I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hey. You in the glasses... ;)

Not all of us are attracted to toned or buff men who are overconfident and tan. People don't think girly blonde girls like nerds... I'm actually more attracted to  slightly chubby Star Wars fanatics than I ever will be to a bro. Found this picture on Pinterest. I thought it kind of played to my analogy. Just call me Rapunzel. Aren't those two so stinkn' cute together.

Just a reminder my loves: In my heart--dweebs. <3

On Mindfulness, Structure, and Where They Fit

This came up in therapy: Mindfulness and Structure.

A description of my train of thought leading to these topics, and the way in which I've decided to apply them to my life, will follow.

I was talking about camp. I talk about camp all the time, because camp is wonderful. Camp is magic to everyone, but I wanted to explore why I am so happy at camp so that I can try to recreate that in the real world. It's a nearly impossible feat, but recreating moments that make sense in my home environment could make my life better.

I noted that at camp things slow down. I'm aware that's an everyone-thing. Nature slows you down. Just smelling camp (the septic tank included), my heart rate slows a little, and parts of my body, which I had been unconsciously tightening, released and the whole of my psyche sighs with relief--slowly, and calmly.

Camp is also a place (nearly) free of technology and social media. My phone is usually glued to my hand. Ignoring it for more than an hour is nearly impossible. Even in class, I have to put it on vibrate in my pocket so I'm aware of emails, facebook notifications, twitter notifications, texts, and calls. Putting it away is hard at first, but eventually, I feel freed. A ball and chain removed. And I'm running, exercising legs--sleeping from the weight of it.

What about those things make me happy? What about nature and the freedom from technology makes me so happy? It is mindfulness. I'm more aware of my body. I can tell you how I'm feeling with greater insight and honesty than I'm willing to give in the "real world." I can experience joy fully without another task hanging over my head; which brings me to my next topic.

I thrive on structure. I'm bipolar, dammit. I need to know when I'm supposed to be present and when I'm supposed to leave. I need to know when each task before me is going to be completed. At camp our time is strictly scheduled, counselors agree on times to complete tasks. I don't even mind volunteering for extra tasks in that kind of environment, because I don't feel intimidated by what's before me. I'm more scared of the things I'll have to face when I get home. But that's the thing: I don't have to face them until I get home.

But when all my work has been done, I need a clean and quite sparse area to calm down at the end of the day. I need ritual to slow down and settle my racing thoughts. (I need my stack to lay flat.) Chapel. At the end of every day, we take the campers to Chapel. I get a lesson. I sing. I hold still. I give kind looks to campers (favorite hobby--I always loved when people smiled at me). This gives me a chance to breathe. Then I go back to my cabin. I definitely prefer the whole area to be clean, but if it's not? I just want my things organized. That's it really. I need to keep myself together. I need to keep my self together. And camp creates a near-perfect environment to put me in a good frame of mind.

In my life. That mindfulness is hard to recreate. My mother lives on crisis. She works well under pressure. She moves quickly, she talks quickly, and she expects that from the people around her. But, although I can do all those things, I cannot do them and remain fully self-aware. I panic in crisis. Under pressure, I crumble. I move too quickly, and it puts me on edge. I talk too fast, and I don't have time to evaluate the things I say before they come out. All of that works for Mom. It just doesn't for me. She was the model I used for even the simplest of behaviors (like putting my clothes away), and it was a model that did not match my own needs.

Elaborating on the prior example: I find that I don't put my clothes away for a long time. The idea of putting them away overwhelms me, and even causes minor physical panic. But why? It's not a difficult task. It doesn't really take that long. But that panic scares me out of the task. I know that as I put my clothes away, I'm going to feel that panic full-force, and I'm scared of it. When I practice self-awareness, I can begin to realize that when I put clothes away, I do it too quickly. I do it sloppily because my muscles tense and I just want to stop; I treat it like a race. The panic will end if I can just finish. And when Mom nags me about it, it gets harder, because the pressure which I've already placed upon myself, has been doubled. Now I need to do it for someone else too.

I'm not mad at Mom for nagging me. I used to think I was. But I wasn't. I was mad at my own suppressed panic that rose to the surface with the reminder. I just wanted to forget it. And sadly, I try to combine those things. I pitifully try to create structure in my home. But everyone has to be in on that, and I just don't live among people who rely on structure the way I do. So I get grumpy and nervous when I'm reminded of the lack of structure. Not because I'm mad at my parents for lacking structure. But because I hate that I get panicked over something so silly. I try to do one thing at a time, because my bipolar mind wants so badly to place everything in order and live a more moderate life. But I live among people who want me to do what needs done when they need it done. In structured, Maddie-Land, we don't do that. We have a detailed to-do list, and no item below those before it is performed. We complete homework before we switch the wash, because we've already done the math to know that it will be done before I leave for my next activity. But here, no one knows when they're leaving. They wing it. Ugh.

But again. It's not their fault. It's a different lifestyle. It's a lifestyle that is almost detrimental to me, though. I cannot ask of someone to change their entire personality to suit my needs. Although I do in my frustration. And this doing of one thing to the next, hinders my ability to achieve mindfulness.  I'm really trying (okay this is the first day I've tried) to carry out my general tasks more thoughtfully. Like making my bed. I'd left it unmade this morning, and I wanted it fixed. I found that it didn't take any more time to do it slowly than it did when I rushed through, hardly breathing. I put away my clothes in that way as well. Again--same time. There's no reason for me to rush. It accomplishes nothing beyond seriously wearing on my mental health. Epiphany much? I got a lot done in my room, actually, because it didn't scare me anymore. Actually. Nothing really scared me.

Well. That's a lie. I'm always scared of things, just like anyone else. I worry about my brother, I worry about my sister, (both of them have a significant amount of my worry these days), I worry about Grandma, I worry that Mom bites off more than she can chew, I worry Jim doesn't feel heard, I worry about the election, and I worry that Kayla's children are going to grow up without me there. Because I miss them so much. And I worry I'm going to fail. But those are all things that feel out of my control. That's reasonable. Worrying about putting away my clothes was irrational; I see that now. But it will get better. Mostly because I'm aware of a significant issue. If I find myself getting irritable or anxious, I know one thing I can do to help myself. There's nothing I can do about the structure. There just isn't. But perhaps if I'm more mindful, then pushing through the discomfort of the uncertainty of my unstructured household will be a little easier.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

"If you don't like gay marriage, then don't get one."

Since it's early, and I haven't had a lot of sleep, and I've had a rough week, I feel like bitching.

I never used to like politics. I had liberal leanings, and I called myself a Democrat because that's what my family was. But I was also raised in Marshall, a small, rural community of primarily Republican (or just plain conservative) folk. I spent a whole lot of my life hating Marshall for that fact. I hated that I felt my values and beliefs were constantly being questioned and attacked. I hated that teachers made me feel stupid for feeling differently than them. I hated that a teacher who said, and I quote, "I just think they should line up all the gays and shoot 'em," remained employed. Mrs. Hasten was one of my favorite teachers because, although we shared different politics, she respected me and my opinions. She was open-minded and kind about it. If I could find a way to share that with her, I would. I may just write her a letter or something, because I've been thinking about that lately.

I didn't care about about politics because if I really educated myself on politics, then I would feel more obligated to defend myself, which I didn't want to do. I'm of a non-confrontational personality, unlike many of my peers. Little did I know, most of them didn't really know what they were talking about either--they just talked anyway because they knew no one would argue with them. I will not generalize, though. There were plenty of students with me that could speak intelligently about politics. I only mean to say, that in a small community of primarily Republican people, it's easy to talk on things you don't know about as long as it leans right. I would not have been afforded the same luxury.

Now that I'm in college, though, it's easier to respect Marshall for what it is. We need places like Marshall. We need people like that. Everyone plays a role. I really believe that. And that's why I think it's so important to respect the maintenance staff and your waiter. It's important to respect farmers. They serve a very important role in our country. I respect that little rural community. But I also don't think it's for me. It's funny, though. I do love the outdoors and the small-town vibe. I like that people wave at you on the way to the grocery store. But I like big-city thinkers. So back to that.

Now that I've come to college, I've also taken more time to really research what I claim to believe in, because I feel a little safer doing it here, somehow. And I've found that, approaching the information as unbiased as my environment could allow, I'm still pretty much a Democrat.

1) If you don't like gay marriage, then don't get one. Forril y'all. I respect different interpretations of The Holy Bible, because quite frankly, a document which is as conflicting as it is, is going to develop plenty of interpretations. I understand and accept that. No one should be ostracized for any one interpretation. (Although, I'll get to a little less-diplomatic thought on that in a moment.) Which is exactly why gay marriage should be legalized. There is no legitimate claim against it besides an interpretation of the Bible. Separation of Church and State. If you're going to obsess over your right to bear arms, then you should respect the separation of church and state. That is no less important. America is advertised and prized as the "melting pot." That comes with different religions (including no religion), and the right to practice one's own religious beliefs. Gay marriage is a topic attacked only with religious argument--which makes it invalid as far as the government is concerned.

2) If you don't like abortions, then don't get one. I realize the implications of this. I know that this depends on your belief of when life begins. If you believe life begins at conception, then abortion must be a seriously moral dilemma for you. I accept that. But if you do not believe life begins at conception, then this is a different struggle. I even respect the right to protest against abortion--against a person's decision to do it--not the government's role in the argument. Because it's not proven--other than by the Bible--that life begins at conception. My belief is that life begins when a child has a fully developed brain. You are not human until you are capable of love. That's an opinion. I accept that it may not be correct. But I will argue for that as strongly as another may argue that a person should not get an abortion. I'm also pulled by the social effects of making abortion illegal. Women will try to perform them on themselves. Babies in dumpsters. More children in the system. Unwanted children. I genuinely believe it's better to not have a child than to fuck one up when you do have it. If you're not ready to be a mother, then you should not be one. Another argument I hear: You should deal with the consequences. It's your mistake. Well, okay. You just called that child--something you consider to already be a living person a mistake. You have deemed that child a punishment for one unfortunate act. Rape. Incest. Stupidity. Ignorance. Prostitution (forced or voluntary). Drunken acts. Those are all mistakes. But a child should never be a mistake or a punishment. But again: my opinion. But my opinion should be respected as should those who do not believe in abortion. But the government should not make that decision for me. A woman can make her own choice. If that woman believes life begins at conception (an unproved opinion), then she may not have one. But if a woman does not believe that--or simply is not ready for a child--she should be granted the right to have an abortion.

3) Conservatives are nearly obsessed with protecting the rich. I have two things to say on the matter. A. I understand that we want to protect our standing in the international market. I understand that our big corporations help us to maintain that standing. However. This isn't a standing we really have, or have ever had because of unaccounted-for, printed money. And we can try to keep that image all we want, but we are falling apart on the inside. We are protecting 1% and hoping that it'll get to us normal-folk someday. Trickle-down effect, right? But when has that worked? And what do we do while we wait? Do we let people starve? Do we let people die unnecessarily from treatable conditions? Because those people can't really wait for that money to get to them. It doesn't work.
B. America is the Land of Opportunity. Cool. But Republicans tend to have this delusion that everyone has the same opportunities. This deludes them into thinking its okay to judge the homeless, impoverished, and uneducated of our country. I constantly hear Republicans calling homeless "lazy." "Get up and fill out applications," they say. First of all. Shut the hell up. Don't pretend you know someone's story. Don't pretend that you can even comprehend the pain they've felt or the world they come from. It makes you seem ignorant and unkind. Second of all. If you have been living in poverty, unable to take a shower, with no nice clothes, how likely do you think it is that someone's going to hire them? Educated people, people with suits and running water, cannot find jobs. Do you seriously believe they have the same opportunities as anyone else? They're just lazy? No. They're just smart enough to know that they won't ever have the same opportunity. That seriously bothers me, that a person thinks they can judge another's position without having spoken to them to hear their story. True Christians, following in Christ's way, take care of the sick and feed the hungry. You cannot judge a man sleeping on the street and still call yourself a Christian. No one is given the same opportunities. I am blessed. I'm getting an education, I come from a middle-class upbringing, and I have a family who is very aware of mental health. I'm bipolar, but I was clearly born in the right family to help me through it. I have the most understanding and amazing parents I can imagine any one young adult may have. And my family is full of love. They have raised me to believe I can accomplish anything (realistically of course). If I had been raised in the foster care system, moving from one house to another, missing school and moving schools constantly, facing the reality that I was a mistake, living primarily among unhealthy people who have abused me in ways I could not begin to blog about as though I'd experienced... if that were me, do you think I would be in college? Do you think I'd have the grades to receive my Presidential Scholarship? Do you think I would have developed the social skills to have rocked that interview? Do you think anyone would have taken the time to help me know the importance of learning to write well to totally kill that impromptu essay? No. I wouldn't. And how dare any one person assume that a person in a different position than they would have just as easy of a time.

4) Obama has created jobs. Seriously. If you actually do the research, it has improved so much since Bush. So please stop talking on things you don't know about. That's not even a reasonable argument because it's incorrect. End of story.

5) The race issue. I won't tie this to Republicans, because it's not necessarily a Republican value and I think that's horribly unfair. But I will tie it to far right belief systems. Ghetto? How about White Trash? No effing difference. Still people who come from different places than you, who have seen things in their childhood that would make you throw up as an adult. Neither are trash. They are both the lowest rung of society. We're more likely, although still reluctant, to help a homeless man than an inner city citizen who uses poor grammar and dresses in a way we judge to be inappropriate and trashy. I love how we think it's okay to judge prostitutes. But they are taking on the job they can find--the same job we blame the homeless for not finding. Anyway. Black doesn't make someone ghetto anyway. They may like different foods, they may speak differently (using they colloquially, of course)... but that doesn't make them bad. We don't even have standard English. It's dialect. And if we don't like their having a separate culture, then we have no one to blame but our ancestors who have so long segregated them--forced them out of white society--that they have come together and formed a culture among themselves altogether separate from ours. Embrace that now! We have a different culture living among us? Well okay. Deal with it. Learn about them. And if they don't want to get to know you, then that's their issue, but at least you can say you tried. Have you never met a white person that thought they were too cool for you?

6) This is another non-political issue. It's just a Christian issue that I'll keep within that realm. Again. I don't think it's fair to call all Republicans Christian, let alone fundamentalist Christians. I believe everyone has the right to practice their beliefs, no matter how extreme they may seem to me. I've had friends with whom I don't agree with when it comes to religion. I don't have to, really. And I don't appreciate when people think I do. And I would expect them to feel offended if I tried to convert them to my way of thinking. That isn't fair. Because by doing so, I would be saying "I'm right, you're wrong," which makes for a pretty uncomfortable relationship. But in my opinion, many "Christians" are not practicing as they ought. I may pick and choose bits of the Bible to believe. I'll admit that. But it's a conflicted book. I believe the Bible was written by Man and is not the whole Truth. I think the Truth is found in many different beliefs, and you have to explore it everywhere to find it. I believe the Truth lies in my heart--in my conscience. And I will preach that. With that belief, it's acceptable to choose the parts of the Bible I agree with. Because I don't agknowlege the Bible as a perfect document. But for those who do? I think you're hypocrites. If you truly believe that, then you think that God is the ultimate judge, and our business is to take care of ourselves and our families. You don't believe in shaving, cursing, gossip, football on Saturdays, eating lobster, eating pork, cotton and polyester blends, or association with women on their periods. I can give you the verses for those if you don't believe me. You can look it up yourself.

That's all I have for now, but I have plenty more to say. But this was a rant, and I actually feel better. And here's the thing: I really don't care WHAT you believe. I may disagree with you, but I agknowlege that I may be wrong. I just think that religious beliefs do not have a place in politics. I have no tolerance for racism, and I believe (arguably of course), in using the government to care for the needy. But I respect other opinions. I have a great deal of respect for women like Mrs. Hasten, who although at times I disagree with, I can agree to disagree. Which is a brilliant idea, really. It's been around for ages, but sometimes we forget about it.

This has not been my week... or moth, really.

Last night, after all the drama of which I've previously posted, there was more drama, that I don't care to get into on here because I don't want to publish family business on public domain. If I ever write an autobiography, I'll be sure to include that story for your viewing pleasure. I really hope that by the time I get around to telling the story it'll be more funny than depressing as hell.

I love bananas.

I had Fusion at 6:00 IL time this morning. It was short. Sweet baby Jesus, thank you! So I changed clothes in the men's restroom. The women's was being cleaned unfortunately, so I just sneaked in there. But when I was changing in the stall, someone came in and used the urinal. It wasn't even weird or awkward, which is why it's sort of a notable anecdote for me. I felt like I should have been afraid or uncomfortable. And I think I was just too tired for any kind of intense emotion like those. I just waited for him to finish, gave him a few minutes to get away from the bathroom, and left. Then I ate me some breakfast. Bananas. <3 And I called my mommy. Sometimes that's just so necessary--talking to your mama.

I ate alone, which wasn't so bad. Again. Usually that drives me crazy. I'm paranoid people will think I'm a friendless loser. But I'm pretty sure no one cares--just like I don't care when I see people sitting alone. And I don't invite them to sit with me anymore--that went poorly once. Some people are sitting alone for a reason. But I was just sitting alone because no one was awake at 7:30 IN time. No one. Like, this campus is a ghost town.

I love soy milk.

But when I got off the phone with my mama I thought I saw Kaylee, and so I went over to sit with her. It was weird because I was walking towards her back, facing only her companion, who was a girl I'd never met. I kept making uncomfortable eye contact with that girl, and I thought, when I see Kaylee it'll all make sense and she'll introduce us. But it wasn't Kaylee. So I just left with my banana. I wish they'd let me take the soy milk. Silk.

And now I'm free until 2:00 IN. So I'm wasting time right now. I think I'll start my German homework at 9:30 and do it until my cancelled class would normally end. But then I scheduled a study party for the German 202 final from 10:45 until German 495 at 2:00. I must hate myself. Anyway. Then I'll start to take stuff down to my car at 3:15 until like 5:00. Then dinner? If I have friends, which I may not. Then I'm going to Vagina Monologues at 7:30. I'm pretty sure I have no homework for tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I have nothing for tomorrow, period. I just need to studystudystudy.

This has not been my week... or month, really. But I'm still alive. Just like always, I'll keep passing the open windows. I'm seriously considering getting that as a tattoo. Also. I kind of just want to run a church camp. But I really want to be a therapist. Can I do both? How does that work? How does life work? Does love really conquer all? And where is the other sock?

Dobby has it.

No. I'm not going to sum-up this word vomit. I know I usually do. Don't care.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All I've got for a title is this.. :l

I'm listening to Laughing With by Regina Spektor. Because it's what I need. Forgot my music for the choir show today. I nearly began to hyperventilate on the way there. Every song on the radio felt wrong--it didn't match the rising beat of my heart. As it turned out, Dr. Davis doesn't hate me. It also turns out I have every song nearly memorized. The old people in the audience thought I did it on purpose and they told me how impressed they were. I didn't argue with them. I let them believe this horribly false situational option. By the time our presentation was over, I was sweating horribly. My armpits were completely wet and the fabric was gathering uncomfortably. But there was nothing I could do about it without looking like a complete man.

Then I felt a little better, but the anxiety I had felt had thoroughly exhausted me. It was comparable to running a stinking marathon. So I walked, sweating, legs rubbing together under my skirt, back aching from the bruises from dance and the weight of my backpack, all the way to my car. Where are my keys? Yeah. I still don't have the answer to that. Grandma is coming to pick me up. Then I thoroughly intend to go home, collapse on my bed, and cry as if I had real problems--besides bipolar disorder, which I can't really blame in this situation. I suppose I can a wee bit. The near panic attacks I experienced TWICE today. I'll blame that on bipolar. But bipolar didn't make me lose my keys. That was allll me, baby.

I want a hug.

So, in conclusion (in the style of my fifth grade writing instruction):

1) I'm listening to slightly hopeful but mostly depressing as hell music because it reflects my mood.
2) I've had one near-awful experience today.
3) I've had one awful experience today.
4) I wish I was more responsible.

Funny thing.

In my last post I referenced Hotel New Hampshire with "sorrow floats." I hadn't remembered until now, that that is the same Irving novel from which this blog's namesake comes. "Keep passing the open windows." That little realization is making today just a little better. <3 Thanks for that, Irving.

Sorrow Floats

I'm feeling really down this week. The Big Black Dog has found its way to me yet again. But I'm so close that I'm going to keep pushing through. It's only a matter of time before none of it matters. But yesterday? Fell asleep at 7:00. Woke up around midnight. Blogged hella lot. Fell back asleep around 2:30, I'm guessing. Had nightmares all night. Kept waking up. It was a strange dream.

I was in an apartment somewhere, and there were lots of people. I'm sure they were people I knew in life, but I couldn't tell you who they were now. People came in and out a lot. That stressed me out because I didn't know when people came in and out, and I was afraid I would let someone in I didn't know, or let someone leave that was too drunk to drive. I couldn't focus very long and my head was spinning. Then someone came to get us, and put us all in different pick-ups. I was in one with a girl and a guy, and there was a saw in the backseat (saw? wtf subconscious?). I cut my fingers on it, and they were split open quite badly. I tried to hold the wound together, but the fingers just kept swelling.

I woke up then and my fingers were kind of hot and a little swollen. I've had another dream like that where someone shot my fingers off. I don't know what the finger obsession is...

Then I fell asleep again. And this time I was back in the apartment. And I don't necessarily want to discuss the rest because it's kind of embarrassing. And I woke up once from that, regrettably. And then again out of fear later. Something must have gone wrong...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ten Things

that have made me smile this week:

  1. Good Morning texts from Papa every day.
  2. Finding new music to feel.
  3. The smell of my hair after being washed.
  4. Planning a trip to Waycross--so close...
  5. Battle wounds from Fusion
  6. Permission to perform with Fusion even though I effed-up.
  7. Mom and Papa's OHU tye-dyes.
  8. My long nails.
  9. Conversation worth having.
  10. Babies.