love, friendship, and mental health… (post and poem)
Love, of the romantic and friendship persuasion is complex even with a relatively healthy brain. Now mix in manic episodes, isolation, confusion, depression and all that other fun stuff. Things can get a little tricky to say the least. I am a hot mess. I cry a lot at small things and avoid the big ones completely. I rant and rave at the smallest provocation. I freak out and get anxious at the drop of a hat. I withdraw. I cling. I love hard and turn around and love as light as possible all in the span of a day. I am a chatterbox and will space out all in the confines of one conversation. I wrote a poem about it once:
sometimes i’m a little goofy
i’m a bit clumsy and i knock things over
and some days I cry for no reason when i’m happy
and some days i smile when i’m hurt
and i don’t say what i mean sometimes
i don’t mean what I say some days
sometimes i forget what i’m saying mid sentence
and sometimes i don’t really forget but i just lose the courage to say it
and some days I am a little too silly
so you can’t see that i’m sad
and sometimes I’m mean to people who love me
but i can admit that i’m wrong
i’m a mess
but you love me in spite of
or maybe because or
but for whatever reason,
remember that sometimes i forget to say thank you.
I do wonder sometimes how my friends deal with me. Relationships can be difficult when you are dealing with the cornucopia of symptoms and consequences of mental illness. It is hard sometimes to separate the disease from the individual. Though hurtful actions or words may be the illness rearing its ugly head, they still can hurt. I find myself doing a lot of apologizing, sometimes excessively because of the shame I deal with surrounding my illness. (working on that, by the way) My significant other constantly tells me to stop being sorry, but in my mental mind I can’t let hurtful things slip off my tongue without acknowledging the crappiness of it.
The key is to have supportive, nurturing people in your life. This seems like good advice for anyone, not just someone dealing with mental illness. It is helpful to have people with a positive and calm energy, they tend to complement my sometimes frenetic thinking and actions. They also tend to be the people who understand and sometimes unknowingly redirect your bad feelings. Also, no matter how temporarily painful it may be, you must drop people who do not have a personality or capacity to deal with your illness. When you find that courage the release is way more gratifying than you ever imagined. Corny or trite as it may sound, the power of positivity is incredibly healing and definitely makes this road a lot easier
And this time I didn’t forget to say thank you. Thanks, y’all.