I have been dealing with some massive writer's block lately and it is annoying me. It has caused me to struggle in writing posts like I would like too these last few weeks. My mind is completely left me. I hate having nothing to post. So, I decided that instead of beating myself up trying to force myself to write when my mind refuses to cooperate, that I would just share one of my best and most read posts from a couple of years ago. I believe in this post and I feel it represents how I feel right now. I hope you all like it....
Staying positive doesn't mean pretending to be happy all of the time. It doesn't mean stuffing down your feelings and ignoring what is going on your life. It simply means knowing that things might be going really badly right now, but things will get better at some point.
That is how I get through my bad days. I remember that I also have good days. That these bad days will not last forever. My depression will ebb away, my OCD will calm down, I will not always feel completely emotionally inept.
Sometimes, I still feel defeated but I know that there are times that I feel victorious. I feel vindicated. I feel healthy. Those days are what get me through the gloom and doom. Those days are my inspiration to keep going, keep fighting, and keep staying positive.
Staying positive to me is knowing that I matter, that I am worth the fight, that I am unique, and I am loved. It means knowing that I am not what my mental illness tries to tell me I am. I am better than that, worth more than that, and I refuse to listen to my mental illnesses's lies.
My post today is just a reminder that we are all better than our worst days. We are strong. We are important. We matter and we will get through this. We can stay positive and know that there are better days ahead, even if they seem far far away. They are there. They will come.
Here is hoping you all have a great weekend and are staying positive because each and every one of you is worth it,
XXXX.....Language Warning and Possible Triggers.....XXXX
I read this Gawker article after reading the same story line on three different websites and I felt the need to share. Trigger warning on the article linked.
This, this right here is part of the reason I write what I write. Because people are ignorant and can do more damage than they realize. Because this sort of ignorance has to be put in it's rightful place (the trash can). Because we need positive articles and posts about mental illness survivors not knee jerk reactions to diagnoses by morons with access to a keyboard.
I am not even going to touch on what all this colossal twat face says in her poorly written article about the death of her "frenemy" with mental illness and what a blessing it was to her. She has no idea what she is talking about and her ignorance is nothing new to those of us who struggle to live in a world full of self absorbed idiots that think they have a talent for talking about something they have no fucking clue about. She is typical, she looks typical, her writing is typical, and her stigma inducing misconstrued attention seeking behavior....is typical. Big deal, she is old news.
I will, however, comment on the blog site that printed the piece, and their so called apology....
I apologize for an article that was posted here yesterday, entitled "My Former Friend's Death Was a Blessing.” I deeply regret the hurt that this article has caused and understand that it has perpetuated stigma and diminished the lives of people with mental illness. I am committed to immediately reviewing our vetting process to ensure that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we at xoJane present all women going forward. I appreciate all of you who took the time to let us know how you felt about this issue.
First of all, thank you for noticing that your article was not only offensive but damaging. Thank you for it removing after being told repeatedly how upsetting and stigmatizing it was. But don't ever make the mistake of thinking that an article written by a sniveling twenty something know it all who, in fact, truly knows nothing could diminish any of our lives because she is a fucking moron. You didn't diminish anything except the validation of a an online magazine many of us have never heard of and many of us will never read again.
You can not diminish the lives of strong, creative, unique, people and how dare you insinuate that this idiot could do so by a thoughtless article as if we were so damaged and have so little to live for, that it ruined our lives. It didn't ruin our lives, it pissed us off because once again we are having to fight against stigma from yet another place that in the year 2016 should absolutely fucking know better.
How dare you make a half attempt to say, "oops my bad" after letting such a completely inappropriate article headline your site. Something that says the death of a mentally ill person was a blessing. You did read her article before posting it right? I mean, that is what you do......
Why would it even be acceptable to post something like this? If we were talking about any other minority in place of the mentally ill you would have balked and never posted because you would feel like it was uncalled for. You would have been afraid of being seen as bigoted, intolerant, and prejudiced; but because it was just us that made it okay right?
You can't diminish us. We have already been stigmatized, lied about, cast aside, ignored, rebuked, insulted, and blacklisted. Do you really think your little corner of the web can really do anything that hasn't already been done to us for the centuries that mental illness has been unfairly punished, misunderstood, and demonized. Do you really?
Because I have got to tell you, as a mental illness suffer, I don't think that you hold that much power.
Her apology was a complete backpedal. I know that when I write something, some people may not like it. I don't cry about it. I stand by what I say. That is what real writers do.
She didn't care that she hurt real people or may have put real people in real jeopardy, she is concerned by the backlash she got in rejoicing in the death of someone she deemed to be less than. She then played the victim and blamed the reaction on the readers claiming that if they were that sensitive they should not read it.....
Because she, clearly the victim in not only her own stories but also apparently the backlash for them, is overwhelmed. Well, I am too. I am overwhelmed by her lack of compassion, for her self imposed self importance, and for her lack of respect for other people. I am also overwhelmed that you as a website that hosts blogs felt that this was perfectly acceptable....which you, clearly, must have or it wouldn't have been posted.
I think her rush to be relevant and edgy is pathetic and I think that your rush to gain click bait for yourself regardless of who it hurts in the process is contemptible.
I just hope that no one read her article or her equally full of shit apology, and ended up hurting themselves because that is what we are really talking about here. Not some stupid woman who has no idea what a real struggle in life is, but people losing their lives everyday. Good, decent, dearly loved people that commit suicide everyday because they feel less than, because they are told that they are a burden, because of shitty articles written by shitty writers who think they know all about mental illness from fucking facebook. It bothers me, that online sites like yours do not consider the wake of devastation they are allowing because they too want to be relevant. It is all about relevance in this world of self absorbance and self importance.
No one is really considering the loss those families feel. No one there, clearly, is considering the loss of the woman your writer complained about. No one is considering the reality that is living with a mental illness and just how fucking hard it is and just how fucking brave we are for doing it.
Writing a piece that slanders a dead woman that had mental illness is low. It isn't brave. It isn't informative. It is pathetic. It is inappropriate and it is wrong.
You want edgy, you want courage, you want spectacular then look at us. Cause we are not hiding in the shadows, we are not sitting on the sidelines or cowering under the bleachers. We do not back down from paltry articles like this, we do not break under adversity. That is all we have ever known. This "story" is no different than the drivel we are force fed everyday about how different we are or how someone can't look past themselves long enough to understand what we go through.
You want to know what is a real blessing?
Living..... Living when it is hard because we know that we are worth it. Fighting on the worst days when you are exhausted and broken and numb. Having real friends, unlike the writer of your article, that stick by us and help us and support us. Knowing that we are creative and wondrous human beings that are capable of so much. Seeing the beauty in this world and knowing that it is something that we too possess. Knowing how important we are because we are just important as everyone else. Standing up for ourselves in the face of stupid people, and God help us, there are so many that we seem to run into. That's living. That's a blessing.....something that your writer obviously has no idea about.
No, we don't back down when we read or hear about discriminatory fluff pieces like the one you posted but I will tell you what we actually do. We shine. We shine in the face of stigma, and lies, and petty people writing petty things while trying to seem not as petty as they actually are. We are better than that and we are better than them. We are the warriors of our own minds and some of the best damn people you will ever meet.
So, no, you didn't diminish us by posting that article. You diminished yourselves and whatever it is you claim to stand for.
That's all on you, bud....that is what your online site strived to be when you allowed her post to be on your page.
I don't want to say how badly you suck for that but, hey, if the shoe fits....lace that bitch up and wear it.
There is a hashtag on twitter going around called #imnotashamed. It is a symbol to fight against the stigma that many of us face on a daily basis. When you live under the diagnoses of having a mental illness a great deal of emotions come with it. One of those is shame.
I am not ashamed. I used to be. I grew up being extremely ashamed of how different I was. How odd I seemed. How weak I felt. I grew up thinking that I was damaged. I was broken. I was worthless.
It was not my choice to be born with a mental illness. It is, however, my choice on how I perceive myself to be because of it. I perceive myself to be just as unique and important as everyone else.
When I was younger, I had delusions of my ability to control everything in my life. I felt that I had the power of willing myself into normalcy if I really wanted to. When I couldn't, I felt that it was my fault because I just didn't want it badly enough.
I blamed myself as if I had woken up one day and just decided to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As if I had ordered it as a side on my plate next to the eggs and hashbrowns. As if it were something you picked up by design.
I just couldn't understand that my mental illness was not my fault. That it was simply a misfiring in my brain.
I prayed relentlessly in the hopes that the bad thoughts would cease. When they did not I beat myself up because, clearly, I was doing something wrong. I wasn't praying right or hard enough. I was ashamed that I had failed to become normal even with my constant prayers.
As a child I thought that if I could just be the best little girl I could be, that the OCD would go away. If I did my best at school, if I tried my hardest to listen, if I was sweet and kind and always followed the rules the thoughts would simply vanish... but they never did. I thought that deep down I was a terrible girl, a bad person, a horrid child. I continued to strive to be what I thought good little girls were supposed to be but the intrusive thoughts did not vanish, no matter how desperately I tried to be good enough and I blamed myself for that too.
It took me years, literal years, to accept that my OCD was not the product of my failure as a person. That it was not a punishment for some unforeseen or long forgotten sin.
That it had never been my fault nor could I simply will it away with the good deeds and desperate prayers of a small naive child. I never had control of whether or not I would have this.
It simply is.
And with that acknowledgement I began to realize that shame has no place in my life because to feel ashamed would mean that I would have to accept the blame for having something I never asked for nor wanted to have to begin with.
The guilt is not mine to carry. The blame does not rest at my feet for this.
Living in shame just because I was born with a mental illness is no longer acceptable to me....and I rebuke any implication that says otherwise.
Mental illness does not define me as a human being. It does make me different in some ways but it does not in any way lessen my worth.
It has changed my life but it does not get to own it. It does not get to control everything. It is there but it does not outshine who I am as a person. It does not get to make me feel guilty and it will never again make me feel ashamed.
Because I am more than just a diagnoses and I am not ashamed.
If you are interested in the #imnotashamed hashtag look it up on twitter and read all about their fight against stigma.
Until next time, stay strong and be kind to yourself and never be ashamed.
It is not easy to be like us. It isn't easy to deal with the issues we deal with. It isn't easy to wrestle with things like stigma and ignorance. It isn't easy to get out of bed in the morning when you are depressed nor is it easy to to explain how you feel when you are Bipolar. It isn't easy to push through triggers when you have OCD or any of the many other anxiety disorders. It isn't easy to have Schizophrenia. It isn't easy to live with a mental illness. It's just not.
It's doable.....but not easy.
I want my blog to be uplifting, positive, sometimes humorous, and sometimes ranting but most of all I want my blog to be completely honest. I feel like a great many of the "discussions" about mental illness are sanitized, misconstrued, side swept, or only spoken about in the quietest whispers in the darkest of rooms and that needs to stop. Because, frankly, we deserve better.
Honesty is the only thing that can change the current system of misunderstanding. Mental illness is not another word for weakness. It is not an excuse. It does not make us any less important than anyone else. It should be talked about openly in a public form without bias or false pretenses. Without shame or guilt. Without nameless baseless fear.
Without that kind of honesty and openness, mental illness will always be regarded as someone else's problem. It will continue to be misrepresented by the media and underfunded in it's programs. It will remain in the shadows, silenced by those that do not understand. It will be muted by those that are afraid. People that need help will go untreated. People that could be saved will not be. Many individuals that will suffer will do so in silence. And why?
Because of stigma.
We fear how others will react to our diagnoses as if it were a label placed on a placard around our necks. We are afraid of being judged and to be seen as different. We are afraid of being thought of as less than or worthless or broken . We are afraid of being side eyed and talked about. We are afraid of being unjustly feared and unfairly ridiculed. We are afraid.....and we shouldn't have to live under that fear.
I wanted to write a post about understanding, support for each other, standing up to stigma, believing in your self worth, and hope. Because those are the things that really matter in this world full of misconceptions of who we are or what we can achieve simply because of a diagnosis.
I wanted to give a shout out to those of you who suffer like me and tell you to hold on and keep fighting. To hold your head up high because we are good people, strong people, magnificent people. I wanted to make sure that everyone knows how truly important they are to the world. Each of you are completely remarkable, unequivocally unique individuals that make a difference everyday just by being who you are. By fighting even though living with mental illness isn't easy. I wanted to dedicate today's post to the fact that we still get up everyday and try like hell. That is an amazing feat. That is the definition of inspiring.
No, living with mental illness isn't easy but that doesn't mean that we can't do it. It doesn't mean that we can't do it well and it certainly, doesn't mean that we are any less worthy, less capable, less lovable, less inspiring, less strong, or less important than anyone else. We are not less than, we are equal to.
I am proud of us. I am proud of me and I am proud of you. We are badasses, people. I hope you know that.
So, go look at yourself in the mirror, pat yourself on the back, and let yourself realize how spectacularly brave you are.
It may seem like I fell off the face of the earth but the reality was that, I was here in my home doing mundane "home" type things. I washed dishes and obsessed. I vacuumed floors and obsessed. I weeded my garden and obsessed. I did laundry and obsessed. Okay, that last part was a lie.... I didn't do the laundry, my husband did, but I did obsess because that is what I do. Laundry, however, is something that I don't. I hate it. I hate it with every fiber of my being and I refuse to be apologetic about it.
I would have written and blogged but I was unable too.
My computer finally went to the big computer place in the sky. I was sad and frustrated but it was not a big surprise. Ole' Bessie was giving me the white screen of death and because Ole' Bessie was a chromebook she was not repairable. She did have three very full years of being my chromebook before she could no longer keep up with all of my bad spelling and copious amounts netflix watching. I shall miss her but I am overjoyed to be back blogging and watching my British mystery shows.... I know, I am boring. I also watch Judge Judy. I have the television and netflix habits of a seventy year old. I refuse to be apologetic about that as well.
I have replaced Ole' Bessie with a new computer which I have named Frank. I am not sure why, but this computer just seems like a Frank to me. Frank and I are getting know each other and my netflix habits but I think we are going to get along perfectly. I mean, he has spell check so that is a plus and he has back lit keys so I can type in the dark. He also seems to appreciate my wit and sense of humor. I don't really know that for a fact, but I am going to choose to believe that because it makes naming an inanimate object seem less weird to me....sorta.
The long of the short is, I am sorry that I was away for what felt like three years but was, in fact, a couple of weeks and I am happy to announce that my blogging will be back to regular schedule. I am back......and pleased as punch to be so.
I had a break down the other day. It was ugly. I cried, I worried, I sobbed, I snotted. It happened and although I felt ashamed of it because it made me feel weak, I got over it. I am not going to lie, I hated it, hated myself, and hated the hell my own mind puts me through. Being like this takes up so much energy. It exhausts me. It depresses me. It angers me. When this happens, I wrestle with blaming myself for not being a normal fucking person who can put on her big girl pants and just push through all of the stress.
I knew it was coming. My distraction tactics weren't working as I had hoped. My ability to think of other things didn't pan out either. Thankfully. my family is very good to me when I get like this and they really support me.
I am much better today. I can still feel it though, stalking around in the dark recesses of my mind. I can feel the medical fears trying to claw their way back into my day. I am aware that they are still there waiting for me. It seems as though I can almost hear them breathing in the shadows. My OCD is haunting me.
I will not avoid my life because of some baseless fears that feel very real to me but are, in fact, imaginary things that my mind has conjured up to scare me and make my life miserable. I will not let the nameless and faceless ghosts of my mental illness take over my life. I refuse.
I have struggled with this for thirty two years. I know that sometimes my OCD wins. It pisses me off but just as I know that sometimes my medical fears win, I also know that most of the time I am the one who is victorious. So, it may have gotten the better of me two days ago and I may have had a break down complete with a panic attack. Sure, I may have blubbered and felt sorry for myself, but that doesn't mean that I will give up. If anything it just makes me strive to fight harder. I broke down and now I am concentrating on getting back up.
I just have to keep on keeping on and remember that everything is going to be okay. And it will be okay just as soon as some of these stress triggers are over with.
Hope you all are having a fantastic week and please don't give up on yourself if you are not. Things are bound to get better. And be proud of yourself. You are strong. You are worthy. You are capable. You are unique.