Let us begin to heal

I’m bipolar.

Don’t know how politic it is to have that out there. But it should be no more or less stigmatized than having cancer or diabetes or arrhythmia or needing to wear glasses because your parents left you genes for eyes which really don’t want to settle down or stop getting more terrible.

It is, though. And I hate that, and I hate that I have internalized it so well that I have been so scared of saying it for so long that I planned to build up to it over time, and then when failing to keep a journal online, never did.

This is the first time I’m saying it directly, in public, on the internet. After a very stressful morning, Dad suggested I write about it, and about what happened to me, because every time I describe it to him he learns something new. I held off for about two and a half weeks, partly due to a suddenly busy schedule and partly because, again, the prospect of actually saying this out loud, to the internet, including to people who do not know me and for whom this may be their first exposure to me–especially as I am job hunting–is a really scary endeavor. But it shouldn’t be scary, so I am going to put that out there.

I suppose I won’t talk about it much in this post–it really is quite late, there are other things I want to write for fun tonight, and I have serious work to do tomorrow before another installment in “the endless rehearsals that make up this month.”

But for now, we’ll start here: I’m bipolar.

It’s not the only problem, of course. I had various psycho-social traumas which kept building for years, one after another, approximately any time I was close to healing from the last one and the various bipolar episodes they set off. But shortly before I first posted to this again after two years, something just clicked into place.

It’s strange, now, because I woke up metaphorically one day–I had been Not Sleeping for some hours before that–and realized I had… basically no idea where or when I was. I was confused, because it was 2008 or 2009, right? I was 18, 19. I had options and a future. And then suddenly here I am, 26, many good things about my life change but also many things that I am just confused about because I… can match dates to events, because I am good at memories like that, but I honestly can’t even tell how time passed in large chunks of that. It’s a grey blank.

Hypomanic episodes do not last a month–and that is what it is nearing–and I am learning to balance things, and how to de-stress after a crazy week, and how to say no and how to let go. And I have been absurdly productive at times.

And there are ways in which I am simply not hurting anymore. For the first time in years, I actually have hope that the future will not be The Worst Thing. I have hope that I can take actions to make my life better; I have reason to believe my brain is actively trying to make me happy, not drowning in an endless quagmire of despair.

Nothing will ever really change that I am ill, and that it will need to be managed, and maybe one day if trauma happens yet again it will spiral out of control. But I can well and truly hope it won’t. Being safe and loved and supported really helps with that, and not feeling alone, and knowing maybe in the future I really won’t be alone. We’ll see.

I am still not doing everything I’d like to, and putting things off, and indulging in silliness. But even so, I am hacking away at real life plots and may be solving them at something like a steady pace. That is a relief unlike any I can describe.

But for the first time in seven years, maybe more like ten or twelve, I have some kind of hope for a day when I am secure, happy, and no longer in pain.

I had trauma, and I am bipolar.

I can hope it will get better.

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What’s past is prologue

Not going to lie: I am the absolute worst at journaling.

Not the absolute worst, maybe; I do manage to have some posts, sometimes. But keeping it up is a habit, and I’ve never had much skill with those. And, honestly, I rather expect this to end up going the same way most of my attempts do: sporadic bursts of SHARING ALL THE THINGS and then nothing at all.

This pattern does exist for a reason. It is a reason I am developing both a growing acceptance of, bewilderment about, and some amount of weary… not quite resentment, not quite anger, but something between them towards it, with just a dash of resignation. Not, however, resignation about results. I know what to do and how to move forward, and I think I have some chance of doing so for the first time in quite literally more years than I am certain of anymore.

My dad suggested I write about what happened to me, because whenever I describe it to him, he’s fascinated and learns more. The last time I kept any kind of online journal, I kind of avoided going into it because I really was not at a point where I felt comfortable going into it. I’m starting to. And I think maybe it’s time to go ahead and have something out there, because why not.

This is my space. This will mean two things. First, I will be writing a lot about mental health, but I will also write about pretty much whatever I feel like. There will be a lot on books, games, things that catch my eye in general. Second, I will moderate it as I see fit. If you are reading it and have concerns about its safety, send me a message. I want this to be a place of acceptance and openness. If you disagree with me, someone else, or something, you may–but be aware I 100% reserve the right to punt nastiness out a window.

The last time I approached this–a little under three and a half years ago, it looks like–I wrote an information post. A lot of it is still relevant.

I’m giving this ‘has a blog-journal’ thing another go.

I am thoroughly—even painfully—aware that I am unlikely to make it work. There are any number of reasons (first and foremost, of course, being empirical evidence). But it has been repeatedly observed that I work best with a schedule, and maybe if I can actually force myself to write a little every day, non-attempt-at-fiction, it’ll help my brain.

This was not my idea, originally. I got a journal partly to play with, post and share writing with, and mostly to follow the lead of a loved one. Once that wasn’t a concern, my regularity eventually dropped off. I haven’t posted in something approaching two years, and then mere trivialities. This time it needs to be for me. I am known among my friends for my loquaciousness, not being afraid to say what I think, and (if I’m in the mood) refusing to let go of an argument until I win or it dies a savage, bloody death. I’m not sure why I don’t write, ‘speak’ all those random thoughts ‘out loud,’ as it were. Maybe I should.

So these entries will be all over the place, some daily minutiae, some Thinky Thoughts, some fandom flailing, some RP and/or writing thoughts, LARPing and tabletop stories, maybe book or movie reviews (‘fandom flailing’), hopefully some personal growth, some politics or philosophy or mathematics or what have you, some more emotional stuff.

Some of the goals have changed since then, and there should probably be more. But that’s the really relevant portion.

Hello, internet. Interesting to meet you.

My name is Lee.

This is my life.