Usually when I get in blogging mode, I have to take a step back. I lead a pretty reclusive life and while I am quite a public activist, I do lead a pretty solitary existence, in my offline life.
I’ve been stuck a lot about where I still was just a mere FIVE years ago. I still lived in a group home for those have severe and persistent mental health issues and cannot live independently. I had just been awarded my social security/disability and I was awaiting my backpay. And time was moving ever so slowly while waiting for that, so I could move out. Ideally, with the hopes I’d get my children back, once I got acclimated back into society.
While my next blog will be about what my life was like when I still had my children, how I lived life with my children. What my “old” life used to be like, when I was a lot more functional as human being but as especially as a MOTHER.
I think where people whether they know me well or not, I throw them off in things. I do complain a lot. Severe chronic pain and mental illness like I’ve said, does feel like a sentence to some of us who have it. I’m not a thriving activist, I just choose to do the activism I do and it takes up a lot of my time and gives me purpose. I don’t have though the sense of humor that a lot of my fellow mental health activists do, about mental health issues. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong about how they go about their activism. I am just a lot more limited in my life by my disabilities. I’m not flying around giving talks about mental health issues. I don’t make any money off my blog. And I’d almost prefer to keep it that way, because then I’m not limited in what I say and how I say it. But I still think in a lot of intelligent thought. I have a pretty good sense of humor and have an amazing amount of empathy. Probably because I’ve ALWAYS been judged harshly in my life.
For as public as I’ve been about things that most people would probably choose to keep to themselves, I obviously can’t share EVERYTHING that’s every happened to me. While there’s NO buried bodies, literally or metaphorically speaking, I don’t owe the universe at large, every single painful aspect of my life.
Because of the limitations of my disabilities, while I can get around still fairly easily via public transportation and I can still walk, it still takes THREE social workers to keep me living independently. I have a disability waiver that helps with me having services in my home ( nursing, personal care, home health aide, etc ,which I don’t use at the present time) help with running errands and/or going grocery shopping (which I do use), transportation to medical appointments (which if you’ve read my most recent blogs, I don’t go to doctors very much).
When I am at home, I am either on the internet. Or I am Netflix binging. While I’ve talked about the irony of my love for the show “Orange is the New Black” and some of it being too relatable. Right now I am still in the throes of a pretty bad “Grey’s Anatomy” addiction and I’ve just started season 3.
What throws people about me, in addition to my honesty, whether it’s online or offline, is the fact that despite the detours my life has taken in the last 8 years, I am still quite “normal” (even though I know there’s NO such thing). While I am not doing things that people my age usually are, whether its being able to drive a car to a job or taking care of their kids, while how my life has played out so far as a WHOLE, is NOT relatable, there is a lot of aspects to my life that ACTUALLY are. And that I am pretty grounded to both reality, current events and pop culture. Even though while I could go out in public while in the system, it was both an altered and different reality. And a VERY sheltered one.
I think where for those of who love shows like OITNB or Grey’s is that it shows human strength and human frailty, whether someone’s in prison OR they are a surgeon. It’s just wrapped with good story lines and super attractive people or interesting looking people that which makes these shows a good form of escapism.
In one of the episodes in season 2, of Grey’s, that I was watching yesterday, one of the characters was talking about not being popular and being teased. She mentioned the dream/nightmare that almost every teenager and/or adult has about “going out in public naked”. Which I probably have that nightmare, I don’t remember it. I’ve always felt so overexposed and vulnerable due to the horrible bullying from other kids that I suffered, from the time that I was so young. To present time and the serious topics I discuss in my blog.
The difference of course, as a child, I didn’t know how to defend myself and I had NO ONE to defend me. In my early 20’s in when I developed an ability to defend myself and I also had a child, then children to protect.
I STILL get a lot of anonymous hate from my blog and what I say on Facebook. They usually use my primary email address to tell me that I’m a failure as an activist. That I’m the poster child of bariatric surgical failure. That I’m an absolute HORRIBLE mother who should’ve NEVER had children. And have I ever heard of Photoshop, Spell Check and how did I actually make it past the first grade, as it applies to my writing? And holy moly, I complain a lot… I get it. And people can feel free and keep sending stuff. I don’t think there isn’t anything hateful that I haven’t heard about myself in the last 45 years.
I do though have some AMAZING social media buds. Who tell me they I appreciate my support. That while I complain a lot, I never take for granted the most basic things. My wisdom. My sense of humor. I have people who I’ve reached out to or reached out to me while they were in crisis and have helped them. LOTS of people. I’ve also had people I’ve never met on social media, send me presents or gifts. So even though I feel “naked” on social media and with this blog, I am not going to change my basic nature or intentions of how I live my life on social media and how I conduct it at this point. I’m just like anyone else trying to get by in their life and I am just trying to do the best I can.
I started though hysterically crying, earlier today after my season 2 binge of Grey’s Anatomy and going into season 3. As the mid season was action packed and full of drama. Burke’s shot, Denny dies, Meredith and “McDreamy” STILL can’t make up their minds of what to do with each other. Wow, I can watch whatever I want to… I am not sharing a television with 3 dozen other mentally unstable people…. …. I can take meds when I need to… I can eat what I want to, when I want to (which was not the case, when I was in the system)…. And I heard The Fray’s song for the first time ” How to Save a Life” (which I am now listening to as I write this)….
But the real reason why I’m hysterically crying. I do know how to save a life. I have saved lives. And I could even physically while not current in my certification, I still remember infant, child and adult CPR. I know how to help people to protect themselves and/or understand why people take their own lives.
But I can NO longer “raise a life”. And I can’t make my peace with it. And the way my current cognitive damage is going, I am never going to BE able to explain this to my daughter when she’s old enough to ask questions. And that’s why for how “naked” I feel when writing my more serious blogs, while I will continue to do so, while I can still help people. The irony is just not lost on me, that my life feels like a 10 piece jigsaw puzzle that while all the pieces are there, I can’t put them back together anymore.