honesty Archive

Make Recovery Your Own

I always say ‘I’ve been in recovery for…’ and then either go on to say ‘Just about two months’ if I’m talking about my eating disorder or ‘Just about seven years’ if I’m talking about alcoholism. I’m not sure why. I guess because I have come to believe that recovery is only recovery if I’ve been ‘clean’ for a length of time. I’m not sure why; I do not hold others to that standard. I’m pretty much alone in that category.

Naming Names – Putting Agoraphobia Into Words

I still don’t know how to talk about agoraphobia. I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain it to people since I was 16 years old, but I’ve been largely unsuccessful at putting it into words. I’ve mostly just stayed quiet about it and used vague “anxiety” euphemisms to describe why I can’t hang out / go to work / go to class / go grocery shopping / whatever, and have also spent a lot of time struggling to come up with “legitimate” ways to account for what I do with my time while NOT doing these things, especially since spending [lots of] time alone or in my “safe zones” is actually super positive for me. For almost 20 years, I’ve had no concept of how to talk about this enormous part of me that has both limited me in humongous ways and also shaped me into the wonderful weirdo that the people close to me know and love.

A Root Issue Found, Questions Remain

During my last session with my psychiatrist, I was being “very honest and open” according to my doctor, “like never before.” I don’t like to think I hold back, but I do. I guess this particular visit I was sort of worn down, and more than a little tired, so I wasn’t thinking ahead of the curve of my brain/mouth filter. Truth was just sort of spilling out.

The Value of Your Life

The value of life, the value of your life, is one that will be questioned in variables and determined by the abundance of self help books with anonymous authors who will tell you a few basic things. These things, as I have learned through the many books “gifted” to me or sent to me in depressive episodes are this;

A life worth living, a life worth value, consists of:

  • A deeply engaged social life.
  • A job that pays high and treats you well.
  • A deep connection and a non wavering relationship with family members.
  • Extroversion and all it’s many gifts.
  • Love and fear of the Lord
  • A healthy diet and a light weight.
  • A loving heterosexual, romantic partner (unless you have Borderline Personality Disorder, then you should stay away from romantic or non-romantic attachments for the safety of others)
  • An adult attitude and an “adult” handling of emotions.

DBT Skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness

I have to admit that social interaction and communication are not my strongest points. This is a relatively new development for me, or so I thought. I used to think I was great at using my voice, at standing up for myself, at being in social situations. Today there are a number of barriers that prevent me from being effective in interpersonal communication. One of them is mental and emotional health issues. It’s really hard for me to connect with others when I don’t feel so great myself. Another is acute hearing loss, in both ears, coupled with tinnitus. And finally – and probably the most overwhelming for me, especially when it comes to asking for what I need and speaking up for myself, or saying no when being asked for something – I was raised in an environment that didn’t really encourage me to use my voice under any circumstances. In fact, it was preferred if I was invisible, or at least that’s how I translated it.

Mental Illness and Romantic Rejection

“I just don’t think I could handle that kind of rejection.” – George McFly

When you’re a little obsessed with your own mistakes, and you can replay every stupid thing you’ve ever said in your head, dozens or hundreds of times, until you become the biggest idiot in the world and can prove it mathematically, you tend to take some things a little harshly. Romantic rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but experiencing it with a healthy dose of depression and obsession is a whole lot less fun.

Fuck. Schizoaffective?

The last few weeks have been chaotic for me. I’ve been in a mixed episode, and starting last week, I’ve been hearing voices. Whispers, chatter, and someone calling my name. All either alone, or only with my partner nearby, and she’s confirmed that they aren’t things that she’s heard. I’ve also been feeling like the crows that wake me up in the morning are mocking me. I’ve known for months that something like this was inevitable, but it’s still jarring to experience a psychotic episode for your first time.

Shaming my Food Stamps: EBT and SSDI

I grew up a white, middle-class, cisgendered, femme bisexual. These are the labels and privilege that I am willing to claim. When I reached 33 and went on SSDI, I went on food stamps. The transformation from Daddy’s Girl who just had to get another temp job to actual psychotic starving schizophrenic who had to take anti-anxiety medication to take out the trash was a process but has landed here. With me, today. Taking a handful of pills so that I can be brave enough to go use my EBT.

Misrepresentation, Diversion and Truth: Talking about SSDI

One of the hardest things about existing in a community is that eventually you will have to meet new people. The elephant will enter the room. “What do you do?” “No, what do you do for work?” I am on SSDI, Social Security Disability Income. That means I don’t work in the technical sense. I sit around in my underwear drinking iced coffee and working on my novel while the government sees fit to direct deposit funds every month. I go to the grocery store and use food stamps to buy spinach and chicken.

Working with Hypersexuality

Living with bipolar disorder, when I get hypomanic, usually the first cue for me is wanting sex all. the. time. At times it gets so bad, it’s all I can think about, or I’ll spend the day masturbating rather than get any work done. Or I’ll spend my time searching for random sex partners to […]