Monday, March 19, 2012

Crawling Under a Rock/Wishing You Were In Peru Without Knowing the Language

Do you ever do something so profoundly stupid that you wish with all of your heart that you could crawl under a rock and never have to look into the face of the people you know ever again?

Something so dumb that you think okay, now I have to move, because there's no way I can ever show my face again to anyone that knows me.

Welcome to my bipolar world. A world I have no idea how Justin lives in, because everything I do affects him in some way.

In almost 48 years on this planet and going on 13 years since my diagnosis, I have spent countless hours in therapy, taken numerous (some mind-numbing and soul sucking) medications, and worked incredibly hard to overcome the problems that stem from bipolar disorder.

In fact, I look back on the person I was 13 years ago and cringe. That person disgusts me.

I try not to look back too often, but when I do, I don't even recognize the woman I was. My therapist agreed with me just last Friday that I'm no longer that person. Even though I still have a lot of problems and my anxiety, PTSD, and agoraphobia are crippling, I have, for the most part, gotten to a place where my bipolar symptoms are not something that I have to worry over terribly much for the most part. They still make it impossible for me to work (along with that pesky anxiety, PTSD, and agoraphobia), but mostly, in my day to day, secluded life, I am able to function without constantly wanting to give myself a lobotomy after doing more stupid things in one day than most people accomplish in their entire lifetimes. (It helps that I don't see anyone but Justin on most days.)

I have gotten to this place with major hard work and a lot of mistakes. I have lost so many friends that I have now lost count. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of people who probably would list me as their friend in "real life." It's two. And one of them is my husband. I come across much better in the online world than in the real world, obviously.

I have done things that I can't believe I've done and said things that were so mortifying that I wanted to bury my head under my covers and never come out.

Last week, I wrote a blog entry that I thought was fairly humorous. I hit publish and didn't think anything further about it. Until I opened up Facebook (after a really great therapy session where my therapist and I toasted her, I mean my success at overcoming my impulsiveness) and found a message from someone I had always greatly respected and admired. My post had offended her in a number of ways and I was absolutely mortified. I apologized profusely in an email, immediately edited out the portion of the post that was problematic (why, oh why do I never see these things as being problematic until after they are?), and realized I could never show my face in public again. I was humiliated, depressed, upset with myself, mortified, embarrassed...well, you get the idea.

I was ready to shut down the blog. Completely. I'm still not sure I shouldn't.

Because I don't know if I might make that same mistake again and hurt or upset someone that I like. In fact, in all likelihood, I will write something egregiously stupid on here within a short amount of time, because this will become just another memory that I will suppress or distort so that I won't have to beat myself up (literally) because of it.

My mother always told me that I am my own worst enemy. I know for a fact that she's right, but I don't know how to change myself enough to get to that point of not embarrassing myself mightily on a regular basis. No matter how much hard work I do or how many drugs I take, I still don't seem to be able to handle relationships without figuratively shooting myself in the foot.

As much as I tell myself that being bipolar is just another illness, just like heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia (yay me again!), because it makes me say and do things I wouldn't do if I didn't have it, it's harder for me to live with than any of my physical illnesses. If I could get well, but only get over one of my diseases, I would get rid of the bipolar and keep the fibro.

Because physical pain comes and goes and you live through it somehow. But mental anguish over your behavior after doing something stupid? Well, that's forever.


9 comments:

  1. I love you, Chelle. All of you, visible and invisible. Thoughtful and thoughtless. Kind and hurtful. WAIT! That describes everyone in the whole world I think! It certainly describes me, and I know you love me anyway. So. Quit beating yourself up! Mom

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  2. Well damn it. Now I've cried off all of the makeup I just put on.

    Thank you, Mom. I love you too.

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  3. That was a great blog post, Chelle. I'm sorry you have lost friends over this. Some people are easily offended (not me). Thank goodness for the internet and blogs, so you can have plenty of friends online, at least!

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  4. I share a lot of your conditions and ideas. I put up a post the other night and shared the link to twitter and ten minutes later, decided to delete it. Some people subscribed by email already had it and said I shouldn't have deleted it, it was just fine as it was. I have a bad habit of second guessing myself. I guess you should just plunge in and, if someone gets hurt, apologize. You didn't know it was going to hurt someone or you wouldn't have done it.

    As for friends. . . that is another thing I've gone on and on about in my blogs, but when it is so hard to keep yourself on track, how much can they expect from you? And that is always how it seemed to me--they expect stuff from you.

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  5. It sounds like the person had to let you know that something you wrote was offending. It was probably hard for that person to even say to you. Anyone, who knows you well will let you know something bothers them about something you may have written or said or even done, but they will forgive you and hope you both can move pass an akward feeling between the two.You are still loved by Many.

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  6. Try to stay positive. I know a few people who suffer from this and it is difficult and a long road. Sounds like you have a few great people around you supporting you.

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  7. Life is hard for everyone (at least I think it is) and personally I've found the only way to make it easier to navigate is to be myself. It sounds like you didn't intend to offend and you apologized, so therefore that situaton is over, in the past, done. If however, you find you are regularly offending the same person over and over, then I would say they perhaps need to reconsider where they spend their time online as obviously that would mean you are not a good fit. Not everyone will like what you say. You won't like what everyone else says. Everyone is different and that's what makes reading blogs so wonderful - finding and connecting to people with similar interests and points of view. So please don't delete your blog as I have come to look upone it as somewhere I can spend some time and know I am in the company of people like myself. (I hope this comment makes some sort of sense - I basically mean be yourself and try not to take things personally when someone gets offended.)

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  8. Life is hard for everyone (at least I think it is) and personally I've found the only way to make it easier to navigate is to be myself. It sounds like you didn't intend to offend and you apologized, so therefore that situaton is over, in the past, done. If however, you find you are regularly offending the same person over and over, then I would say they perhaps need to reconsider where they spend their time online as obviously that would mean you are not a good fit. Not everyone will like what you say. You won't like what everyone else says. Everyone is different and that's what makes reading blogs so wonderful - finding and connecting to people with similar interests and points of view. So please don't delete your blog as I have come to look upone it as somewhere I can spend some time and know I am in the company of people like myself. (I hope this comment makes some sort of sense - I basically mean be yourself and try not to take things personally when someone gets offended.)

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  9. Don't give up blogging. It is wonderful that you can write posts like this one. There are many of us I'm sure that can identify with your problems and truly sympathise with you. I suffer from anxiety too and have often said something stupid I'm sure, due to my anxiety. It is embarrassing I know, but try to move past it and don't dwell on it, which I tend to do.(And shouldn't, I know!)Agoraphobia is a dreadfully hard illness to overcome. I go out frequently now because I don't want to suffer from agoraphobia again. All the going out absolutely exhausts me though as it doesn't come naturally. I would be quite happy to stay at home all the time.I have a bipolar friend and I've seen how hard it is for her. We love you Chelle!xxx

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