mckarlie

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

When does supporting become enabling?

It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself from observing those closest to us. Recently, as my two girls have merged into ‘tween’ territory (i have great disdain for the word “tween” but it is what it is) and i have found myself navigating their moods much like a minefield. I empathize with their plight i truly do, they have these immense moods where they simply can’t control themselves, they are sad for no particular reason or aloof and distant just because, difficult and bitchy – a lot of which i am myself at times, and i consider these traits those of my ‘bipolar self’. Either way, i get what they’re going through and try to be as supportive as i can be, but then there comes a time where sweetness isn’t what’s called for, sometimes you have to get a little tough and call them on their bullshit. Not often, but sometimes. All this makes me question the relationships that people have with their mentally ill loved ones.

I’m not claiming that all mentally ill people are bitchy and aloof and distant, i can only speak for myself and my observations of loved ones but there are definitely some parallels between a lot of mental illnesses and the effects of puberty on the young brain.

My chappy and i have been dealing with my illness together for over 13 years, i have always wondered if i would have the strength to stay with me if i were him and i probably wouldn’t but he has stayed with me through my lowest of lows and haziest of craziest days. He isn’t an emotional person by any stretch but he does his best to support me, but it has occurred to me that support can very easily slither into enabling a person not to try or be better or be brilliant. Sometimes we need our loved ones to kick us in the arse when we’re unable to see our own silliness, which then poses the question: when do you decide to stop supporting and start well, ‘motivating’?

I know for myself, that at times my mental illness means that i simply can’t function very well. I do the basic bare minimum and just get by. Some days it takes all my strength to just exist, it may sound lame but it’s true. Sometimes the sadness and grief and emptiness compounds so desperately that i feel i might not make it.
Then other times, i’m down but not out but i lack any semblance of motivation. I could quite easily stay on the sofa for a month at these times, if i wasn’t a mum and partner, if i lived by myself i sometimes wonder what state i’d be in at times. So basically, i think we need to learn what is what with our loved one. We need to figure out when they are just so low that they need nothing but our love and support, and when they are just down and need us to help pull them out with some form of motivation.When we need to hold them and tell them it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be whatever you need to be and when we need to say ‘hey, get your butt off the couch’. It may sound almost impossible but it’s amazing what can be accomplished with communication and observation, i most certainly don’t always get it right myself but i’m trying my best and that’s all any of us can do.

peace xo

Advertisements
8 Comments »

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

8 Comments »

suicide: the saddest solution

after doing my usual morning routine i sat down to read that stephen fry attempted suicide last year, and that paris jackson attempted suicide overnight. this makes me so sad. it was a few years ago i watched stephen fry’s documentary the life of the manic depressive, i identified with many of the stories and information so i went to my GP and said “i think i’m bipolar”, he got me to do some flimsy ten question thing and confidently stated ‘no, you’re not bipolar, you still have depression and anxiety’. it wasn’t till i started seeing my psychiatrist about a year ago and did a very long, in depth questionnaire and after doing so sat down with him and he said to me “have you ever suspected that you could be bipolar? because i strongly believe this is what you suffer from” – it was a dark time for me, and having a name for it, an identity for the shadows that stalk me shone a light on the dark places. it didn’t instantly cure me, but it gave me a starting place to learn more about my illness and triggers and tricks. i have always been thankful to stephen fry for being brave enough to make such a documentary, it may have taken a few years for the connection to be made with myself but if i hadn’t of watched it i would have blindly gone along with the wrong diagnosis.

i get the appeal of suicide, i really do. it’s not a place i go often, but i’ve been there more times than i care to admit. sometimes just existing seems to hurt so much that you can’t go on for another minute, it seems a chore just to breathe. you feel so alone and isolated, like nothing could possibly make things ok again, it just hurts so so much. and i know that in these times it can take every bit of strength a person has in them not to give in and quit, because that’s what it is, quitting life.

on the rare occasion i do get that low, it’s my kids that pull me through, i could never do that to them. and i think every one needs to find at least one thing to anchor themselves to, that one thing that makes them want to go on even when it feels like they can’t. i wish i could be there for anyone feeling this kind of pain, just to tell them that it passes, it always passes, it feels impossible right now but it always passes. and it’s only through such empty and sad times that i have come to appreciate any glimpse of happiness i get, any chance to feel good and positive is one that i hold onto for dear life, and when you live for those moments you’ll find yourself paying less attention to the pain.

so, search for happiness. for me it’s the little things, a kind gesture from a friend, an entertaining article, a blog post i really relate to, anything, find happiness wherever you can and focus on that. when the darkness comes, don’t allow it the power to end your life, experience it, hold onto your anchor and you will always make it through.

2 Comments »