Smiles's recent activity

  1. Comment on I got asked out today in ~talk

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    Yeah, I've been told I always think too far ahead.

    Yeah, I've been told I always think too far ahead.

    4 votes
  2. I got asked out today

    So I just got asked out by this girl that I had asked out on a whim, I don't know how long ago, maybe 6 months ago? Time's blurry now-a-days; I had totally forgotten about her. She seems really...

    So I just got asked out by this girl that I had asked out on a whim, I don't know how long ago, maybe 6 months ago? Time's blurry now-a-days; I had totally forgotten about her. She seems really nice, she's attractive, but more importantly she remembered me. She remembered I had asked her out and today I bumped into her and she told me she was single now and that she'd be interested in going on a date. We exchanged numbers and all that jazz and uh here I am. I should be over the moon.

    But I'm not. I'm at best meh, and more realistically depressed. This is the best thing that's happened in my life in quite a long time, and I can't find it in myself to be happy for myself. My only other post on here is about my bipolar, and I'm going through a rough patch right now, but something like this could help bring me up a little bit. Why can't I be happy? I've been in a funk for the last week, I haven't been able to concentrate, I've been sleepy, everything is monotone. I feel like I'm navigating life in a wobbly blob of grey jello: everything is out of focus and I'm always a little distanced, slow motion, never sure what's going to trip me up.

    I'm worried I'm not in a good place to be getting into a relationship right now, but this is just about a once a year opportunity it seems so I feel like I need to take advantage of it. Relationships take effort but I can't make the effort to take care of myself some days. It's pretty much a no-win. I can either not pursue this and lose, or go for it and probably fuck it up because I don't even know how to hold down a healthy relationship.

    I'm sort of decided to go for it, so how long do you all think I should wait before texting her? I always hear that this is super critical, to not sound to needy but not sound uncaring. Like I said, I don't seem to know shit about relationships.

    26 votes
  3. Comment on What's a hidden health issue you live with? in ~health

    I have bipolar depression. I was originally diagnosed with major depressive disorder and some oppositional defiance disorder when I was a kid, eventually got a major anxiety disorder (I think...

    I have bipolar depression. I was originally diagnosed with major depressive disorder and some oppositional defiance disorder when I was a kid, eventually got a major anxiety disorder (I think that's what they called it) diagnosis as well. Probably had bipolar the entire time, but my understanding is psych's don't like to give that diagnosis to adolescents as the mood swings of puberty can lead to false diagnoses. The same goes for schizophrenia and personality disorders.

    I've been in the mental health system since I was 13 or so, been to a few wards or other intensive programs, sometimes on my own prerogative, other times not. I deal with hypo-manic tendencies, even while on my medications. When not on my meds these manic episodes tend to be destructive. In both scenarios I've lost plenty of jobs, mainly due to distorted thinking and convincing myself I'm better off without that job, so I quit. If it's not that, it's the opposite end of bipolar and I miss too much time and lose my job that way.

    When I'm on my drugs, I constantly question myself every time I seem to break through my depression. Having a good mood, motivation and determination is not something I'm used to consistently experiencing. So when it does happen, I have to worry that it's actually the beginning of a manic episode. I try and watch out for warning signs, but it's especially hard because the medications help with certain symptoms.

    My anxiety can be an absolute show stopper. Anxiety/Panic attacks aren't as frequent as they used to be, but now-a-days their causes are invisible to me. Multiple times I've had to stop doing everything at work for up to an hour, just to breathe and try to ground myself. Grounding myself leads to distorted thinking and depression as I tend to be self-loathing. Then after it goes away I have to deal with the anxiety preceding the inevitable conversation with my boss about where I was for an hour. At least I know the cause I guess.

    One of the ways I try to cope with my illness is maintaining a regular schedule. It's not rigorous, or down to the minute, it's a schedule like anyone else would have. Wake up, shower, eat, meds, go to work, etc. If I lose my schedule, I tend to spiral down hill. Recalling my experiences with holding down jobs, after my mania ceases and I no longer have a regular job schedule, the depression sets in. I hole up at home, isolate myself and get stuck.

    Trigger Warning: Suicide Suicide has been a regular theme in my life since I was 15 or so. I've tried a few times, but I think about it pretty regularly. I tend to make plans, but rarely execute. This is one aspect of my condition that people display the most sympathy for if I tell them, but at the same time it creates the most misunderstanding. Nobody can possibly understand what it's like for me to feel like I want to die. I don't even understand it sometimes. It's just the complete loss of purpose, meaning; it's the lack of will to go on.

    A large portion of my life has been violated by intrusive thoughts, overloaded by the desire for it all to be over. It has poisoned parts of my life.

    I can't listen to Radiohead anymore. It's the music that was playing on my laptop as I sat on the floor of my hotel room for hours, staring at the looped belt I had shoved into a door jam.

    I can't think about my sexuality without associating it with suicide, I wasn't consciously aware of my orientation until I woke up in an ER psych room (having been blackout drunk and suicidal the night before). It was the first thought in my mind as I burst awake under the cruel fluorescent lights, all the while being observed by a shrink sitting next to me. The first person I told was someone I'd never see again, and I was confused by it all.

    I get anxious when I'm near train tracks. I had a really close call with a train when I was 19 or so.

    I can't EDC my knife anymore. The convenient access if I fall into a major depressive episode is too much of a risk, I only carry it if I know I should probably have some protection for a limited time, just in case; it goes right back into a distant drawer when I get back home though.

    I can't own a gun, for obvious reasons. Even when I've felt I might benefit from the protection, I can't even chance it.

    I have to ask myself how I'm doing emotionally before I drive, some days I can't because the temptation to intentionally crash are too great.

    There's so much more I want to say, but I can't put it into words.

    I'm not doing too well right now, actually. I'm off work due to an injury and my life has been plagued by insomnia, anxiety and depression as my schedule has been thrown to hell. I've been drowning myself in my hobbies (all the while questioning the legitimacy of my energy, worrying about a burgeoning manic episode), but it only goes so far. I let myself get sucked down the YouTube rabbit hole; I despise that. Auto-play should be illegal. I made myself a list of things I need to do to meet a personal goal; I just stare at it. For what it's worth I'm safe, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sliding. I've got a support system in my life, a shrink I see at least twice a week and family I've been relegated to living with because my ventures into the real world tend to end badly. At the same time I don't want to go to work and reestablish a regular schedule, I hate my job, but I'm not capable of finding a new one.

    If there's anything I want the average person to understand is that there is no mold for any mental illness. Despite the diagnostic criteria, the labels, the public perception and stereotypes, it's a gigantic spectrum with variables as unique as the variety of life on earth. Even people who suffer from similar disabilities aren't able to comprehend the true life conditions of one another.

    A notable conversation I had the other day with a coffee shop owner comes to mind. We were discussing what they as a company were doing to help disadvantaged communities. The owner explained how an initiative they are trying to get off the ground is helping people who suffer from mental disabilities. They wanted to go so far as subsidize housing and transportation. This is all fine and good, but when I explained only a small subset of my experiences, and spoke on what I felt would be beneficial for people in my general situation, it fell on deaf ears. I suggested a potential change in attendance policies to allow for more extended period of time off, a personal/medical leave policy. This had no resonance with the shop owner, as it had no public relations value. An invisible disability with invisible changes to accommodate it makes no business sense as compared to a visible disability like Down's or Autism and visible outreach as monumental as housing, etc.

    Lastly, if there's anything I want people to take from all of this. It is that if someone opens up, listen. Offer sympathy, a hug, remind them that they have someone there. Don't advise, there's a lack of comprehension that I discussed earlier, and it makes anything you offer in good faith seem tone deaf. For me personally, friends who force my hand are truly helpful. I've lost so many great friends, people I love (I miss you so much, M, Sadie, Jacy, Seth, Brandon, D, Tina, Alfredo, and so many others), to my cycles, self-isolation and depression. I've crushed people with my depression driven cynical indifference to others feelings. People who force their way in, just to be there, help so much.

    16 votes