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Lizzie’s Mental Moment

One of my favorite places to hang out is Running Naked With Scissors, and its companion site Artsy Brain Fartsies, both run by the incomparable Lizzie Cracked. Her signature feature is the Mental Moment. She has graciously offered to guest post a special mental moment about friendship on M3.  With no further ado, meet my sweet friend, Lizzie.

I have been thinking a lot lately.  I do that from time to time.  Really.  Uh oh… oh wait, :-)  many of you have no idea what that means.  Those who are regular visitors over in my little piece of the blogosphere know that typically means …ridiculous word count and circular diversion while I figure out how to make my point.  It seems to not be too much of a problem though.  Not sure if it’s because I give fair warning or because I am just that likeable :-)  or maybe both.   I will try to stay focused and under … 3000 words ?  Ok shorter.

 A Mental Moment …  

The idea of a Mental Moment, is to take a break from what’s going on in your daily life.  Just stop what you are doing and take what I offer and think about it.  It doesn’t matter if you have mental health or disorder, it’s about your mental state.  Sometimes the Mental Moments are just funny things to laugh at, sometimes they are a little deeper to ponder on.  Its what you want or need it to be…

It’s nice to not have to explain myself, to know that there are people that get me, that know when I say I have been thinking, it could be epic, or end up ridiculous. and to settle in for a  bit to get through my musings, and finally to a point.  I used to explain myself all the time just so I didn’t confuse anyone.  Even at first ,to make sure I wasn’t confused.  Now I do it out of courtesy, especially if I am somewhere new or meeting new people.

For once in my life, I am being real.  Just me.  Who I am is not hidden away.  It’s amazing the difference it has made, and the friends I have found, especially here.

I have been thinking about being alone.  Not like without a relationship, or just alone because there is no one else around you.

The kind of alone uttered in despair and hopelessness

The kind of alone that is really common among those with mental disorders. dysfunction, cracked,  especially in the really low moments, like depression.  How about bipolar depression.

I think bipolar depression is a good example, I have a little experience with it.  My kitten George is bipolar, poor little guy he is all over the place, one minute purring contentedly the next chewing on my leg like its chicken. …

Isn’t George cute?

*ahem

 

I have Bipolar I …but that’s not the point.  Ok, it has a lot to do with the point.  I have found the answer to the problem of feeling so horribly terribly desperately alone,  that ideas of …not being here anymore, of not having purpose find ways to wiggle into the brain  Once the idea is there, it snowballs because …you look for validation that you are truly alone.  if you get it..if no one notices, or takes your hand….

Here is the thing, it makes no sense.  If  you haven’t ever felt that lonely and isolated, or if you have, in that desperate place, yet can’t figure it out when you are in a better place, it’s hard to imagine that you could ever think there is nobody in the world that loves or cares or understands you.

But I have pondered and mulled and brooded to the point that it does, all of a sudden make perfect sense.  Really.

Consider this:

Many mentally ill people are masters at deception.  Not the malicious kind that is done with intent to hurt anyone, maybe masters of disguise is a better way to think of it.  People with bipolar are notorious for putting up a front that everything is hunky dory and life is grand,  for a lot of reasons such as, social stigma, and doubt that we are lovable and worthy of friendships, doubt that if we reveal the darkness inside of us, we will be able to have a friend who can stay with us throughout thick and thin.  Doubt that we will be seen as who we are, not what we have after the truth is revealed.

Perhaps it’s learned behavior.  I had a brief period of time after being diagnosed that I was quite vocal about the fact I had bipolar disorder.  I was so happy there was a reason, a name for what was going on in my head.  That lasted maybe five minutes and I went back to trying to live as a square peg in a round hole.  Or is it round peg…?  anyways..  I came here to get away from that kind of life.  I just want to be me.  After awhile, I had friends.  I had people that cared about me.

I mean really truly cared about what I had to say what I deal with and like me just because…well I am irresistible…  (no need to pipe up I am just being silly :-)  )

Silly Monkey

 

When we read another person musings, or hear them, in pain say

 

“I don’t want to be here anymore, I am alone and I am tired,”

 

It might be the first instinct to say,  (it is mine I know,)  “You aren’t alone, I care, I am here”  and think how could they possibly ever feel like they have no one?   When someone would say it to me, it did help but it didn’t.  Just the fact that someone cared enough and tried to help, was something that made a difference whether it made the loneliness go away or not.

It rarely did at first, and I thought there was just some fundamental short circuit that I could not feel anything but alone.  I wanted to figure it out, I felt if I just could understand why I was misunderstood.  And there was the light bulb.  That AHA!  moment.

Anyone who feels they have to hide something about themselves, out of shame or blame or fear,  will feel alone.  Not lonely, that’s different.  Alone.

They are not revealing their true self, therefore they can never feel truly understood.

Next time you hear someone say “I am alone”  in a time of despair, don’t dismiss them or what they are saying,  Let them know they aren’t alone in whatever way you normally would ..  I don’t know what the right thing beyond that is,  I just give you my slightly cracked observations, sometimes unsolicited advice if I am feeling it, but on this, I don’t know the right answer, I just know the cause.  Maybe I am wrong.

 

Besides its a Mental Moment (epic one too).  I can’t figure it all out then what would you have to ponder?

 

Everybody is worthy of friendship, love and acceptance, no matter what sets them apart. No one should feel like they are alone without a soul in the world that understands them.   I may have fewer friends than if I didn’t have a serious mental illness, it’s not always easy to be that friend that sticks around no matter what, but when I got real, and brave and said to hell with pretending, I found friends that are the best.  They carry me by caring about me.

My last bout of bipolar depression, just recently, I did not get to the point of feeling alone.  In fact I knew I wasn’t.  Wait, really yes, I had moments, but when a friend said to me …you aren’t alone…  I knew it was true.  The friends I have, chose to be my friend, knowing full well I have a mental illness, They know.  I am real.  I am loved.  It made all the difference in the world to me.

You are never alone.  Everyone has someone that cares about them.  Everyone.  If you feel alone, stop and ask yourself is it because you are hiding part of you?  Are you being your true self and letting these people know and understand you?

 

It’s not to say that if you are feeling like you haven’t a soul in the world that it is your fault, but it does put some accountability back to you.

It’s easy, in times of trouble and despair to point the finger and blame others.  It lets us off the hook for our sorrows for a while anyways.    Saying that no one understands you, you are alone, is doing just that.  It isn’t your fault either.  Whether you are mentally disordered, or you are hiding that you have a mole with its own zip code on your derriere,  it isn’t  your fault. but that doesn’t  mean you  can’t change it.  When you take back some of the responsibility of that, it gives you the power to change your life.  With that comes hope.

Be real, be true, don’t hide who you are.  There are people who love you  and want to be in your lives.  They are called friends.  And you are never alone when you truly let them see you.

 

To Your Mental State, Whatever it may be…

~~~~~~~~~~

 Do you have mental moments? Do you have friends who have low times and need you? Are you there for them? Can you see past a friend’s disabilities to make and stay friends?

Leave comments and thank Lizzie for the fabbo Mental Moment just for M3! Then take scroll over to Running Naked With Scissors and Artsy Brain Fartsies (where she keeps her cool photographs and artwork).

Thank you for reading this M3 guest post! If you would like to guest post, contact me through Ask Momma!


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
Original text and images (c) Lizzie Cracked and Running Naked With Scissors
Re-Blogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters
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29 Comments

  1. Everyone, whether they have a mental condition or not, should read this and maybe even print it out as a handy reminder.

    very eloquent LizzieC!

    Except for the monkey/tail thing. That’s just gotta go.
    El Guapo recently posted..Friday Foolishness – Leather and Spandex EditionMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Nobody is ever alone …..
    No matter how much they think they are……
    Lizzie -awesomeness = you – courage love and sweetness xo
    many smiles for a great weekend xoxoxo
    You Too miss Red ….. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So glad to be here on Your site
    I always learn something new ….! – awesome guide YOU xoxoxoxoxox
    Have a beautiful weekend everyone ………
    and again thank you …..
    xx
    all love xo
    C
    Cat Forsley recently posted..Melted Cat has returned to solid Cat again !!!! And a Happy weekend To all!!!!My Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks Cat.. I thought your Poem was so beautiful and that it and mine here actually complimented each other.. hmm do you think she planned that? The part about the petals bowing to each other..I especially liked that :-) I could see it in my mind…

      Red, Thank you for letting me have this mental moment ..in your house. It means so very much and I had fun too .. you are too kind I almost swooned when I read your intro (giggling) wow the picture of George is almost as big as he is in real life. If you ever want to come and put your wisdom over my way, in a post ..since you already do in the comments ;-) the door is always open. Much Love my Friend , Lizzie
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Detour Mid-Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

      Reply
      • Me, plan, what? Who said that? *giggles* Let me get some things back to normal around here and we can have a conference about subjects and dates ;) Love and {HUGZ} Red. xxx

        Reply
  3. Mama you are right one the lithium, er money, as always.
    Yes, not deceptive in a ‘cash register’ way or even social way. Except…… Bi polar (bears) tend to hide their depression from family and close friends.
    Mom: Hi honey how are you today?
    Me: Great Mom and yourself?
    -Real meanings-
    mom: ‘are you going to actually tell me if you’re planning on offing yourself today?
    me: cold day in hell before I hurt you enough to tell you

    Funny hahah and funny strange. Great post Red. Sorry I’ve been absent but I’m, well, absent.
    Be well my dear friend. You know where I
    am -smile-
    Oh and agree with EG: ‘Everyone, whether they have a mental condition or not, should read this and maybe even print it out as a handy reminder.’
    Lizzie C – you’re the bestest as well

    Miss you Red
    Miss R recently posted..Where the HELL have you been?My Profile

    Reply
    • I will be over in a short while to see where you have been. You have been missed, my sweet. <3 I know some of it. *smirks* Glad to see you tonight, chica. And like I commented to MJ, I know enough single polar (bears) who do the precise same hiding from friends and family.

      Much love and {HUGZ} Red.
      Red recently posted..MoroffsMy Profile

      Reply
    • Thanks Miss R :-)
      funny strange ha ha but I know what you mean.
      Hope all is well..
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..To Fake or Not to Fake Mid Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

      Reply
  4. There are people in my life who have bi-polar disorder. Each is different, each has different ways of dealing with it. Medication helps, but causes its own set of problems. The lows are bad, but sometimes the highs are worse. We always try to be there.

    Lizzie, your post is excellent and gives us another look at how people with different types of problems must deal with them on a daily basis.

    MJ
    MJ Logan recently posted..Feeling the Need for SpeedMy Profile

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    • One of the things I love about mental moments is they are the things, if we took the time to contemplate them, we would see them just as clearly as this post lays them out. I have seen so many who were not bipolar do these exact same things.

      Reply
    • thanks MJ :-) yes we are all of us different… sometimes I hesitate to say this is about being..or having bipolar.. I think that what i have experienced, is what everyone at one point or another experiences, just not as intensely.. I feel like that gives me a unique opportunity to put into words what we all feel from time to time… some for whatever reasons, more than others…some only realize it when they read it … It’s my little light to spread to the world… sometimes a tiny glow…sometimes a beacon.. :-)
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Detour Mid-Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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      • Glad you amended that, Lizzie. I do not see you as “bipolar”. You may have bipolar, but by no stretch of the imagination is it your only, or even your predominant, descriptor. If anything, it helps you be more in tune with not only the world around you but also the feelings of those in your sphere. <3

        Reply
  5. Hi hun! :)

    My mate Mark is bipolar and we get on really well, but not to the point of sharing medication! :)

    At the moment he has sleep anapnoia (don’t ask me how its spelled) which means he stops breathing in his sleep and the breathing machine he has to use hurts his nose so he’s sent it back to the hospital.

    I have Paranoid Schizophrenia and I’ve had it for fifteen years after the Police, press and media put my life through the shredder.

    Everyone apologised afterwards and walked away after two and a half years of vicious persecution and violence, but I was left a broken travesty of a human being and am now clinically insane, if with a pristine criminal record! :)

    None of my old friends visit – too many guilty consciences who took payments to help my tormentors – so I am rebuilding my life a day at a time despite some people trying to misuse me because they think I’m more vulnerable than I really am.

    The folks at the local church have been wonderful and I can’t thank them enough for their help and support, but I find it hard to leave my home so I’m usually shaking by the time I’ve ordered a taxi to get there.

    What I guess I’m trying to say is that, from experience, I can tell you that life DOES get better and when going through hell to keep moving – it doesn’t pay to stay in one place! :)

    Love and huge hugs!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Friday – cold, wet and windy!My Profile

    Reply
    • oh, I am sorry to hear that you had such a hard time..and been turned on.. that of course uncovers another whole part of how it is that we have come to believe we need to hide our true selves…. Everybody does to a point or at some point has some fear of rejection but what you talk about is.. nightmarish. I am glad you are here and have gotten through it. <3
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..To Fake or Not to Fake Mid Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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  6. Very well stated, Lizzie. We all feel disconnected at times, and we all have our dark moments. But some obviously experience them a lot more than others. A good, caring friend or two can make the world of difference.
    Binky recently posted..Smells Good, Tastes GoodMy Profile

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    • Thank you Binky. Its s huge difference. For me it was the difference between an intolerable, uncomfortable existence and functioning… from the low point and from the high.. its just so much better with a friend..or few :-)
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Detour Mid-Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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  7. Lizzie – this was so well done especially to remind us to reach over to our friends, just to tell them we care for them and about them. I think sometimes we might forget or assume they know. It is so easy to forget, we all need to hear that someone else in the world cares for us, that we are not alone in the world.

    You my friend are not alone, ever.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Generations LostMy Profile

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    • Sonething as easy to give as a caring word, and we do forget that it can mean so much to those we love, even knowing how much it means to us… life gets in the way of life… This was not easy for me to get on paper.. screen?… am I supposed to admit that? I knew what I wanted to say.. it just wasn’t translated to words yet. Its all about being our true selves, not hiding under the layers…like onions that were designed to repel further investigation. I dont like onions so that analogy works for me… an onion lover might not get it…. ;-) I am glad it came across well..my words have not nearly the depth of feeling as my thoughts did..

      And you too are never alone…
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Detour Mid-Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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  8. I am never alone any more in that sense, at least not for more than an hour and a nap or so. I do know the feeling though. During my heyday in dealing with issues, I was quite good at the ‘please see my pain and care even though I’m hiding it from you’ thing. Then I learned to speak up. There is a loneliness that goes beyond people and their care of you. It’s a dark place, but one others really can’t dig us out of. They can stand by and cheer as we do so though.
    Angela Young recently posted..You are the master of your own domainMy Profile

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  9. Great post , and very inspiring , your mental moments are always a great break in the day and thank you for sharing your experience with mental health issues as most people have no idea and its not a bad thing by the way. Most of the creative people suffer bi polar and depression etc – my friend dated a clinacly depressed comic ! I suspect I may have a few signs of some type of Attention deficit disorder but on the flipside I’m always having a million ideas .. but cant sit still for long enough to do them ;) I guess Im trying to say that sometimes it can be a good thing and I agree that those who truly care always stick by you Xx Kel

    Reply
    • Welcome, Kel! Thank you for stopping by for the epic mental moment. I like your attitude toward your attention span. I have the attention span of a Mediterranean fruit fly…proudly claiming it for ages. Stop by the Green Room and leave a link to your blog. You will find many other terrific bloggers there as well. Nice to meet you. Red.

      Reply
      • Red..how long IS the attention span of a Mediterranean house fly exactly? and one more even biger question..does it have a tail? :-D
        Lizzie Cracked recently posted..To Fake or Not to Fake Mid Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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        • ROFL! No tail. Two wings, six legs and a life span of a few hours. Females live five days, but the males breed and die. If you attend to something 20 mintues (average attention span), that is about 5 millionths of your life time. To translate that to MFF, the attention span is equal to about 4 one-thousands of a second for a female and 1.6 ten-thousandths of a second for a male. Yes, I have done the math…*grins*

          Reply
    • I struggle with the million ideas … lol.. glad you came over… I didn’t forget about the psych warfare question ;-) I am working on it. There are lot of writers and actors and artists and such that have mental disorders… I have always meant to explore that a little farther.. but I got sidetracked.. :-)
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..To Fake or Not to Fake Mid Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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  10. Hi Lizzie… Very well said. I found great clarity that applies directly to my own life.
    One thing that rang true and clear for me has to do with my ability to recognize the true friends from those just playing some kind of preconceived role toward me. Yes, I am bipolar. But that does not define me. Nor do my external circumstances define me.
    I feel better able to recognize insincerity from others. Insincerity is usually based on ignorance. Either 1) (lack of knowledge) not knowing/understanding and acknowledging the truth/worth of my feelings and/or 2) (ignoring/rejecting the value of said feelings) not caring enough to respond authentically, from the heart. In the resulting disconnect, I sense the “friend” is responding only to external circumstances, rather than to my expressed perception of and feelings about those external circumstances. In other words, they could be talking to anybody.
    With that clarity, I reclaim my power, understand that my solitude is my choice, move forward and live my life by choice. One day at a time. Sometimes, one thing at a time.
    While on the surface, it looks contraindicated for the feelings of aloneness, perhaps decreasing the quantity of connections I have, in fact improves the quality of the connections I have.
    A subtle yet powerful perception shift for me, facilitated by your honest/authentic perspective.
    Thank you many times over!!!

    :)

    PS Hi Red…
    BuddhaKat recently posted..Meet a Russell Sprout…My Profile

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    • Kat, I think that is important regardless of mental state. All too often, our friends are attempting to be what they think we need them to be when in honesty we need them to be who we met. Quality is raised when there are fewer distractions. If this means fewer connections, I do not see it as counterindicative…at all.
      Red. xxx

      Reply
    • I have to say I agree with Red.. and Kat I am glad you saw all that you did in my little piece here.. I understand what you mean about knowing intuitively if it is fron the heart… I know that the choice of solitude is actually an almost peaceful and comforting one wherein we don;t need to worry so much about being alone… I like my solitude too and have embraced and accepted it as a great place in my life.. which makes the choice of people I have… less in numbers but more in friendship…
      Lizzie Cracked recently posted..To Fake or Not to Fake Mid Afternoon Mental MomentMy Profile

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