Saturday, September 26, 2015

I see a fuzzy, fluorescent pink blanket sitting on a white, uncovered mattress, crumbled up like someone had carelessly tossed it on the bed after they had been using it to wrap themselves up on a chilly evening while they watched Netflix or read a book
I see a flattened black pillow with drool marks running along the sides laying beside the pink blanket. I see bits of my life thrown together on this sheetless mattress. 
My warm and bright and beautifully disastrous life. 
My equally as flat and dark and stained life. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I AM...BIPOLAR

Now this one's a fun one for me. The newest of all of my identity traits and a big inspiration for this blog series.

I am bipolar...big time.

My diagnosis started July 4th of 2015, so a little over a month before this blog post was published.
For over almost a week, I couldn't sleep. My thoughts were racing so fast that I just couldn't let myself relax enough to pass out. My body was also running on almost half of the food intake I was used to, partly because my body was probably stressed but also mostly because I couldn't slow myself down long enough to eat. I just had to keep moving...I went from not working out at all for over 3 months to going on a 4 hour bike ride and spending over 2 hours at the gym in one day during this week. I spent two days straight creating maps on the floor of my home with objects and was sharing very sensitive and deep information with anyone I could talk to. Thankfully, I was around people that had experience with psychological disorders, especially bipolar disorder, and so I was sent to spend over a week in the coping center.

Now that's just the part where I was diagnosed. Prior to this week long experience, I spent over a year in a deep depression. I started skipping classes. I started sleeping all day and cutting myself. This cycle eventually led to my withdrawal from school because I literally thought I couldn't do it anymore. This depressive year (2014-2015), my sophomore year of college, happened right after my manic year of college, my freshman year (2013-2014). I was involved in over roughly 15 programs at my school, was taking as many credit hours as I could and working a ton, on top of being social, going out every night, getting good grades, etc. I never had to sleep and was always working, life was great. But eventually my body shut down...and led me to the coping center. That's mostly the life of a bipolar disorderly person.

See, bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, is a (in my case, hereditary) brain disorder than effects your mood but impacts almost every other function in your body and in your lifestyle. It can ruin marriages, financial statuses, employments, schooling, relationships, friendships, and even one's own life.  Bipolar people are impulsive people...on an impulse, we could lose all of our money because we wanted to donate it to charity. Or we could lose a friend because we were in a depressive state and blew up on somebody. The sad part is, most people go their whole lives never getting diagnosed and some even go their entire lives never knowing that they have bipolar disorder. I was lucky enough to have been diagnosed at an early age, but it still cost me my schooling, a lot of close relationships with some awesome people, and put me in financial stress.

Now there's some other things that you should know about bipolar disorder. There are three types: bipolar 1, 2 and NOS (not otherwise specified). Basically, the severity of bipolar increases as the number decreases (shout out to math people, what's that called again? haha). In other words, bipolar 1 is the most severe, followed by bipolar 2, which is followed by bipolar NOS. People with bipolar NOS are typically never diagnosed. They can usually go their whole lives untreated and live relatively normally. People with bipolar 2 are usually a little easier to diagnose or can be just as easily missed on the radar. They can usually live pretty normally with the help of therapy or medication or neither one. Bipolar 1 diagnosed patients are typically hospitalized by their condition at some point in their lives. They typically CANNOT get by without medication AND therapy. Statics show that bipolar 1 people have a 25% attempted suicide or death rate...they tended to be the most impulsive and reckless of the bunch, I guess.

Anyway, bipolar 1 is the diagnosis that I've ended up with and what I'll identify myself as for the rest of my life, not to scare anyone. I am currently getting the help and support that I need. However, my life hasn't become much easier since the diagnosis. In fact, I feel as though life is harder with this whole new identity to my name. I keep trying to analyze the WHY of this situation to find some value towards my experience for the sake of the world around me and for myself. To be honest, I don't know the WHY of my condition. Maybe I'll never know. Or maybe it was simply to write this blog and let everyone know that I struggle with this one big thing that takes everything out of me everyday. But I know I'm not alone in this world. To all of you other bipolar people out there, I honor thee for being so strong with this disorder.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I AM...HUMAN

Above and beyond anything else I could say, I am human. That means that, just like you, I have needs. Just like you, I have wants, longings, and desires. Just like you, I have passions and goals and dreams. I make mistakes every single day of my life, big or small. I worry and fear and get angry and cry and fart really loud on accident sometimes and laugh at stupid jokes. You get it, I'm a human.

So if I don't get you on any other level, I at least get that you struggle, because we all struggle, as humans. Some of us struggle with very basic needs, such as finding shelter, food and water. Others of us struggle with some type of medical issue. Still others of us struggle financially or even spiritually.
I personally think that a lot of us struggle socially, especially in the good ole USA. Regardless of what you struggle with or when you struggled with it or why or how you got through it, all that matters is that you did struggle with something. And I can tell you that you struggled because you are human.

As a human, I AM struggling with a lot of things right now. But that doesn't mean that I am better or worse than any other HUMAN out there that ever lived. That just means that I have lived as a human, the same that you have. 

You know, I've been reading this book lately; really great read by Dr. Brene Brown called The Gifts of Imperfection. She talks a lot in this book about courage, compassion and connection. In this book, she generally states that "connection is something that we are all lacking in some way by not courageously sharing our own stories about how we struggle as humans." You wouldn't believe the amount of people that you can connect to just by opening up and sharing with others what you struggle with...regardless of what it is...Maybe that is why we all struggle with something at some point in our lives. Regardless of what you believe in, I believe that we were meant to connect to each other. I refuse to believe that generation after generation of people have struggled and it all be for not. Maybe we were just designed to be brothers and sisters to each other by showing small acts of courage such as telling some randos about something that makes you feel really small and vulnerable.

So as a HUMAN, I promise you that you are not and never will be alone in your struggles, which is another part of the reason why I feel so adamant now about sharing this blog with anyone and everyone who will read it. As you continue to read my blogs, contact me and share your story. I am just as happy to listen as I am to talk.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

I AM ME...but WHY and HOW

Dear Followers,

I have decided to start a segments of "I AM's" on this blog. One reason is because I've had a dry season when it comes to writing (which is weird, because I love to write) but also because I have learned a lot of new things about myself...or even discovered new ways to evaluate myself, very recently. Throughout my childhood, adolescence and even young adulthood, I (and I think everyone else) have always been taught to ask the "Who?'s" and the "What?'s", the "When?'s"and the "Where?'s" about EVERYTHING...except ourselves. And after 20 years of asking those questions about the world, I think that I'm ready to ask myself those questions...about me.

Now I've left out the two most important questions in the entire world on purpose:  "Why?" and "How?". Now these questions are a little more difficult to answer and explain sometimes, but we now have the knowledge, science and technology to start asking these questions...about EVERYTHING in our lives...and that includes our own individual lives. I believe that by asking the "Why" and "How" questions about myself, I can hopefully help myself, and my followers, understand the way in which we see and experience the world in our own individual lives.

As a warning to my followers, I AM going to be honest about who I AM. But I want to work through these difficult topics/questions to help understand who I AM with the help of my fellow friends and family and all the caring people in this world. In turn, I hope each one of you will ask yourselves the same questions of yourselves, honestly. It doesn't have to be in the public, like I'm planning on doing, but maybe in your own heart, you can understand why you feel the way you feel and live the way you live and how you came to that lifestyle or mindset in the first place.

Please do not be offended by anything I write on here...and if you are, just don't read it. If you want to ask me personal questions about what I end up writing about, message me on Facebook. If you have a strong opinion about some of these topics (for or against or whatever), throw them at me in a reply to these blogs or on a comment on Facebook. All I ask for is honesty, not harassment or judgement.

Love to all,
Amanda

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cuts

"I have a good idea." she said.
"What?" she replied.
"Go to the bathroom. But first, bring that pair of scissors."
"Why? How is this going to help me?"
"Just trust me. It'll work. You'll get through this. But first, you have to do this."
She walked to the bathroom, scissors in hand.
"Okay, now what?" she said.
"This is going to be so awesome. Pull up your sleeve." she replied.
"Why? I don't understand."
"Just do it."
She pulled up her sleeve.
"You know what to do next..."
She did.
"I don't want to do this. Please, I don't want to do this to myself."
"You said you wanted to feel better. You said you wanted to wake from this hellish sleep. Baby, this is better than a pinch. It will work wonders on you. Just do it."
She closed her eyes. She opened the scissors. She squeezed so hard, her hand bled before she put the sharp edge to her arm.
Three cuts, close together. Thin and red.
She sat on the floor, crying silent tears.
"I told you it would feel better." she said.
"You were right, it does." she replied.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That Night

These nights weren't uncommon to her. At least not that first year. But now, things were different and she couldn't pinpoint why or how.

To any outsider who knew about her past, this night was just like any other. As much as she tried not to be seduced by him, she always caved in. Was it that she loved him? She didn't think so. But she had never had such strong feelings for anyone. At least that was the way he made her feel. No, the feelings were not love, although they were strong. She was just susceptible, vulnerable. But that did not make her in love. In fact, what she suffered from was a different kind of feeling. She suffered from hatred, pure hatred and a desire to hate him who had stolen her, who had taken away her everything. So as much as he hurt her, she continued to go back. Not because of some sick puppy love as everyone had assumed, but because she enjoyed and loved to hate him.

That was all last year. Afterwards, a silent summer passed. Although she lived so far away, she was still devoted to hating him. She proved this to herself by sneaking hours away from home to see him, to pretend to have fun with him. To please him. This fed her desire to continue to hate him. And she believed she would because that was all she wanted to do.

But something changed in her that summer. And when she came back to live in that town where he resided, she no longer knew how to hate him. And so, he could no longer convince her to late night sleep overs or beer around the campfire because she had no desire to feed herself into that kind of misery anymore. Was it that she was happy? She wasn't sure. Everyone else would probably say so. But she could not. She could not name the feeling that was deep down in her heart. This feeling was not hatred, and so it scared her. She put on a font, pretending to be the way she normally was, and people bought it. Hell, she even began to believe it.

So what happened on the night where her common life, her past life crept back in? Well, you might assume that she caved. But she did not cave. She was too control of the moment for this to be a fall, a cave back onto her past habits. No, on this night she turned to her past for answers. She was tired of not understanding what she was feeling, what her true emotions were. So she went to the one thing that she knew would spark something in her.

To her disbelief, she found nothing. No answers came to her that night. No emotion was sparked while she played out the actions of her former self. But it didn't take her long to realize what it all meant.

She felt nothing. Her heart bore no emotions. Feeling was gone. And she would never feel anything again.

THIS is True Love

It will never be the same between you and I
The moment you opened your mouth, you changed our lives
Why did you make that fatal mistake?
What made you decide to take it all away?

You made me fall for you right off the bat
I had no intention of loving, but you changed all of that
I was fine without you, no doubt that I was
In fact I was dandy, and you weren't even a plus

It started with that day out on the lawn
You said I looked lovely and told someone else you thought I'd be fun
To bed you took me as soon as you could
I never knew that was the only intention you had for good

At the moment I just wanted to play
Boys had never affected me much anyway
As strong as I was and as tough minded as I had been
No one could warn me of the trouble I was in

All I craved for months on end
Was to be with you, see you, and please you as more than a friend
I couldn't focus on school work at all
I didn't realize that my life had changed for good that fall

For now, I can never seem to love again
Not you or anyone, not nearly as much as I did back then
So thank you for all of that, you dirty scum
I think I hate you now, for all that you've done.