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I am having a horrible dilemma right now. I have two deadlines for the Ask A Bipolar website coming up and I find myself completely unable to write a thing for either one of them.
Writer's block? Or I don't want to write about that, but I committed to it?
Tomorrow, I have my three month psychiatrist appointment for a refill on my medication and I already moved the appointment once. Since I am about to run out of one of the meds, I need to go. That will be the majority of my day, since it is a matter of actually getting myself ready (which I have proven I can do in half an hour, thanks to the Gettysburg/Trolley incident), driving to West Virginia to see the doctor, stopping at the pharmacy on the way back, and then coming home and recovering from the trauma of needing a psychiatrist. So, not much writing time tomorrow. Which leaves...
Thursday. The day before the first deadline to write about something that I am just not sure I can write about. Well, I could write about it (and have in the book I am writing), but if I wrote about it for publication on the internet, I would not want to write about it exactly the way it happened. But, I also do not want to put out some cleaned up, sanitized version of it either. Hence, my dilemma.
The second deadline is looming on the 22nd to answer a question for the website. It's a question I proposed and that I now do not really want to answer. I put it out there because I think it bears an honest, hard look at the issue and I thought I could write about it. Now, I'm not so sure. I'm trying to get a different question, but the website admin is so inundated that I haven't heard back from her. Maybe I can nail her down in our meeting online tonight by chucking virtual twizzlers at her and TALKING IN ALL CAPS. (Don't you hate when people forget to turn off their "all caps" key and start shouting at you?)
I can write about any number of mundane and trivial issues easily and quickly. I can do 2,500 or 3,000 words on writing obscene messages to my husband on banana skins or why our dog is the most neurotic animal on the face of the planet and definitely needs the prozac he is getting. But ask me to write about traumatic events in my life and my fingers freeze.
What I wonder is how people write about their experiences with bipolar disorder and are so freaking honest. Don't they have families that they've already hurt? The last thing in the world I want to do is dredge up my past manic behavior in an effort to further my writing career at the expense of those who (still) love me.
I don't think it's writer's block. I think it's a matter of trying to do what's right by the people who I never, ever want to hurt again. I have come so far in this bipolar journey that I think it's high time to start holding myself accountable for my actions. A big part of that is being able to keep my mouth shut when it matters. And in these issues, it matters.
So, tonight, I will pose the question again as to what I am supposed to do with these two deadlines. Hopefully, I will get an answer to the first one that I can work with and a new question to answer. I love that I have been given the privilege of writing for a web site that is read by so many people. I don't want to mess up this chance I have been given and I want to do a good job. But I also have to balance the needs of my family against what I am writing and make sure that no one gets hurt in the process.
It's a fine line. Mental illness really sucks.