Monday, February 22, 2010

Blogging is therapeutic

I've been inspired. I've been using the Google Reader for a few months now. The Reader is an RSS feed organizer and subsequently I've tagged over 200 different blogs that I keep track of in kind of a personalized magazine. I've even got a funnies section. :-) hehe. I track all of my gluten free recipes (because I'm writing a cookbook) and craigslist ads from specific sections (cuz I'm looking for a job).

What is inspiring me particularly, however, is two part. First, there is Anna Adrift ( It is a blog by a young woman who is in grad school for neuroscience and has Bipolar Disorder. I suspect she has Bipolar I, although, i'm not sure. Anna states that her blog is 1) therapeutic and 2) helps others.

Now, I certainly understand the therapeutic thing on a personal level, because it was a vital tool I used in Europe to manage my bi-polar. (I have Bipolar II) I also can see where the helping others would come in, because there a dozen or so blogs that have had a significant impact on me in the past few months. I have unfortunately been unable to convince myself to start journaling. I would like to convince myself to take up blogging again, however. And this time, I'm letting it all hang out. I've been learning lots of fun things lately about emotional blackmail, manipulation, boundaries, and so much more. I have also searched the web for other bloggers like me, that have this unique set of issues. Alas, the are not easy to find. The last time my blog was widely read, I once posted a negative comment. I was chastised for weeks. Fortunately, like I said in my previous blog, those who care about what I say and don't like it, I'm not a whole lot attached to you right now. And just for clarity, I would like to say: I will say and do and I damn PLEASE! ... that includes being transgender/fluid gender, having fluid sexuality and enjoying it!, accepting my so-called faults as none other than my own personality quirks, and treating myself and others with as much respect as I can (I'm not perfect here.... but I try). I'm trying to learn how to forgive and be compassionate towards myself, to stop abusing myself ( and manage my disabilities.

Fortunately, UCSD Outpatient Psychiatry is an amazing resource (for those without insurance, ironically!) I have a mentor, and therapist, and two psychiatrists. My mentor, Dale, has been great. Last week he helped me complete the paperwork to officially apply for Disability. I hope it goes through and we don't have to appeal. Everyone these days is getting denied from government programs... disability, unemployment, etc. The system is totally overwhelmed it seems. Fortunately, however, i didn't get denied for student financial aid. I'M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!! I start school at the end of March. I digress, however.

The second half of why I am inspired to start blogging again is Adam. Last fall, as some of you may know, I started working for a residential solar company here in San Diego. It was a tiny little start-up which had sold only 13 solar systems and I became one of the founders. I eventually became the director of marketing, controlling 1/3 of the company and bringing in almost $1 million in solar sales. Adam and I had also recently moved in together. Unfortunately, I had a severe manic episode followed by a depression which resulted in Adam leaving me and eventually moving out and me also losing my job at California Solar Innovations at about the same time. This being the 7th job and 2nd boyfriend I have lost due to "emotional" problems in one form or another, I knew I had to do something. The first step towards recovering from mental illness is ACCEPTING that you have a mental illness. Loosing the two greatest things I had in my life at the same time definitely gave me an adequate wake up call to accept the truth.

So, since then I have been working very hard. The fruits of my labors is finally coming to terms with ALL of my disabilities and learning how to heal from my past and set boundaries, healthy boundaries, for myself.

I feel bad that these simple things could have prevented 99% of all the problems Adam and I had. We have been trying to maintain a friendship which is becoming increasingly more difficult. Everything is fine if I never say or do or ask for anything (which is the status quo). But, this lack of (what I now know as) boundary setting, is making me very bitter. My psychiatrist and mentor has been emphasizing that oftentimes, those with bipolar need written instructions. My therapist has been giving me tools to communicate both verbally and written. So, I made an effort today to write down my feelings and logically and maturely say what I need.

It didn't go so well. Adam took it as immature and insulting. We had a big fight. When he left, I started texting him (which I usually do). I can't think straight when I'm really emotional. I forget words and start shaking and crying. I oftentimes can't even remember what I wan't to say if I get interrupted. But I can always work through it if I write it out. We eventually managed to work it out, through text (which ironically makes him furious... i guess not a got mix for me being so text oriented). It feels though, that something either irrevocable has occurred, or something that was always there but just wasn't communicated so clearly has been said. A firm boundary perhaps has been built. This feels in part like a victory because this is a boundary I have struggled to build my whole life. It is also a lack of this boundary that has caused me much misery when it comes to my relationship with Adam. I feels like I lost something though. I feel more isolated, limited. By creating a boundary I am no longer in symbiosis with those around me. Their needs and wants are no longer mine, which means that I can't be distracted and stay busy with their "stuff" all the time either. Its a bit lonely. Don't get me started on my theory of why i've got terrible boundaries. Maybe some other time.

It doesn't help either that my new roommate is super depressed and doesn't talk. He is passive-aggressive and I'm starting to get super passive-aggressive too. I'm trying to exercise my new skills, but I feel like I'm making very small baby steps.

Again, I digress.... the point I'm trying to make, ultimately is that because of this fight with Adam I've come to realize that I need to focus on writing in order to compensate for my out of control emotions or my frozen state emotions. This seems a logical step for me. Seeing bloggers such as Anna do what they do and say what they want to say the final piece of the puzzle that has helped me put this 2 and 2 together. Blogging is 1) therapeutic. As an awesome bonus, maybe someone else will connect with my struggles too.

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