Monday, December 01, 2008

Let's get this straight.

I am mentally ill.

I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that is very real. I have as little control over it as someone with a "real" disease such as diabetes or asthma does over their illness. I have received the same diagnosis from multiple doctors and therapists. I am not making this up. This is not something I am imagining. This is not a ploy for attention.

Fortunately, through therapy, medication, and most importantly, behavior modification, I do have most aspects of my illness under control. That's not to say that I don't have my moments, or my quirks, or that I am cured. I am just saying that I have found ways to cope with my illness so that I am able to function in society and in day to day life.

Most people go to therapists to help them with these types of issues. I am too cheap and too poor at this time to take this route. Fortunately for me, I have found that writing is a great form of therapy for me. It may not work for everybody, but for me, it's a great way to get out what I'm feeling and to work through my issues, much like someone would with a traditional therapist.

The easiest way to write out my feelings and keep record of them is through keeping a journal, which was actually recommended to me by one of my doctors. Originally, I bought a traditional paper journal. I wrote in it exactly twice. It was too much work to dig it out and find a pen and keep track of it and it was messy and unorganized. Enter the blog.

Here, I have a record of everything. It's neatly sorted by months. I can easily add photos. I can decorate it to fit my mood and personality. I don't have to worry about running out of pages or where to store it. If I make a mistake, there are no messy scribbles. It's easy to read, record things, and keep. It's a freaking super journal, and I love it.

However, some people don't seem to get this concept. They don't seem to understand that this journal isn't about anything more than me. Maybe that's a bit self-centered, but isn't that the point of a journal? I don't write it to be malicious toward anyone. I don't write it with the hopes that someone will see a specific thing that I posted. I don't write it with an agenda of any sort.

I just write.

Unfortunately, there are too many people in this world who seem to think that everything is about them. Oh, so and so isn't being represented fairly. Oh, you said something about me so now I'm mad at you. Oh, you didn't mention this or that so you must not like me. Oh you complained so you must be miserable all the time and hate everything.

No, no, and no. It's not my job to represent everyone fairly or equally here. My only job is to represent myself. If I say something about you, it's because I was thinking about you and my feelings about you at any given moment. I don't care if you read my journal, but know that if you make the choice to do so, that you are also choosing to live with the consequences of what you read. It's no different than if I were to leave a traditional book-style journal on the coffee table or kitchen counter and you were to pick it up and read it. If I don't mention you in my journal, it's not that I don't like you, it's that I must have been thinking about something else that I wanted to write about that day. If I complain, it's because I'm venting, because I'm home alone and sometimes I have things I need to get off my chest and I don't want to burden my husband with all my head crap. I have stress in my life sometimes, just like everyone else. Just because I have a bad day and post about how the baby stressed me out THAT DAY doesn't mean that I need to take classes on how to be a mommy. It just means that I had a rough day.

Also, I'd like to make clear that I don't use people's names on this blog very often as a courtesy. If I talk about a fellow blogger, then I will use their name and link to their blog, where usually (you guessed it!) you will find their name posted. As far as "real life" non-blogging friends and family, they get generic titles - husband, friend, etc. This is the way I've done it pretty much for the entire three and a half years that I've been blogging. Just because I don't mention my husband by name doesn't mean that I'm trying to minimize his role in my life or that I'm trying to avoid giving him "credit" somehow for making this baby. I don't mention my father or mother by name either, and they made me, which I happen to think is pretty darn important, by the way.

This baby, as a matter of fact, is one place where I've kind of made an exception to my own rule. Mostly because he's new, partly because I'm still having a hard time breaking myself of calling him Bubba so I'm trying to use his given name as often as possible. Eventually, he will be referred to as "the baby" or I may even stick with just Bubba. I haven't decided yet.

I'm just finding myself terribly frustrated right now. I'm so tired of people wanting to make things all about themselves and looking for ways to be offended. I do things in my life pretty deliberately (part of my fun mental illness) and I tend to not only think things out, but overthink them. I do care about other people's feelings. I assure you, I don't set out to do crap just for the sake of pissing people off. That's just not who I am. It makes me sad that bringing this beautiful miracle into the world is bringing out some really ugly pettiness in people from who I wouldn't have expected it.

Dr. Seuss said, say what you mean and mean what you say, and I think that's a pretty darn good way to live your life. I usually try to abide by that. I don't like to play those stereotypical "girl" mind games, and I'm not into being passive aggressive. I can be, if necessary, but I try to avoid it because I think being real is the best way to be. That doesn't mean hiding behind the guise of being "honest" in order to be a mean bitch with abandon either. People who do that on a regular basis (read: all the freaking time) drive me nuts! I also believe in being considerate of others and having good manners. You can be honest in life, yet tactful and considerate at the same time.

In the end, after all, when you do say what you mean and mean what you say, those who matter usually won't mind, and those who mind, well, they shouldn't matter. It's just terribly frustrating when they DO.


Blogger em said...

Ugh. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Isn't it funny how people think that you should blog about them?? I have a case where someone was mad at me for like a year because they wanted me to openly mention and thank them on my Cheer up. :)

Oh...but be sure to mention me in your next post! ;)

4:53 AM  
Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

not sure what's up, but you're right. You have the right to write WHATEVER YOU WANT, WHENVER YOU WANT and everyone else can suck it if they don't like it. People who get caught up in blogland like it's the be all-end all are retarded.


8:00 AM  
Blogger Susanne P. said...

i like dr. seuss's motto. he knows the way to be!

it amazes me that people don't get you by reading your blog. you have never came off to me as the way it sounds like others think you are.

i'm with lindsay, they can suck it.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

stick to your guns. You have your reasons for doing what you do. Not sure why this person has an issue, but it's their prob, not yours.

9:56 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

Very well put. I don't know who's giving you flak either, but good grief! I don't understand what they don't "get". You are pretty straightforward and it's very obvious when you are just venting/having an off day. Don't let whoever it is get to you. (I know, easier said than done right?)

12:38 PM  
Blogger Miss Anne said...

i can't handle people who "READ INTO" everything you say.. pick it apart.. interpret it like they want to, and then judge you accordingly?

I'm gonna call BULLSHIT on that.

Girl, you just keep being the best mommy you can be, wife you can be, and person you can be.

eff the rest.




1:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Well said!!! I agree...people need to GET OVER THEMSELVES!! Life is way to short to have constantly walk on eggshells worrying about who you'll piss off.

Keep writing...I'll keep reading. And I'm not very easily offended.

7:47 PM  

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