Crazy is The New Normal

 Mama’s Seven Weeks of Weird asks the question:

 

 What is the weirdest thing about you that people don’t usually know?

Well, the answer to that is, I really don’t know.  I don’t consider myself ALL that weird, I guess.  Sure there were times, back in school when I felt like I was kind of the “weird” one, but it wasn’t so much weirdness as it was just being socially anxious and awkward.

After I accepted that I had bipolar disorder, I thought that made me kind of strange, a little weird.  To be mentally ill, in my circle, that was weird.  I still every once in awhile today think of all the “weird” things that go along with having bipolar disorder.  But then I shrug my shoulders, because that’s just how it is and it’s not going away.

 It helps tremendously to be active in the WP mental health blogging community.  There is such a sense of togetherness and  understanding and compassion.  None of these people think you’re being weird, whereas a friend or family member might.  Nope, those are called *symptoms*!

For the longest time I thought that my sister thought I was “weird” because of my bipolar.  And she kinda did.  But she has accepted me now with open arms and there is not  a single person inside my circle that doesn’t know I deal with bipolar disorder and there is not a single person in that circle who belittles me for it.  As it should be, and as I wish it for everyone.

We are all just people, weird or not.  I’m very thankful that I could overcome my “weirdness” and just be this super-cool chick who happens to have bipolar disorder.  Life is much more fun that way.

7weird

 

And that lovely and large and purple section at the top is thanks to a quick HTML course taught to me by Bradley of Green Embers.  Yay for Bradley!  (it’s actually easier than you might think!)

Orange Rosa

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is set Mr. Coffee to brew and park myself in front of my computer until it is done.  Some days, I go immediately to looking through my email WP notifications, other days I have to sit and stare at the blank screen for awhile.  This morning, I just so happened to wake up bright-eyed and opened Rara’s, My Orange Report.

She had written a lovely post in a question/answer format based upon her husband, Grayson Queen’s, book, Orange Buffalo (which, BTW, he has made the e-book free on Amazon through the 23rd of this month).

I loved Rara’s post and then I read another take on it at Sheena’s blog, Not a Punk Rocker.  And, of course, I loved it, too.  And then I had a moment in which I thought that I, Rosa of all people, should partake in this fun.  I had a slightly briefer moment in which I thought that Rosa might not be cool enough to play with the cool kids, but then I got over it.  Without further adieu:

1)  In the book, Orange Buffalo by Grayson Queen, the orange buffalo is a legend.  Tracking a regular brown buffalo is a feat of skill.  A rare white buffalo thus represents the nearly impossible hunt for something, whereas an orange buffalo represents the search for something that simply doesn’t exist.  Have you ever searched for an orange buffalo– a truly false or impossible dream?

Growing up, I knew I would grow up, get married, and (probably) have kids.  I’m 32 now and I know that isn’t going to happen.  I am (depending on the day) torn about not having children.  I know I couldn’t financially/mentally/emotionally give them a life I would want them to have and I know, chemically speaking, that it would be a death sentence to go off medications with the very slim hope that DSB and I could get pregnant.  It’s not going to happen and that is my orange buffalo, that is my impossibility.  I’m not saying that people with mental illnesses can’t have children and give them a great upbringing.  I’m saying that, I, personally can’t.

As for getting married, that’s probably not going to happen either.  I’m never going to wear a white dress and walk down an aisle and have some grand reception.  Do I want that?  Yes, terribly.  Circumstances being what they are, it’s not a possibility.  Just like with not having children, it might be possible for some people in my situation.  For me, it’s not.

2.  What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a break-up?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that, if you give and give and give, and get nothing back, then it might not be worth it.  If you’re not getting anything positive out of the relationship, it might not be one worth having.  As my mom (quoting Ann Landers, I think) says, “Are you better off with him, or without him?”

3. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Did you get there?  If not, what happened?

As I was growing up, I always wanted to be a doctor.  I took that thought with me into college, and after almost failing out of honors biology and honors chemistry in the first semester, I realized that plan wasn’t going to work.  I went into psychology and thrived.  I then planned on getting my Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a forensic emphasis.  That dream died with an extreme manic rush and crash and burn into depression midway through my senior year.

For almost ten years, I worked in the mental health field.  Doing basically social worker-type work.  It was incredibly stressful.  I both loved and hated it.  I left both jobs I had during that time on FMLA due to mental health issues.  I just couldn’t handle it.

Now, I’m on SSDI and I work part-time at my parents’ bait shop.  How far we fall, I used to often think.  But my life is rich and full and, while I am grateful for all the life experiences I had, I am much happier now, living a simple life.

4. Is there something in your past you’d like to do over?  How do you think it would change your life if you had the opportunity to do so?

For the most part, there is nothing I would go back and change.  I firmly believe that all that suffering and strife brought me to where I am today, and I’m happy with today.  I really do think that I would be a different person in a different place if I changed something in my past, and that’s not something I want to do.  If I could choose one tiny thing, however, it would be to learn how to stop lying and being dishonest at every turn much earlier in life than I learned it.

5. In the novel there’s a repeating series of lines, referring to society’s predictions for the main character– the good and bad.

What a nice boy, a good boy, so much potential. He’s going to grow up to be president, a novelist, a hypocrite, a sellout.”

Write your own.

“What a kind girl, a fun girl, always with best of intentions.  She’s going to grow up to be an auntie, a friend, a manic mess, a depressed wreck.”

Want to give it a go?  Head over to Rara’s for the details and make sure to link up!

(and don’t forget to get the book!  I just picked up my FREE e-copy!)