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Author Topic: Your Path--And Your Mental Disorder  (Read 22653 times)
knitsy
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« Topic Start: October 14, 2010, 12:46:39 am »

Hi, I'm Molly.

Hi, Molly.

I am a witch and I have bipolar disorder!

-Scattered Applause-

I was diagnosed three years ago after attempting to commit suicide by bathtub and drastic curtains. I take medication prescribed by a shrink twice a day, every day, and I imbibe cannabis as a natural alternative to taking too many pills. I don't like pills. Without my daily cocktail of THC and Trileptal, I am a shocking mess of a human being--a socially deranged, emotionally deranged, stuttering, sleepless, manic, violent-on-a-whim, sociopathic ball of peanuts. It is a terrible, terrible time. But as I've healed through the use of medication and various therapy sessions [that didn't necessarily involve a licensed therapist, although personally I believe certain trees ought to be licensed] and as I've journeyed on my funny spiritual path, I've become keenly aware that my mental disorder (despite its debilitating ways) is my greatest advantage. It is how I connect with the Universe.

I am attracted to small details. I find that Divine is in the smallest, most overlooked joys--like a dusty bell standing forgotten in a chapel, or the refraction of light in rain, or the way a millipede moves, or the mystery of chrysalises--these things completely absorb my attention and my deepest, sincerest love. I look around at people in my area and watch them ignore the season's first surprise lilies, or the toad their car just squashed because they weren't paying attention, or the phase of the moon, or the turtle touching the surface of a farmer's pond so lightly it makes hardly a ripple, and I think I'm so happy I'm screwed up. I thank the Universe for all that has happened to me. How could I ever come to know it without being what I am? When I am manic, I touch the sizzling force of creativity. When I am depressed, I feel the deepest low of emotions, and am at my most expressive. I keep a song for every mood I have ever been in in my intelligent life--I have well over 2500! How could I ever understand the myriad emotions of Life without my chemical imbalance?

So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?
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« Reply #1: October 14, 2010, 02:07:45 am »

Hi, I'm Molly.

Hi, Molly.

I am a witch and I have bipolar disorder!

-Scattered Applause-

I was diagnosed three years ago after attempting to commit suicide by bathtub and drastic curtains. I take medication prescribed by a shrink twice a day, every day, and I imbibe cannabis as a natural alternative to taking too many pills. I don't like pills. Without my daily cocktail of THC and Trileptal, I am a shocking mess of a human being--a socially deranged, emotionally deranged, stuttering, sleepless, manic, violent-on-a-whim, sociopathic ball of peanuts. It is a terrible, terrible time. But as I've healed through the use of medication and various therapy sessions [that didn't necessarily involve a licensed therapist, although personally I believe certain trees ought to be licensed] and as I've journeyed on my funny spiritual path, I've become keenly aware that my mental disorder (despite its debilitating ways) is my greatest advantage. It is how I connect with the Universe.

I am attracted to small details. I find that Divine is in the smallest, most overlooked joys--like a dusty bell standing forgotten in a chapel, or the refraction of light in rain, or the way a millipede moves, or the mystery of chrysalises--these things completely absorb my attention and my deepest, sincerest love. I look around at people in my area and watch them ignore the season's first surprise lilies, or the toad their car just squashed because they weren't paying attention, or the phase of the moon, or the turtle touching the surface of a farmer's pond so lightly it makes hardly a ripple, and I think I'm so happy I'm screwed up. I thank the Universe for all that has happened to me. How could I ever come to know it without being what I am? When I am manic, I touch the sizzling force of creativity. When I am depressed, I feel the deepest low of emotions, and am at my most expressive. I keep a song for every mood I have ever been in in my intelligent life--I have well over 2500! How could I ever understand the myriad emotions of Life without my chemical imbalance?

So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?

This isn't necessarily something I feel comfortable answering, but I think it's a very good question.
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« Reply #2: October 14, 2010, 09:54:36 am »

Hi, I'm Molly.

Hi, Molly.

I am a witch and I have bipolar disorder!

-Scattered Applause-

I was diagnosed three years ago after attempting to commit suicide by bathtub and drastic curtains. I take medication prescribed by a shrink twice a day, every day, and I imbibe cannabis as a natural alternative to taking too many pills. I don't like pills. Without my daily cocktail of THC and Trileptal, I am a shocking mess of a human being--a socially deranged, emotionally deranged, stuttering, sleepless, manic, violent-on-a-whim, sociopathic ball of peanuts. It is a terrible, terrible time. But as I've healed through the use of medication and various therapy sessions [that didn't necessarily involve a licensed therapist, although personally I believe certain trees ought to be licensed] and as I've journeyed on my funny spiritual path, I've become keenly aware that my mental disorder (despite its debilitating ways) is my greatest advantage. It is how I connect with the Universe.

I am attracted to small details. I find that Divine is in the smallest, most overlooked joys--like a dusty bell standing forgotten in a chapel, or the refraction of light in rain, or the way a millipede moves, or the mystery of chrysalises--these things completely absorb my attention and my deepest, sincerest love. I look around at people in my area and watch them ignore the season's first surprise lilies, or the toad their car just squashed because they weren't paying attention, or the phase of the moon, or the turtle touching the surface of a farmer's pond so lightly it makes hardly a ripple, and I think I'm so happy I'm screwed up. I thank the Universe for all that has happened to me. How could I ever come to know it without being what I am? When I am manic, I touch the sizzling force of creativity. When I am depressed, I feel the deepest low of emotions, and am at my most expressive. I keep a song for every mood I have ever been in in my intelligent life--I have well over 2500! How could I ever understand the myriad emotions of Life without my chemical imbalance?

So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?

Hi, I'm ScorpioMoon and I have ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression).

Which means that sometimes I'm very focused on the little things while other times I miss them along with almost everything else. I've been reading that with neurobiological disorders (like ADHD and BiPolar for instance) that what we feel often seems much more important than what we think. I'd like to have a bit more balance, and have seen some improvement there since I started taking natural supplements. I've also read recently that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in their melatonin, which is why a lot of us seem to be night owls rather than morning larks. So I've started taking a melatonin supplement at bedtime. That's supposed to make a difference in anxiety and in depression, particularly S.A.D. so I'm hoping to see some improvement in those areas.

I try to stay in tune with the changes in the seasons, and that went a long way to helping me cope with the S.A.D., tracking when the nights are longest and the days are shortest and knowing that once I'm past that solstice there will be a few more minutes of daylight each day until the weather is warm once again. I also try to stay in tune with the changing moon phases, which helps me be aware of these phases in myself: gaining in creative energy, full of ideas, slowing down, and taking a mental break. The moon is a quarter full and growing, and I found myself drawn to a new place with new people and new ideas (partly because I was frustrated with the kind of discussion that's been going on in the forum where I'm usually most active).

For someone who has problems with social situations, I find that I'm most in tune with the divine when I'm sharing ideas with other people, whether I'm agreeing with them or arguing with them doesn't seem to matter, they both engage my brain and my spirtituality. I love the internet, because I can engage in social interaction on my own terms. I can answer a question as soon as I read it, or I can take my time and answer an hour or a day or a week later. In person, I tend to feel pressured to give some kind of answer even if I haven't had a moment to think about what I'd like to say - and how I'd like to say it.

It's probably the S.A.D. that's keeping me from making any effort to actually get together with people face-to-face for the last couple of months. This too shall change as the seasons change. There's a lot that can be counted on to stay the same, or repeat the same patterns, but there's always something new if we are watching.
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« Reply #3: October 14, 2010, 10:14:25 am »

So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?

I have ADHD and anxiety issues and am unmedicated (due to a heart problem that prohibits many ADHD meds) but I take omega supplements because my mum's coworker (a psychiatrist) recommended it, and I think it helps. Not so much with day to day anxieties and worries, but it keeps everything at a managable level. My fears are not so frightening, as it were.

Anyway, back to the original topic, I believe that my ADHD allows me to keep a sense of wonder. Things often seem new to me because my short term memory is absolute crap- so the moon in the sky, the crisp fall air, the excitement leading up to a holiday, is all very exciting to me.

I also go on INTEREST BINGES which allows me to accumulate a large amount of knowledge in a short amount of time. Right now it's spirituality/pagan practices/etc. Which isn't to say I'm not always interested in these things, just to say that there are times when I take a notion to read many, many books about it.
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« Reply #4: October 14, 2010, 10:40:22 am »

So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?

Apparently some people have a version of depression that allows them to be super-productive and creative. I have depression that makes me want to do nothing but curl up in bed and sleep all day. So, no, my mental disorder doesn't help me connect to the Divine, or anything else or that matter. When I'm depressed, nothing is mystical or magical or awe-inspiring.
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« Reply #5: October 14, 2010, 11:35:45 am »

Apparently some people have a version of depression that allows them to be super-productive and creative. I have depression that makes me want to do nothing but curl up in bed and sleep all day. So, no, my mental disorder doesn't help me connect to the Divine, or anything else or that matter. When I'm depressed, nothing is mystical or magical or awe-inspiring.

Before I was medicated, when I was in college, I was so depressed that I slept through class, through work, through exams. I did not leave my loft and on some instances went hungry because I lacked the interest to find food or I was sleeping. I can understand how you must feel. But there's still feeling inside you. You can learn to manage your time. Keep a journal close, beneath your pillow if you must. Write when you're awake. Put everything you feel down. Do anything you can in the seconds you have to scrabble at the surface of life. Let your depression spill out onto a page, and draw from it. That is spiritual in and of itself! There is raw power in the depths of your emotions. There has to be--how else could you feel so utterly low? You have the power to direct it. All you have to do is train yourself to recognize it and work with it. The ability to be productive when you're depressed does not exist without practice and hard work. Set a routine. Read about Zen. I hope this helps, I truly do. I don't mean to sound preachy--I just want to reach out.
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« Reply #6: October 14, 2010, 11:38:22 am »

Before I was medicated, when I was in college, I was so depressed that I slept through class, through work, through exams. I did not leave my loft and on some instances went hungry because I lacked the interest to find food or I was sleeping. I can understand how you must feel. But there's still feeling inside you. You can learn to manage your time. Keep a journal close, beneath your pillow if you must. Write when you're awake. Put everything you feel down. Do anything you can in the seconds you have to scrabble at the surface of life. Let your depression spill out onto a page, and draw from it. That is spiritual in and of itself! There is raw power in the depths of your emotions. There has to be--how else could you feel so utterly low? You have the power to direct it. All you have to do is train yourself to recognize it and work with it. The ability to be productive when you're depressed does not exist without practice and hard work. Set a routine. Read about Zen. I hope this helps, I truly do. I don't mean to sound preachy--I just want to reach out.

Your depression is a lot different from mine.  I don't have sucky emotions - I just feel EMPTY.

A blank page would be the appropriate journal for it.
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« Reply #7: October 14, 2010, 11:42:59 am »

Your depression is a lot different from mine.  I don't have sucky emotions - I just feel EMPTY.

A blank page would be the appropriate journal for it.

Can you try to fill it with other things? Scenery, classic movies, animals, love? Part of getting out of depression is working a routine. When you set into routine, you find menial comfort, and grow and draw from that.

I kinda cheated and skipped that step because I smoke weed, though. My advice may be taken as faulty. Cheesy
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« Reply #8: October 14, 2010, 02:41:15 pm »

I don't mean to sound preachy--I just want to reach out.

I felt the same way when I was in college. After I was diagnosed, and learned what was happening, what triggered it, and learned to recognize the onset, my depression mostly went away.

It comes back every now and then, but I'll only have those cant-get-out-of-bed days once during a spell, and the spells usually don't last long enough to technically qualify as depression anymore.

I appreciate your concern none the less.
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« Reply #9: October 14, 2010, 02:41:51 pm »


Knitsy,

A side note:  Your avatar does not meet our requirements.  Our avatar guidelines specify that avatars may not be larger than 128 pixels wide by 200 tall and must be 10kb or less in file size.  I have to ask you to please either reduce the size of your current avatar or find a different one that complies with our rules.  (If you need help with either of these things, consider posting in the Avatar Helpers thread or the Board Questions, Suggestions and Feedback board.  We have several members who can lend a hand.)

This isn't a formal warning, just a heads-up.  No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

Thanks!
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« Reply #10: October 14, 2010, 07:46:49 pm »


I have ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. Like you, I refuse to take pills, but I don't medicate at all (unless you count extreme amounts of caffeine that keep my brain from spinning off into impossible directions). In a lot of ways, the disorders cut me off from the divine--when I'm on a low, I don't care whether I'm connected with anything or not. I'm empty, yes, but I just don't have the energy to care whether I get better or not. When I'm on a high, I can't slow down. I'm jittery, unfocused (because the high energy levels associated with a manic episode just compound my existing tendency toward inattention and hyperactivity), and completely incoherent.
There are coping mechanisms I use--spending my days off at the beach helps a lot to even me out. Also, I do have a mood stabilizer I can take if it gets to a point where I can't function. (I'm not sure if it's a sensory thing or a vitamin D thing or what, but I get really screwy if I can't get to the beach a few times a week.)  Learning to ground out excess energy has been a good thing for me too, because a lot of times my circuits just get overloaded.
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« Reply #11: October 14, 2010, 11:24:31 pm »

I am a witch and I have bipolar disorder!
***
So I want to know--does your mental disorder help you communicate with the Divine? How? Do you feel closer or farther away from it because of it? What do you experience, and what are you happy / sad / grateful for?

I think it in many ways makes how I believe the world is, and how I allow myself to react to it satisfying. 

I'm the one they broke.  I was an under acheiver and emo before both were cool.  I had an 'interesting' experience on my first date for dinner at a boys house at 12, discovered existential angst and cutting, stopped talking for four years.  (Really, what can you say that means anything in a world where people can be shattered in a heartbeat?  How do you reconcile that? - You do so by saying the things we make sanctified, might not really be.  Not broken, just normal.) 

They tried to test me out of the gifted program because "someone must have made a mistake" and whoops...  Snerk.  Then I'm some evil bragging bitch who deserves to be hated and I'm back to existential angst, emo.  Sorry kiddos, I can play the game, I just DON'T because it's a game and it's meaningless.  I found tattoos and piercing because hey.  It makes me happy and takes the place of the angst and replaces it with an understanding that I enjoy the journey that involves some challenge when I've chosen it myself.  Pain is the standard.  Bring it on.  I expect no one else to understand it.

My path is probably directly the result of this.  I try to keep the self importance to a minimum, don't talk about what I think of me, and try to let my results speak for my actions.  I do I suppose look down on others in less kind moments who don't enjoy self inflicted BDSM, but it's mine and I like it.

It took me years to learn that what I choose is okay, regardless of what others would do *if they were me*  Just a mom, heaven forbid. 

I think one could probably go through the archives of any given board and find the rants, the screams and the protracted self analysis (and self pity) that I have spewed out to the world. 

I don't take anything - well that's a lie.  Me and beer are close friends.  No better no worse I would say than any other substance that does not occur naturally in the human body.  I have to turn off.  I would drive me and the people around me insane otherwise. 

It took years to understand why sounds brought about severe emotional reactions,(low frequency loud noises can leave me hyperventilating and in tears were I to not stay on top of myself.) colors can actually make me throw up and being startled is like having my pores lit on fire.  (alcohol dulls this, thank goodness - but unfortunately kicks my self reminders to compensate into overdrive) The sound of coffee being stirred leaves me wanting to murder people. 

I would have to say, my path comes from seeking ways to both use to it's best application the pointy parts, and to not fall apart when hit by my own knives and fences.  To not get so caught up in it that I can't keep up with being a parent and guiding my kids through the event because I'm too caught up in my own shit.
 
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And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #12: October 14, 2010, 11:33:23 pm »

Keep a journal close, beneath your pillow if you must. Write when you're awake. Put everything you feel down. Do anything you can in the seconds you have to scrabble at the surface of life. Let your depression spill out onto a page, and draw from it. That is spiritual in and of itself! There is raw power in the depths of your emotions. There has to be--how else could you feel so utterly low? You have the power to direct it. All you have to do is train yourself to recognize it and work with it. The ability to be productive when you're depressed does not exist without practice and hard work. Set a routine.

This is gold  - although a bit different than what I did.

I wrote it *ALL* out.

I took the time to go through the moment, minute by minute and put on paper what lived in my head.  Then, freed that space in my head to move on.  What was on paper was "safe."  It's safe inside a pretty book with pretty quotes and dyed colored pages and a cover with gilt embossing.  It's given over to something else for keeping.

Someday I should burn it. 

It's not in my head, but I carry it with me.  What happened and what I did to my life and allowed to happen in my life because of it. 

I don't think about it often, but at the same time I still carry it with me.  I don't reread it, I don't linger over it, but I could no more burn it than I could burn myself.  It's still too much a part of me.  It needs to be burnt.  I hope that someday I'm strong enough to, and I hope that day comes before my own daughter is old enough to need to be protected from it.

Letting it go is the power.  Removing the obstacles TO power by taking them out of your way.  Not loving the beautiful baggage.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
knitsy
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« Reply #13: October 15, 2010, 12:28:51 am »

I think it in many ways makes how I believe the world is, and how I allow myself to react to it satisfying. 

I'm the one they broke.  I was an under acheiver and emo before both were cool.  I had an 'interesting' experience on my first date for dinner at a boys house at 12, discovered existential angst and cutting, stopped talking for four years.  (Really, what can you say that means anything in a world where people can be shattered in a heartbeat?  How do you reconcile that? - You do so by saying the things we make sanctified, might not really be.  Not broken, just normal.) 

They tried to test me out of the gifted program because "someone must have made a mistake" and whoops...  Snerk.  Then I'm some evil bragging bitch who deserves to be hated and I'm back to existential angst, emo.  Sorry kiddos, I can play the game, I just DON'T because it's a game and it's meaningless.  I found tattoos and piercing because hey.  It makes me happy and takes the place of the angst and replaces it with an understanding that I enjoy the journey that involves some challenge when I've chosen it myself.  Pain is the standard.  Bring it on.  I expect no one else to understand it.

My path is probably directly the result of this.  I try to keep the self importance to a minimum, don't talk about what I think of me, and try to let my results speak for my actions.  I do I suppose look down on others in less kind moments who don't enjoy self inflicted BDSM, but it's mine and I like it.

It took me years to learn that what I choose is okay, regardless of what others would do *if they were me*  Just a mom, heaven forbid. 

I think one could probably go through the archives of any given board and find the rants, the screams and the protracted self analysis (and self pity) that I have spewed out to the world. 

I don't take anything - well that's a lie.  Me and beer are close friends.  No better no worse I would say than any other substance that does not occur naturally in the human body.  I have to turn off.  I would drive me and the people around me insane otherwise. 

It took years to understand why sounds brought about severe emotional reactions,(low frequency loud noises can leave me hyperventilating and in tears were I to not stay on top of myself.) colors can actually make me throw up and being startled is like having my pores lit on fire.  (alcohol dulls this, thank goodness - but unfortunately kicks my self reminders to compensate into overdrive) The sound of coffee being stirred leaves me wanting to murder people. 

I would have to say, my path comes from seeking ways to both use to it's best application the pointy parts, and to not fall apart when hit by my own knives and fences.  To not get so caught up in it that I can't keep up with being a parent and guiding my kids through the event because I'm too caught up in my own shit.
 


You and I have a lot in common. I always feel like a super selfish person; I have to stay constantly on top of my behavior so it makes me...in some ways extremely self-centered. And then I feel terrible about it and feel as if I must over-compensate a boatload. Anyway, your story is only as fascinating as the voice of your words, which is to say, a lot, for you are a creative writer. You put me right inside your head.

I love smells and sounds, to an almost embarrassing extent. I will follow a smell anywhere, and if something makes a good sound, I will sound it over and over and over again until I memorize it, or until someone asks me to stop. I take a lot of things personally at first [as if on instinct! It's truly horrible] and have to step back to examine a situation to realize that the world does not revolve around me. I do not like people--large crowds make me so anxious that I grow violent in an attempt to get the hell away. Hooray internet! My brain does not shut up. Never.

Oh and I fixed my avatar. Cheesy Yaaaay.

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« Reply #14: October 15, 2010, 09:11:08 am »


>>

It took years to understand why sounds brought about severe emotional reactions,(low frequency loud noises can leave me hyperventilating and in tears were I to not stay on top of myself.) colors can actually make me throw up and being startled is like having my pores lit on fire.  (alcohol dulls this, thank goodness - but unfortunately kicks my self reminders to compensate into overdrive) The sound of coffee being stirred leaves me wanting to murder people. 

I would have to say, my path comes from seeking ways to both use to it's best application the pointy parts, and to not fall apart when hit by my own knives and fences.  To not get so caught up in it that I can't keep up with being a parent and guiding my kids through the event because I'm too caught up in my own shit.
 


After years of trying to explain to my hubby and my daughter about sounds, especially low and loud ones (bass car radio, motorcycle engines), and bright light, and certain smells, and yeah being startled - I was so thrilled and relieved to meet others online who experience the same things.

And then to help raise an Autistic granddaughter - the hours of crying when that's all I could focus on, just trying to make her comfortable so she'd stop crying ... I couldn't focus on anything but the sound of her crying. Finally figured out that taking her outside, walking around or just sitting on the porch steps, talking quietly about what we could see and hear, soothed her for a little while at least. She's a funny mix of hyper- and hypo-sensitive.
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