Around And Round We GO

For those of you that managed to catch the previous post before I deleted it, I’m feeling much better now. I had hit a low patch which may have been triggered by this self-help book I’m currently trying to write.

Thankfully work was really busy yesterday making me feel both useful and keeping my mind too busy to dwell on the miserable thoughts I’d been having. I’m not sure how much of my scribblings during this slump in my normally positive and ambitious mood will actually make it to the final version of the book, but I think it was a useful exercise to explore and observe the depths of my depression for a day or too.

I have actually been diagnosed with depression, and anxiety, one doctor suggested I may have hypomanic depression. In which case the times I’ve felt the presence of faeries or other spirits (such as the monster on top the wardrobe) may be just sensory hallucinations, a symptom of my disorder. This is a concept I’ve been battling for some time.

I’d love to continue to believe in majic/magic/magick. It’s comforting to think that you could alter the world around you by willpower alone, or with the aid of Gods, Goddesses, faeries, ancestors or the raw power of the universe. Some belief systems would even blame the negative thoughts on daemons, devils, trickster spirits, ghosts or other malicious entities.

the_demons

 

If these entities, both good and bad, are just illusions produced by mental illness, then the voices are my own. My true self trying to help me make sense of the the world. So instead of trying to ignore these thoughts, perhaps I should listen and discover what it is they’re trying to teach me? What I’m trying to teach me.

I’ve come to the conclusion, for now, that I did make it all up. I know I have an active imagination. The things I once imagined were true seemed true based on what I thought I knew at the time. It no doubt helped me cope. I’m sure I will think about this more in future, and I may even end up coming back to the idea that there is magic in the world after all, and I was just temporarily jaded and delusioned.

I had hoped to spend the last two days I had off getting a lot more writing done, and take advantage of the cold I’d been suffering from. Instead I found myself wallowing in self pity and thoughts of futility. I even considered giving up on writing. What would be the point? Well, the point is, because I can and I like it. It doesn’t matter if I never sell a single book. It doesn’t even matter if I’m madly successful and die rich. Either way I’m going to die.

graveyard

What does matter is that I’m alive. I may as well enjoy it, and I enjoy writing. I also enjoy company, and working, and time to myself, and finding time for all of it will no doubt continue to be a struggle. That’s okay. I can accept that. It’s all part of the experience, and there’s no need to be so hard on myself.

Would anyone like to see the binned article? Bear in mind I was feeling very low, almost suicidal, when I wrote it. It’s been pointed out to me that sometimes it’s helpful to see that someone else is going through emotions similar to your own.

I know it’s a pain to comment on the blog, but signing up is worth it. You’ll be able to comment on all of my articles and blogs, as well as the blogs of other WordPress users. You could even create your own blog if you wanted to. 🙂 You can also comment on Facebook or Twitter of course, where I’ll be sharing links to this article. I’m going to make sure my contact info is up to date also if you prefer to text me.

I’m not going to sign off with the “Have a great day :)” that I used to do. It’s sort of condescending, and if you’re not having a great day it’s like a kick in the shins.

Choose your own adventure 😉

Developing a Trigger-Guard

A Facebook friend has her own blog. It’s called LiberalWoman101’s Blog. She writes well and is particularly fond of writing essays. She’s even thinking of going back to school so she can write more essays! Personally I loathe essays. I want to be able to express my own opinion without having to refer to the work of others to make it count.

She recently posted an article about “The Stigmatization of Mental Illness and Why It Needs to Stop” in which she explains why it should be okay for people with mental illness triggers to come forward and ask for their triggers to be respected. In other words to ask for a ‘trigger warning’ if anything that bothers them should come up.

She asks for a world in which we accommodate for mental illnesses more, and actively try and to make the world feel less hostile to those who suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and depression, and also from bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, schizophrenia, etc. I certainly find the idea attractive, though I also find it unrealistic.

I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder and even hypo-manic depression. I know people close to me that are managing dyslexia, bipolar depression, anxiety and even schizoaffective disorder. I agree that people like myself may need to be handled a little differently, particularly when we’re young. The standard education system can be difficult when your brain is wired a little differently.

It would be helpful for educators to have a better understanding of mental illnesses and better ways to present the information to a variety of different brain types. However, many educators are also underpaid, overworked and underappreciated. Perhaps if we had special schools just for us with better funding, but this presents several new problems.

Who would pay for this? If the parents are expected to pay for it, then only those with wealthy parents could afford to send their mentally ill children to the specially designed school. It could be privately funded by a charitable organisation, which would require fund-raising events that would inevitably result in these young, easily triggered individuals on public display.

I know that’s not what Jessielle (the author of the article I’m referencing) intended either, an integrated system would be far more preferable. Sending people to specially designed educational programs only leads to segregation and further stigmatism. Which is my key point. Reducing us to labels and asking people to make accommodations for us just emphasizes the differences.

Now I realise that this opinion may be unpopular. It may sound to many that I’m suggesting we ‘toughen up’ or ‘just get over it’. To a certain extent, I am. The temptation to use your mental illness as an excuse to avoid responsibility is great. The desire to have someone look after us and tend to our delicate and sensitive natures can’t be denied. However,  I personally have no desire to live the rest of my life acting like a spoiled brat.

My brain is different. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or broken. It means I think differently. This is good. It can give me an advantage in many situations because I can think of solutions that a whole roomful of people can’t. My weirdness makes me powerful. Expecting people to be careful around me doesn’t make me feel powerful. It makes me feel weak, soft, and delicate.

Not to mention people all have their own problems. Expecting someone who is working every hour they can to pay their astronomical student loans and other debts, checking through masses of work handed in that clearly didn’t understand the assignment despite several attempts to explain it, to avoid saying things that may upset you is extremely insensitive. Have a little empathy!

The world is a harsh and unforgiving place. The sooner we accept that the stronger we will be. It’s only by facing challenges and finding a way to overcome them that we can really find out how tough we are. If we spend our whole lives hiding in our safe space from everything that upsets us, then we keep ourselves segregated. We reinforce the stigmatism.

If you want to walk around in a skirt, heavy boots, eyeliner and a beard (as I do) do so confidently. If people are weirded out about it, so what? It’s there problem not yours. If people say something offensive, they’re entitled to that opinion, and don’t let it break you or push you towards being someone or something you don’t want to be.

If a doctor tells you that you have anxiety or depression, or something multisyllabic and scary sounding, you don’t have to let it define you. You are more than your mental illness. Find out more about it, learn what superpowers it gives you, and be proud of who you are. People don’t need to add stress to their own lives by worrying about what triggers you. You are in control, and if anyone tells you otherwise it’s just because they fear your power or they have been taught that different is wrong and honestly don’t know any better.

Some of those that try to keep you from expressing yourself may have a mental illness or two of their own, and have been taught that they are victims of it. Show them they’re not. That they’re special, talented, and wonderful people. Being different is what makes us powerful. We don’t need to be taken care of. We can take care of ourselves.

That’s my opinion, and it’s served me well, after learning the hard way and deciding I’d had enough. If you have a different opinion, or think I’ve missed Jessielle’s point entirely, please feel free to comment below. I promise you won’t trigger me.

Have a great day 🙂