…is this thing on?

Why blog?

From the very moment that I learned how to communicate, I knew it was for me. My mother is an avid metaphor person, a poet in her own right. My sister and I quickly learned that by abstracting the truth to create luscious word relationships, we could get our own sordid opinion across to anyone. It’s a smarty-pants form of manipulation. Even before being diagnosed with manic depression, I knew that my thought process was just a little… different. Also, I have a theory that I am perpetually 15 years old, and have this insatiable fear of being misunderstood. And because of this funny little quirk I have A.K.A Cognitive Distortion, I perceive myself being misunderstood and judged all the damn time. Realizing now, as clever as you are, that logic is in no way involved in any kind of delusion, I cannot just flippantly shrug it off with an ‘ah fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke’ , but feel vehemently compelled to explain myself, and with rabid fervor to my imaginary persecutors.

I kind of hate the word blog. BLAAHHHG. It sounds like something made entirely of mucus that has to be removed with an embarrassing surgery. “The doctor gave me a topical ointment for my blaaahhg..” “Sir, I hate to tell you this but you seem to have developed a Blog. The tests have shown that is is still benign, but you will be requiring a catheter.” If that is not reason enough not to have one, I am not sure what is. Except there is this pull. This great big, almost visceral need to share, but more importantly, to write. We may have this in common, do you feel that you communicate better in writing than you do in person? It’s because you get to take your time, be thoughtful and eloquent. When we write we are not on the spot. We do not have to filter through our constantly growing bank of perception to produce a witty and engaging response on the fly. We get to be, to quote Steve Martin, “Effer-goddamn-vescent.”

So write already! What is so wrong with a journal? What is the purpose of being so public with everything these days?

So, so many reasons. We all have our own, I am sure. I cannot presume to hope that my scribblings will help anyone else through their own issues. In fact, I would be proud if anyone other than my sister reads this. I just hold myself to a higher standard of writing when there may or may not be an audience. Also, with depression comes a feeling of space thievery, that only creation can obliterate. Having a project, any project can help redirect those thoughts of worthlessness, plus it helps to channel some of that manic energy, so maybe I won’t fizzle out into a ball of exhaustion after trying to tackle a billion things at once (one can hope, anyway).

Although the best answer to this quandary came in the form of an email from the incomparable Miss Seaneen Molloy who’s groundbreaking blog Mentally Interesting: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive http://thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive.wordpress.com/, may be some of the most earnest, yet bitingly witty writing on the subject I have ever come across. I wrote her in a panic, not sure what exactly it was I was looking for, permission perhaps? I mashed a few spastic words together, pleading for a reason to undertake this project. She responded in one perfect word. The exact word I needed to hear, a nod or nudge to actualize the truth of this need.

“CATHARSIS!”

Cheers, Miss Molloy! Here we go!

Topic: Ok. So I was really tentative about writing about manic depression. Not only are there many beautiful, intelligent and even downright hilarious blogs about the subject already, but it is such a personal experience. None of us are defined by our mental illness, but it does cast it’s reflection onto every aspect of our lives. I am so grateful to all of the brave people who have the courage to let us peer into their personal experiences no matter how ridiculous or icky or mortifying they can seem. When I read these, I learn more about my own self and see that some of my “quirks” or perceived downfalls are actually characteristics of the illness. Natures of the Beast. The scary ones are easier to spot, and possibly easier to forgive. You simply cannot blame someone for having hallucinations or an obvious psychotic episode. Well, you can, but you’d be being a dick. I have been blessed in the way that my “God-told-me-I-am-going-to-die-because-I-know-too-much” episodes are few and far between, and that even when I get really scared and twitchy, I still have good folks to call. The natures that I am more interested in, however, are the subtle yet common threads among us. Two characteristics in particular that are oft perceived as being one’s own unwillingness to grow are Self Absorption and Social Isolation. I refer to the combination of the two as the “Hey You Get Off My Cloud” Syndrome. Two is a crowd when there are twelve already in your head.

I am an island. Unless I am on my couch, then my couch is an island and I am a coconut. If there is no one else home, then my house is the island and I am a monkey. Oh, how I do enjoy my own company. I do not think that self absorption and social withdraw are incurable diseases. I just think we have to work a little harder at them is all. Sometimes it feels that we have to work a little harder at everything, just to maintain basic survival. I do not feel “blessed” with bipolar disorder, but I do admit that the initial diagnosis was somewhat of a relief. It is a reason, not an excuse, but at least I don’t just suck at life. I can always quantify the magnitude of any depressive episode by the amount of time it takes me to shave once I have come out of it. On good days, awaking from a deep depression doesn’t require me having to find a new job, or beg my way back into the old one. Do you have a song you hear when the fog lifts? Mine is the “Welcome Back Kotter” theme song, you can borrow it if you like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVS3WNt7yRU

And so this blaaagh thing begins. I know I jumped about a bit and didn’t elaborate on much, but this is just the test drive, you know? I don’t want to make any promises just yet. I don’t want to get too personal right away and scare you off. I don’t want to discuss medications at this time, because I feel like I’d be endorsing something. We’re just dipping our toes in right now, testing the bloggy waters. I genuinely hope to write for wages one day, but until then I practice on you. I hope you don’t mind.

If you have any questions or ideas you would like me to explore, please let me know. I will be grateful for the feedback.

Till next time loves!

~CTW

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