Alright, let’s break this shit down really quick. I’ve been trying to pump out a blog entry for the past 2 weeks and have been unsuccessful (obviously) every single time. Therefore, I’m going to sit here and do this. Problems of the past 2 weeks that may be worth mentioning…hmm, might have to think of a way to narrow that one down. I guess we’ll start with…

Medications: I’m supposed to be on lithium (a low dose, for “maintenance”, my psychiatrist calls it) and Prozac for the depression. That’s all I take. It’s not a lot to remember. And yet somehow, I have managed not to take any of it for 2 weeks. Instead, I’ve happily been consuming Klonopin (I was prescribed that for something else and then started taking it for sleep), and liquor. Doesn’t matter what kind, doesn’t matter what it’s mixed with. I’m not a big drinker, I really only do it socially and when there is someone sober to drive. I know it’s a slippery slope with me and anything that could be cause for addiction. Alcohol is no different. I don’t have any clinically defined addicts in my family but I know my personality well enough to know that once I get hooked on something, it’s not going to stop. That’s why I binge eat certain foods for months at a time, or only watch particular TV shows until I run out of episodes. I go through withdrawal, even in those circumstances. This week was no different. I knew I was drinking too much. I would wake up and still be woozy from the drugs and the alcohol (because I was consuming them both at the same time, safe or not). I would think about going home from whatever I was out doing and drinking myself to sleep. It was my escape, it’s always been my escape, and this time was no different.

Them: I don’t know how else to refer to them, except as Them. It’s a collection of everyone imaginary that I wish was in my life but aren’t because they aren’t real. Leon, my imaginary friend from childhood. She’s my twin except that she’s the ideal of what I want to be: skinny, thick-flowing hair, confident, brave and magnetic. Then, I’ve got 2 empty slots that sort of fill up with anyone that I’m currently thinking about at the time. This week, because They made an appearance…sort of, was Sherlock. Brendan and I have been watching the BBC version with Benedict Cumberbatch and it’s wildly fantastic (I’ve seen it before but he hasn’t so we had to rewatch the whole thing, but totally worth it). Alright, let me break the scenario down for you. I was driving home from a visit with a girl I know from Girl Scouts (and social media) and haven’t seen in years and years. It was nice, fun, awkwardly polite. On the drive back to the farm though, my brain went all fuzzy. I don’t know if it’s from the previously mentioned issue, or if it’s the lack of medication, or a combination of both, but Leon was visible in my mind’s eye, lounging in the passenger seat, looking incredibly relaxed and at ease with herself and all the worries going on in my head. I could imagine her voice, telling me to relax, to ease up off the reins and have a little fun. She was ridiculously couth about the entire thing. Then, in the backseat, my mind’s eye saw Sherlock, sitting there, calmly cloaked in his winter coat and scarf, playing the devil’s advocate. He and Leon were having a cool, relaxed argument, the way two people that don’t have a personal interest in the matter do. The three of us went back and forth, silently, calmly and before I knew it I was pulling into the driveway of the house, trying to decide who was right in the situation. And for Leon to argue with Sherlock Holmes is mightily impressive, even if neither of them are real. While the conversation made me feel better, the actual thought of Them being there, and giving me comfort is sort of weird. Like, I can’t confide in anyone else right now so I have to make up my social circle. That’s a very strange concept. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, per se, because I’m not actually seeing physical beings but still…I’m 25 years old with imaginary friends. Which leads me into my next topic of conversation….why I need imaginary friends.

Relationship: Brendan and I are sort of in a rocky place. But literally, it’s all in my head. I’m holding things back, I’m not expressing myself to him the way I should be and it starts this snowball effect. I block him out and slam all the doors to myself emotionally. Then, he does the same thing in retaliation, or return, I don’t really know. And it continues like that until we’re pissed at each other for no particular reason. Everything he does upsets me, down to the way he breathes when he’s sleeping. And some part of my brain knows that most of this is the result of being off my medication. I know that the dips in my emotions, the inexplicable anger is the bipolar but it still bothers me. Like, what if that’s how I really feel underneath it all? I don’t think I do but that doesn’t stop the thought from popping up and buzzing in my ear like some annoying bee. And by his breaking point, Brendan will tell me that he doesn’t think he’s ready to handle all of my emotions, that he isn’t sure he knew what he was signed up for when he started dating me (though I told him straight out the gate). It stings when he says that because it makes me feel defective. It makes me feel like if he can’t love me, and I know he does, then who the hell could? If someone who was so willing to give me leeway when it comes to my emotions and crazy attitudes, can’t handle it, what the hell am I going to do if he leaves me? Conversely, I’m so pissed off and low when I stop taking the medications that I don’t care. I convince myself that things would be better off without him here, that I should take the advantage of us having to move to break out on my own. I want to blame all of my problems on him. My financial situation, my living situation, stuff like that all magically seems to be his fault, even when it really isn’t.

It’s easier to live in this world with Them. It’s easier to think that someone, anyone is on my side and completely and utterly understands me in every situation, in every standing and in every problem. Putting my own face over that is not possible though. Trying to explain to the emotional side of my brain that They are me, that Their voices are my own, just divided and situated into different faces and bodies, doesn’t work. If I say that sort of thing to myself, it means nothing. If They say it to me, it’s exactly what I need to hear. It’s the type of support I need to boost my mood enough to get me through the day, or the drive, or whatever I’m trying to get through. Coping skills should be involved somewhere but I feel like this is it. This is my only option and I’m left with nothing else. I’m left to invent friends since I have very few on my own and encourage myself through their words and mouth. It’s pathetic and completely ridiculous.

In other news, I graduated. I’m moving. I’m applying for jobs and organized to apply for the spring semester at University of Maryland. That’s all that’s happened recently. Besides the whole, hearing-voices-sort-of thing. But hey, what’s a girl to do?

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Fearing the Wise Mind

wiseowlLast night I don’t feel like I got my point across very well. This is a very complicated emotion thus the struggle I’m having in effectively communicating what the hell it is I’m feeling about it. First off, let me explain what happened. Ever since I was little, I’ve felt my parents have favored Thomas. It was always little stuff like giving him more praise for a good job in school but its effect was felt. Rather than get mad and become evil and bent on total domination or human destruction, I internalized everything and pushed myself to be better than Thomas so that I could, one day, receive the same love and affection that he did. I want to make it clear that I was never angry about it. I was hurt and each time the favoritism was evident, I was more determined to win over their love. Well, this internalization, we (as in me and Allister) believe, led to my many problems today. Perfectionism? I got that down. Unrealistic expectations? Check. The problem with this little theory though, is that 1) I don’t want to be angry with my parents and I feel like that’s what is being said. I feel like I have to be. But, after giving it consideration last night, the reason I don’t want to be angry at them is because, in my mind, being angry at them means not loving them. Using my rational mind, I know that’s not true. I know that no matter what I’m feeling towards my parents that I love them. My emotional mind is saying something completely different. It’s saying that being mad at them means there’s no room for loving them. It means I would have to revert back to the way things were a while ago when it was constant fighting and just bitter hatred. So what’s my wise mind saying? Well, it’s saying that it’s okay to be angry and still love them. But, me being the willful person I am, I don’t completely trust my wise mind. I still haven’t successfully separated my emotions from things like love so how do I know it’s different this time? What if it’s not and I’m destined to become that child that shoots up a school or something because in her eyes, her parents never loved her enough? I mean, that’s what it really boils down to. Thomas receives more love than I do. God, even typing that was hard. See, whenever I bring this to their attention (and I have on numerous occasions), they always have some rational explanation for their behavior. And at first, it makes perfect sense. But the more I think about it, the more it doesn’t and I’m even more pissed off that I fell for it in the first place. No parent wants to think they made mistakes. I get that. But when the kid who’s supposedly favored even sees it, that’s a problem. And Allister stated the obvious yesterday, which is why I think I got so upset. I’m never going to get an apology from them. I’m never going to hear them say they’re sorry for what they’ve done. And worst of all, I’m never going to be on equal ground as Thomas. And this is where radical acceptance comes in. That’s the hardest skill of all, one that I’m not sure I’m ever going to master. How do you radically accept that your parents love you less than your brother? I don’t hate Thomas or hold any animosity towards him over this either. Actually, Thomas and I are very close. But accepting that, in my parents’ eyes, I will never be on the same level is like the dagger to the heart. I already drive that point home every time I think about all the ways I’ve failed in life so radically accepting that on top of all of those failures…well, maybe it’s a point of accepting them too. Oh God, there’s so much acceptance to be done! When it comes to that, I just freeze up. I can’t do it. I don’t know what it is about radically accepting something that I don’t get but I just can’t seem to grasp the concept. I think it’s the finality of all of it. It’s the fact that once I’ve accepted whatever I’m accepting, I’m resigned to whatever fate accompanies that acceptance. And the more I think about it, accepting the fact that my parents will never love me as much as they love Thomas (God, that sounds so terrible! Maybe it’s ‘the fact that my parents will never love me in the same way they love Thomas.’ Yea, I like that better), the fate that I would be resigned to if I accepted that is Recovery. It would be a step in the right direction, a step I would be taking without my parents. Although it would be a step for me, it’s a step without them and that scares the crap out of me. Fear is a powerful motivator. But it’s also a powerful inhibitor. And I think it’s keeping me from truly getting better. So how do I get around this practically insurmountable object? I mean, Allister said the exact same thing to me yesterday in therapy and what did I do? I completely shut down. I went home and slept for 2 hours. I avoided. I ran away from my problems. Something I’m even struggling not to do right now. I’ve hovered my cursor over the ‘Save Draft’ button numerous times while writing this, wondering if I had the strength to continue. I think I have some serious work ahead of me. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fun. But it needs to be done.