Gray Areas

Somedays I wake up and I feel like I’m a queen. Like I’m on top of the world; I can accomplish anything. I feel like I can take life into the palm of my hand, like I have complete control over every aspect of it… And then, I begin to realize that I’m just manic.

It could be ten minutes, it could be ten hours, sometimes it could even be an entire day, but the fact of the matter is; I will spiral downward. It’s inevitable. I will find myself waking up or slipping into a state of mind that is hazardous not just to my health, but the health of the people that surround me. I shut off, I recluse, I huddle up into a tiny ball and sometimes go days with as little human interaction as possible.

I like to tell myself that I can handle these things when they happen. I like to remind myself that the reason I don’t medicate is because the only way that I feel like I can tackle my art is when I’m spiraling down and out of control. I often lie to myself and remind myself that everything is okay, even when it isn’t. If I lie to myself enough, I come back and eventually reach that manic state of mind again.

It’s so back and forth that I pity my loved ones, the people that have to see me regularly. I think that, sometimes, they forget that I’m fucking nuts. I think that sometimes they might be judging me in the back of their mind, and then I slip into this anxious state of mind that renders me back into the reclusive stage.

I feel like a dog that’s chasing its tail. I feel like a cat that’s stuck in a tree. I feel like I’m trapped inside of my own brain. I find myself looking for all kinds of outlets to bring my sanity back, but sometimes it feels impossible. Sometimes I just want to drive my car 100mph into a barrier. The only reason I haven’t yet is because I try to remind myself that maybe there’s still a chance I can be a decent mom.

I just wish that I could be manic every day, sometimes, but I think that part of the reason I can’t be is because it’s exhausting. It’s emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting. I literally wear myself out of happiness.

Just last night I was in tears, followed into this morning, all for various trivial reasons. By mid-day, I was all smiles and happiness. Driving home, I was pumped and ready to tackle my day. I was excited to see my roommate, I was excited to do things.  It hit about 7pm and the spiral began to set in, again. I took myself out to dinner, thinking that maybe if I courted myself I’d feel better.. I was quick to realize that I was mistaken. Very mistaken. I took a few bites and lost my appetite.

I cried on my drive home, hoping that I could just get it all out before I got to the front door. I put my leftovers in the fridge, came into my room, jumped on my laptop and decided that the best therapy that I’ve had for the past several months has been writing it out, riding it out.

When I write, I feel like I can take all of the negative energy and put it into the text. I feel like once it’s in the text, once it’s all out and I’m done writing, that I can read back and mock myself and be okay again. I never thought that there would be an outlet, aside from drawing, but I really do think that this is it. I may not write in here as frequently as I did when I first started this thing, but I feel like the things that I do manage to get in here help. I have another journal, a private journal that I keep to myself, that I also use as an outlet. I write in a quite a bit more. But.. Then, I feel like I’m racked with guilt for not getting it on here; for not sharing my story with other people that could use it in some weird way to try and overcome their own problems.

I use to want to be a hero and save lives. I use to want to do nothing but good, and then one day it all just sort of snapped and I went to do terrible things. Now, I bounce back and forth between one extreme to the other… But, today, I’ve realized that I am a hero. I’m a hero to myself… and there’s really no one out there that should be more important to me than myself. So, if I can manage to save myself; whether it be through writing out all the fucked up things that cross my mind or managing to not drive into a barrier at 100mph, then maybe I can say that I’ve accomplished something. Maybe I can say that I’m a hero… Or I could just fake it until I believe that I am.

Lately I’ve been feeling like my heart is in a million pieces. I’ve been feeling vulnerable, self-conscious, and insecure. I’ve been lashing out at a few people because of it, and then quickly realizing that I shouldn’t. I’ve been getting better at communicating the feelings that I’m experiencing, rather than just avoiding them all together and putting on a mask of “I’m okay”-ness. Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been making some major life-progress, whilst hitting some major roadblocks simultaneously.

I like to joke to people and say that my life is balanced. That it’s a libra thing. With the ups, we need our downs. It’s all a part of the balancing act. But, the truth is, there’s no gray area, there’s absolutely no balance whatsoever, it’s all just a joke. There’s black and there’s white and nothing in between. There’s up or there’s down, there’s no “I’m fine.” If you catch me saying that I’m okay, you should assume that I’m either manic or that I’m not. It’s just easier to say two words rather than spill an entire novel of things that are wrong with me at this very moment.

My conclusion? Being bipolar is the hardest thing that I’ve ever been tasked with… But, I think that I’ll survive.

Up up up and then so far down down down

I over think things, I question every action I take far too much, and then there are moments where I don’t question it at all and I feel like I should. I feel like right now, that may be one of those times where I should be questioning my shit a little bit more than I am. But, if everything feels so right, how could I dare let logic interfere? How should I tell myself that all of this is lies and slander; how can I explain to myself that I’m just going to end up in the same boat that I was before as far as pain and suffering goes?

I guess these are the risks that hopeless romantics take. These are the things that happen to us on a regular basis, this is the reason why most of our lives we’re just picking up the pieces of some part of us that use to be whole. We let people in, we let down our walls, we hope that maybe they’ll understand us, and then we get burned harder than we were ever burnt before. Or, even worse, we get silence.

I met a boy on the internet a couple of weeks ago. I think that I like him more than I should. He sends me songs that I’ve never heard before, he’s read the same books as me, he says all of the right things. He can go from being the sweetest thing ever, to being the cruelest thing ever, but the cruelty is more just an odd term of endearment. No worries, it’s not actual cruelty. There’s this odd amount of balance about him that strikes a small flame in my heart, that makes me feel like there are butterflies floating about, that makes me wonder if I can have feelings. There’s something about him that makes me feel reckless, that makes me feel like I should make rash decisions, that makes me feel like I could be in love. Yes. Love. So fast, so sudden, there it is. Or, maybe I’m lying to myself. Maybe I’m poisoning myself, slowly but surely. The problem is, if that’s the case, so is he. He’s poisoning himself with me. Maybe we’re about to kill each other, maybe it’ll be beautiful.

I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to defy something that’s as natural as gravity. I feel like I’m telling my brain to get fucked and jumping on the rollercoaster that is my heart, once again. I feel like I’m holding on and I don’t see and end in sight, and that nothing else in the world matters. I feel like everything is so right and so wrong all wrapped up into one big, giant burrito.

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Then, on the other hand, I feel broken. I feel lost. I feel like I’m hurting. I feel like I’ve lost something important in my life. I feel like I’m lacking. I feel like I’m trying to fill up the empty spaces as quickly as I can, in an attempt to not hurt so much anymore. I feel like I don’t have the right words to say, that the only people who I want to be around right now are too far away. I feel like I want to set money aside in an attempt to at least try to make it to Steph’s dad’s memorial. I feel like a 4hr drive is a lot more plausible than a 6hr drive, but I feel like I should be able to do the 6hr drive too. It’s bad enough that I missed what was held for Brad. I shouldn’t miss this at all. I should be there, I should see my friend, I should say my goodbyes.

There won’t be any more epic stories, no more talking about music for hours on end. There won’t be any more words of “you don’t know how to drink, little girl” or any more shots poured for me. There won’t be any more family gatherings, birthday celebrations, or moments of heroics with him there. All I can  think about is how much it hurts to me, and how much more it must hurt for my best friend to lose his dad. I can’t imagine losing my own dad. I’d be so broken right now.

If I lost my dad today, I don’t know that I’d be able to function tomorrow. I feel like, at times, I’ve lost my dad years ago and he’s yet to come back. There are small little glimpses of him here and there, but I think that now that I’m an adult he just doesn’t know how to talk to me. He doesn’t know how to be a dad anymore. He calls my bluffs all the time, he asks me if the things that I’m doing are for good purpose or for some broken brain issues that I’m having when it comes to over-analyzing my situation. He reminds me that I’m a failure as far as being a parent goes. He makes a big scene whenever he can. He’s stressed out, he’s lost inside of his computer, I feel like I don’t even know him half the time. I miss the mornings I’d get up in the morning and get a ride from him to school. I miss stopping for coffee along the way, I miss our talks, I miss just having him near me. I use to think that when my dad was with me, that I was safe. Now, when my dad is near me, I just get mad because he’s so far fucking gone into his laptop.

Sometimes, I wonder if my dad even gives a shit or if he just pretends that he does because it’s his duty as a dad. It’s one of those “do you love me because you love me, or do you love me because society tells you that you have to love me” things. I just feel like 99% of the time, my parents loathe me. They hate the choices that I’ve made, the situation that I’ve managed to get myself into, they don’t like any aspect of my life. I feel like every time I’m around them, I get some look of disapproval. I get lectured about something, most things, and I feel like nothing I do is right. I keep trying and trying to please them, but there’s no pleasing people who choose to be so miserable.

And to think, my dad use to be the most important person in my life. My dad was the one that I ran to when I began to realize that I had a drug issue. My dad was the one that I felt I could talk to without too much fear of judgement. My dad use to be the light of my life, where has he gone? Why can’t I have those things anymore?

Looking for light in all the wrong places.

Today, I did the things that I normally do on Saturdays. I’m typically a creature of habit. I woke up, watched my kids eat their breakfast, brushed their hair and braided it after they got out of the bathtub, wrote in my journal, got up and took a shower.

In the shower, I do most of my thinking. I think that this is common for a lot of people. I do most of my thinking in there because I have a really long weekly conditioning hair-treatment thing that takes about 10 minutes. I typically do that treatment on Saturdays. I thought about the things that are currently bothering me. The boy who won’t text me back, the lady who won’t pay me for the work that I’ve done, the lack of a job that I have, how I don’t get to see my kids as much as I like, etc; but, most of all, I thought about how I got into the situation I’m currently in.

I have made a lot of mistakes throughout my life. I’ve done a lot jumping into situations that I haven’t thoroughly weighed out; a lot of following my heart has occurred over the years. Half the time, I don’t know if maybe I do the things that I do in order to get some kind of feeling of acceptance, feeling like I’m loved, or perhaps maybe it is “following my heart”. I know that I’ve struggled a lot with an addiction for companionship, and due to this addiction I’ve managed to push people away that would’ve theoretically been a good match for me.

I’ve destroyed relationships, I’ve put myself into precarious situations, I’ve done a lot of things that I know aren’t good for me. I’ve made up phrases like “Don’t slut-shame” when someone says negative things about a person that’s been with a lot of people; and I wonder if that’s something that I’ve used as a defense mechanism or if I genuinely stand for people being more “sex-positive”. I made a list, back in June, of the people who I have slept with in the past. Occasionally I glance it over, add people to it, or I remember that I forgot to put someone on there. My number is relatively high, it’s near half-way to triple digits, I don’t know how this makes me feel. I do know that it’s been making me think a lot. It’s been making me wonder if, perhaps, I should re-evaluate my choices as far as sleeping with people go. It’s made me wonder what makes me think that I need to sleep with people, do I actually enjoy it that much or is it some kind of confidence-boosting activity.

Today, I feel like sex is effecting my life negatively. I feel like it’s gotten me into most of the bad-situations I’ve experienced. I feel like it’s been the key factor in destroying who I thought I would be. I feel like it’s ruining me. It’s gotten to the point where I feel completely detached from myself, from the people around me, the people I sleep with. I feel like if I knew that my daughter was up to some of the things that I’ve done, I would wonder where I went wrong in raising her. I’m terrified of the impression that I may or may not be leaving my children.

I don’t, by all means, bring partners around my children, but I’m getting tired of living this “double-life” that I’ve been living. I want my children to love themselves, I don’t want them to think that they need to seek out the love of others in order to make themselves happy. I want my children to grow up to be strong, independent women. I want them to take pride in themselves. I want them to be the things that I struggle being. I think that these are common things that people tend to want for their children; they’re common things for women to want for their daughters. The underlying issue is, most children learn from example. If I don’t set the example of strength and independence, how could I ever expect them to understand these things?

When I got out of the shower, I was near-tears, like most Saturday-showers. I wrapped myself in a towel, wiped the mirror down with my pajamas, and began to brush my hair. I looked at myself, like I normally do, only this time I saw a little girl, trapped inside of me, that I haven’t seen in 16 years. I saw this child that use to think she was ugly and fat; that thought that nobody would ever love her. I saw this little girl who use to strive to impress the people around her (mostly boys at school), but always felt let down because there was someone close to her that did better. I looked and saw the little girl who was seeking praise, the little girl who was looking for something in someone else, and I realized that I’ve been co-dependent a majority of my life. I saw a little girl that I hadn’t thought about in a long, long time.

Upon this realization, I decided that perhaps the solution to my struggles may be to take the high road of celibacy. I believe that I should care more about myself before I try to care about another person. I believe that I shouldn’t be chasing boys anymore, I should be chasing after my dreams that will benefit me and my future.

I am going to seek out a mental health evaluation on Tuesday. I would go on Monday, but I have an appointment in the afternoon that day to meet with a lady who’d like to schedule some photoshoots with me. On Wednesday, I’ll be taking my photographs of a friend. I, also, have a family photoshoot coming up in the future. But, the counseling is something that I need done. I also have a women’s wellness check-up coming up on the 29th. I dread those things, but I know that I’m overdue for one.

My biggest fear, right now, is that I’ll wake up on one of those mornings and lack the motivation to do the things that I have planned to do. I make the appointments with the goal of going to them, but some days it’s all I can do to get myself up and dressed, let alone out the door, whether it be for a good purpose or not. I know that I need counseling, I know that I need the doctor’s appointment, I know that I need to get money for doing these photoshoots, I know that I need to find a job, I know what I should be doing and I hope that talking to someone about it can help motivate me to do these things. I hope that speaking to a counselor could help with the depression, the anxiety, all of the things that I seem to be struggling with the most. I hope that I can get a handle on all of these things so that I can function better, so that I can focus on doing things for myself that need to be done, so that I can be an adult and get my head in the right place… For the sake of my daughters; but, most of all, for the sake of myself.

I need to look up and see the light again. I need to find the good amongst the bad. I need to change my life, myself. I need to do all of these things, and thinking about all of these things is eating me alive. I can think all day, but it’s not going to get me anywhere unless I do something.

So, here’s the beginning of a new chapter in my life. A new chapter involving celibacy.