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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

this post brought to you by hypohypomania

September 29th, 2011 (06:23 pm)

So... update!

My life has been quite literally crazy for... oh, for six months easy, I guess, but I only picked up on it a couple days ago, when I finally swung out of a fairly lethal depressive state and into hypomania. Hypomania! It is incredible! I can just like do everything! Until it changes to a mixed state and I start sobbing with rage because, for example, there was an offensive line on Harry's Law,* a show that I only watch in the first place to ogle Karen Olivo. But mostly, I have found hypomania to be a relief after all those months of hating myself and wanting to die and telling myself over and over again that I wasn't really chemically depressed, I just really was such a horrible person that it would be best for me to die.

And no, I don't talk about those things with anybody except λ. I figured I was being self-indulgent enough as it was without whining to the rest of the world about it. Sometimes it is odd to look back over my Internet records from the worst periods of my life and see the blogs and tweets of a girl whose biggest apparent concern was what Julianna Margulies wore to the Emmys. I don't even care about Julianna Margulies.

At any rate. Right now I am perched very precariously on a thin rail of what neurotypical people call "normal", although teetering slightly in the direction of manic. I kicked up my meds a little last night and got a full night's sleep for the first time in a week or so, and I'm not hypomanic anymore**. I'm not depressed either. But... I can do things. I don't really think that anyone who has not had to deal with depression can understand the meaning of that. I mean that I woke up this morning and decided, after six months of sobbing and wanting to kill myself every time I thought about writing or doing any other kind of work, that I should be doing some freelance editing work in addition to the writing that I had been busy not doing until two days ago, when I finally managed to get busy doing it again. So I printed up a flyer advertising a college essay editing/SAT tutoring service and I went to post it on some community bulletin boards. While I was out I ran some errands, many of which I had been meaning to run since we moved into this apartment. Then I came home and decided that since we live in a nice apartment which is not only entirely undecorated but still not totally unpacked, I should work on that. I unpacked the boxes in our little game room** and then decided that I should try to cobble together some decorations for our huge expanses of entirely bare wall. I dug around and found paint, some old coloring pages I'd done, construction paper and popsicle sticks. Awesome! I thought. I will make a series of homey yet polished pieces of artwork with these supplies and they will not look like a kindergartener made them at ALL! I will decorate our entire house for absolutely no money! This will be so great!

I'm not hypomanic anymore, but here and there you do find traces of it still.

Anyway, so I had this idea that I was going to make frames and matting for some of my coloring pages with popsicle sticks, paint, glue, construction paper, and a big cardboard air conditioner box that I cut up before λ could tell me that we needed that to repack the air conditioner to store it for the winter. So I'm awesome. But still! It was going to be very easy and simple and after a few hours or so I would have like an artwork series!

Five hours later (five hours later) here is what had happened:

Clearly that deserves pride of place over the mantelpiece we haven't got. I'm especially a fan of the way the stray glue smears catch the light. And the way the popsicle sticks frame has that charming, one-of-a-kind unevenness going on. And the way that the super glue we had wouldn't bond with wood and we didn't have any other glue in the house, so I had to secure the popsicle sticks frame to the murdered air conditioner box matting with thumbtacks. Which don't really stay in the cardboard very well because I measured the cardboard wrong and it's a little too small, so the tacks are riiiiiiight at the edges of it. And also they're thumbtacks. Holding together popsicle sticks. And cardboard.

Since this took me five hours I determined after some judicious thought that I would save the rest of the series for another day. Or a series of another days. Next time I will be smarter about it though. I will actually measure some things and stuff. Really getting professional now.

Anyway the only thing I have not done yet today is write, but I am going to do that now, because I am capable of doing that now. I sent my agent an email in the middle of the night the other night telling him to expect the revised book on Monday, after having been out of touch with him for I do not know how many months. His reply sounded a little startled and confused, but he was perfectly receptive to this suggestion and now I am sending the book back Monday.****

The thing I am not talking about now because it does not do any good to talk about it now, really, is that this okay period is going to vanish in about three days, if I get that long. And I cannot bear to go back to being depressed. I can't. I had forgotten what it was like not to drearily hate every breath I drew. I called my doctor (who really should have picked up on this before and done something about it, like maybe one of the two times I made overt suicidal gestures, but then we mustn't ask for too much) and I am planning on telling her she needs to fucking do something about this, because I have just had a breath of fresh air for the first time in six months and I am not going back down in that coal mine with the dead canary fifty feet ahead. Somehow I am going to make this okay.

Man, fuck bipolar disorder right in the ear.


*Granted the line was really offensive. The lawyers were doing an interview with some weird guy who seemed to me to be suffering from some combination of sociopathy, autism, and addiction to horse tranquilizers. Later one of the lawyers asked another one what was up with him. "He's bipolar," Lawyer 2 said. "At least, he'd like to be bipolar. Bipolar's very chic now. It used to be bisexuality was the hip thing, now it's bipolar." FUCKING SERIOUSLY, HARRY'S LAW. Get a better show, Karen Olivo, I don't feel like watching this one anymore.
**This means my thoughts aren't racing, I'm not talking too fast, I'm not finding everything in the world to be the most brilliant and amazing ever, and I managed to sleep through a night. Other residual traces of the hypomania are slight enough to be more or less disregarded, although they do make life kind of silly at times.
***If I'm telling the truth, what it actually is is a stuffed animal room. It has a bookcase full of stuffed animals and toys which is the dominating feature. It also has a lot of board games and a digital piano. I call it the game room most of the time, the music room when I'm trying to sound a little more upscale or when I remember mid-sentence that people will think we have a pool table and a poker setup if I call it the game room, and the toy room when I'm talking to λ.
****The reason I can predict Monday with confidence is that I froze up with virtually nothing left to do. It was unbelievable. I spent months on end crying about how I couldn't write, knowing full well that all I had left was to write one half of one chapter, edit the framework for another chapter, and add some seasonal references here and there so that the entire book doesn't seem to be happening in the span of a week and a half. That's it. That's what has been making me want to commit suicide for months now.


Posted by: Rebecca (theniwokesoftly)
Posted at: September 29th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)

Re: footnote 1. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK??? Yes, I ADORE swinging wildly between so-excited-I-can't-focus and being suicidal.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I was really thrilled by that line too. I threw my keys at the TV and then forgot I'd done it and couldn't find them the next day.

Posted by: Rebecca (theniwokesoftly)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)

I did laugh at this comment, though.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: September 29th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
quotes: other: hugs that blanket

*Internet hugs*

yeah, I know depression.

those are some cute painted shoes, though. :)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)

::hugs back:: I'm sorry you know depression too.

And they're crayon-colored shoes! It's just a coloring page off the Internet that I cut out and put on black construction paper.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
emotions: heart

they looked sort of watercoloury! if you managed to do that with crayon, I am legit impressed. ♥

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)

I love coloring with crayons -- I used to spend tons of time on it. I can't draw but I can color! For awhile I thought it was worth blogging about even though my "I am l33t technical colorer yay!" tone is pretty awful looking back at the entries. But I framed-or-whatever the picture that that entry is about today and am going to frame the one in the default icon on that journal next.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
other: whir!

pretty things yay!

Posted by: my tongue freezes. (velvet_tipping)
Posted at: September 29th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)

you are one of the most awesome people i know.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)

And this is one of the nicest comments I've ever gotten. :) Seriously -- thank you. I think you're pretty rocking too.

Posted by: my tongue freezes. (velvet_tipping)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)

ya...i mean, i read your entry and really just, that's all i could think of to say. stuff sucks when your mind isn't always your friend. i think it's amazing when people manage to be creative and productive despite that.

Posted by: my tongue freezes. (velvet_tipping)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)

also, wish we could have hung out when i was in cambridge! maybe if i ever come back to visit (knock on wood that happens soon)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)


I don't know what bipolar is like from the inside, but I do know depression, of the "failing classes because I can't bring myself to do two minutes of homework, crying myself to sleep because I can't find enough energy to slit my wrists" type. It sucks. I hope you can find whatever help you need so you don't have to slide back into that.

I've missed your presence on the internet. I assumed it was because your life had gotten busy and you had better things to do than blog and/or tweet; sorry to hear it was a less happy reason.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)

This comment was really helpful to me, Damian, thank you. What you said about depression is exactly how I've experienced it, and it made me feel understood and not alone. I mean, Christ, all the nights I've spent in a fever of self-loathing because I didn't "have the courage" to kill myself. (And all the classes I almost failed in college -- I dropped out two-thirds of the way through one semester to avoid actually failing. Well, and to get treatment. Anyway, not being able to write anything longer than a tweet was due to the same issue.)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)

I did drop several classes in college rather than fail them - some of which were way over my head anyway, but at least one, I could have passed easily if I'd been able to make myself actually do the work and turn it in. I started college as a physics major on the honors track, and failed - there were other factors, but depression was a big one. To this day my mother's holding that against me as "proof" that I'm indecisive, don't know what I want, can't stick to a goal. It's not. I was mentally ill. (Still am, though I'm better at managing it now.)

Also I almost killed myself over a two-page reading summary five years ago, so your last footnote - I can relate to that.

So...yeah. You're not alone. I do understand. *HUGS*

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)

Ugh, I am so sorry your mom thinks/says that. Having someone else put that shit on you makes everything so much worse because if you're anything like me you sometimes start to believe it in your dark moments. That laziness comment of Marcia's stuck with me forever, and all this past summer my mom was telling me that I'm not bipolar, all my problems are actually caused by the medication, and if I would just exercise and eat right (which I kind of ALREADY DO, THANKS) I would be cured. I was depressed enough that I really started to believe her, even though it's a pretty blatantly ridiculous idea. I guess my point is that people's ignorant comments, particularly mothers', can make things a lot worse, at least for me.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 1st, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)

Yeah. I do start to believe it sometimes - that and a lot of other crap people have said to me. People who'd KNOW it was ridiculous to say something like "Oh, you have cancer? Well, if you really WANTED to be healthy, it would go away" think it's perfectly alright to say that about mental illnesses. My mother has also implied, on multiple occasions, that my autism a) is a problem and b) would cease to be a problem if I'd just put a little effort into it. I also had a friend once who seemed to think "problem caused by brain chemistry" was the same thing as "faking it for attention" because it's all in your head, right? It's not like it's REAL. Argh.

Mental health problems are hard enough to deal with without all the shit people say about them. Frequently people who really ought to know better. (Did your therapist seriously call you lazy? Seriously??!!)

Posted by: Kat (kindness_says)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)

Ugh. Not a lot to say, of course, but sending sympathy. And since I'm just in Allston, maybe my telepathy is strong enough to reach!

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)

:) Thanks. We should really get together sometime when I'm not isolating the hell out of myself due to depression...

Posted by: inowhaveasn (inowhaveasn)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)

I love you (and the honesty of this post.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)

I love you too, L. :) Thanks.

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)


Fuck it right in the ear, indeed. I don't have much useful to offer beyond my total sympathy and a hope that the doctor is a little more helpful.

I still think you're more than entitled to whine to the internet as much as you like (but obviously not *required*).

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I hope my doctor is more helpful from here on out too. I sent her a text message the other day (because that's what she tends to be most responsive to) asking her if we could speak on the phone because a lot has been going on, and she didn't respond to my text. I know she has a busy practice and she is currently pregnant and therefore tired out, but whatever excuses you can make for her, I still actually need treatment, you know? I'm on the waiting list at another clinic that looks really good, so I'm just hoping I'll make it in there soon. (As far as talk therapy goes -- which I very much need -- they actually have clinicians available but they said my insurance will not cover treatment by an MSW, so I have to wait for a Ph.D or a LICSW! I hate insurance bullshit.)

And thank you for your support. It means a lot.

Edited at 2011-09-30 07:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 3rd, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)

Sometimes I can't think of what to say that wouldn't be trite, but you always have my unconditional support and the offer of a sympathetic ear (even when it doesn't come with a particularly insightful mouth, heh).

In this case, I *really* hope you get into that other practice, because your current doctor sounds overwhelmed and unavailable. Doesn't make her a bad person, but it does make her a bad fit for high-needs patients. Or even patients who require timely replies. And, oh, insurance. What the fucking hell.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 30th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)

That really means a whole lot of alot. (Random Hyperbole and a Half reference is random.) Thank you. Your Tumblr was one of the few things that cheered me up some in the last six months. :)

Posted by: Pirate Jenny (deliriums_fish)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
kerr emeralds

I've been meaning to reply to this entry since you posted it, but I've been busy with sisters and nephews and aunts and uncles and the family drama that comes with that.

I love your art piece. I would proudly display it if I were you.

I am also teetering on the line of "normal" right now, and your last paragraph spoke so truly to what I feel too. I hope for your sake that the canary is alive and hopping around towards an as yet unnoticed escape route in the mine.

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