mckarlie

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

What effect do you have on others and do you give a shit?

I’ve recently been taking more chances, I stepped out of my comfort zone and pitched a few articles for a mainly mens site as they advertised for writers. The way it works is they have a forum, with different threads and areas for different stages of pitch and editorial. You post your pitch to the thread and then a moderator or administrator responds with feedback on how it could be improved and then it gets discussed at their meeting and either more feedback is given or it moved forward for publishing.

The problem with this forum format is that every man and his dog has access to your pitch, and there are some heavy egos in play in this place. They have a “karma” system where people give and take karma depending on whether they like what you say, I’ve been a member for just over a week and i’m currently minus 7 karma, haha! It’s all because I dared be a female with an opinion. I made a pitch, albeit not my best work but I was just having a crack, and a few douchebags jumped all over me. They were really harsh about it and basically were begging for moderator approval themselves. The fact is, they aspire to be a moderator and feel they should give ‘advice’ when the fact is they haven’t even had any articles published themselves. Crazy right? One of them came in and told me the title sucked, the material is overdone and my sources were shit. I said hey, that’s pretty harsh and a shitstorm erupted.

Since then, there have been some lovely people comment on the post and some really truly terrible people comment on the post, and it makes me wonder – how much do we think/care about how what we say and do affects other people?

My main issue with the site was that the “advice” i was being given was done so in a belittling fashion, he then claimed that he was just a writer trying to discuss ideas with another writer but that isn’t what happened. It’s about their egos, and let’s remember how hard it is to create something and put your ideas out there AT ALL, it’s horrifying lol and to have people be SO negative about it is just unnecessary.

I’ve noticed most people tend to fall into one of two categories – some people are self aware and think about how they affect other people, and genuinely care. This is not to say they don’t mess up sometimes and hurt other people, but generally they tend to be mindful of people’s feelings and keep a track of how they make people feel. And then there’s the people who have self esteem issues and feel it necessary to bring others down to make themselves feel big and strong. They come in swinging their big opinions round like a dick in the wind and make sure they let you know that they’re better than you somehow.

How many people do you know that are the latter? It’s not something that’s specific to men, women do it just as much but in this particular scenario I’ve been dealing primarily with men. It’s their boys club and I’m a crazy emotional bitch for standing up for myself.

I often muse over why we can’t all just get along, I’ve written quite a few posts about this. I truly believe if we are all a little more self aware and try to care just a little more about others, than the world would be so much better than it is. Sure, we all have our issues, I’m bipolar, i have social anxiety and i was abused as a kid. I have self esteem issues and don’t feel good enough sometimes, but I try not to take that out on other people, i try not to make others feel small to make myself feel better.

Maybe you’re someone who does this but doesn’t realize, that’s why i think it’s important for all of us to take a step back sometimes and just think about how we act, how we treat people and what motivates us. That’s really key, what’s behind our actions? It’s what i’ve been using to try and combat my bipolar, sometimes it’s hard to draw a line in the sand and know what behaviours are mine and what behaviours are stemming from the bipolar, so i step back and analyze what and why, try to figure out if i’m being reasonable or if it’s my condition acting on my behalf. If we all did this, we would make more of a positive impact than a negative one, and just imagine how much nicer life would be if our interactions were more positive than negative.

Advertisements
12 Comments »

Just stop for a moment

Sometimes I feel like i’m standing in the middle of the world’s busiest motorway, cars whizzing and whirling past me, wind blowing me backwards and forwards in a violent sway. Cars honking at each other to hurry up or slow down or move over or move round, DOOF DOOF DOOF from the subwoofers that people install in their vehicles because standard bass just isn’t enough. Constant chatter from everywhere around me, negative thoughts and mantras stuck in my head like glue, my brain a gelatinous magnate that attracts such thoughts like flies to a corpse. Sometimes I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs ‘why can’t we all just get along’ – a thought to which people roll their eyes or turn up their turny uppy noses. We live in a world where if there isn’t a fight people will find one, even if you agree on a point a person can find a way in which you agree differently and thus have a problem with each other. When the fuck did everyone become so hard and unwilling to bend? When did we all become so concerned with our causes and making sure everyone knows our thoughts on our causes and bending others to our own will?

Some might say that life is hard and to suck it up and get on with it, but i choose not to live life that way. Life is hard, but life is also beautiful and amazing at times and if we could focus a little less on shouting our opinions and forcing our points and maybe listen to what’s going on around us, listen to what other people have to say, life would be less like grating a piece of steel wool and more like it’s meant to be. Maybe we could have more positive encounters than negative.

I don’t go out looking for a fight but if one is thrown at me I will defend myself accordingly. But the fact that I have to do this is taxing, social media has given people just the right amount of anonymity to purge their opinions and thoughts and feelings on perfect strangers and act as if it’s their given right. If the devil is real he created facebook, never has such passive aggression and general whining come together in one place in such a way that it makes me want to not have any “friends” at all. I’d rather watch my cat lick itself than spent an afternoon on facebook, it seems far more productive and much healthier for my social well being.

Some people are just intent on being negative, in finding the bad in any given situation. If that’s you, then FINE, be as you are, just don’t shit on my doorstep and call me a hippie because I give a fuck about other people. Roll your eyes and call me your names because it makes you feel better, it makes you feel like you have some semblance of control in what is in fact a big old cluster fuck of randomness and the only control we have is over ourselves, how we act and how we treat other people. What we contribute to society and what we take away is completely up to us, if people treat you miserably it’s probably because you are miserable. Given, I sometimes feel like I’m not treated fairly but then I realize I’m feeling sorry for myself and when I actually think about what is the root of someone’s motivation if anything it’s apathy as opposed to callousness. But we take exception and get offended over so many little things that we just don’t need to stress ourselves over.

The human brain exists in such a way that we used to have to fight for survival. Shelter, food, these things were never guaranteed, so as we evolved we had to be mindful of how to survive. Now, in today’s current society, most of us do have a roof over our head and enough food to get by so that part of the brain goes searching for something, and a lot of the time what it finds is a fight where there isn’t one. The urge to defend ourselves from something that isn’t an attack, the urge to be heard when all we need to do is speak, not scream and flail about like our lives depend on everyone hearing our thoughts.

I try to have positive experiences with people but sometimes it’s like pissing up a flagpost. Nothing good can come of it and you end up covered in your own pee. I do truly wish everyone could just get along but I have my brain stem connected and realize this is never going to happen, but I do genuinely think it could happen on smaller scales if people just chilled out, put themselves in the other person’s shoes and showed some grace and thoughtfulness when interacting with other people.

 

8 Comments »

Who cares when you can’t?

I think this is a common thing amongst those of us who suffer from a mental illness. The feeling that we are misunderstood, no one quite gets us, we are alone in our pain. We end up isolating ourselves and shutting in our feelings because we have learned through past experience or have just generally assumed that sharing these feelings will just alienate us from friends and family.

So here we end up, dealing with this mental illness while feeling alone and isolated, the worst possible position to be in while dealing with a mental illness. But then a lot of us have had an experience where we have shared a little or a lot with someone, where someone has said ‘you can tell me anything’ and you tell them anything and inadvertently they shy away or find themselves overwhelmed with what you’ve told them. The fact of it is, you CAN share with people and it’s the healthiest thing for you to do, but you have to choose wisely. I don’t mean to segregate people into us and them, but people who don’t suffer from any form of mental illness can be as understanding as understanding can be, but they can never truly empathize because it’s impossible to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes unless you’ve worn the same pair.

If you have a friend who is bipolar or suffers depression or agoraphobia or schizophrenia or any manner of illness, it may not be the same as yours but there is commonly overlapping symptoms, and you will probably find greater understanding from such a person than those who are not afflicted by any mental disorder. If you don’t have any such friends then find a psychologist, write a blog, find a forum or any number of things, there are people out there just like you and connecting with each other can only help. They say misery loves company, which i find untrue, when i’m miserable i lock myself away from the world, but in misery understands misery, so there may be some truth to it.

When we give up on sharing or letting our feelings out, it breeds more discontent, we are unable to heal and things just stagnate or get worse and worse until things spiral out of control. It’s scary, and i spent years locking my feelings away to myself and isolating myself from others like me, cancelling on friends all the time and having them get so annoyed with me that a lot of them just gave up inviting me places in the first place, i never told anyone why, i just kept it all inside and it nearly ate me alive from the inside out.

So take a leap of faith, if you have a story, share it, if you have questions or just want to vent, do it. Just being heard can bring such a sense of peace, it’s amazing and liberating and I’ve finally started the healing journey, as healing isn’t an overnight thing, it’s a journey and happens in inches and feet and you fall backwards sometimes but if you keep yourself open to others and keep trying to move forward, you will eventually get where you need to be.

4 Comments »

From rock bottom to…..something else

It’s hard to believe it was just a few weeks ago I was in hospital on suicide watch, every moment hurt to just be, it was pretty dire. For 25 years I had known terrible things had happened with my first stepfather, but i kept it buried deep and by drudging it all up at once i overwhelmed myself and ended up drowning in trauma.

In hindsight I feel a little silly for thinking i could take it on without consequences, there’s a reason it was buried, my sub conscious was looking out for me in it’s own backwards way, so when i dug it up and thought about the details and talked about it often and openly, it all became too much and i hit rock bottom. That place most of us know, those of us with a mental illness. It creeps in the shadows like a monster in the closet, it’s a place we don’t want to go away but it’s always in the back of our minds that we will be there again. Rock bottom is not a fun place, it’s despair and turmoil and pain, so much pain, and it hurts so much that it feels impossible to go on.

But, you go on. If you’re truly worried about harming yourself and/or ending things, you check yourself in somewhere and tell people, let people know that you’re close to the edge, they’ll hold you back from falling temporarily while you need them to. I’m going on holiday soon and it’s been a while since we’ve been on a holiday, i’ll be sitting by the beach soaking up the sun and the fact that not long ago i could barely hold onto my life will be but a distant memory. But it does leave it’s scars, every time we visit that place i think it takes a little bit of us away, and we have to fight to get it back. I spent a couple of weeks treading water after my episode, and i’ve been a lot quieter on my blog than usual, which i know is the opposite of what i should be, because the more i write and share the better i get. so this is just that, an update if you will.

I’ve had so much encouragement and support from some of you, it’s meant a lot to me. I adore all you wonderful broken beautiful people, broken just like me. But there’s nothing wrong with being broken, this is something i’ve come to learn, so long as you are trying to be the best version of yourself, then the rest are just details.

So for anyone near rock bottom, i hope you hold on. I’m not far past it and life is good. I’m not at full capacity but i’m happy enough. I can’t say I’m happy, because that’s a work in progress, ultimate goal if you will, but i’m happy enough and that’s a good place to be. everything can change so quickly, we can be so miserable and pained one week and a few weeks later the world looks a lot different. there’s always the exhausted treading water phase after such an episode but that’s necessary, it takes a physical emotional and mental toll on a person being that low.

Peace 🙂

11 Comments »

How much does our happiness depend on those around us?

Yesterday I read a blog urging us to take ownership of our own happiness, not to try to meet the needs of others but meet our own needs and get happy with ourselves. This made me think about how much my happiness depends on how the relationships in my life are going, what state they are in, and how this is dysfunctional.

I have put a lot of stock in trying to make others happy, the more happy i feel i’m making others the more happy i feel myself, while not actually being happy WITH myself. I know a lot of people with bipolar or depression are more sensitive to the relationships in their lives so I wonder how many other people are doing this, trying to ‘feel’ happy by meeting other peoples needs as opposed to being introspective and dealing with ourselves and our own true happiness.

Ultimately, making ourselves happy and being happy with ourselves is a difficult thing to do. For a lot of us, we have had trauma in the past and have a lot of issues to work through, we have low self esteem because of events that have happened so being happy with ourselves seems an abstract concept, something that will happen one day when i’m old. I always figured i was doing the right thing because they tell you that making others happy is a good thing, but when you do it in place of taking care of yourself, it’s more of a coping mechanism than truly giving.

I have had many many friendships in my life and have a gazillion facebook friends but only a small handful of real friends, i feel quite lonely a lot of the time.When things are going well with my friends and they seem happy with me and we are talking often and interacting, i feel better about myself. When we aren’t interacting as much and i perceive there to be a possible issue or potential problem, i let it fester and it affects my whole outlook on life. If i were truly happy with myself then my mood would be more stable independent of what state my relationships were in, i would of course care if there were a problem with a friend but it wouldn’t affect me as much as it does now.

Realizing that i do this is only the first step, I’ve only recently dug up repressed memories of sexual abuse that occurred 25 years ago, and still have a planet of issues to deal with around my mother’s second husband and the way he physically mentally and emotionally abused me along with the abandonment issues i have with my mother herself. I feel like i’m a teeny tiny person standing at the foot of a great big mountain with no climbing equipment, but i have will, and to be completely cliche, where there’s a will there’s a way.

I wonder just how many of us deflect our own happiness in this way, because looking at this great big mountain is scary shit, and it would be easier not to do it, but the blog i read yesterday was right, i have to get happy with myself. Once I’m happy with myself i think i’ll have a lot less issues with my friends because i wont be putting that pressure on myself and them for things to be ‘perfect’ all the time.

I’m interested in thoughts and opinions on this so please feel free to share if you have anything to say.

11 Comments »

Do you feel completely alone and misunderstood?

I think one of the biggest challenges with having a mental illness is that we keep so much locked away. We worry that if we share what’s inside people will ostracize us and quite often, it’s true. I think all of us have had an experience where we’ve had a friend tell us ‘you can tell me anything’ and when we give them a glimpse of what’s going on underneath, they pull away or it overwhelms them.

The fact of it is, if you haven’t been through similar experiences with mental illness, it does freak people out. It does overwhelm people, and it’s not their fault, people want to be good friends and want to know us well because that’s how people bond, but when we have an experience where we put ourselves out there and share with someone who hasn’t necessarily experienced something similar, and it ends up pushing them away, it makes us build walls around us.

I’ve had a few experiences where i’ve had a ‘good’ friend who has sensed something was wrong and has asked me to open up and share, only to back away when i’ve done so. It hurts so much to bear your soul only to feel rejected, and it’s only with a bit of age and experience that i’ve learned that it’s not their fault, people do generally have good intentions but it just isn’t something a person can understand without experiencing it.

My husband doesn’t suffer any manner of mental illness, he’s felt ‘blue’ on occasion, he has mood swings within the ‘normal’ realm of human behaviour, but as far as mental health goes he’s a picture of wellness. He’s quiet, deals with things as they come and doesn’t really have any kind of inner turmoil. It’s taken over ten years for him to understand what goes on with me. he’s the only ‘non mental’ person i trust to tell what’s really going on with me but like i said, it took years for us to get to a place where he really understood my mental illness.

The problem with keeping all of our issues and turmoil locked away is that we never truly deal with it, we convince ourselves that we are ‘too crazy’ or crazier than everyone else and that sharing what’s going on would only alienate us from others and compound our problems. After being burnt from sharing my issues, I spent many years locking it all away and refusing to let anyone know what was going on beneath the surface, convinced it would just end badly and end friendships. The truth of it is, when we share with others who have had similar experiences, when we relate to others and feel understood by others, it helps more than I can express. We can start to gain the strength to confront our issues when we feel less alone in our pain, and it’s only by confronting our issues and our past and shining a light into all of those dark hidden places, that we will ever gain any kind of true peace. We can take meds and have good patches but when your mental illness is due to or in conjunction with past issues and trauma, you will never be able to move forward without dealing with these issues, and it’s almost impossible to deal with them alone.

So, for anyone feeling alone right now, like no one understands or just that you’re scared to share because you don’t want to be rejected, I urge you to find the ‘right’ person, not necessarily your best friend, not necessarily your neighbour, but you can find someone on wordpress who has been through what you have been through, not exactly perhaps, but something similar enough to gain understanding.

I started this blog a couple of months ago and the progress I have made with my own past and struggles has been more than I’ve made in the past 15 years. It’s amazing to me, I opened up and started being as honest as I could be, decided to put it all out there and literally in two months I have healed more than I have in the past 15 years. It’s all because I’ve been able to connect with others who are like minded and have suffered similar shit to me.

I have received training as a counselor, so if you want an ear and the anonymity of a relative stranger, feel free to email me at mckarliebear@gmail.com – i will reply to any emails i get. If you want advice or just to tell your story, I’m happy to listen and be there for you. It doesn’t have to be me, just find someone who has been through something similar to you and try to share, I can’t tell you how much it will help.

A lot of us think we will never be free of our burdens, but only we can heal ourselves, and it takes hard work and effort and we need to be brave. But the first step is opening up, knocking down some of those walls that we’ve built around ourselves to keep it all out, but by keeping the world out we also keep ourselves locked in, and we wont get anywhere that way. 

So many suicides could have been avoided if people didn’t feel so alone and hopeless in their lives, if they could have had someone say ‘i know exactly how you feel’ and related to them. I am bipolar, only diagnosed a year and a bit ago, until then I was told I suffered depression and anxiety. I was sexually abused as a child, then physically abused by my Mother’s second husband, I was then abandoned by my Mother and spent years abusing alcohol and drugs and partaking in dysfunctional sexual relationships. So if you want to share or talk, then please feel free.

Peace

12 Comments »

Lost and Unsure

I have this pain inside my soul

And my heart it has a gaping hole

I try and try to fill it up

But nothing seems to be quite enough

I fall so far I can’t see day

I fall so deep I lose my way

I wish that I could figure out

What this life is truly about

I try to be kind and share my love

I’ve tried to be aloof and watch from above

 

I have tried all different ways

To make it through my twisted days

But it feels like I’m lost in an endless haze

 

I hold onto pain from my past

I worry for all of my days it will last

All I want is love and family

But it would seem it’s not destined for me

I need to know what I’m about

I need to let the grief flow out

But I lock it down deep in my heart

I want to heal but don’t know where to start

One day I hope I’ll find the peace

And soothe the inner savage beast

That haunts me from the inside out

It tears me up it, I hear it shout

I cry out for some piece of mind

I hope and pray one day I’ll find

25 Comments »

Little Tree

I sway in the wind like a limp little tree

Watching as the world passes by me

I sink my roots deep down in the ground

Searching for things that cannot be found

Searching for something to heal my pained mind

But a limp little tree, such things cannot find

I wave around for someone to see me

I stretch out wide and high in futility

Silently screaming for someone to hear

And maybe plant a little tree somewhere near

It’s been winter for a thousand days

After a while you run out of ways

To find the things you need

To find the food to feed

But someone came and watered me

I burst with life and strength instantly

I’m still just a limp, little tree

But now I have some fight in me

4 Comments »

Bipolar makes relationships so freakin hard

I think it’s the bipolar, i’m sure within myself i see the grey area and am fairly open minded, but bipolar can make things very black or white. My husband and I have been together for 13 years, we have been struggling a bit of late, but the last few months have been really great. I have been trying my absolute best and hardest to make things work and he has been putting in a lot of effort too, but when something comes up and i try to talk to him about it, i get a brick wall. He turns things around and tries to make me the bad guy, i’m not trying to make anyone the bad guy i’m just trying to talk, but i don’t know how much more i can take of this, we haven’t been on truly steady ground for a while now and i wonder just how far down the rabbit hole i’d fall if he wasn’t around. But I don’t know how much longer we can tread water, something’s got to give.

I think my bipolar has affected me in a way in which I am going to be a lonely person, people don’t flock around me as i share my opinions too freely, i don’t edit myself enough i just say what i think, and i can understand how this puts people off side. i have a handful of close friends but there’s only so far a friendship can go, there’s only so much of each others shit you will put up with in a friendship, so yeah, i’m feeling pretty alone.

He’s sitting out there in the lounge right now with the kids, i can’t bare to be in the same room with him at the moment because it makes me want to cry, so i’m hiding away in the bedroom writing and watching tv. Surely my kids have sussed that something is wrong, we usually all do things together, i don’t know what to do.

I’ve cancelled plans we had for today because there’s no way either of us can put a smile on our faces and make it through a social occasion, we aren’t even talking to each other i don’t feel like talking to everyone else and pretending everything is great.

I wonder if i was born with bipolar or if all the messed up shit that happened to me caused it, part of me thinks it’s the latter and i get angry at the people that did those things to me when i was young. i get angry at my mother for letting it happen ’cause now i’m a broken human who can’t make relationships work and who feels completely isolated from the world. Anyway, just my rant, it’s best to get this stuff out.

12 Comments »

Be a lover

Beneath the skin and flesh and bone, we are all the same

But due to expectations some feel inadequate and plain

Others feel not smart enough, not witty or not bright

Others don’t feel they fit in, they never feel quite right

We shuffle past one another, looking at our feet

Before we even wage a battle we often accept defeat

Rely on a diagnosis as a reason not to try

On our illness we get comfortably numb and on this we rely

Let’s start to look each other in the eye as we walk by

Let’s ask each other how they’re doing, can I help you try?

In small steps we can amount, and truly make a change

Let’s not get stuck for ever but help each other turn the page

Let’s connect and truly care and show vulnerability

It’s not the easier path to choose but it’s the one of sensibility

To input a little good, into this messed up world

Together we can emerge from our pain and become unfurled

I know it seems an impossible task, the world seems too far gone

But one by one the little things can change what’s really wrong

We can’t obtain world peace but we can certainly help each other

So let’s make an effort to turn around, don’t be a fighter be a lover

2 Comments »