ON FINDING COMFORT — Within My **OWN** Skin.

Reflection from February 25th, 2008 @ Age 26

RE:  HAD TO GET THROUGH *THIS* PART, TO GET TO *THAT* PART ;0)

I still can’t sleep.  My mind is racing and my heart is racing and I’m reading through these old journal entries and they make me want to fucking kill myself.  I am crazy…crazy as can be!  I am fucking crazy and I really feel bad for all the people that have gotten mixed up with the likes of me, because I’m fucking craazzzy!  I guess maybe it’s a good thing that I hide myself from others, and do you know why?  It’s because I’m crazy

I’m noticing definite patterns of concrete mania and depression in my writing.  During the mania my head’s all over the goddamn place, I’m up at all hours writing, I’m often incoherent.  I can’t recall a depressed part at the moment, except obviously right now, because I have been in an extended manic period for quite some time where I am at typing up these journals.  I think about publishing all this mess—I mean I think it would be great to present an honest to god account of what it means to be bipolar, what it means to suffer from bipolar.  But I think about publishing this craziness and having people look at me like I’m fucking crazy, and never being able to get employed again because everyone will fucking know how crazy I really am—and where will I go from there? 

I have this glamorous idea that I will get published, and don’t get me wrong—I think I have a great idea here in the sense that I could really shed some light and understanding on what it is to be bipolar; but I have this glamorous idea that once I get published people will love me and I will be asked to be on Oprah and fashion magazines will want to write articles on me and my book and want me to do photo shoots and be on their covers because I’m so goddamn beautiful, and I keep thinking—this is what it must feel like to be delusional.  I can’t believe that I am fucking delusional.  But I am!  I suffer from a psychotic disorder and I am crazy and I am delusional and if anyone knew I was really like this—I don’t know how they can say they’d still love me because I don’t see how in the world that could be so. 

I loathe me when I look back at my life, look back on my thoughts and my delusions and my depression and my mania.  It’s pretty much a miracle that I graduated from college and law school and got a job—shitty paying as it may be.  It’s difficult to understand how I can present myself as such a normal human being most of the time—how I could perform decently in school and graduate with a doctorate degree for god’s sake!  It’s difficult to understand how I could do all this while I’m fucking psychotic and delusional and hiding it from the goddamn world.  I mean, I honestly don’t see how anyone could love me if they knew the thoughts that run through my delusional mind. 

I envision that designers will think that I’m so beautiful and represent truth and honesty and goodness, and that I’ve been such a big help in shedding light on this terrible illness that so many people suffer from in silence, and I think I will become a public figure and well loved, and designers will send me free clothes because they will be honored if the likes of me were seen wearing them.  The likes of my crazy ass self.  Talk about delusions.  And yet some part of me, some teeny tiny shameful part of me wants more than anything to believe these things could come true.  I feel like to believe so is to be living outside of reality.  I believe that I have much difficulty living because my mindset shifts in and out of reality.

I think, I am so fucking crazy but at least I am honest and am willing to portray the incredibly complex mind of a person who suffers from this illness and I think, maybe actors and actresses will respect me in a sense, because don’t I represent the kind of complex human disaster and conflicting beauty that serious actors and actresses want so much to portray?  I want to be loved I guess, but I suppose I want to be loved on a large scale.  I want to be loved on a grand scale so that my suffering will have been justified. 

But I fear that in my search for this scheme of grandeur, I am at once wasting my life away in delusion and committing myself to a life of misery.  But where is the choice in the matter?  As far as I can tell I have no choice in the matter.  So why is it that I keep betraying myself by secretly suspecting that I do?  I live in complete confusion; complete fucking chaos fills every corner of my mind.  I don’t know how I can live like this; and more important, I don’t think that I can go on much longer living like this.  I think all these thoughts and feel so ashamed for having thought them, and then I loathe myself for being involuntarily what it is that I am.  If that makes any sense whatsoever.  My mind apparently works in mysteriously incoherent ways.

I just hate that it’s now 1:04am and I’m going to be so tired at work tomorrow and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it because I’m absolutely wired at the moment, through no fault of my own.  It’s so difficult trying to live a life amidst all this chaos and complete confusion.

You know that guy nurse wrote me an email back.  I think I’m just going to keep emailing him and see if I like him at all.  If he sounds interesting and engaging and cute, then maybe we can meet for coffee or something.  But even then, it’s like, if I do end up liking him—I don’t then really want to subject him to my crazy self. 

I feel like I am involuntarily destructive—no matter what I do, no matter what I try.  Everything I touch is destroyed.  I have delusions that I am creating when all I’m really creating is more destruction.  That’s at least, how I’m feeling at this particular moment.  That and speedy and anything but tired.  Lucky me, right?  Lucky me.

1:18am

Alright, this is the last time I’m writing until I’ve slept through the goddamn night, gone to work and come home.  I’m getting really irritated that I can’t sleep, and even more irritated that I keep coming over to the goddamn couch and opening up my computer and opening my word file just to type some more goddamn crazy thoughts. 

I just wanted to mention, for fear I did not already mention above, that I feel completely embarrassed and humiliated with the things that I think—the thoughts I’ve portrayed through my writing.  I remember my Dr. Restuccio told me, after I’d told him how devastating it was to feel the way I do, he said, It’s not your fault, you know that don’t you?  And I said yes, yes I know, but I didn’t say the following:  just because this mess isn’t my fault doesn’t mean that I’m the only one who alone, must deal with the consequences stemming from it. 

When it comes down to it, the illness—no, having the illness is not my fault; the problem, though, is that all the consequences stemming from this bipolar disorder are my problems alone.  In this, I am alone.  And I am embarrassed, and I feel humiliated, I feel crazy, and more than anything else, I just feel alone.  I feel that I’m best off alone because it would be selfish and cruel to subject anyone else to the likes of me.  And I don’t know, after reading all these crazy thoughts I have, these crazy actions I’ve taken—I don’t know how anyone else could feel any different. 

So, that line of thinking may have something to do with the reason I keep coming back to wanting to kill myself.  I’m pretty sure I’d be willing to bet Paul’s never thought of this kind of circumstance when he considers the possible reasons why people end up killing themselves.  The problem, people fail to see, starts way before any of the resulting consequences.  The consequences are our fault—but the origin creating the method by which the consequences are stemming has involuntarily been cast upon us.  Now if that’s not goddamn bad luck, I don’t know what is.  I don’t feel so goddamn lucky now.

Okay, that’s it Maris.  Whatever else you think of will just have to wait.  If it’s really important, you will not forget it (or so I hope).

7:37am

I mean, I’ve seen it happen before where people in my life take special steps, they go out of their way to make this world at least seem like it’s not such an awful place for me. 

I’m sure Mr. Gunner did so when he waited until I left for law school to fire Diane.  No other instances come to mind at the moment, but I know it’s happened several times now.  I guess that’s what I see happening if I publish this set of nonsense—I see people going out of their way to help me out since I’ve suffered for so long and will have, at that point, contributed for the good of others.  And I don’t know that that’s unreasonable or not. 

It probably is when I think people are just going to start handing me large sums of money, not from book publication or anything, just people who have a lot of money and have money to spare, and don’t want to see me have to suffer, if nothing else at least financially, anymore.  That seems pretty delusional.  But when I think about delusions, it makes me wonder what the hell hoping for a miracle is—because to me, a miracle doesn’t seem anything more than a delusion until it actually happens.  When a delusion becomes reality, that seems to be what a miracle entails.  But then again, I suppose it depends on what the delusion is; I suppose some are more probabilistically able to happen than are others.  I don’t know, I’m fucking tired.  I think I finally fell asleep at about 3 or 4am.  I’m not sure if that’s insomnia, or if insomnia is when you can’t sleep at all

I see lots of patterns reading through my old journals.  Sexual promiscuity, spending sprees, racing thoughts, endless energy, euphoria, irritability, incoherency at times—it’s really fucking scary to read all the shit that’s gone on in my head.  Anyways, off to work I go!  Another day, another dollar, no?  Delusions and all…

7:49am

You know, my mom’s going to the dentist today and I asked her to ask the dentist if it’s bad at all to be tasting metal in my mouth coming off of my metal fillings.  She told me at that point that someone she used to know was actually allergic to her metal fillings and once she got them all replaced with porcelain, she laughed more and was not so irritable and not so mean.  I swear to god I think my mom is trying to justify my symptoms away on physical ailments just so she doesn’t have to admit she has a psychotic daughter. 

She told me once that PMS can cause, ohh I don’t know, she’s just tried PMS, and blood disorders, and gland problems, the whole nine yards.  And I could be off my rocker, just paranoid as hell, but I tell you, I swear to god (if I believe in that shit) that she does not want to admit that her daughter is psychotic.  I guess I can see how it would be difficult to admit to that particular reality though.  Okay, now off to work!

5:41pm

My god today was the longest fucking workday I think I’ve ever goddamn had.  All fucking day I had thoughts, I was stopping here and stopping there to write—it’s compulsive I tell you, I feel like if I don’t stop to write I will lose my potentially brilliant thought forever.  Some way to live.  Here’s what I came up with anyways…

At some point in the morning

My uncle Mark said the other day at dinner that my uncle Larry has dealt, as a psychologist, with misshapen people all of his life.  He said this, of course, in response to the issues at hand, which were my delusional grandmother and my pedophile uncle Joe.  I do wonder though, if he knew how misshapen I am, if he would still have made that comment.

I’ve been watching this wonderful new show on HBO called In Treatment, which, coincidentally, is all about a therapist and his patients.  Anyways, I’ve been watching this show and there’s a sixteen-year-old gymnast he sees on Wednesdays, and in one of the episodes she said she felt bad for her therapist’s books that were piled on top of the bookshelves because they didn’t have any place to belong, or something like that.  Anyways, it makes me wonder whether empathy for inanimate objects is some sort of psychological illness symptom, because I know I’ve done a whole lot of that in my past as well.

Also (right now) I just want to mention that another crazy habit I’ve had throughout my years is purging.  Not my food, although I did that too for a while when I was sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, but rather purging physical objects.  Some of them reminded me of painful memories—all my middle school and high school yearbooks that said things like “I wish I could have gotten to know you better” which really made me want to slit my wrists, my old gymnastics videos because I was no better than a level nine gymnast and had no hope of getting a scholarship, or even getting on a college gymnastics team. 

I can’t tell you how many bowls and bongs I’ve purged, but those I don’t just purge—they are glass and I smash the fucking things before I throw them away.  I loved my last bowl dearly and I wish I wouldn’t have done that.  And really now, I would like to be able to see those yearbooks and videos of myself at that age, but it’s all goddamn destroyed now.  Another is purging of clothes to Goodwill—I go nuts just getting rid of everything I can’t stand which when I’m in these fits, is usually almost everything.  Anyways, just a side note.

I had such an awful headache this morning and my stomach has been tied up in knots all day, and I was noticing this morning that I felt completely spent, and I kept ending up staring off into space for long periods of time, lost in a devoid vacuum of slow motion thought.  I thought, thank god I have a window at work to stare out of—it makes the experience so much more aesthetically pleasing than say, starring blankly at a goddamn wall, or even worse, at other people.  My brain just fucking hurt all day today, and I felt nauseous all day too—my mind just felt overworked and overtired and just plain strung the fuck out. 

10:37am

Ohh this was lovely…I was thinking about how I would like to become the spokeswoman for the American Bipolar Association.  Because of course there must be some sort of association…everything in America has its own association. 

Anyways, I was just thinking about how I’d like to spur more research in the area by bringing the issue of bipolar illness out for discussion, by stirring a bit of controversy or whatnot, and in doing so, hopefully help people who suffer from this illness in some actual, palpable way.  I want to break down the stereotype that we’re completely dysfunctional people and I want to increase understanding and research so we can better help individuals who suffer from this illness. 

11:03am

I was thinking, maybe they already have a spokesperson though, and what I’m doing isn’t really all that relevant at all.  What if I’m being delusional here?  That’s the problem—I can’t tell the difference most of the time between my dreams that are okay to dream, and my dreams that are delusional.  I mean, couldn’t it all merely boil down to a matter of probability and statistics—a delusion being something that will probably not come true, whereas a dream might be something that also probably won’t come true, but at least there’s some palpable chance that it could?  I don’t know!  I don’t know the parameters separating what is okay to dream and what type of dreams make me delusional. 

11:22am

One good thing, though, is that if I am way off base, and this is really a stupid idea, then at least nobody will publish this collection of writings and I’ll be saved that much humiliation.  Not like it matters much, though, since the humiliation is pretty much an everyday staple to my existence. 

1:19pm

Bipolar is just not something that I can think or reason my way out of.  It just is.  It’s a chronic lifelong condition, hence the life-sentence analogy.

2:39pm

Jeanette told me again today, that when she speaks with my oldest brother Rob over the phone, pertaining to the bankruptcy my brother and sister-in-law are going through (again), she says to me—some days he makes perfect sense, he’s clear as can be; whereas other days he is hysterical, and he yells and he’s just completely incoherent and volatile.  She told me some days, she refuses to speak on the phone with him, and she is only willing to communicate with him via mail.  I really think my brother’s bipolar too, but he’s so fucked up on all his painkillers for his legitimate, chronic physical pain, it would be hard to get any kind of clear diagnosis at this time.  I didn’t know really, what in the world to say.

3:27pm

I was thinking at this point how there is really no in between for me.  I must either go on as I have done all my life, pretending that everything is fucking fine—that there is nothing wrong with me at all, or I must end my life.  There is no other option I can afford, but the moment I get whacked out—who the fuck’s gonna take care of me?  My parents prolly would if they could, but they can’t really even find a way to help themselves out at this point in their lives.  You know and if I started letting lose, started getting all wild and crazy on people as my emotions dictate, then I’d either be tossed in a loony bin, or I’d be jobless because no one would be willing to hire me.  And then I would prolly go bankrupt too because I wouldn’t be able to pay my crazy fucking bills, I would lose my car, I wouldn’t be able to get to work if I wanted, I wouldn’t have health insurance and then I wouldn’t be able to get any medical care or medication—it’d just be one big fucking mess.  I can’t deal with that, you see?  It’s all or nothing here, I either pretend I’m fucking fine and just normal like everyone else, or I end this life—but I cannot afford any in between.

3:37pm

Finally I was just thinking about how nice it was that my mom made chocolate covered strawberries for me yesterday, and how my dad got me chocolate and a card for Valentine’s Day and all.  They really are so dearly sweet to me, and I know they want to help; but unfortunately, I don’t know that all the sweet little things in this life are enough to overcome the barraging darkness and doom that lies constantly over my head.  I mean, I do like the “little things” as much as the next person—I love listening to the rain and thunder when I’m lying in bed at night, I love taking afternoon naps in the sun, I love looking at the dark brown branches of a tree against a navy blue winter’s night sky.  Hell, I even love walking into a goddamn public restroom and having it not smell like someone else’s shit!  I do love many little things—it’s just little things, even mounted together, are sometimes just not enough to overcome the suffering a lifetime of bipolar illness entails. 

6:18pm

Well that’s it.  I know I’m cycling—rapid fire cycling and I made an appointment with my general physician and my psychiatrist for this Wednesday.  I suppose I’ll have to make do until then.  Apparently my suicidal thoughts are not the threat they once were, when I was always fit in the very same day.  Once people think you won’t act on your suicidal tendencies, you’re shifted into a group that’s not so severe.  It doesn’t really matter that you’re having them—it only really matters if you’ll go as far as to act on them. 

No, well, that may be overreaching there, but what can I say?  My brain is fucking fried, and through no goddamn fault of my own.  My brain is fried because apparently that’s what it was meant to do.  I sometimes really contemplate whether I am supposed to kill myself off, like in accordance with natural selection and survival of the fittest kind of ideas.  I really do think that if humans weren’t here fucking up the natural order of things with their manipulative medication and medicine, then the population as we know it would be, well—it would be completely different and we sure as hell wouldn’t be living until we’re in our nineties.  The fact that we can live until we are ninety years old pretty much blows my fucking mind.  Anyways, I think if evolution were permitted to move forward without human manipulation, the fates would have done me in a long long time ago.

I’m going to this meeting tonight and I’m so goddamn sick of the snow and winter weather I think I’m gonna fucking puke.  Well I feel like I’m gonna puke either way, but I’m still goddamn fucking sick of the snow.

9:10pm

I find it interesting enough to note tonight that when, in AA, they say you should have an open-mind, I really think they need to qualify that statement as follows:  In AA you need to have a mind spread open wide enough to absorb everything we like to tell you in our little cult here, and then you need to snap your damn mind shut and cut yourself off from all other possibilities, all other thoughts and all other ideas that might otherwise flow through an infinitely open mind.

I thought tonight when I was driving home, of how my parents always used to say that they wanted to do anything they could to help, which was interesting in light of their refusal to attend ALANON meetings when, at the time, my fucking indigent therapist had diagnosed me as a drug addict.  I just find it interesting how they said they’d do anything they could to help, but weren’t willing to take that particular step.  It’s kind of like they were saying we’ll do anything we can to help, as long as we don’t actually have to step outside of our comfort zones, because we, of course, are not the one with the problems. 

I feel angry tonight.  The guy at the meeting giving a lead was speaking so sloowwly and my goddamn foot couldn’t keep from bouncing and I kept changing leg positions and sitting positions and the time passed so slowly.  It makes me uncomfortable that I am supposed to say that I am an alcoholic whenever I speak at AA meetings, which would be a lie.  It makes me uncomfortable that if I’m not willing to say I’m an alcoholic or a drug addict, I am categorized and classified and scrutinized and hung out to dry.  I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’ve struggled extensively with the abuse of marijuana, but I believe the reason that I abuse substances is because I am mentally ill and because my very existence—my natural state of being is one of pain and suffering.  Who the hell, given those circumstances, would not need to escape?  Especially when the professionals cannot even help you!  Especially when the professionals poke and prod at you, they misdiagnose you, they medicate you with drugs that aggravate your condition, they drug you up and they drug you down and they wire you through the goddamn wringer, and in the end, there is no one left who can help.  I think, for this very reason, more research and investigation must be performed to expose the true nature and what it means to suffer from a bipolar condition.  I want to help further this process.  I want to spur discussion and interest and investigation and research into finding ways that can actually relieve the daily pain suffered by bipolar individuals.  I want to promote further and more detailed and better documented understanding of the bipolar condition.  I need someone to do this to help me find relief.  But I cannot find relief.  There is no effective solution as of yet.  I want to help move along the process necessary to spur this movement.  But I can be delusional at times, and I’m not sure if what I’m writing will fulfill that desire.  I suppose there is only one way to find out once and for all.

9:46pm

Looking back through all these old journals, I think it’s a really good thing that I’m not dating right now because I really pick the worst assholes of the bunch!  No, that’s not true.  The worst assholes would rape me and beat me and try to control and manipulate me and all that.  But aside from all that, I really pick the scummiest of all the scumbags as far as good boyfriends go. 

10:00pm

It’s also very disturbing reading through my journals and seeing how my thinking is so easily manipulated by whatever environment I seem to be in.  Now, that’s not exactly what I mean, I’m just disturbed by a lot of the stuff that I wrote—especially regarding sexual endeavors, and it’s no wonder I hate myself.  I hate who I was when I wrote all this shit, and while I feel like I have come a long way, even just from 2007, I still feel like I hate myself most of the time—or shall I say I hate the way that I think, the way that my thinking is so impulsive and extreme and sexually explicit and disturbing.  I know that sexual promiscuity is a symptom of mania though, and I guess that somehow makes me feel a little bit better—but not really hardly at all.  I am a disturbing individual, but I think what is most disconcerting is that when I am just myself, I find myself to be completely disturbing most of the time.  I’m not sure that makes much sense, but hopefully you do catch the drift.

Thoughts?

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