Nuts

 

“Fucking nuts”…that’s what i want it to say on my medical alert bracelet.  There must be a place that does such things.  Once people understand you are actually mentally ill, they give you a little space.  i always found the most eccentric people to be the most fun.  And we have our fair share of nuts in the family tree.

i’m bipolar.  i said that to a dentist who was slated to pull a bad tooth once and he said, “You won’t hit me, will you?”  I suppose my size is intimidating enough.  But this is a trained medical professional, so you would think his head wouldn’t be that far up his ass, right?  And that is what the mentally ill deal with day in and day out.  And that is why the mentally ill tend to hide their illness and it’s consequences from others.

i was in a bad car accident in 2001.  So add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list.  I still sweat a bit when i see school busses.  I would dream in orange for a long time thereafter.  Continual rehab and counselling were the slate for about four days a week and i was fortunate to have benefits through work.  Again, I was more fortunate than most.

Calling a place of refuge The Asylum, is a little paradoxical, especially if you have ever had the pleasure of a stay in a mental hospital.  And yet it can be a word of comfort to others, bringing up thoughts of security…a refuge from those who would do you harm…a safe place.

If you have a mental illness, you know the mixed feelings that come if society decides you need a “rest”.  i have had a number of such stays, the last over a decade ago.  i finally made some commitments to my health, took a pledge not to drink until we were sure i was stable on my meds.  Apparently alcohol and other recreational drugs interfere with thought processes and mental stability.  Who knew?

So i stopped drinking for five years, let them roam around in my head a bit and adjust my meds.  That is the short version.  i still drink, but my system just can’t do too much of that self-abuse very often.  Since we moved from the city to the peace of the country (hwo many years?) ago, my meds have been reduced even further.  I have been very fortunate indeed.  Others suffer non-stop and it is a terrible thing to behold, so isolation can be a real issue.  Family and friends have limits…understandable, but painful nonetheless.

i’m not much for pity parties.  i’ve just awoken from a deep depression and i really do not know for how long i was incapacitated.  Let’s just say i feel amazing, which can be an issue for bipolars, who know the “manic monster” (my professional term) is waiting at the other extreme.

I know mental health is about stability.  Extremes are not helpful, and while medication is often necessary, i have found that making my own place of peace and security needs to take first place in my own mind.  It is easy to blame others when often we need to point our vision inward and see what tools we can put into place in our own lives.

i’ve taught time management and organizational skills to others.  i have tools i use that help me, if i put them into place.  This section will be dedicated to strategies and tools i have found helpful in my own life.  Share your own experiences if you like, but please remember to keep safe.  Some people should just not know some personal things about you.  Kind honesty is always appreciated.