Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gifts of encouragement

New messages from people out there, whom I have never met. Gifts in the mail and online that are sources of encouragement for me. I DEEPLY NEED THIS. Maybe everyone does. But certainly those of us who are mentally ill/extra sensitive need this especially.

I received a lovely gift, a blank journal with quotes from Anais Nin, from a young woman whose work I decided to support, sight unseen, in the Caribbean. And people here and at firedoglake seem to feel that my being very open about my mental struggles gives them some hope. Not sure how that works but hey go for it!

We are in a transitional generation in our understanding of mental illness.

Diagnoses are missing or wrong. Medicines---please don't get me started on their inadequacies, yet medicine is one of our powerful weapons for fighting this darkness.

There should be no shame in taking medicine for mental illness. Would you feel bad about taking insulin, if you had diabetes? We are struggling with something that has not only a psychological component, but a physiological one. If medicine helps you, please accept this great gift.

Doctors don't get it, or if they do, don't help us enough [insert another really long rant here...I'll do it in the future].

Our families and communities are baffled by our strange behavior. We can stifle all the time or we can freely be ourselves and have others declare us weird.

Quote from someone on a parallel journey, I don't know how much you wish to be public/private so won't give your nom de plume:

"I've purged myself of most of my epic self-destruction, but lost my drive and purpose in the process. I've just recently come to the conclusion that it is all me, the highs and the lows, I'm the same person and I need to integrate rather than hiding from the trail of spectacular failures that make me doubt my value in this world."

Thank you for sharing this very personal and sensitive view. Are you the person looking back at me in the mirror? Because this is how I feel.

We have much to offer the world. If we don't feel too humiliated and overwhelmed to participate.

At a time when normal thinking isn't working very well for us, maybe those of us who always think outside the envelope will have some answers.

12 comments:

egregious said...

What's on your mind?

NZ Expat said...

The sun just dimmed a bit on the news of Miss Molly's passing. She had the snark, yes, but also humility of it, which made it less like junior high and more like someone was seeing through the glass more clearly while the rest of us looked through the glass darkly.

NZ Expat said...

egregious...how goes your day...or evening....there?

I have a little break from work. Will collapse into a quick nap before returning. I have seiges where my sleep is heavy and intense, as if, during my dreams, I am trying to leverage the whole world to a better place all by myself. I wake exhausted and stumble through the day. I will rest now.

egregious said...

NZ---

I know what you mean about the intense sleep. Maybe biologically we are programmed to be fighters, and we need this kind of sleep to charge up our batteries for the fray.

I'd talk about fray, frayed temper, etc but time for some tea. It's nearly 2am here. Would like to have some of that intense sleep, or frankly, any kind.

We are people of intensity. It sounds good except it's exhausting. The sleep thing will straighten itself out, that's just jet lag. But the emotional exhaustion is a deeper matter. Am working on it, shrink, meds, friends, restructuring daily life, exercise etc but it's a struggle.

GrandmaJ said...

What is on my mind? My house sold, then unsold -- twice. Now another person is 'very' interested. Can't stand the anticipation and then the let down. So now I refuse to hope. Not a good place to be. but life has it's own currents and rapids.

My daughter as much as said today, 'go to Texas' and visit my friend. Stay a long time she said. I think they no longer want to hesitate to pick up my calls because more than likely I will end up crying like I did this morning. sigh.

And so there is always tomorrow --

Oh, I am just ranting and rambling. Thanks for the space to rant, vent, agonize, and otherwise give voice to my emotions.

Anonymous said...

Hello to egregious from Swordswoman. 10 PM your time on Thurs. Feb. 1. If you get this, please drop me a note at mailbag at bookrats dot net. I have an FDL-related question for you... might be pumpkin-muffin related. :-)

kristinejoy said...

I re-read the words from me you quoted in your post and think, nice trick if you can do it! :)

I really have no idea what lies ahead. It has taken me a long time to face this, almost like a survivor's guilt. I worked for years as a clinical social worker and my partner comes from a very difficult childhood. I had my problems, but they were not anything like the tragedies I have seen.

So when I went home for the holidays this year, my sister (19 years older than me) talked about me as a kid, and having her offhandedly describe this freakishly intense and driven little girl that they never really understood was eye opening this time. It finally dawned on me that I was born this way, born batshit crazy. And this means ultimately its not my fault. I have no idea why I fought this for so long.

egregious said...

Swordswoman, the mystery place is PieGourmet here in Vienna VA. They deliver all over the country, and their pumpkin muffins are unreal. Taste tested by CHS on election night and by TRex, his High-ness himself. I'll try to get to the email. Still mui behind on my sleep from the Russia trip. However one of my board members came over today and talked me out of quitting, again, and so things are looking up a little.

egregious said...

kristinejoy---

I think you were born intense, and different. This does not translate into batshit crazy except in the minds of other people. Part of the anti-stigma campaign is to change people's ideas about what is pathological.

We are different. My bipolar is crippling but it is the ADD that makes me strange in the eyes of others. Over the years I have suffered from both but the damage from shame is much worse from the ADD.

My friend says her ADD interferes with her OCD :)

"Survivor's guilt"---
Will have to give this some thought. Profound.

Do you have a diagnosis and meds, am happy to hear about them. Of course not trying to be another source of pressure, just an opportunity. An ear and a shoulder.

Anonymous said...

egregious, thanks for the reply and here is my sneaky idea.

I've got two Starbucks coffee cards loaded with $25 each, which I'd like to get to the FDL bloggers in DC. I figured caffeine for the liveblogging effort wouldn't come amiss.

But I can't think of a way to get them from here (West Coast) to Washington DC and the FDL crew.

Are you going to have a chance to visit with any of them while they're in DC? Any way I could mail them to you and let you pass them along?

Anonymous said...

Oops, new to this comment process in blogger. This is Swordswoman writing to you with the coffee idea. The muffins were an off-topic mental jump (and made me think of you as a possible coffee-card courier) because every Sat. I have coffee-and-a-muffin for a breakfast treat. :-)

egregious said...

GrandmaJ

"Oh, I am just ranting and rambling. Thanks for the space to rant, vent, agonize, and otherwise give voice to my emotions"

You are MOST WELCOME to rant away here at egregiousBlog.

We live to serve.

I have been the lucky beneficiary of many people who are kind to listen to me rant and rave. The latest, just today. A kind friend who kept me from quitting, again, from my Russian work.

Please do keep us posted even after you have gone to visit your friend. IT'S OK TO TAKE A BREAK. I am writing that as much for me as for you. Workaholic doesn't cover it. Life spent intensely trying to conquer...what...We are just wired differently. Need to understand and accept.