No Saint

To hide behind the madness means to forget what you’re working for. Is it an escape to run away just for a day? You can’t see how far you’ve come unless you have bad days.  Don’t let those take from you all that you are made.

If I got in the car and I drive far away, would you remember me for all the mistakes I have made? Would you call me a sinner; have I sealed my fate? Would you chase me or just look away?

I look back on who I was a year ago this day. It’s hard to believe I didn’t die on the way.  In some ways I did, I lost my innocence.  I hate to remember when happiness came from both a bottle and men. 

If I got in the car and I drive far away, would you remember me for all the mistakes I have made. Would you call me a sinner; have I sealed my fate? Would you chase me or just look away?

It seems things have changed. I’ve grown in so many ways. I’m working hard and doing something I love. Now I know what darkness looks like. I’ve cried many tears. I’m so much stronger now, though I know my struggle will be for years.

It’s hard to imagine a life free from pain. A life that I don’t want to take away. In heaven I’ll see, a life that is free. Until then, on my knees I will be.

If I got in the car and I drive far away, I know you’d remember the bright smile on my face. Though I’m no saint I believe it’s true, that we are not what we’ve done or what we’ve been through. You’d chase me until we were face to face then you’d kiss my pain away.

Reclaiming Diagnosis: The far reach of misused labels

It should be of no surprise to any of my readers that their has recently been a greater awareness of the misuse of words and how hurtful they can actually be.  Spread the Word to End the Word is a campaign that started to raise awareness of the harm the word “retarded” has when used inappropriately.  Many have joined in this campaign and I think there have been great results, though I’m sure there is still much more to be done.  So how many more words are misused today? Well, probably more than I’m even aware.  Today I just want to bring to light a few specific words that I have been hurt by.  I also know countless others who have seen negative consequences by the misuse of these words.  

Mental Illness for a long time has been a taboo subject. There are still beliefs that these are not actual physical illnesses.  There is so much scientific evidence now that to not believe that mental illness is real is complete ignorance.  With that and stigma, many don’t even no where to begin when talking about mental illness or even what it means.  So today I will be talking about: depression and bipolar disorder (manic-depression). and most comment abused words. Note: Though anxiety disorder is well known and commonly diagnosed, it is less likely people misuse the term anxious as people can have anxiety without having an anxiety disorder.  This doesn’t mean the term is never misused, but it is just less common.

So to start, Major Depressive Disorder is of the most severe of the  depressive disorders excluding Cronic Depressive disorder.  Major depressive disorder is what most people think of when they hear the word “depression”. Symptoms may include fatigue, persistent sadness, isolation, thoughts of suicide, etc.  So when is the word depression misused and potentially harmful? Well, that’s a hard one.  For starts, if someone ever says that they are depressed, never assume they are not until it’s proven that they are.  That’s why people fear speaking up.  I find it hard to discredit someone who uses the word depressed when in reality they are just extremely sad.  Depression is more long term, but that doesn’t invalidate the way someone feels.  If they feel extremely sad, they are allowed to say they are depressed.  I believe it is misused when others from an outside party are doing the labeling for the wrong reasons.  With intentions to bully, you can hear remarks from people about others being depressed if they are dressed in dark, listen to certain music, or act a certain way.  The person they call depressed may actually be depressed but the way they present the word is in a negative context. An example would be a co-worker cries all the time.  Another co working laughingly jokes that they are depressed and need medication.  They say  they should suck it up.  This is inappropriate.  If you genuinely believe someone might be depressed, talk to them. Befriend them and see how you can help.  By showing the depression doesn’t have a ‘look’, maybe more people will actually be able to recognize the signs of depression even when the person in question “seems happy”.

The next term is the one I get the most upset about.  Bipolar disorder is an awful illness that many struggle with around the world.  The misuse of this term often turns the illness into a joke and not a deadly disease.  I think the root of the misuse of this term is that of ignorance.  Many people who use it, have no idea what Bipolar disorder actually is.  I’ve heard people call others bipolar if they change their mind often, get happy then sad quickly, or are flakey.  This is not what Bipolar is.  Someone who is bipolar goes through extremes.  The two extremes are periods of deep depression and periods of mania (or hypermania). People know what depression is for the most part but I think mania is what people have confused.  It is often assumed that bipolar is extreme saddness (depression) and extremely happiness. This is not necessarily the case.  I would never describe my bouts of hypermania as happy.  Speaking from my own experience, mania is being so worked up that you experience a state of euphoria.  You don’t feel like you are in control of your body.  You feel like you were drugged. In manic states people often make very poor decisions because they can’t think of the consequences.  As if you have been drugged.  There is nothing happy about it.  So before you call your friend bipolar for changing his mind about wanting to hang out, remember that people who actually struggle with this disorder have a hard time with everyday life. It’s a deadly disease and should be taken seriously by all.

My final thoughts take me back to my months spent in the mental hospital.  Don’t think of that place as an insane asylum because that is such an inaccurate picture.  Movies do such a poor job portraying what it’s actually like.  So before jokinging telling someone they should go to a mental hospital, remember the many people who are living there to heal, better themselves, and overcome their illness.  I’m not ashamed to say I have lived there and I hate the stigma behind the fact that I have.

So there you have it. I could say much more but will leave it here.  Comment any terms you think are used incorrectly!  

For the Love Of…

Dear Friends,

I have a couple things I am currently working on that have been consuming my time.  That along with actual work and my never ending need for sleep pretty much occupies a good portion of my life.  I am writing just to give an update to those who want to know what’s going on.  My current projects include a blog post about mental diagnosis and the abuse of the lables.  It will hopefully be of some interest and I always love a good conversation.  I’m also still working on my memoir. I put it in the back burner but none the less. It will still be making its way way into my ever so faithful readers hands soon.
With that, I’m so excited to share how amazingly wonderful life has been.  Oddly enough, that includes a recent hospitalization

 due to my bipolar disorder and a recent manic episode.  You would not believe how blessed I feel to be able to  have such great doctors.  I’m not letting a bump in the road bring me down.  I’m also dating the man I have been praying for my entire life. God has blessed me with him and I’ll leave it at that.  On top of all that, every moment of work makes me a happier and better person.  I’m so content with where I am right now.  I’m not afraid of what’s to come.

I’m not sure what is next for me in life.  With some major things just happening, I’ve almost seen my plans take a complete 180°.  That’s is totally okay though.  I’m not sure what the next couple years will hold and trusting God with it all.  My music and my art have also taken a seat on the back burner.  I do miss it, but I’m so focused on other things I don’t have a lot of time to commit to it.  

The last thing I really want to say is that I hope every one knows exactly what this blog and what I as a person am about.  The heart of this blog is my heart.  My heart is that of love.  I often speak my mind and it might come off harsher than intended.  I believe strongly in the things I say.  I want to change the world.  I want to start with love.  Love is not just another four letter word.  It is the greatest emotion our physical bodies can convey.  I’m sick of seeing hate being spread.  Let us perpetuate love.  Love for another human.  My blog is named A Sucidal Love Note for the very fact that I could not adequately show love to the world through my bones. It’s my vow to remain alive.  Love is the reason I live. And let’s not forget that God IS love. 

I’m not sure any of that made sense. I’m wishing everyone well.

With love,

Victoria T.

How Compliments almost Killed me – the Destruction of self through Social Media

I read an article today that really caught my attention.  The article introduced this idea of emotional porn.  He talked about how he was addicted to all these falsified realities on Facebook and other social platforms and how it skewed his own reality.  I will link the article at the end of this post.  I found it very interesting and I realized that the appeal and destructive properties social media has are both in the same category.

Ever since I joined online in the age of social media starting with Xanga, living through MySpace, and now using multiple platforms, the main one being Facebook.  I can remember one thing being the same on all of these sites and it wasn’t the appeal to virtually connect.  The one thing I craved most was attention and positive affirmation.  Starting with Xanga and MySpace, it was all about creating the best looking profile,  having the best music, being the most innovative, and showing off the best pictures.  Of course, updates also were a big part of it.  Back then, I desired to be cool.  I wanted the popular kids to like me.  I hoped that through cutesy backgrounds and popping colors I could win their approval.  On MySpace, I constantly changed my song to fit with what was popular.  I posted my top 8 in hopes that I might make someone else’s top 8.  Now, even through a simplified social platform, even Facebook gives users the draw for attention.  By posting the latest controversial meme, taking a cute selfie, or telling your achievements we all are guilty of using Facebook to get the kind of attention we desire.  Some like to stir up controversy and start fights.  Others ask for sympathy by posting about their hard day.  Still others show off how great their lives appear through glorious pictures or status updates.  I know I’m guilty of all of it.  I never realized until today, however, that this habit of constantly pulling for attention can be extremely destructive.

If we are real with ourselves, our lives are neither all good, nor all bad.  We tend to only show one of those things on social media however.  By portraying our lives a certain way, we are artificially manufacturing responses and pulls.  How many people have posted a status that relieved no likes, then felt horrible about it?  Is that really how we should value ourselves.  Not only are we letting others opinions dictate how we feel about ourselves, but we are also creating the very situations in which we allow for this to happen.

So through the 10+ years I have been in social media, I have learned my value comes from how attractive I can make myself look online.  From fancy profiles to Internet memes, I turned to these things to feel good about myself.  As great as I think social media is and has been, I also think it has turned into something so destructive that it helped ruin my life and I can see it being even worse for my children some day.  If used properly, I would love to stay in touch with old friends and distant family.  I’d love to stay updated on their lives and see pictures of their new babies.  Let’s be real though, it’s almost impossible to just do that.  Social media is now a number one news source.  It’s a place that has fueled this election.  It has stored up riots and hatred.  It’s a place that I’m addicted to yet I so badly want to stay away from.

I’m even going to be sharing this blog post on Facebook.  Would I even still write if I didn’t have any readers?  Today I challenge you to consider why you do the things you do.  Is it for your own satisfaction? Or is it to find approval to gain satisfaction through others perceived satisfaction.  Make choices today to help make you happy, then don’t post about it on social media.  See how you feel.  I challenge everyone that feels empty after doing so, to find and do something you can be proud of.  The more you do, the less you will need others to be happy.  You’re ALREADY amazing. 

Shalom 

To link you to the article that inspired today’s ramblings:

Emotional Porn

Can I Write You a Story?

One year sober, well, not quite. It’s probably not what you’re thinking either.  A couple week from today marks a pretty significant point in my life.  You see, a year ago exactly, I was just beginning a period of my life that would lead me to rock bottom.  Last year I was beginning the absolute worst two weeks of my life.  I’ve been through hell and still, nothing can even come close to comparing to the shit storm that I was experiencing one year ago.  Like I said, though, one year sober.  

Two weeks from now I will be one year clean.  No, not from drugs or alcohol.  The type of high I was craving was one that no artificial substance could create.  No, I craved fufillment.  I would do anything to get attention. Now don’t imagine some prissy girl begging for attention, because that wasn’t me.  I was a mess.  My friends can attest to the awful things I was putting myself through just to feel loved. The problem is, every attempt just made me feel even more empty.  Imagine me, a now beautiful girl, with scared arms and legs, makeup staining my cheeks, constant lying and deceiving, and with empty soulless eyes reflecting my heart.  The disaster that I was is the same that you would find when talking to a heroin addict or a prostitute.  I was in just as much danger.  Thankfully,  I was taken to the hospital before I lost my life.  

The hardest hospital stay I ever had took place.  I was not only forced to look at the disaster of my life and reevaluate, but I also had to leave my “drug”.  I no longer could get the attention I craved.  I was locked away.  During this stay I realized that I could never find happiness in anyone.  That really changed my life.  After I got discharged, I felt like a fish out of water. I had zero direction on how to fill my still ever so empty heart.  During the course of the next few months, I slowly, but surely started finding satisfaction and happiness in myself.  At first, it was small things that I was proud of; playing a new song on the Ukulele for example.  Then in turned to bigger things.  I found more enjoyment in myself and what I was doing.  Eventually, the last and the hardest thing for me to accept was my beauty.  Once I did that, I found that only true happiness can come from within.  I will also note here that God has everything to do with even beginning to find satisfaction in myself.  So here I am, (almost) one year sober from searching for fufillment in others.

Now, I’m able to find fufillment in a variety of ways.  One of those ways has been my writing.  I think that writing has been the only way I have been able to express my thoughts well.  I talk quickly and I often speak without thinking.  That’s why I think I like writing so much. It forces me to slow down and reevaluate what I’m saying.  It has helped me share my story.  Now some of my readers and followers have suggested I write a book.  I put it off for a long time, not really feeling I have been ready for such a task.  Now, I am extremely happy to announce I have started writing my very first Memoir.  The memoir will be detailing the last three years of my life.  It will contain my battle with mental illness, my struggles with God,  my rock bottom, and eventually my hope and freedom in what I have discovered through the journey.  I’m so excited to share it with you all!  I have done some rough drafting of the first five chapters.  They are all fairly short as I still want to go through and add some detail.  I am asking for a few people who may want to read these drafts and give me some feedback! Did you see any errors? What would you like to see more of in my writing?  Is there anything I should take out? Where should I take the rest of the book?  All of these questions I would love to have answers too.  Private message me if you might be interested.

I’m so happy to have been through what I have, even thought it was hard.  And these next couple weeks I will remember just how far I have come.

I love you and you should too. Blessings