Here I am in my shame spiral
I’m sucked in to it again
And I reach out for your opinion
And you bring the light back in

I know you think that you are not able to help me… but you are sometimes the only person who can.

Don’t leave me here with all these critical voices
Cause they do their best to bring me down

I know that you worry about getting pulled down and drowning with me instead of pulling us both up. I worry about that too. But maybe if we both kick in the same direction, we will get each other out together.

Once again in my shame spiral
I am glad that you’ve weighed in

Don’t leave me here with all these critical voices
cuz they do their best to bring me down.
When I’m alone with all these negative voices,
I will need your help to turn them down, turn them round.

I know that this is too much to ask of anyone. I’m sorry that I keep asking so much of you. I don’t want to give in to this pain- I don’t want it to win. I don’t think that I have brought this on myself.

I have bipolar II. Now what? What will my life be? Where will this go?

This moments narratee is a desperate plea for slack to be cut to me

lyrics from the song Spiral by Alanis Morissette

I am Rapunzel

I am Rapunzel…

I cried through the Disney movie Tangled because I am Rapunzel. Mom, that makes you…. I’m sorry… it makes you the witch.

Isn’t it odd when a Disney cartoon is actually the most accurate reflection of your life that you have ever seen?

I just wish it was the happily ever after part that brought up the strong childhood memories… but no, it’s the other part.
The part of the Disney movie where a beautiful young girl is trapped by her own mother’s neediness and narcissism.
Talk about being born wearing a hair shirt….

My mother is the witch… (wow. that hurts to even say.)

I was her baby (the youngest of four children). I kept her young- she told me this often. She would love going out with me and would glow when sales ladies asked if I was her eldest and then looked shocked that she had a daughter ten years older than me. As long as she could show me off as her young prize, she was a young mother.

She has always been so obsessed with her youth- covering up each gray hair and wrinkle with piles of makeup. Yet, never teaching me how to wear make up, always chiding me when I tried, telling me that I was too pretty or too young -I was 18. My mother would rage if you said that she was a year older even a day before her official birthday. She is so obsessed with how things look– never considering how they feel.

Like Rapunzel’s witch, my mother never intended to hurt me, it’s just that my desire to live my own life sparked a rage in her that was stronger than the both of us.

I suppose I always knew that something wasn’t right. But, like Rapunzel, my mother made sure that I had no other relationships to compare this one too. So I assumed it was just my burden to bear in return for all she gave me- she gave me my life and I therefore owed it to her. Now I see…and I can’t bear to speak to her. I’m sorry that it has to be this way.

This video is a montage of my childhood.

She even looks like my mother…

Note the aggressive body language and the finger pointing right in the face- I know that…

Rapunzel does not look comforted by this hug… it looks so familiar, it gives me the chills.

It’s not you, it’s me: An open letter to my friends

Today is World Mental Health Day. I am going to do my part by “coming out” to some friends that I have missed. I am going to share this post (and the truth about my mental illness) with a few good friends who I have lost touch with.

Hi Friend,

I know that I haven’t been in touch enough (or at all) in a year (or two, or three). But I want you to know that I think of you often and wonder how you are doing.

I really hope that I haven’t hurt you by not being there for you when you needed a friend. I know that lots has happened in your life this past while and I am so sorry that I haven’t been there to celebrate and be with you.

I also want you to know that the reason that I have fallen off the face of the earth-as-you-know-it has nothing to do with you. I like you. A lot. I want to be friends. That’s why I am writing you this letter.

As you read through this blog, you will see that I’ve been really sick lately. It’s ok. Please don’t worry. I’ll get better.(I hope.)

I imagine that the connection between my sickness and my inability to be a good friend is clear- but maybe it’s not. One aspect is that it is really hard for me to think ahead and make any social plans because I never know how I may feel the next week. And sometimes when I try to write you a message, I get so nervous and unsure thinking about when I could commit to seeing you that I just delete the draft.

It’s also really hard for me to remember that anyone actually wants to be my friend. Sometimes I forget that I ever had any friends at all.

But when I am able to remember, I miss our friendship and I think about how I will work to rebuild it one day and I hope that you will take me back. I’m just not sure when that will be and I really don’t want to keep messaging you when I feel okay and then letting you down again by disappearing.

So, the purpose of this letter is just to say hi and I’m thinking of you and please don’t take it personally if you have invited me somewhere and I didn’t come. Even if this happened more times than you care to count. In addition to the normal craziness of having a full time job and two small kids, sometimes the pressure of having social plans, even though I want to see you, is just too much for me that in order to protect my anxiety for the week before, I need to turn down invitations that I would love to take. And sometimes I forget what month it is or that time keeps passing in the outside world while I hibernate. And sometimes I just go batshit crazy.

I wish that I could tell you that I’m back and I’m ready to be a reliable friend.

But right now, I’m frustratingly not able to have a day where my crazy doesn’t trump everything else. I know that I’m still no picnic to be around.

But… if you like going out with someone who forgets to brush the back of her hair and gets distracted and confused three times while trying to pay for a bagel, I’m your girl. And if you like coming to someone’s house for coffee and cleaning their kitchen while they shower, before making yourself a coffee, come on by. And if you like making plans with a friend who will not travel to where you are and may or may not cancel for no good reason, I’m here.

Lyla (or whatever you call me…)

My kind of friendship

Why am I still learning that depression is REAL!

So, I sort of realized this afternoon that I was actually really sick the past few weeks/months. I was unwell and I could not remember ever having felt any better. Being sick sucks and it’s reasonable that you aren’t functioning at 100% when you are sick. It’s really hard to be sick for months at a time. But it wasn’t my fault.

I felt so great yesterday. I felt in control of my body and my mind. I felt intelligent. I felt able to take on new projects. I felt ambitious. I felt capable.

But now I’m tired and sleep deprived and getting a cold and so the bell jar is descending again… fuck. fuck. fuck. shit. fuck.

It’s like I can feel myself slipping into the quicksand. I’m laughing too loud. I’m making inappropriate jokes. I’m getting too discouraged.

Yesterday I decided to re-design a website that I had built for a family member. I was going to transform his business and help him make a zillion dollars. I worked on it all night. But now everything just looks like crap and he has not edited his photos properly so that will be another barrier to it actually looking good. And I just want to drop this project and pretend I never even started it. I think I will. Sorry guy.

I should go home and nap. or eat a bag of chips. and a box of cookies. and a case of ice cream. and a pizza. and sushi. and a burger. or maybe nothing.

I guess my doctor was right yesterday when she said that even though I felt good for a whole day, I need to start a mood stabilizer next week. err… so, here we go again on the medication roulette wheel. wish me luck- fingers crossed that i can avoid the killer rash!