’s it. On my Fergus broomstick, gripping his streaming green mane, flying over the country, zeroing in, sporkbombs dropped and detonated on the Tootsie Roll factory. Ah…Feel better. No more Tootsie-Rolls for anybody! Worst. Candy. Ever. Think of little blue-eyed Andrew in his great white shark costume, shaking with excitement, spilling his plastic bag-hoard of Halloween candy on his bedroom floor and gazing, aghast, YET AGAIN, upon a pile of Tootsie-Roll shite. 95% Tootsie Roll shite. But that’s done now. The factory has been liquidated. Kids across the country cheer and high-five. The CNN anchor is totally befuddled. “No one knows what happened. One surviving factory worker said it looked like a bird. Another said it looked like a plane.” Nope. It was Fergus motherfuckers!

    • That’s okay, I’m loading up the pegacorn to bomb the factories that make candy corn. My kid loves that shit and it makes me gag on sight.
      To each their own.
      Next time, file a flight plan, wouldn’t want Fergus to run into my pegacorn. That’d be some funky hybrid.

    • Andrew no!! Tootsie rolls are awesome! 🙂

      • Sorry, Leslie. Too late! No Tootsie Rolls for Halloween 👻👻👻

      • No, no, no, Andrew. You’re doing it wrong. Scrooge shows up for Christmas, not Halloween! 😉

        On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

        >

      • What, you expect Grinch to just cryptify the rest of the year?

      • Satan does. I mean,er, Santa. Always get those two confused.

      • I don’t buy them ever. I will eat the whole bag without even thinking about it.

      • Ha ha, Dollar Tree occasionally gets them in and I will take all the pink and orange and leave lime and vanilla for my kid.
        I’m an awesome mom that way.
        I think the ONLY candy I will eat the whole box of would be Toffifay or Russel Stover coconut clusters (both very hard to find here.)
        I used to love candy, chocolate, Mountain Dew, chocolate cake, brownies…Once I had the spawn it was like my tastebuds left the building, now aside from sweet tea, I want salt and grease over sugary stuff.
        I think I’ve grown up a little. And it scares me.

      • ew coconut. My MIL can’t believe I don’t like coconut, except in very rare cases when it’s used sparingly. I’m the one that takes the bite of coconut candy and then tries to pass it off to someone else.

      • My kid and I loooove Mounds bars. I take one bite of hers, then the rest she can have.Sometimes that one nibble is enough for me.Maybe she will get a snack size one Trick or Treating I can bogart.
        Ugh, I have to be seen in public with Elsa. Were I a more fun mom I’d dress up like Anna or the snowman.
        Sadly…I just don’t have the energy and it makes me sad. I used to be so cool. Before mood stabilizers sucked the fun out of me.
        Guess it’s the trade off for not going manic nuts spending money and screaming at people while throwing shoes.
        I want to trick or treat. And by that, I mean I want to toilet paper houses. Haven’t done that since I was a teenager.
        Because I grew up and realized, toilet paper costs money and can’t be squandered.
        Like I said…I USED to be fun.

      • Toilet paper is so fucking expensive it’s ridiculous.

        I may not even hand out candy this year which is just not who I am at all. But if I’m home alone…I just can’t. It’ll hurt my brain to listen to kiddies walking around outside and not have my porch light on.

        I wonder how many Elsas will be walking around this year.

        I wouldn’t mind being hypomanic again. But I would have to not know that it’s happening. I went years like that, and I got so much shit done. But I didn’t know what was going on with me. Now that I know, I tend to be fearful because I relate it to something that is not “normal”

        No mounds bars. I would take an almond joy though. I could eat the almond then hand of the coconut portion to MIL. Hubby loves whoppers. Those things taste like crap, too.

      • Eeww, Sass and I have declare Whoppers gross. Least favorite candy next to candy corn and all things gummy. (Sad, cos gummy worms are soo grossly cool.)
        I used to love handing out candy when I got too old to trick or treat, but so did my mom, so we’d break our asses to get to the door first. Haven’t passed out candy in ages mostly cos I have lived in neighborhoods where no one will let their kids trick or treat. (In this place, wouldn’t shock me if someone gave a kid a brownie laced with meth.) Now that I have to chauffeur the spawn to trick or treat I am not home to even notice.
        I do like driving around, looking at how people have decorated for Halloween. Odd cos used to be we drove around looking at Christmas decorations.
        Now with the advent of LED lights so bright you could land an airplane…Nope, hurts my eyeballs, can’t do it. Call me Scrooge, morbid, etc, but I am a big believer in…if it hurts you, don’t do it.

      • I agree with you and Sass…whoppers suck. But I do really love gummi bears. Has to be Haribo brand though.
        I think that if it hurts don’t do it, is a good way to live your life. There’s enough out there to hurt us that we can’t explain, no need to make things harder on ourselves.

  2. Cream soda Dum Dums are the best!

    • Watermelon are my second choice. I am an eeevil mom for I weed those flavors out of the bag before letting my kid have any.
      I’ll feel guilty as soon as she stops bogarting all my beef jerky 😉

      • LOL! I love smarties, red (only) Swedish fish. My Sidekick gives me his, we (him, Mommy & me) divvy up the loot. I’m not really into candy. No watermelon anything for ME, yuck!

      • I am not big on sweets aside from my iced tea or occasional Dr Pepper. I do raid Spook’s loot for the coveted tootsie rolls (fruit, not regular) and the coveted lolly flavors but otherwise…Meh.

        Watermelon everything for me. Except UV’s salty watermelon vodka. That shit was like gargling phlegm. I guess I owe them one failure considering all the other yummy flavors don’t suck…

        If my family REALLY loved me they’d get me a vat of cake vodka for my birthday instead of baking a cake. Kid eats all the sweets. I want the stuff that will make me feel sweeter!

        On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

        >

      • I wanna taste that cake vodka, you make it sound so yummy, like ~ I gotta be missing out!

      • You are, if you like cake flavoring. It’s the one thing I can drink without a mixer cos it’s so yummy. The chocolate cake isn’t as good, which made me sad.

        Whipped cream is good, too. Thank god for sample days at the local store!

        On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 2:33 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

        >

      • You need ta come over, I have a state store (liquor store) 3 blocks away, we could walk to it, open various bottles & do taste tests right there & then (*never mind the police station is also about 2½ blocks away in different direction DAMMIT!!)

      • I think we’re safe from a walking while drunk charge if we wait til indoors to get really crazy 😉
        I promise not to put on my tin foil dress until then. Not promising I won’t wear the hat though, it’s SHINY.

      • Eh, what the hell. We’ll give it a shot (*LOL a shot!)

      • Niiiice. Careful, Blah gets touchy when you out-pun her! She’s known to charge pun-itive damages.

        On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 3:37 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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  3. Morgue I’m so glad that you figured this out. You’re right, there is absolutely no reason on earth that you should be forced to sleep when you aren’t tired and wake when you’re exhausted. As long as you’re up to meet your obligations than who cares when you sleep. As long as you feel good. It sounds like you had a great night with Spook

  4. LOL that brings back memories. When I was little, I used to think that song was “Hedgehog on a roll” (and I was never sure whether that was a bread roll or rolling down the street).
    The hours when people are expected to be awake and productive are unrealistic and I want to know whose bright idea it was to push BACK school hours. I swear it’s one of the things that killed me when I was teaching – some schools start at 8am which means getting in at 7:20 to get everything set up. I don’t care that I got to leave at 2:30 because by the time I’d done the 1 1/2 hour drive home it was 4 anyway, and I would be zonked. I wish I could get up at 3pm and go back to bed at 7am, it’s my most natural sleeping pattern and I swear it makes me more thinkable. Sadly, then I’d miss driving himself to work or seeing him ever. Just can’t win.

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