I’ve been debating what to write about for this entry almost two weeks now.
A large part of that was the sudden and desperate depression that hit me around that time. I think many people, artists especially, suffer from that ‘Everything I make is garbage’ thinking from time to time, but this is different.
Usually I am actually quite confident in my creative endeavors (obnoxious, I know), but half of the fun of bipolar disorder is when the manic period ends, it crashes… and explodes… and the fire is a sad, sputtering, dark sort of thing, which can’t even properly be called a fire. It’s just gray, nasty, choking smoke.
And that is where I’ve found myself.
So, the novel I’ve been working on: garbage, this website I’ve built: garbage, my life: garbage. Thank you, Depression, that’s quite enough, really! Even with medication, which I take twice daily, it is a hard thing to crawl away from and breathe air not polluted by that smoke.
I’ve always been quite open with people I know about my struggles, otherwise I seem a bit off. Absolutely, soaringly excited one day; in the throes of despair and self-loathing the next. Which, as it is a mental illness I suppose I am a bit off, at least my brain’s chemicals are.
And now, two letters:
Dear everyone with mental illness,
It’s not you, it’s your brain.
Talk to people.
Tell someone you trust if you ever feel your brain is about to make you do something stupid.
Take your medicine if you have it.
And try, even on the hardest days, try, try, try to believe it’ll get better.
Mental illness is hella hard.
Dear everyone without mental illness,
You probably know someone with mental illness, whether they talk about it or hide it. This is not a “be careful what you say” sort of post. I mean, I have one of the most fatalistic senses of humor ever (but, shhh, that’s a coping mechanism). The point is: Yes, everyone gets sad from time to time, but the difference is many with mental illness of the depression variances .A. have no verbal reasoning, and .B. are ashamed and feel lazy about their sadness.
So, what can you do, loving and supportive friend that you are?
-Be there. Be there. Be there. If you notice a friend is quiet, they are probably worried that they don’t want to be a nuisance to you, even if you tell them they aren’t bothering you their brain will tell them they are.
-Listen. You don’t have to offer advice or insight, but listen. Some people’s illnesses DO have underlying reasons.
–Do Not: Suggest yoga, a diet change, they do something that makes them happy, tell them to stop focusing on the negative, reaffirm that other people have it worse.
And we still can’t stop. It isn’t us consciously deciding we want to wallow in this, it’s our brain. Our brain is sick.
If you have questions or are dealing with mental illness with no one you feel you can turn to PLEASE turn to someone. Heck, inbox me.
My mantra of 2017, which has been helping is: Compassion, patience, and love. I try to focus these things not only towards others, but inwards too. It’s mushy, but it does help.
All my love~