Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Intimidation

I've been searching for a new way to approach my illness and the adverse affects it has had on my life.

While reading through a recent Beliefnet email I clicked on a link to Therese J. Borchard's blog Beyond Blue which had posted an interesting piece from the blog If You're Going Through Hell Keep Going. From these two blogs I began reading the blogs that were being followed, and went from one to another, reading, reading, reading... and often subscribing, as you can see by the list of blogs I am currently following.

My brain is shutting down, so I thought I'd write a post and then go to bed.

Since losing my job at the beginning of 2006, I've been spinning my wheels, and there is very little tred left on them. After a few fitful starts and stops attempting to gain momentum for a career transition, including returning to college fulltime for a year (Fall '06 /Spring '07), I have recently come to the conclusion that I am not going to get out of this alive, alone.

I have been taking some faltering steps in a new direction, for me. First, I've been actively looking around for a depression/bipolar support group, visiting three different ones so far. And second, I've decided to birth this blog. I suppose for the forseeable future it will look more like a boring, whiny, personal journal than anything like the enlightened commentary I've been reading in your blogs. But if so, I can't really apologize just yet.

However, I am depending on learning from my fellow bloggers out there who are sooooo much more experienced than I am at putting it all out there, and hopefully at recovery too. I need desperately to interact (hopefully!) with others who are willing to share their insights on what I will be writing, as I hope to do for them as well.

I need to begin to become part of something bigger than myself. I am very sick of this little world of 'Me' I've been inhabiting. My own personal planet has only gotten smaller and smaller over the duration of my illness. And soon I fear I will simply disappear from view altogether. And no one will know I even exist, like the dustspeck in Horton Hear's A Who.

Its time for something, anything to change, for the better.

I found so many diverse views on depression and bipolar issues, especially concerning the efficacy of the various psychotropic pharmaceuticals used to treat depression, bipolar and otherwise. It seems a revolution is taking shape that I've been left out of, and the rebellion has already begun against the entire present day psychiatric paradygm. Besides the drugs, the DSM diagnostic criteria itself is being attacked as simply a tool of the pharmaceutical industry to create market niches for their products.

Needless to say, its all quite confusing to a struggler like me, who is just getting his feet wet by joining in the discussion, both here in the blogosphere and in person in support groups. It seems there is no firm footing. Nothing is solid anymore. I can't even count on the validity of my diagnosis, or the prognosis of whatever is going on in my head, nor the efficacy of my meds. Instead, I must now contemplate the damage they have already inflicted on my grey matter over the past 15 years or so.

It all has me a bit off balance, and its opened up a Pandora's box of new demons to swarm and rattle their cages inside my skull.

It makes me doubt that I can say anything useful here that someone may find helpful, challenging, or even worth commenting on from time to time. Considering how difficult I find it to start new projects and especially to stick with them, I so much want to be equal to the task. But I just don't know.

I have always sort of been an outsider. I've felt that way most of my life. I'm not cool or hip. And if I begin worrying about saying the right things, or being rejected or never noticed, then my writing will not be authentic. I don't want to say only what I think others want to hear.

When I see followers come and then go, will I simply want to give up? I know that I need to do this for myself, but I so much desire the perspectives and viewpoints of others, else it just won't seem worth it. I guess I'm feeling intimidated.

I've been alone too much. I have been an island too long, and I hate my tendency to isolate myself from others. Its the last thing I need. But dialogue and relationship take energy. And that is one thing I don't have right now.

For the timebeing, I will continue to follow the blogs I've been finding interesting and helpful, and hopefully eventually contributing something of worth as I come up to speed on the issues. I hope to fill you in on the history surrounding my diagnosis and treatment plans, past and present. And once I've gotten my foot in the door, I am hoping you will let me in.
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13 comments:

Gianna said...

hey, for all the insecurity you profess, your writing is striking, even while whining about how uninteresting you fear you might be, and frankly I don't generally have tolerance for that sort of thing!!

Really!

I'm glad to meet you. I related so much to what you are talking about in this post. 3 years ago I was in the same position...then I discovered the blogosphere. 2 years ago on March 4th (coming up) I started my blog and it's been a hell of a journey!!

I would not be here if it wasn't for the work I do and I do consider it work and I put the time in to legitimately call it work as well.

But I started just like you not knowing what I would do...I started actually by reading and reading and leaving comments all over the place...in the process of leaving comments I realized I had a voice and something to say...

It's been great at times and it's been awful too...since I take a controversial position I've gotten really ugly and personally directed hate mail that has hurt very much. I've also received support and understanding in ways I never would have discovered in my non-virtual life...

anyway...it seems to me you have what it takes (granted I've only read this one post)

I will read more...

welcome to the blogosphere.

and may I suggest...try not to worry about how many people are reading ...just right for you from your heart...and that will draw the people you need to you in large or small numbers...what counts is that you get quality people that can support, nurture and grow you and challenge you too!

Stephany said...

I think what you'll find are many of us who have started to question the drugs, the DSM and pharma and how it's all connected, and then stepping back and understanding more that way; then some soul searching where some of us either stopped all meds or are tapering off slowly, because (speaking about myself here)I found I was reacting to my situation life happenings and the more I embraced what was happening the less meds I took (on purpose) to allow myself the time and space to feel the feelings and heal. ( a decade of a crisis w a daughter, bankruptcy, death of a parent etc).

Anyway, good luck, and like Gianna said write from the heart and for yourself, and the rest just happens.

Many of us started blogs after reading and being part of the discussion group at Furious Seasons. I consider many people friends as a result.

Stan said...

Welcome to the Blog World Adept:

Sounds like you have been on quite a long roller coaster ride. I'm not going to give you a lot of advice in this comment; since you appear to be an intelligent person capable of making rational and right decisions for yourself. I personally have been down your path more times than I care to recall emotionally. Sometimes we have these expectations of ourselves that we are not able to come to terms with; once you throw in a few huge zingers like a major loss or three into the mix; you are on the elevator to depression hell and a very blurred existence.
I took almost all the so called wonder drugs, and went through all kinds of therapy. Then one day I decided enough was enough with the so called professional and pseudo scientific bullshit. I embraced the pain, the loss, the anger, and burrowed down in seclusion and tears until I could gather the strength to force myself to walk out that front door and start to live again.
I didn't step out blindly though! I really took the time I needed desperately to self examine my whole life experience, every ounce of the emotional rainbow I could allow myself to feel, allowing myself to connect with others that I choose were worthy of that trust (which were few and far between). Only then was I ready to start thinking about where my life was going to go.
I began by following what I was truly passionate about and felt inspired by; then I started walking toward it with all the effort I could muster from my feeble and worn soul. Soon I started to allow today to just be; I lowered my expectations and in return I opened up a whole new realm of never ending possibilities and dreams yet imagined. Only then was I really able to forgive and not ever forget; but turn the past weakness and defeats into a strength and falter to grow from!
From that place all was in a much better focus finally! Sadness had its proper place, but then so did joy and wonderment in its own unique balance. Life was finally the gift it had always promised to be. I can only guess that you are in the beginning steps of a sometimes very painful adventure and journey in this life. But as the path grows full of light and life; or dark with clouds of sorrow you will also overcome because it's all within you. If you choose anything, then choose to have faith in this gift.
Yours Truly,
Stan

susan said...

if you write, they will come.

And you just heard from 3 of the best.

:-)

Cheryl said...

I actually liked your post, it was honest and describes how I feel so many times. This is your blog, write whatever you want. Write it for you, whatever you have in your head that needs to come out. I have done that often, and the bonus, that I never expected was all the support and kindness of the other bloggers. WOW, I never knew how good it would feel to find people who get it and stick with you, through then ups and downs. Everyone has their own blogger style, just be yourself. And, Welcome.

Ana said...

You have already got the most amazing people! I also started my blog without knowing what was going to happen. I still have some doubts on what am I going to write.
You are already a blogger.
Welcome. You will have lots of support from people who understand you.

susan said...

Hey again...

Next time you go to the Joisey shore, call me! I am in Middlesex County. I Love the shore- cept Wildwood. Eww. Too many teenagers there.

I started my blog like Ana did, I was moved by Stephany, Liz and Philip, and they encouraged me. Before that I had written 11 pieces for the Ex's website, i did it for my own therapy, and I didn't care who sees them.

Blogging is a way for me to work out things and it's theraputic. I just never in my wildest dreams would imagine people would actually like my ramblings, and it would turn into a labour of love that I spent about 10 hours a day on. I don't post a lot of what I write, it's too raw, too graphic and for my eyes... but it's the best therapy I know.

I wish I could have seen the shore. Did you bring some sand back for your beauties?

Pyrs said...

@Gianna
Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot to me, especially coming from someone with your experience. Stephany and Susan have been supportive as well. And I can't forget Stan. I so much appreciate you sharing your perceptions from when you first starting running amuck in the blogosphere. And also for the suggestions.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you Gianna, Stephany, Susan, Stan, Ana, Mark K, Cheryl, Merelyme... (my memory fails me) I am so glad I found this community. -Pete

Pyrs said...

@Stephany
I feel like I just about said it all in my response to Gianna, but I like this line you wrote:
"I found I was reacting to my situation life happenings and the more I embraced what was happening the less meds I took (on purpose) to allow myself the time and space to feel the feelings and heal."
I am hoping I can do that. And I had a fuzzy notion that that was what I needed to do the reason I pushed myself to start my blog and get involved in this community of bloggers, in addition to finding a new support group not too far from where I live.
I appreciate your input and hope you continue to comment on my posts when you feel inspired to do so. I covet this groups wisdom and wealth of life experience with issues similar to my own.
Pete

Pyrs said...

@Susan - Hey again! Actually, I have plenty of sand in my yard. I live between the north and south branches of the Rancocas near the Rancocas State Park (they don't patrol or maintain it though). Anyway, obviously this place was under water at some point because I can dig down 3 feet and hit only sand. So I expect my yard will be submerged soon, along with the rest of South Jersey once a few more ice sheets break off and melt.
Anyway, concerning beaches, I tend to head in the direction of Tom's River. Its a straight shot from here (and it takes me by the house where the original Amityville Horror movie was filmed). I end up going to Island Beach State Park since its not commercialized. Its beautiful and largely unspoiled. I've even seen a red fox there running through the brush. Seaside Heights is right nearby so if I want to get some pizza or whatever its convenient. So what are your favorite Jersey beaches?
Pete
P.S. I did read another piece of yours that was quite different from what I've read so far at goingthroughhell. Pretty good too.

naturalgal said...

Hi Peter,

I signed up to subscribe from the Simplyheadlines.com. For some reason today's mail has me click on this post which is dated Feb. 9 even though today is Feb. 16.

Pyrs said...

ND, Its probably because I tweaked this post yesterday. Thanks for subscribing. I'm going to post something today hopefully. - Pete

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