it doesn’t necessarily get better and i don’t necessarily got this

Trigger warnings: tedious whining and whining tedium.

So, another reason this blog is important to me, is that I can say the stuff I can’t in meatspace. Mostly because people are too busy or bored with me to hear the same whinge ad nauseam, ad infinitum. (I’m trying to avoid ad hominem.)

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Occasionally I’ll get a comment that makes me feel guilty, but it’s so infrequent as to be negligible. It’s also, I think, good for me to see those things and get past them. Offline, I generally withdraw and go so silent that my throat starts feeling rusty. I just can’t seem to voice stuff very well at all. For an eloquent (verbose) creature, I can be incredibly slow to process stuff and incredibly clumsy at expressing it.

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Today my neighbour said I looked pale around the gills (she tends to slice and splice idioms endearingly). I feel it too – and green about the gills when the intermittent nausea gets its mittens on me. I am

down

down

down

and yes things are finite, but 18 months of depression and occasional mixed episodes have taught me that it’s wiser not to presume that it’ll all be okay anytime soon. Or at all. Or whatever. Finite is no effing guarantee of fine.

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Disclaimer: the following applies to me and me only, despite all my blanket statements and generalisations. I am genuinely glad if they’re working for people. Other people. They’re doing squat for me.

It gets better said a campaign for us queers. Well, I am extremely fortunate enough to say that for me, it never needed to. But the rest of my country and continent? No. There are still 37 or so countries where it’s illegal, places where it incurs the death penalty and here, there’s the horrific concept of ‘curative’ rape. What got better? Our constitution (after Mandela was released) is liberal – we were the 5th country in the world to instate gay marriage. On the ground, eff all has changed really. Some horrors have shifted around slightly between various populations here, but they’re still happening. And home affairs officials are entitled to refuse to perform gay marriages and there are places where they are decidedly shitty about it. It gets better? Fallacy.

You’ve got this ohhhkaaaay. What the fuck does that actually mean? I know I have bipolar, I know I understand it sooo …
Remember when you were first diagnosed with Bipolar? You may have felt frightened and unsure about the future. Now you have the opportunity to give hope and advice to those by telling them, “You’ve got this.”
Yeeeees, but what does it actually mean? Naturally, I googled:
1. Inf. I agree to what you asked!; You will get what you want! You want a green one? You got it! This one? You got it!
2. . Inf. You are right! That’s exactly right! You got it! That’s the answer. You got it!
Erm … ? I googled further down the rabbit hole and found the explanation of the bipolar you’ve got this campaign on a site that wasn’t the official campaign site.
The meaning of You’ve Got This is two-fold. On the one hand, it means you have MS (or HIV or bipolar disorder) but it also means that you can handle this, you are not alone, and you’ve got this.
Whut? I frequently cannot handle it and am even more frequently alone with it. You’ve got this? Fallacy.

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I actually think those catchphrase campaigns downplay the severity of things, causing all sorts of misconceptions. I also feel that they’re about as erudite as fortune cookies and thus an insult to my intelligence. If I sound pompous, too damn bad. I’m tired of a society that can’t take care of its sick, hurling fluffy marketing spin and platitudes at me.

I love and agree with the following …

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I know how to locate silver linings, but I also know that there isn’t anything over any rainbows. Society, I’m tough, but ffs stop invalidating my struggles.

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Published by

blahpolar

battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

24 thoughts on “it doesn’t necessarily get better and i don’t necessarily got this”

  1. Sometimes looking at the bright side does help. When i am down these are the sort of things i hear from near and dear ones, like you should be thankful for an able body, money, roof etc. TBH it does make me put up some resistance against the beast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think meatspace may have originated with William Gibson’s Neuromancer; he is also credited with inventing the term cyberspace. His early works were the forerunners of cyberpunk.

      Glad you’re determined not to let bipolar have you and I love the way you phrased it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes I’ll say “you got this” to myself about things that aren’t really all that important… say, putting on my liquid eyeliner evenly on both eyes that day. or being able to zip up a dress when I’m bloated. or maybe parallel parking in a really tiny space.

    But people around me have been saying “you got this!” when I mention how I am worried about my sobriety after being RXed one of the strongest painkillers available in a pharmacy. I got what… a bottle of pills and a refill? So I’m with you on the “you got this” campaign when it comes to dark/serious matters. It just makes me feel like the person has nothing helpful to say because the situation sounds so bleak that they regurgitate a marketing slogan.

    Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything has its place and it’s all subjective, of course. I use other people’s words a hell of a lot in my own life. I frequently mutter various Gandalf/Tolkien quotes and bits of poetry and stuff, to get myself through whatever I’m struggling with or simply to remind and reassure myself that things are not specific to or all about me. Things like that also have a knack of restoring my faith in humanity. We are, after all, as beautiful as we are flawed.

      The (what felt like …) constant stream of people saying cheerily “ohhhh well it’s all manageable” after my diagnosis, although 100% well intentioned, made me feel smaller and smaller and smaller. All my research told be that it can SOMETIMES be manageable and that some people could even have many years of stability, but none of it fitted into the statements about being manageable. It wasn’t just people irl saying it either, it’s in all sorts of formal information all over the place.

      I grit my teeth and tell myself I can do/survive things sometimes – I just don’t load it with an absolute expectation of success (or failure). I’m not trying to convert anyone to my perspective either. Sometimes I write purely to analyse myself – I don’t have a clue what I’m up to and why half the time ;)

      Does whoever prescribed that Rx know you’re an addict? Are there any alternative meds? I think being concerned about your sobriety is incredibly wise and self aware. It demonstrates that you know what you are talking about too. Your recovery is way to important to gloss over like that. You don’t got that – but you do have a really great attitude and strategies. That, in my opinion, is far more empowering than any slogan. It’s real. But “you’ve got the best possible skills and attitude to handle this,” just isn’t very catchy at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I told all four doctors I saw since this all started that I am a recovering alcoholic. Most asked if I had a history of drug abuse, and I said that no, I have been prescribed various benzodiazepines for the past ~3+ years and I have never abused them. But I also said how incredible the pain was and they believed me from the infection in my mouth and the X-rays of my teeth (the combination pressures+infection was a 10 on the pain scale). I also cannot take NSAIDs due to killing my esophagus/stomach with NSAIDs. I tried Tylenol as an alternative but it didn’t do anything for me. I tried massaging my face, a hot water bottle, ice packs. The first doctor prescribed the weakest painkiller (Vicodin) and it didn’t take away any of the pain. So the most recent doctor I saw prescribed Dilaudid (hydromorphone) and on the maximum dose it actually takes the pain away. He also fit in the surgery within a few days of seeing me despite snowstorm on top of snowstorm.

        My plan to stay sober is to flush the pills as soon as the pain has gone if I don’t use them all for pain (my parents told me I might). And then I will attend AA meetings with a recently sober friend of mine. My biggest fear for sobriety is not that I will seek out more painkillers, because that is too expensive, but that I will seek the more accessible alcohol for a similar high to the Dilaudid I have been taking.

        Thank you for your encouragement <3

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Because of the wonky formatting of the WordPress iPhone app, I’m commenting here rather than there.

            I do recognize my addictions. Drinking (6months sober). Smoking (5 months smoke free but I still use NRT). Shopping (like a lot of people with Bipolar disorder this can get BAD, since ~Nov/Dec I’ve been great with a few minor slip ups).

            I have been on benzos for anxiety for about 3 years, and I have never had a problem with them. If I start to like the feeling too much, I only take them in extreme situations. I have only taken a dose of klonopin 2 or 3x since 2015. I’m written to take it 2x every day.

            As for the painkillers, I can’t take NSAIDs anymore due to ruining my stomach and esophagus with NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen). I’m sure those would be giving me lots of relief right now if I could have them. I tried Tylenol too and it didn’t do a thing for the pain of the infection or the pain of one tooth pressing into my jaw bone and other teeth. One look at the X-ray and the infection and my most recent doctor knew I needed “the good stuff.” I am very thankful that he wrote me for Dilaudid. I did come up with a plan in case I want to feel the numb, lazy feeling after the drugs are gone. I will probably turn to alcohol rather than more painkillers, because I don’t have money for more painkillers. So I’m going to start going to AA with a friend who already goes after I throw the pills away properly (when the pain is gone).

            I do think that being aware of your addictions is very important. And that’s why I’m trying so hard to stay on top of this painkiller ordeal. Because right now, I am taking them as directed and my parents have noted: you seem so much better now (than you were a few days ago on the weak painkiller that left you with lots of pain). I am trying to take the lowest dose possible but sometimes I have to take 2 (directed to take 1 or 2 every 4 hours) for pain. Right now I’m getting by with 1 Dilaudid, 2 Tylenol, and a Benadryl for the opioid itch. So I’m not so “high” but mostly sleepy and not cranky anymore from pain.

            I’m probably also addicted to my phone (where I use the Internet), my spirituality (I seem to turn to it more when I am upset or hypomanic), sex/sexual attention. But that’s a blog post all by itself, ha!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Martha – there are a lot of “blog posts by themselves” lol… usually starting out as comments.

              What gives? Blah you said you are having trouble with WP also?

              Like

  3. You are right. The platitudes are BS. This illness is progressive. When my diagnosis was first changed from depression to bipolar I was horrified. I was a mother with a serious progressive chronic mental illness. SHIT! And, it is. I cannot say it gets better. So far, it does not.

    I have engaged in these ridiculous PR campaigns in the attempt to bring hope to people. Hope, even misplaced, is important. It can keep you alive.

    By the metrics of your last meme (where do you get all these fabulous memes? do you make them?), I am fortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The last meme there was from pinterest, if I remember right. We (online) are all fortunate, of course.

      I agree with you about hope – I didn’t begin the post with the intention of bitching about the campaigns; I just sort of got there somehow while I was writing. ‘It gets better’ was for LGBT youth and I was grousing about that one from the vantage point of 20 years of activism. I am truly glad that not everyone is as grouchy as I am about these things though.

      And I’m glad I have space to vent my faded and jaded spleen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “It gets better” for LGBT youth may be true in SF and NYC, not so sure in other places. In major progressive metropolitan areas with strong gay subcultures, indeed it does get better. But most of the world does not live in Manhattan or San Francisco. I was born in SF, by the way. Yes, I’m a native San Franciscan. Just had to boast, even though it was all my parents’ doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The struggles come from our own brains so we will always project them regardless of circumstances. And it’s not like worse material circumstances will “paint over” our mental issues. I read an article about depression among the poor. It gets totally overlooked because the society focuses on material problems but often it’s the depression that keeps them from coming out of it (or at least taking away that last spurt of productivity that would make a difference).

    Liked by 1 person

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