“Omg. This is what my clients must have felt like.”
That’s what I said when I called MHMR- Mental Health Mental Retardation of Texas. I found myself dialing the same number I referred at least 300 people to as a social worker. The Universe. That old crafty bish. Playing the long con.
I’m not used to being a person in crisis. Or feeling like I’m alone because I freaked out and pushed everyone away for a while. Not used to being uninsured. Not used to feeling embarrassed. Not used to being exactly where life has brought me.
You go through long swathes of life being stable and thriving. The length of maintaining relative stability for so long becomes part of the process that is helping you function. However stability cannot help you heal if your treatment plan isn’t aware of the root cause.
The relative awesomeness that is your current life can fill in gaps and distract you from times that didn’t completely make sense. You wring out the bar rag of your personal narrative hundreds of times to see where you went wrong. You can mostly account for yourself and actions and then you realize the filter of how you saw yourself was tilted, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood. It’s no one’s fault. We cast judgments based upon the actions we see before us.
Who are you when all the fanfare has ceased and you’ve stripped everything to the foundations? How do you keep moving when you survey the loss and realize that you caused your own suffering. When you laid bare most all of your secrets, and still drip with regret.
When your world crashes it feels like life has veered into a parallel reality. “There is no way this could be my life. “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.”
I used to sing that line in karaoke ironically. I’ve cradled those words in my mouth so many times during this newest predicament. See Talking Heads. See chest tattoo. Still #lameasiteverwas.
Wendy Williams is living in a sober house and still has a talk show. Pete Davidson pulling mad game with Ariana and Kate. Did we enter some weird time space after the 2016 election? Like the freaking Universe must love a well constructed joke because the configurations that occurred for all this to happen are too precise.
I mean it can’t be coincidence that you discover you’re bipolar in the same room you had your first conscious same sex attraction 23 years later. Like surely I’m in a Zach Braff movie. Better writing but with a shittier soundtrack.
This time the walls are bare because you haven’t lived here for years yet thin enough to hear your dad playing the bongos and ukulele while your stepmom with dementia is wandering the halls. Did I shave my pits for this? Welcome to My So-Called Life: Early Thirties reboot and I’m reprising Claire Danes’ iconic 90’s role. (Jared Leto where you at?)
Pop culture references aside, To accept yourself you have to accept the moment you’re in. Not who you were going to be. Not who hurt you. Not what that “7 Rings” tattoo was supposed to say and still getting it wrong the second time 😆. Those things are important and they are threads in the tapestry. Once you start admitting where you’re at you can start changing.
Stripping away the distractions bring clarity so you can fix the root cause. cluttering reality. Whittling down the small grievances brings greater freedom. It leads to self-examination. Unshackling yourself from external expectations is as much as a tragedy as it is a weird form of release.
You are not your job or your things or social standing or lack thereof. So if you’re not your job or your things, friends or social position then who are you? Cue refrain from The Who. Rinse & repeat.
I came to terms with my sexuality at 24. Ten years later and I’m blasted with an unexpected mental diagnosis. The damning double shots of completing several goals while on the cusp of unrealized mania. I felt indestructible and invulnerable. I didn’t care what anyone thought anymore. The brazen armor of grandiose confidence is intoxicating. I felt completely liberated. Full blown mania is like having liquid courage and beer goggles for limitless days without the alcohol or hangover. The final crash, months later, was worse than any weekend partying or misstep I’ve ever taken. I don’t know if the world will ever shine as brightly ever again.
I don’t blame anyone for judging. Right now a lot of this unintended reality just fucking sucks. Because this was not supposed to be my life. I didn’t betray myself, finances, future, my family & friends on purpose. I’ve always been the person who seems to get in way more trouble when they make mistakes compared to others. Perhaps because certain behaviors seem out of character or frustrations that I never seem to learn. Maybe you invite criticism because of difficultly setting muddled boundaries from the get go. You can rail against, curse, or plead your case but there’s no escaping that your new normal is studied in abnormal psych 400.
That culminated with a book decrying the shackles of the past which got tangled up in unrelated circumstances going on. Multiple frustrations with my job, and a couple relationships fed the frenetic gasoline winds of mania. The behavior becomes more erratic finding matches every where to light fires you didn’t know were inside of you. Cool, the time I get a little attention I also go off the deep end on social media.
The pendulum doesn’t stop swinging just because you got off the ride. This slow motion beheading keeps repeating in my mind. One solution just brings another problem into greater focus. A second Hydra head growing in place of the singular cut down beast.
So if you’re mad at me, or still think I deserve to be punished, or just over it, trust, I’m so over myself. That’s why I don’t want to blog anymore.
The self-spoken diatribes against myself have been more brutal than any venom you could spit in this direction.
Forgiving is also a form of acceptance. You acknowledge that a grievance occurred and make amends towards restitution. Forgiveness to others usually comes easy for me. It’s an on going process and sometimes you have to forgive other people a hundred times before cutting them off. Maybe science will perfect time travel but even then we cannot escape ourselves. You can run but cannot hide. So I’m baring it all again because I can’t do it alone and can’t pretend I have it all together.
But I’m putting my shoes on and packing my bags once more because Britney survived 2007 and ancestors survived much worse. You might be facing eviction, infidelity, bereavement of a loved one, grief over the losses in your own life. If I can get through this tumultuous time I promise you can too. You can face whatever comes down the road. You are never as alone or lost as you think. You are consciousness wrapped in flesh and you will be so much stronger and clearer than before.
When your life has whittled down to a scant collection throw fire upon the remnants of your old existence. Use the flames to power your growth. A kiln in the fire. Physical and relational losses have become symbolic. Shedding away former identities and aspects of self that were shrouded from seeing. Stripped and bare-boned. A lot of the best things happen when you feel the fear and do it anyway. How we react how we deal with blowbacks and pileups- that is who we really are.
Idealistic temperaments, mood disorders, and bad credit scores often don’t lend themselves to ideal paychecks and parking spaces. There exists a place for all types of lifeforms out in nature. There has to be places for each one of us, too.
I’m retreating to nature. I let the grief rush through me in liquid form. In swells of water fallen mountain streams. Sometimes your heart cries out for assistance and you don’t even know that’s what all this is about. It’s okay. You will be okay. You must give yourself grace to see that you are still worthy. You must allow your own life to blossom again.
If this weight was cast upon me for no reason I will use it to light another path, even if no one follows. I’m about to make it on my own.
I can’t wait to live in pine mountains and taste sea salt in the air. Wherever you are right now I swear that you will eventually make it to where you are going. “You’re gonna make it after all.” Da da da duh- hat toss. (Mary Tyler Moore)