mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

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You can spend so much time going up and down with your emotions that numb feels like a holiday, numb is ok. But like anything, too much can cause an issue. I can’t remember the last moment of happiness i felt, i get small moments of warmth but genuine happiness has been elusive for a while now.

So i’m numb, i think i shut down because it becomes too much to deal with, so i end up this husk of a person. The android. Ha, perhaps I’ve been watching too much dr who lately, it’s been days since I left the house at all, thank goodness for dr who! The closest thing I’ve had to a real emotion in about a week was last night when they introduced a new doctor, peter capaldi: i ended up crying over matt smith, haha, only you geeks out there will have any idea what i’m on about right now.

I don’t really have anything to say, but then i find that’s one of the best times to try and write because you eventually find something to say. If you keep wading through your own mind you will figure out what you want to say or whatever answer you’re looking for. If the answer is in you that is, which i find it usually is.

I have barely been seeing friends lately, it’s all part of my usual withdrawal from life. I’m so used to my mood swings now and the almost constant down swing that it’s like the morning commute, i go through the motions with little conscious interaction. I miss my friends a great deal, especially my best friend, she is pregnant at the moment and I am missing out on so much of her life but i’ve just been so internal and struggling a great deal that i have cut myself off.

My Mum has actually been a good thing in my life lately, we have been having sunday dinners at her place but if i’m not feeling well she sends my stepdad to pick up the girls for dinner and i stay home and have some quiet time, i end up feeling guilty for not pushing myself more and getting out but at least the kids have a great time and don’t miss out. Gosh, my daughter is nearly 11, I can’t believe I have a child that is nearly 11, it feels like my 20’s were mere moments ago but no, i’m 33, well into my 30’s and constantly feel bad that i don’t have things more sorted by now.

I hope you’re all doing well out there, you’re in my thoughts xo

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The nature of loneliness

Being lonely is one of the most unpleasant feelings a person can have. It’s like the worst catch 22, you’re lonely so you need company but the feelings that come with being lonely seldom appeal to the masses and make us shiny sparkling examples of social wonder. We end up feeling alone and unworthy, that we deserve these feelings. It’s so wrong, the way our mind plays these nasty tricks on us. I guess negativity breeds negativity, when we are feeling down and truly need some good feelings is when we are incapable of generating positive feelings within ourselves.

What effect does loneliness have on you?

I find I shut myself off from the world all the more when I’m feeling isolated and alone. I fester all these thoughts and feelings that I deserve my loneliness and end up in my own little pit of despair. I’ve always had this default reaction to negative things that happen to me, that i deserve it somehow. For years I made excuses for my Mother’s men that had hurt me when I was little, I would say ‘yes he did beat me up many times but I was such a nightmare teen’ or ‘I was so hard to handle as a teenager, I would probably have wanted to beat me up too’. It’s so reductive but so common, especially if you’ve grown up being told you’re a piece of crap, you believe it.

Can we break these patterns? Can we adjust our default settings? Can you feel lonely and instead of convincing yourself it’s deserved and hiding out in your own little emotional cave tell yourself that everyone gets lonely and what you really need is to catch up with some friends or just get out of the house for a while, surround yourself with life and living.

YES!!! We absolutely can adjust these behaviours. Problem being, it’s hard work. And it’s the hardest kind of hard work, emotional hard work on ourselves.

Do you sometimes find yourself giving advice to other people that if you thought about it you would struggle to follow yourself? I used to, quite often. I think it’s a lot easier to map life out for others, or to come up with solutions for other people, but when it comes to dealing with our own issues and fixing ourselves, it feels almost impossible sometimes. But the fact is, we are all capable of adjusting our negative behaviours and we alone are responsible for it.

Now we just need to figure out where to begin…

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(Half way) Moved

So the last couple of weeks have been spent on moving house, OH MY. It had been ages since we had last moved, five or six years, which for me is AAAAAGES to stay in the same place, I’m somewhat of a nomad. It’s been crazy, we just had so so so much crap, so it’s been sorting and storing and moving, the new place has stairs which sucks a nut but it’s growing on me. I was kind of bummed when we moved in a week ago, i guess i’m reluctant in the face of change but now I’m really liking where we are, it’s so incredibly close to everything I don’t really need my car anymore.

So I’m neck deep in change and panicking a little but things are going ok, I’m still writing and polishing my book, still cleaning and packing away, that’s pretty much my whole existence at the moment. We decided to move during school holidays so my girlies have been with me the whole time, I’ve been very impressed with my youngest, she has been an absolute machine during move time, my eldest has been ok but not greatly motivated but my youngest has really impressed me. she just keeps on going! wee energizer bunny of a person, i love it. I usually admire in others the qualities i feel i lack and motivation is a big one.

I hope everyone has been well and happy, if not then tell me why not and we can have a big whine about it, ha

xo

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How do you deal with conflict?

I analyze mine and others behaviours quite a lot. One of the hardest things for me is drawling a line between what is a ‘normal’ reaction to conflict or negativity, and what is a bipolar reaction. Sometimes I feel like an alien, watching the human population and trying to assimilate their actions and feelings and trying to look like just another person going about their business and not the bucket of crazy that I am.

There are a few bloggers I have had sporadic contact with via comments, some via email, and I usually find people to be interesting and supportive and lovely. Recently, a person who comments a lot on my posts and has always been very friendly seemed to take exception to something I’d written. It was a post about how I find that as you get older and have kids and settle down that your ‘dreams’ from when you were younger seem to fall by the wayside. I don’t believe I was whining at all I was simply musing about how I used to have all of these goals and now I simply tread water. She left a comment cutting me down, basically saying that I should be happy with being a mother and a wife and why isn’t it enough, some people don’t even have that and effectively I got the idea that she wanted me to be thankful for what I have and stop my bitching. It was unexpected, I’ve always found blogging to be a fairly safe place to share my feelings and thoughts but suddenly, this person who had always been quite lovely to me seemed to be attacking me for expressing myself. After her initial comments she then made another bitchy comment and when I confronted her about it she simply didn’t respond. I suggested that her issue she had was more about her than me and if it wasn’t she could unfollow me easily. No response.

Now, this kind of thing pisses me off and has me wondering. Did i just happen to fall into her bad day or are people reading what I write and assuming that I’m having a big complain about my existence? If I’ve given that impression I’m slightly mortified. Blogging has helped me figure out so many things about myself because I don’t hide here, it’s the one place on this earth where I can be completely me, crazy, silly, odd, opinionated etc – I can talk about being abused when I was growing up and how I love being a Mother but would like to achieve other things in life as well. I have found a lot of people through blogging who have had similar experiences to myself and have never felt so understood, and when you have a mental illness, feeling understood is half the battle won.

I’m not claiming to be perfect by any measure, I have a temper and sometimes I’m completely unreasonable. But I would never go on someone’s blog and attack them for expressing their thoughts and feelings. Even if I was having a terrible depressive episode and was feeling horribly sorry for myself, I would never shit on someone elses picnic. Now is this me denying her the right to be annoyed at what I wrote or am I right in thinking she was bang out of order having a go at me? See now, this is where things get confusing for me. I ponder and ponder, trying to figure out what’s reasonable and what’s not.

I’m not under the delusion that everyone can get along and world peace is just around the corner, but I believe that we should treat other humans with a basic level of respect and kindness and we should NEVER take out our own shit on other people especially if they are simply trying to figure their life out and have a happy existence.

My temper is worse when I’m manic, I’m probably at my absolute worst while driving. I’m a terrible person in the car when I’m manic, I get quite aggressive and people cutting me off or pulling out in front of me then going slow make me want to tear my hair out. I’ve heard from quite a few people with bipolar that they also turn into crazy beasties while driving, so it’s nice to know it’s not just me but it’s terrible. But when it comes to my person to person interactions I tend to try to avoid conflict. I believe that things should be addressed, and if you have a problem with someone or something they’ve done you should talk to them directly about it, get t out and clear it up. I hate passive aggression so much that I stopped using facebook, as I believe it’s a breeding ground for passive aggression, haha. Seriously, I couldn’t cope with all the bullshit associated with facebook so I packed it in. People having snipes at each other through status updates but never mentioning names, people being horrible to each other, it was just really unpleasant and I couldn’t be bothered with it anymore.

My way of doing things quite often gets me labelled cray cray. If someone is being passive aggressive towards me I will simply ask them straight out if there is an issue, and 9 times out of 10 the person will deny there being any issue, even though they’ve been making snide back handed comments that CLEARLY relate to me or a situation I’m involved in, I’ve learned that in your 30’s and for those in their 40’s, most people will smile to your face and then expose their true feelings about you when your back is turned, But talk openly about an issue and you’re considered inflammatory or weird. And it’s not like I’m looking for a fight, it’s quite the opposite. I believe if you address things and find out if there’s an issue by simply discussing it, then it negates the need for brooding. So many of us get upset with people and let it fester, we get more and more angry over an issue instead of just talking to the person about it.

Anyway, I’m curious to know how others deal with conflict and what your thoughts are on being open about things or just letting things go. Quite often, just letting things go is impossible for a person with a mental illness, so what else should we do? Hmm.

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Why are ignorant people usually the loudest?

Why are there always people running around telling other people how they should be living their lives? It’s so easy to be negative, to find the bad in everything, finding the positive is often harder so I guess this is why they avoid it.

I just came across a person harping on about prohibition and how marijuana is the worst thing ever blah blah blah, they tried to partake in some big argument with me but I’m not fussed to be honest. The kind of person who believes in 2014 that prohibition is a good idea is the kind of person you don’t want to waste your time on, how can you oppose sheer ignorance? Why bother trying to change a mind that is void of coherent thought and forward thinking.

I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and let’s all do heroin. Have sex with random strangers at train stations and drive while drunk, but for goodness sakes, live your life and let others live theirs. I’m sick of hearing that it’s wrong to be gay, to be stoned, to be anything other than a valuable sober member of society. Sure, pot can be used by people excessively and I believe when it’s used to negate dealing with issues it’s not the best, but I also believe it can be used sporadically and or socially and has all but no ill effects. But there are people out there saying that it will destroy your life, uhmm – it can’t and doesn’t. You can have a mental health issue that can ‘destroy’ your life and that may go hand in hand with the use of drugs but the drugs are just a symptom of what’s going on, not usually the root cause. Yes, there are drugs out there that can stop a person living life as a normal functional being, but pot is not one of them unless the person has other things going on. And denying that it has ANY medicinal value is blatantly ignorant.

Basically, I think people should be kind, free to express themselves and figure out what works for them. I don’t like it when people run around trying to assert their views onto everyone else and limit others right to experiment and explore. If we spent a little more time listening to each other and less time preaching and trying to control others then life would be a little nicer for us all.

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Do dreams die from reality?

I’m 33. When I was younger I had many plans, travel, become a psychologist at some point, buy a house. I hadn’t planned on having a family, didn’t have any interest in having kids and when I was 19 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and told I’d need assistance to get pregnant.

So, I rent, I have two kids and a man of 13 years, i have partially finished 3 different bachelor degrees and am nowhere near buying a house because they cost at least half a million these days. I have given up on having any kind of extraordinary existence and seem to be treading water. I consider it a win when I have a day where I don’t feel utterly shit about myself, I have definitely settled.

Yesterday on Ellen there was a 64 year old woman who has just swam from cuba to the florida keys, she was banging on about inspiration and never giving up and the cynic in me cringed a bit as she spoke of her woes, but part of me was desperately jealous of this older woman who is out there kicking arse and not giving a shit about conventional boundaries. It made me think that maybe there is still time for me to be something awesome, maybe I can have an extraordinary existence. But then I quickly shoot myself down, reminding myself that I am afflicted with bipolar and basically that means I can have buckets of good intentions, but when a depressive episode hits everything stops. Study, relationships, life in general just goes into pause mode and I try to just survive.

Part of me thinks that I just need to keep writing novels until one of them is really good, but then I’m so neurotic that finishing a novel is almost impossible. The one i’m working on now has interest from a friend’s literary agent but that ultimately means nothing, it’s not a guarantee of anything happening, it’s just potential and at this rate who knows if I will actually finish it because I keep over analyzing details and whether I should have written in a certain character before killing them off or if I should have started from the impact of their death and blah blah blah. You get me, I procrastinate.

Do you still have dreams? Do we get to have a mental illness and aspire to be great? Or do we just settle and try to survive?

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Low Bits

So the last couple of weeks have been really unpleasant. I’m really stressed about moving and it’s effecting my mood quite poorly and so I’ve really struggled recently. I get to a point where I can fight it and blog and comment and share and catch up with friends to force myself to feel better, force myself back into the world from the safety of my bed or sofa,where i stare numbly at the tv or read if I’m able. I do this to keep my mind occupied so I don’t lose my shit. I get negative mantras in my head, when I’m alone they get so loud I sometimes vocalize them but stop myself from saying them out loud in their entirety as it feels like i’d be giving these words too much power.

This is the inside of my head, it’s a strange place to be and I’ve been fighting really negative feelings and thoughts but I know I’ll be successful. Well, honestly….I sometimes doubt if I’ll be successful, but figure saying that I know I’ll be ok eventually makes me sound less crazy lol

I am bipolar….it’s not who I am but by golly it sure has a lot to do with what I do, how I think, how I feel and how I effect others. It’s very close to being who I am isn’t it? But it’s not always the way, as I’ve gotten older my manic episodes have become less destructive and actually really productive. I don’t get delusions of grandeur or too much trouble sleeping these days, I just feel happier and more productive and good. So my “manic” episodes are what I feel to be my real life, and the depressive episodes, which last longer, are basically life on pause, life in sepia. I find myself treading water most of the time just to get by, all my energy being poured into just being ok for my kids that I literally feel exhausted just from such simple things. I hope I don’t sound sorry for myself, it’s hard not to when explaining the inside out of feeling utterly shitty, but it is what it is, many people suffer every day, my suffering is no greater or less than most people’s, but I try not to measure such things, comparing one’s sorrow to another and convincing yourself that you’re feelings are insignificant compared to other people’s problems and woes, well it’s really reductive to mental health but so so common. I am trying my best not to do that, we need to be feel of some worth and part of that is realizing that our feelings DO count and we ARE having a hard time and we deserve good things and not this shit we feel we’re wading through.

I’m going to try and get some writing done while I’m feeling so clear of mind, I hope you are all well xo

 

 

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25 songs – day 4

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A song that calms me down, well, not much to say about this one really. It’s a lovely song and i love the way this man plays guitar.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_4abCWw-w

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25 songs – Day 3

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A song that reminds me of my parents. Tricky, I consider myself to have two sets of parents really: my Mother and Stepfather, and my Grandparents who are no longer with us. But I will stick to the more traditional definition and go with my Mum and Stepdad, and this is their song.

 

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Assigning blame

I’m not sure if it was growing up being told I was shit, growing up being treated like I was shit, the abuse, the bipolar, who knows…but every time something would go wrong with a friend I would always spiral a little. Firstly I would over-analyze the crap out of it all, mulling every details over in my head. It’s a given that I blamed myself entirely for every interaction I would have that was in any way negative. I was always sensitive to rejection in any form, in fact most of my twenties was spent obtaining and then evacuating affection before I could be rejected, convinced it was inevitable I always got in first.

Now, I’m slowly learning to see things in a more rational sense. When I can see full well that I have done absolutely nothing to warrant negative feelings towards me, I’m becoming more indifferent and accepting that everyone acts like a douche sometimes, and sometimes it has nothing to do with me. It’s always been hard to decide what is reasonable behavior and what is *my disease*, sometimes I feel like an alien trying to act like a human, not quite sure what is acceptable expectations and so on, and what are not.

I think a lot of us go directly to blaming ourselves, it’s how we’ve been conditioned either through abuse, PTSD, or whatever mental illness we may have. The older I get the more I’m learning to cut myself a break, I don’t expect my beautiful kids to be perfect I teach them to just try their best, so in teaching them that nobody is perfect, how could I possibly expect myself to be perfect?

We go through this cycle of blaming ourselves, feeling like shit, writhing in guilt, and over and over again. Let’s just chill out, if it’s our fault then say sorry or make a gesture to fix things, if it’s not our fault then accept that sometimes people act stupidly and sometimes it truly has nothing to do with us, it just is. Assign blame only where it should be assigned and even then, be careful, blame is a hazardous thing when dealt with too often, like most negative things.

So hopefully I will continue to relax and learn what is worth the worry and that most things truly aren’t worth the worry. Let’s cut ourselves a break hey people!

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