This post is inspired partly by a friend of mine. K, thank you. Read her blog here.
I like to pretend I'm not bipolar. I like to think "hey, I've got a handle on this, really." I mean, I've been med-free for five years, so that should mean something, right? Wrong. The only reason I'm okay is because I've got an untold number of prayers and blessings to support me. And because I talk everything out in my head.
Occasionally, I have to say 'No, you don't want to do that, people will think you're crazy,' or 'According to the DSM-V, that's a psychotic behavior. Stop it.' Sometimes I walk away from a potential conversation because the psychological pain caused by the potential rejection is far too great. I'd probably have more friends if I could just get beyond the fear.
Interestingly enough, I have a far easier time talking to people I don't know. I think a part of me figures 'I will probably never have to see this person again! YAY!! I can be myself!!!'
Acquaintances cause the most trouble. It's as if there are a thousand fire ants crawling along my nerves; I blush, I stammer, and I probably sound less intelligent than I actually am, but what you don't know is, I'm in an intense amount of pain, and am debating whether I should come across as rude and leave, or stay and vomit on your pretty shoes. I <3 shoes, so most of the time, I excuse myself. You're welcome.
There are a few reasons besides the mental illness that have led me to be this way. I was raped at 17, and am friends with a dear lady who still keeps in touch with my attacker. If she mentions his name, I go into shock: my heart races, I get pale(r), my hands get clammy, and I feel as though I've been kicked in the gut. I try not to dwell on that situation too long; it was an immense betrayal, I am not "over it" and probably never will be. However, most of the time, I don't even think about it, and I am doing the best I can. Yes, I have flashbacks, yes I have an irrational distrust in most men, yes, I am dealing with PTSD, and some days it takes all I have to just survive... but I'm still here.
A few years ago, I was on a very successful diet, but I started to sabotage myself the closer I got to my goal. Why? Because someone looked at me the way he had, and it freaked me out to the point that I started gaining again. Now here I am, back where I started, thinking 'Is this how it's going to be always?' I hope not.
I am immensely grateful for the love and kindness shown to me by my wonderful husband; he knows all I have been through, he knows it occasionally screws with me, and he knows how to talk me down from all sorts of ledges. I have been blessed every day since he found me.
It's incredibly difficult to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and hate yourself. It happens less and less, as I allow myself to be immersed in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, but I have my moments. If you come across me on a bad day, you'll know it... at least now, you understand why.