I asked several bloggers whom I’ve become acquainted with if they would do a guest post on Surviving the Specter. They have all graciously accepted, and I am really excited to feature them over time. They have in one way or another, inspired me, made me laugh, made me think, told it to me like it is, been supportive, reached out to me, and been there to pull me through my rough stuff. They are beautiful people and excellent bloggers. They have so much to share and it would be a dishonor for me to hoard them all to myself, haha.
My guest blogger today is Morgueticiaatoms. She is a whitty and sarcastically beautiful person. Please visit her blog and drop her a line in her Comments section. Unlike me, she is really great at holding dialogues! Check her site out – https://morgueticiasmentalhealthmausoleum.wordpress.com/
And now, I’ll turn it over to Morgue’…
My name is Niki aka Morgueticiaatoms. I am 42. Bipolar, seasonal depressions, and anxiety are my biggest demons. I have a daughter about to enter first grade and she is happy and healthy, which proves mental illness is not contagious. I struggle daily and feel the sting of being on disability as the stigma of mental illness does takes its toll. Especially when you know you’re for real, not some scammer too lazy to work. I enjoy long walks on the beach, sunsets, and poking dead things with a stick. Okay, that’s my macabre humor but it gets me through. I like writing, reading, watching TV shows, blogging, and am addicted to the game Word Poker on neopets. (No, I feel no shame.) For the most part, I consider myself boring. Occasionally amusing. Blogging has been a lifeline for me, especially after being told “no one wants to read about your mental crap” by someone close to me. I’ve found a supportive system of people through blogging and I am grateful for each reader, each like, each and every comment. I am also grateful for the chance to spew my demons in blog form so they don’t systemically poisoning me. Venting is good.
1. How long have you been blogging?
Off and on for about eight years, four years steadily. I also have boxes of old school pen and paper journals I’ve kept though the years.
2. What is the focus of your blog?
Life with bipolar and anxiety disorder, for the most part. How I cycle, how I react, for better, for worse.
3. Is there a particular time that you write/post?
Nope. Whenever the notion hits, or more like, possesses me.
4. Where do you get the inspiration/ideas for your blog posts?
From outer space. Seriously, it could be anything, what’s going on in my life, a TV show, an ad, a song, another blog post, a book, or just some random spark. As unpredictable as bipolar, creativity is.
5. From your experience, what three pieces of insight/wisdom can you give to new/growing bloggers?
Be honest, use your own voice, and if your goal is readers, learn to use the tags appropriately. It counts as to quantity of views though for me it was more for quality, weeding out the flotsam and jetsam trolls.
6. What mental conditions (“illnesses”) do you survive with? E.g., depression? PTSD? anxiety? self-harm?
Bipolar two, generalized anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, ADD, panic attacks, personality disorder not otherwise specified, chronic depressions related to seasonal affect
7. For each condition, what is at least one coping mechanism you have found to be successful?
Sarcastic humor. If you can mock yourself even at your worst…You’ve got signs of life in spite of it all.
8. Do you have a personal story you would like to tell? One of success? One of growth? A story that tells about your rough stuff?
I was improperly diagnosed for ten plus years. They gave me anti depressants, which just made the bipolar worse. It resulted in a lot of instability, impulsive decisions, and burned bridges with family and friends. Followed by an interaction to an MAOI that landed me in the hospital and they were unsure if I would come out of it. I suffered brain damage, to a small but still relevant extent. I was granted disability after that. Took three more years to get proper diagnosis and so much finally made sense. I proved med resistant as far as the anti depressants went. But in spite of it all, I managed to have a gorgeous daughter who is happy go lucky so you can be a parent with mental illness. Kids need love, not perfection.
9. From your experience, what three pieces of insight/wisdom can you give to others surviving with mental illness?
The best counselor I have ever had told me, “Some days you just have to accept you feel the way you feel. Happy, sad, depressed, anxious. Accept it because fighting it makes you feel defeated if you fail. Set one small goal for the day, accomplish it, and LET yourself feel the way you do.”
Do NOT ever let societal pressures, resistance to medications, chronic cycling,or self doubt dictate your self worth. You LIVE your truth, and if others aren’t accepting and supportive, it is hardly your fault.
Remember that in spite of all our programming, doctors are humans and fallible and prone to their own biases. You can respect a doctor without having to agree with their every word, especially when it comes to the medications you put into your body. Don’t be a people pleaser when it comes to your mental health. Politely but firmly assert yourself or the doctors are prone to treating you like just another file number.