Questions, questions

In my last post, I lied. I said my life was all about waiting. It isn’t exactly true. My “sane” life is about waiting. If I wait, you know I am calmer, fitter, more productive (sorry, had to do that sideways quote).

I have not been diagnosed as bipolar, though admittedly I was left very unsure about how you can diagnose a person after one meeting with a psychiatric nurse. Nevertheless. Though I felt conflicted, I felt Mr Guy was giving me a chance. To continue to have moments, periods even, when I can feel entitled, to whatever.

Because with a diagnosis comes this constant idea that no matter what you do, no matter how you respond to people, you are always in the wrong. I noticed people stop feeling they had every good reason to be nervous, depressed, angry, furious, ragey, sad. They start attributing everything to their disorder, and therefore, they lose a sense of entitlement. Perhaps of dignity? I say dignity because one of the qualities that has always saved my ass is pride. Some call it self-righteousness, some call it being hormonal, some call it you’re fucking crazy. Or perhaps I should speak in the past as I barely see anyone now. But back to the point. Pride is what has saved me every time. In a constant see-saw throughout my life between feeling unloveable, horrible, nasty, evil, a nothingness, what have you and feeling cool, alive, happy, a teacher, an advisor, the one holding the secret for happiness, should that knowledge been taken from me “No, honey, you are just being manic: your mind is playing tricks with you. That feeling of pride? Stifle it before it dumps you back down in the gutter when it stops”, had I been diagnosed bipolar where would I go, what would I do? I would feel constantly stumped. I would constantly question my every move, my every thought (which of course I do, I am pretty aware of my mess-ups, but not as much. I can still forget).

So, it’s true that without a diagnosis I couldn’t get the help I felt I needed. It is also true that without a diagnosis, I know I have to deal with anxiety and depression, but I can feel entitled to a lot of stuff. I can use my diagnosis of “nope, you’re perfectly ok, everything you feel makes sense” against those who tell me “you’re fucking crazy” (or think it, or have thought it) and say “heh, actually, I’m being perfectly sensible, see? It says here”.

So back to the initial paragraph: I incorrectly said my life is all about waiting, when my life has been mostly about achieving most of the good stuff I have achieved by not waiting. Everything I have ever done on impulse has, in the long run, brought me the best results, the best memories, the best things in my life. All my children. My travels. The people I have learnt from. The places I remember as the most interesting. All of them came through a lack of planning, caution, and waiting.

I had an idea to sell some beautiful things I found. I need to wait, really, because I have no money of my own to invest. My friend offered a little big help. I attempted to buy the things I wanted to sell but the seller, very wisely and father-like, says “I am glad you like them but I would recommend you sell these instead, they sell better”. They sell better?

In a long-winded response and reaction to my pal’s beautiful post (go read here if you haven’t already, and I noticed there were more posts I hadn’t seen yet), I am allergic to selling. Selling myself, selling what I do, selling anything, really. That is why I will always be poor and a failure at everything. I want to say to the guy “who said anything about wanting to sell? Yes I want to sell your necklaces, but because they are beautiful and I think everyone should have access to them.. not because they would sell well!”.

It creates an allergic reaction in the sense that all I want to do is jump back and away, suddenly. Now I am conflicted: should I attempt to keep steady, take my friend’s loan, and go ahead and buy the pieces Mr Maker of Beautiful Things suggested, with the idea to create a business slowly and finally get to sell the ones I really want? Or should I go ahead and politely tell him thank you for imparting your twenty years of experience with the best possible intentions, but I want to stick with the beautiful ones, and take however long it takes to sell them? I have to wait. Wait for my friend’s very hard earned cash, and wait for the guy to come back from a trade fair. As I wait, my brain settles, the flame of passion and enthusiasm starts to die, and I just settle back down into mediocrity, where  it’s safe, and will probably think the sensible: “Just leave it for now, get a part-time job, then rethink it and buy them with your own money. Nex year perhaps”. Some would say “good, you are not feeding your mania”. But until I am diagnosed as bipolar, or a manic-depressive as it used to be, one might also say “believe in yourself, don’t let others tell you what to do!”.

I wonder, people who might read me who are diagnosed bipolar, does anybody ever tell you to believe in yourself anymore?

It’s all a matter of perception isn’t it? Where lies the line between the feelings you are entitled to and in fact you should seek out to be a happy and fulfilled human being and the very same feelings that need to be controlled and kept in check so that you are relatively healthy, sane, and remain alive?

Rambling questions as always. Too many thoughts. Let’s get back to work for now, and see what waiting does to my brilliant plan.

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2 thoughts on “Questions, questions

  1. A ‘diagnosis’ is followed by a period of uncertainty, a shift in identity, and the stress of coping with ‘what if’.

    If the diagnosis is cancer then one becomes ‘a cancer patient’ but what that means is different for every person and finding out what that means for you as the patient is a process of trial and error and fraught with the anxiety of worst case scenarios.

    The same is true with a mental health diagnosis; which most people still use as nouns.

    Oh so you’re a manic depressive; does that mean you’re a genius???

    Oh so you’re schizophrenic! buh-bye! Oh yes, and the curb is thataway.

    We internalize institutional stigma.

    That’s what makes it institutional.

    You will eventually believe in yourself as you learn to compensate for the perceptual distortions that are unique to your illness.

    You are NOT a bi-polar anymore than I am A dissociative.

    Using language to reduce people to a single aspect of their lives is a glaring example of institutional stigma. It is a tool of oppression.

    So the most difficult part transcending a mental health diagnosis is knowing when to tell the twits to get screwed and having the courage to do it. It means that you are fighting for your right to be treated like a human being.

    I hope this rant has helped…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, yes it does. And you are a constant demonstration of what you’ve just said. Your mind is as crystal-clear and sharp as any! A continual inspiration 🙂 Thank you.

      Like

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