mckarlie

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

Picking at repressed memories

I’ve found myself in a crisis this last week, and it’s mainly because i picked the proverbial scab of repressed memories and didn’t take the care necessary when doing such a thing.

One of the problems of being bipolar is you sometimes feel like you can take on the world, invincible. This is when you are ‘up’ of course, when you’re down it’s a whole different story.

For a very long time I knew that ‘bad things’ had happened when my Mother was married to her first husband, but that’s as far as I would let myself think about it. I wouldn’t identify with sexual assault victims, I didn’t class myself as a victim of sexual assault, I didn’t recall the details of what had happened, I just knew that something went on and that I didn’t want to know about it.

Recently when I started writing, a poem pretty much fell out of me, it was a detailed account of one of the visits my ex Stepfather paid to my room as a child. At first I felt strangely numb then empowered, I was slightly manic at the time I wrote it and decided to confront the whole thing head on, believing it would define me as strong.

I would urge anyone considering such things to do so with great caution, it’s true that we have to eventually deal with any repressed issues if we’re going to gain happiness but do so carefully. I decided I was super human and not only recalled all of the abuse but I wrote a letter to my Mother talking about it, wrote poems about it, thought about the details at great length, analyzed it all and then SNAP, it overwhelmed me and I spiraled out of control and wound up in the hospital on suicide watch.

I’m still feeling pretty weak, leaving the house is hard at the moment and I feel kind of empty and sad, but I’m piecing myself back together. The flashbacks are pretty intense and at the moment it’s just a matter of distracting myself when they happen, but with each day I get a little stronger than what I was a week ago and I feel a little more able to deal with what happened to me and the memories that are drowning my brain.

So for anyone dealing with similar issues, do tread carefully. Know your limits and be careful not to dig too far too fast, it’s a very brave thing to confront your issues so don’t get carried away like I did, thinking the more you do the faster you do it the better a person you are, it just doesn’t work like that and you will end up out of your depth and in trouble. The way I felt when I went to the hospital last week is something I wouldn’t wish upon any person, even those who have harmed me in the past, I was desperately and devastated and barely tethered to my sanity, each moment of being hurt, and it was through my own actions that it happened.

I’m not beating myself up for what I did, I’ve learned my lesson and am sharing it in hope that anyone else currently going through this kind of thing can learn from it too. Dealing with it at all makes you strong, don’t try to rush ahead of where you are, go slowly and remember that you are the victim, these things were done to you and you did nothing to deserve it.

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Can paying it forward help depression?

I think it can, yes. I have suffered from depression for 20 years, since i was a child. When I was younger I would accept my fate and just go with it, I wouldn’t fight it, why bother right? I’m depressed, the last thing I felt like doing was challenging myself in any way. I would just sink further and further into my own sad little hole of woe.

I would issue a challenge to those who are depressed and feel stuck in a rut, do something nice for someone else, take the focus off yourself for just a brief amount of time. The fact of it is, at any given moment there are millions of us in pain, there are so so many people wanting to end it cause life just hurts so much, each moment feeling endless in it’s grief. Now i’m not saying to live by comparison, as each person’s pain and each person’s story is just as valid as the next persons whether one seems more severe than the other, it’s all valid. However, by going out of our way to do something nice for someone else we are putting positivity out into the world, whether it be something very small like opening a door for someone or buying a friend a coffee or offering someone lunch if you know they’re low on funds, whatever you can do, do it. It’s so easy to get completely wrapped up in ourselves and our pain when we are low, but by stepping out of it briefly and making someone else’s day a little better, we are breaking the cycle. You wont always receive the positive reaction it deserves but don’t be put off by this, more often than not acts of kindness are a surprise and are well received.

So once a day, try one little thing for someone else, anything you can do without cutting into your own welfare or funds too much. I’m a person who gets a buzz from giving and sharing so I benefit from this more than some perhaps, but I still think it can help. Those who are bipolar like I am will know it’s easy to be generous and share when you’re ‘up’, but I’ve been trying my best to do it when I’m down as well, it really does help break the cycle.

All the best everyone, peace 🙂

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Trying blindly

I feel as though I’m invisible no matter how much I try

I feel as though I’m laughed at and it makes me want to cry

All I want to do is help and heal each others pain

But most they find me odd you see as I don’t play the game

I don’t say one thing to a person’s face, another behind their back

I don’t act passive aggressively and pick up others slack

If I have a feeling or a motive I feel I make it clear

This isn’t the kind of person that most people want to be near

I feel a little sorry for myself yes I guess it’s true

But it’s only because all I tried to do was simply to help you

And people either back away or take until you’re spent

I’ve written so many letters which will always stay unsent

I want to share my feelings but I stop and make a track

‘Cause once you share a feeling there’s no way to take it back

And I have learned that most are best when inside goes unsaid

Most people just want chit chat, their life to be unshared

So I will keep on trying and hurting as I do

If you know someone who sounds like me, they probably just care for you

So maybe you could try a little bend and open up

“Cause if you keep it all inside then one day you’ll have had enough

You’ll look around to find a friend to find an open ear

And maybe when that time does come such a person will be nowhere near

 

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Fight for your happy

She floats through life in constant pain

She bathes in memories, stays the same

Flashes come and flashes go

She’ll never admit all that she knows

When she was little he had his way

It sometimes happened every day

Touched in a way no child should be

Haunted to this day by the depravity

Then her next “Father” he liked to hit

It chipped away at her bit by bit

She kept calling out for her Mother

But her Mother would never bother

So she accepted that she was worthless

She gave up on life and all it’s tests

She merely accepted her illness

And her absolute lack of wellness

She forgot she had the option to fight

She forgot to try for what was right

It all got lost along the way

She made plans for another day

A day that would never, ever come

Because she felt broken and undone

Until one day she remembered her voice

And on that day she made a choice

To take her stories lay them bare

Not caring of others would mock or stare

She shined a light right deep down

And found that people gathered ’round

To also tell tales and comment and share

She found that others truly care

And from the shackles she finally shook

All the broken pieces they took

And wiped herself clean shiny new

It’s something that was hard to do

And still she struggles to this day

But she has found a different way

Take the darkness and shine a light

And for your own happiness, you must fight

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To make a place that’s home

It makes me sad to see others hurting and alone

I wish I could make you believe it’s ok, you don’t have to do it on your own

But we all build walls around us, we think it keeps us safe

But walls also keep things in and others out, it’s such a waste

We miss many opportunities to connect with one another

You don’t have to be born of blood to be a sister or a brother

If we share our stories unburden our pain

Each others trust and friendship we gain

But walls are all around us, keep us tightly locked away

We whittle away the years, avoiding what we dare not say

So maybe it’s something to consider, something of which to think

Next time you’re feeling all alone and desperate, on the brink

Pull down a few bricks and male a hole for others to peek through

Then we can really help each other, so let the world see you

I know it takes a little trust and sometimes trust is sparse

But we have more in common than you think, all you have to do is ask

There’s no point feeling isolated, feeling all alone

When we can help each other, to make a place that’s home

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Come my friend

Hello my friend come sit by me

And tell me of your story

I want to know all about it

So go on, let it out

We all seem to move in silence

Troubled by past pain and violence

The things that happen when we’re small

Follow us till we’ve grown big and tall

The seeds were planted long ago

Years later does the damage show

 

So come my friend, sit by me

I truly want to know your story

Horrors bury themselves so deep

That slowly out they tend to creep

We think that we are crazier than most

Haunted by past events like a ghost

But if we share with one another

We can share the same arbor

You don’t have to be alone in pain

More than you realize, we are the same

 

So come my friend, I really care

Come sit by me and really share

Maybe we can find some peace

Maybe the loneliness will finally cease

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Friend in time

So many people all alone

Shuffling past each other like the dead

People who feel like they’re not their own

In agony within their own head

Why can’t we help each other heal

Tell each other how we feel

Truly reach out and relate

Our loneliness would alleviate

But some people seem determined

To remain alone and burdened

When misery is all you know

It somehow becomes your own safe home

I want to reach out to the world

To help each other become unfurled

But some feel like it’s all too soon

Some just think I’m a raving loon

For trying to reach out, it’s not what I am about

I’m just a girl who’s sad

Who doesn’t want to feel so bad

Who wants to find a way

For all of us to say

What’s on our minds and share our pain

With help from others we can gain

Freedom with a little time

I’ll be your friend if you’ll be mine

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Being down and pulling yourself out

I’m bipolar, I’m the kind of bipolar where I have major depressive episodes followed by shorter periods of being well, “extremely bubbly” – even when i’m down i can still have a good day here or there, and when i’m up i can still have a bad day here or there, but usually, i’m one or the other.

I woke up this morning in one of those moods, not the worst kind of darkness where you can barely function or eat or shower or get out of bed, just the standard depressed feeling, down, blue, in a funk. I have learned recently that while in this state, we have a great deal more power over ourselves than perhaps we lead ourselves to believe. For years I just accepted, I’m depressed, this is part of being depressed and i just went with the flow, I spent a lot of time avoiding my issues and not thinking about the negative things that have happened in my past, i smoked a lot of pot at night to avoid thinking about these things (for some reason things tend to get worse at night for me), and i guess i just accepted whatever mood i found myself in, wishing for happiness but not chasing it, not making an effort to actually attain happiness myself.

I think we need to give ourselves more credit than we do, when we get that feeling like we’re low and we don’t want to face the world, well this morning, against all my instincts i ended up getting out of the house and going shopping with a girlfriend, and now because i’ve been out in the sun and had social interactions, i’m not fully recovered or fully out of my funk, but i’m feeling a darn site better than i did earlier today.

So, when you’re low and not wanting to face the world or people in general, give yourself a kick in the backside and give it a chance. Choose someone that you don’t have to be dazzling around, someone who is ok if you’re a bit quiet or withdrawn, and do something simple and just get out, i promise you will feel more in control of yourself and thus better.

When I read about people feeling low or see it for myself, I just want to wrap the person in cotton wool and assure them it will be alright, i wear my heart on my sleeve and genuinely care how others are feeling, and for this reason i really hope this hits home with at least one person, because i’m 32 and i’m only just figuring this stuff out. i thought for so long that i was a victim and my illness is something terrible happening to me and i had little control, but you have more than you’d think. I wish everyone all the best with their own mental health struggles, and offer an ear to anyone experiencing something similar.

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Bipolar and how it owns me

They say you are not your illness, but that’s hard to swallow when it affects pretty much every aspect of your life and day to day goings on. i just went for a walk around the lake with my friend, we did two laps and chatted away. it’s amazing how when i’m down, things like that seem impossible, just going to the grocery store for milk and bread seems like an insurmountable task, it’s in those moments i feel completely owned by my illness.

When i’m down, it’s only when i push myself and do the ‘normal’ things like coffee with a friend or dinner out with people or whatever it may be, that i get glimpses of happiness and peace. It gets easy to make excuses for myself, and there are the times that i am literally so low all i can do is just breathe and function on a very basic level, but then there’s the rest of the time, which is most of the down time, where i do have SOME control over what i do and im learning it’s only when we push ourselves that we gain any rewards from life, it’s only when stepping outside our comfort zone are we met with untold happiness.

A few weeks ago i would never have imagined that i would even acknowledge the sexual abuse that took place when i was aged between 7-9, let alone publish a poem about it AND do a reading of said poem, and it was painful to do, but in publishing it and putting it out there for all the world to see, i took the power back, i took the power back from all the negativity that breeds when holding such secrets inside.

People who don’t have a mental illness often get frustrated with us that do, they think we can just snap out of it, CHOOSE to be happy instead of sad, etc – well, sometimes, we truly can’t, but maybe sometimes we have more control over our mood or our actions than we’re allowing ourselves to believe? Just maybe, we are the ones responsible and we are the ones that have to own our own happiness. I had come to accept that I am bipolar, therefore i’m just going to feel shit a lot of the time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that, not for a good portion of the time.

I’m hoping that the next time i’m truly down and if i appear to be stuck and feeling sorry for myself, someone reminds me of this post. I’ve been pushing myself since i started writing again and the rewards have been amazing, if i knew how empowering this would be i would have done it years ago, and shining a light on my issues instead of hiding them away or smoking pot to numb myself has proven so beneficial, i DO have some power over my own life, and it’s such a great feeling.

 

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Into the fold

When you fall so far down, each moment’s filled with pain

You swear the sadness will never end, you’ll never be the same

Just remember others out there, are feeling the same way

Try to take a deep breath and on your pillow lay

And hold onto the good things, few as they may seem

I know each moment hurts so much, it’s somewhere that I’ve been

Don’t try so hard to make it right

Just breath and hold onto your light

For as dark as it now shows

All the demons in the shadows

There is light for all of us

Love and beauty, health and trust

If you ever come close to the end, there’s always someone to be a friend

Just look around, there’s many others

Who’ve problems with their fathers mothers

Who’ve suffered abuse or harm untold

Let’s bring each other into the fold

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