Sunday, June 27, 2010

I know who is on first and what is on second….I just don’t know why…

(I have been working on this post on and off for months—just couldn’t seem to get it right enough to post. But decided to finish it up and just DO IT. If nothing else it will provide a little insight into one of the reasons why I am such a sporadic and spastic blogger. WARNING--This is a very long,rambling, therapeutic for the writer, only partially funny-- kind of post and there are no pictures. Proceed at your own peril…)

Hi, I'm Lisa and I'm clinically depressed and occasionally do the cha-cha with that bad boy Mr. Bi-Polar, and I've been chemically balanced (or some version thereof) for 15 years.

"Hi, Lisa"

I'm a member of AA (Attitude not alcohol--sheesh) , AAA, and Citizens for a More Chemically Balanced Future or CFACBF for short. {bless you}

Which taken all together, (the information, not the medication, okay—maybe the medication too) makes me a blast to have around at parties but not so much on a day to day basis.

I hear voices in my head all the time. Not the scary, change your personality, sounds like "Gollum", Sally Fields, kill the messenger kind of voices.

More of just the me, myself and I version.

Myself & I tend to fight and argue with one other which only serves to frighten and confuse me. Me thinks that the recriminations should be shared but really I has only myself to blame. On the up side, I is never lonely and myself always has second opinion for me. On the down side, they never seem to invite common sense to join us and motivation threw up it's hands and left a long time ago. Also, I has had to learn the hard way, that only myself can hear me and vice versa. I has also had to learn that when someone says, "Talk amongst yourselves" that just sitting there is unacceptable--I must turn to another human being and say something out loud. And just because someone says, "Be quiet so I can hear myself think", it does not necessarily mean that they are a kindred spirit who can also "hear" the voices. Furthermore, I would like to speak to the religious issue (we are a member of The LDS Church) of "listening to the still small voice". Seriously, people, you need to be a LITTLE more specific.

I am blogging about this for several reasons:

1. I don't want there to be any confusion about who I am. (Obviously there is enough confusion bouncing around in my head already) Mental illness is as real as diabetes or the common cold, and it affects millions of people. (except I don’t think the guy with the cold has nearly as much fun going on in his head as I do.) And I am ever so tired of people telling me that “You are about as happy as you make your mind up to be”. Do you tell someone with diabetes that they are about as insulin resistant as they make their mind up to be??!! Seriously people. On good days, happiness IS a choice but when I swing on over to the “dark side” and the chemicals in my brain are bouncing between every neuron but the ones they are supposed to, I can’t even remember what happiness ever felt like and even if I could remember—I am certain that I have never done anything in my life that would make me worthy to be happy. The “dark side” feels like I have a ton of bricks on my chest and an emptiness in my soul that will never be filled. In that dark place I can remember every stupid/wrong thing I have ever done but not what it felt like the last time I touched joy.

(An aside about medication. Everyone has an opinion. Blah, blah, blah. I have one too—but only about how it works for me. The meds do tend to make me feel “muted”. But since I am no Beethoven or Van Gough with great talent to suppress—I am okay with that. It took me awhile to mentally adjust to living life in the middle lane. The massive mood swings were my “normal”. Some days I miss the “highs” but not one day have I ever missed them bad enough to take the chance of swinging that low again.)

2.I have just recently come to grips with the fact that....


It's not going to get better. There will always be days that my heart, mind and soul are so irrationally saturated with despair that the only reason I get out of bed and function through the day is because of my children. Those are the days that I mentally duel with that most ugly and oily of voices that alternately screams and whispers that I should just give up--that my children would just be better off without my presence here on earth.


Just as irrationally, relief comes and the darkness and all its minions slink away and my heart, mind and soul welcome the light again.

They (the doctors, not the minions) made me a lovely cocktail of medication and told me to just hang in there and hope for the day it would end.

And so I hoped. Each time I got knocked down, I got up again and hoped that was the last time. I prayed for hope and looked and watched for reasons to hope. I changed doctors, I changed medications.

Then about 5 years ago, I just stopped getting back up. It seemed like it would just save time and effort to stay down. What kind of idiot keeps running into the ocean when someone says, "Hurricane's coming"?!

There was obviously something inherently wrong with me. Something that disqualified me for any kind of deliverance or redemption. Acceptance of the obvious seemed so reasonable, so much more peaceful.

I still functioned in my daily life but the phrase- living quiet lives of desperation- began to have a new, deeper meaning. But instead of finding greater peace, all I found was cynicism and increased pain. I was without direction, unsettled.

Recently, I have found myself (for no apparent reason) feeling like, once again, I am exiting this dark tunnel of hopelessness. My meds have not changed nor have my prayers. I am filled with warmth every time that I consider that this might just be a “tender mercy”. A reprieve of sorts. I do not think my road will ever be free of tunnels but I do think I am achieving a greater ability to enjoy all aspects of my journey.

So, to my future descendants, those who have, unfortunately, been called to carry on my genes-- I will leave this page in my journal for you.

Always get back up! This battle will never be won from a horizontal position. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt (which is sometimes a little tricky when my brain is swinging wide) that your mortal body might be broken but your spirit is not. Some days you may only, just barely, remember which way is up. Pull yourself up, keep heading in a general “up” direction, up is the ticket. I pray that my belief in the hereafter will be proved correct and I will be able to whisper in your ear and be that push that lifts you up in your darker moments.

Words on paper do not seem to carry enough weight to put power behind my words so take a moment and write them on your heart—so you can carry them with you and know that you are loved.