An Open Letter To Your Best Intentions

You talk about your bipolar and you tell me you understand what it’s like to live the way that I do, that there are ways to fix me. I don’t doubt that you do understand the bipolar aspects of my condition, I believe you when you say you can empathise with this small part of my disorder.

I think you do understand what it’s like to sink so deep into an indelible sadness that you can’t remember which way is up.

You understand what it’s like to be manic. To be reckless and invincible. To be high on your own chemical cocktail.

You understand what it’s like to misplace your capacity for empathy, for connection with another human soul, for guilt and morality, to become distant and cold with no provocation.

You understand what it’s like when your anxiety paralyses you and steals away your choices. When the idea of contact with another living being is too much to bear. When the world outside your walls feels too big and terrifying to face.

You understand what it’s like when basic questions (what do you want to eat, where do you want to go, how have you been, are you okay) may as well be asked in a foreign language about the principals of nuclear fusion.

And I too understand.

I understand that your ignorance is well meaning, that your desire to preach to me is a product of all your best intentions but please, for the love of God, don’t try to tell me that you know.

You don’t know what it was like the first time I watched the sky catch fire, when ash settled on my skin and in my hair and I tasted it on my tongue like toxic snowflakes.

You don’t know what it’s like to steer your grocery cart though an isle littered with corpses while generic pop music plays in the background and a mother scolds her child for sneaking candy into the cart.

You don’t know what it’s like to have to add an extra 20mins to the time it takes to do your make up in the morning for the days when your reflection won’t stop screaming long enough for you to do your lip liner.

You don’t know what it’s like to go to sleep freezing because you know that if you wake up to a heated room it will be to the smell of smoke and burnt flesh, to flames and terror so thick you can’t breathe.

You don’t know what it’s like to compulsively count your fingers and hope there’ll be more than 10 because you’re not dreaming, it’s not a dream, but you still can’t wake up.

You don’t know what it’s like to scream until your vocal chords bleed because your flailing limbs hit nothing but air but they still won’t let you go.

You don’t know what it’s like to watch your mother’s face melt away when she kisses your 8year old self goodnight. To be the monster clawing it’s way out from under the bed. To watch the clown masks on the wall laugh and laugh and laugh until you can’t remember a time when it wasn’t ringing in your ears.

You don’t know what it’s like to come to love someone who’s never existed.

You don’t know what it’s like to never escape the whispering.

You don’t know what it’s like to scream yourself awake night after night haunted by the sense memories of atrocities never committed.

You don’t know what it’s like to watch the road fall away into deep chasms of endless darkness in front of the car your loved one is driving.

You don’t know what it feels like for the grief to always be fresh because years can become hours in the space between heartbeats.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose days or weeks at a time. To misplace your memories. To not recognise your own face in mirrors and photographs.

You don’t know what it’s like to look at someone you loved the day before and see a stranger. To not know where you are in your own home. To forget your favourite colour, your favourite song.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose control of your body, to watch it move and speak and act without you.

You don’t know what it’s like to remember an emotion while completely disconnected from any capacity to actually feel it.

You don’t know what it’s like to feel the rain burn holes in your skin, to watch it sizzle and fall away in singed, bloody chunks leaving your bones brittle and bare and burning.

You don’t know what it’s like to be trapped inside your own body, incapable of speech or movement.

You don’t know what it’s like to slip into someone else with all the ease and frequency of slipping on a different dress. What it’s like to wait for the day when you slip down into the cracks between all the fractured pieces of your psyche.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose the ability to differentiate between reality and everything you can see and feel and hear and touch and taste. To not know if the horrors exist in your world as they do in the hellscape of mine.

You don’t know what it’s like to be afraid that one day everything you are will be swallowed by the nightmare you’re becoming.

You don’t know what it means to wake up afraid, each and every day of your life.

You don’t know what it means to quietly hope for the day that you don’t wake up.

Don’t tell me you understand what it means to live with my illness, all you know is what it means to live with yours.

“There’s No Place Like Home” – Clicked My Stilettos Against The Sidewalk.

So it’s that time of year again and once again I have moved interstate (actually this was over a month ago but I’ve been shockingly busy)… Thus is the life of the perpetual nomad.

I place the blame (or perhaps the gratitude) for my gypsy soul firmly at the feet of my father, if much of ones nature is hereditary then he and I make the nature vs nurture argument utterly irrelevant. When people ask me about my childhood home my first response is “Which one?”.

Continue reading “There’s No Place Like Home” – Clicked My Stilettos Against The Sidewalk.

“I’ll Tell Myself That It’s Okay & This Time I’ll Believe It…” – Says The Pretender To The Mirror

I’ve been posting pretty infrequently the last few months, to the point where I’m sure some of you wondered if this blog had been abandoned. It hasn’t, however I have found it difficult to update of late.

I always assumed that such a huge slump in my posting would be due to me reaching a point where I had nothing to say. In reality it’s quite the opposite. I’ve had a tidal wave of hellish events come crashing down and I have so much that I want to scream that it all seems to have created a choke point, a violent, tangled mess that has all of my words piling up on the back of my tongue and paralyses my fingers above my keyboard. A deafening roar of white noise drowning my focus and my creativity until I’d rather hide under my desk than sit down to write.

Continue reading “I’ll Tell Myself That It’s Okay & This Time I’ll Believe It…” – Says The Pretender To The Mirror

The Social Changeling – from Tequila to Tupperware.

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I get that life is transitional, I do, I just never really thought about what that meant. There are the obvious, well-defined changes, the ones that seem to happen over night,

  • You’re born and you’re a baby, turn 2 and you’re a toddler, you’re a kid until you turn 13 and literally overnight you’re a teenager, 18 and suddenly everyone’s calling you an adult…
  • Then, of course, 21 happens, you’re legal everywhere, and it’s the last birthday anyone cares about before you want to start lying about your age.
  •  You take your first step and you’ve gone from crawling to walking.
  • You start school and work your way from elementary to primary to high school, a regimented progression.
  • Graduate, move out, get a job, settle down.

These transitions are expected, planned for and pretty much happen right on schedule. Then there are the ones that happen after you turn 21, the ones that restructure your priorities, goals, expectations, interpersonal relationships, virtually your whole personal identity, so slowly that you don’t even realise it’s happening until you wake up one morning with the realisation that you’ve become a totally different person.

These are the changes I feel should have come with the biggest warnings, the neon billboard of warnings, something a little more explicit than the “You’ll understand when you’re older.” we all assumed was just a cop out.

Continue reading The Social Changeling – from Tequila to Tupperware.

“So Why Don’t You Just..?” – Said The Ignorant To The Broken

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This often feels like the most offensive question I’ve ever been asked and the most offensive part of the question is that it’s socially inappropriate for me to be offended, for me to be anything other than grateful for their well-meaning but ultimately useless and often condescending advice.

“Why don’t you just get up and do something fun?”

“Why don’t you just go do something productive?”

“Why don’t you just stop being depressed?”

Yeah, why don’t I? It’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, that’s right, because it doesn’t work like that.

Continue reading “So Why Don’t You Just..?” – Said The Ignorant To The Broken

“Picture Perfect” – Said The Liar To The Mime

I’ve always felt wrong, like a 1000 word puzzle smashed together by a careless three year old. Pieces jammed in out of place and out of shape, the picture a mutated attempt at what’s on the box, with all the symmetry of Picasso.

The image on my metaphorical box is pretty and well ordered, my pieces are not. I’ve always felt like the small child responsible for my creation got angry and tired halfway through and tossed everything up in the air to let the pieces fall where they may.

Leaving me unfinished and full of holes.

Continue reading “Picture Perfect” – Said The Liar To The Mime

Better When I Was Worse

I can’t help but wonder if I was a better writer when every part of my life and psyche was still an interminable mess, back before I figured out how to get it just a little together.

Or at least before I learned how to make it look that way.

Continue reading Better When I Was Worse

So This Is Adulthood?

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I keep waiting to feel like a grown-up.

I don’t know if this is a common theme but it’s been bothering me more and more lately. This idea that I’m just going through the motions, with absolutely no clue what I’m doing, and the pervasive fear that someone will realise that I’m still on the fake it part of fake it ’til you make it.

Continue reading So This Is Adulthood?

Coming Out.

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I’ve been hearing a lot of coming out stories lately, both awful and inspiring, and when I think of mine it reminds me of just how grateful I am to have them family I do.

I’ve never been the one people looked at and were like yeah, she likes girls. Aside from being a cat person, I’ve never really fit anywhere within the stereotype or had any of those obvious tells people so often reference so really there wasn’t a whole lot of warning.

Continue reading Coming Out.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

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I’m really not a fan of gossip. Updates on how friends and family are doing are great but when someone tries to turn a peaceful coffee date into a soliloquy of he said-she said-this doesn’t affect me but I’m ranting about it anyway– then I just switch off. I have to, it’s either that or completely offend and alienate my companion by reminding them loudly and at length that ‘frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Continue reading Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.