Monday, January 20, 2014

Internet Lies

Thank you to everyone I've been corresponding with about the suicide conversation. I have been working on that story as time and energy allow and will put something out as soon as I am able.

Energy is not something I have much of a supply of right now. I'm weathering a pretty major upheaval in my life and my health, which wasn't doing very well before that, has responded poorly. I'm still showing up for life as much as I can, but 80% of my time is being spent sitting quietly and counting my arm hairs while chuckling at the bird variety show outside my window.

I bring this up because the internet can paint false pictures. I want to make sure my friends know I'm not blatantly ignoring them when I say I'm too low energy to get together and then they see pictures online like this:

and this:

which often happen on the same day and look very much like my life is bursting with costume parties I'm not inviting them to. To be fair, there are many events available at any given time for me to get dressed up for, but I only attend a fraction of them (nice problem to have, I know). I try to choose the events that will contain a large number of people I know and love so I can hug them all in a concentrated space. For someone who doesn't actually enjoy the act of dressing up all that much, I am blessed with an extensive costume closet/room/apartment that I can pull outfits from at a moment's notice. My entire magpie life has been dedicated to this purpose.

The first event of the day was a friend's music video shoot and the second was a private party. (Ok, this is evidence that the life I have carved out for myself is freakin' awesome!) I was only able to shoot one scene of the video and spent the majority of the time sitting around watching the rest of the fun (which is often how these things go for me and I do enjoy watching the parts I can't participate in). I lasted less than half an hour at the private party due to a series of unfortunate events I don't feel like detailing here.

Today, I'm hiding out to recuperate and catch up on my bird stories. See you in a week, party times!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Opening a Frank Dialogue About Suicide and Suicidal Ideation

We've turned that seasonal corner where the days are getting longer but the light can be endlessly dreary, The Holidays have passed (for better or for worse), and a creeping dread begins to seep into the shadowy corners and trap doors of so many minds. For some people, this is a familiar, difficult battle. For others, this frightening crash course is about to knock them into an undertow and leave them little with which to right themselves. People with seasonal affective disorder and any of the mood (e.g. depression, bipolar) or anxiety disorders can be particularly triggered this time of year. This makes me think it's past time for a frank, respectful discussion about suicide.

There is a colossal stigma around suicide due to the commonly held belief that people who succumb to it are simply weak, selfish, or not trying hard enough. I must stress how faulty and damaging this line of thinking is. Suicidal thoughts are incredibly oppressive, can pop up randomly, and don't necessarily correspond with an external trigger. They are not something that is easily shaken off. Suicide is largely pondered, not pondered, planned, not planned, attempted, not attempted, completed, and not completed by people with mental disorders. Probably no one would say, "Walk it off, you lazy ingrate!" if you asked for help with a heart attack, toxic appendix, or missing limb. Brain disorders and their symptoms are just as real and valid as any of those ailments, but are often dangerously written off. Suicidal ideation (having suicidal thoughts) is already so isolating, it's no wonder some folks try to keep it to themselves instead of talking to someone or asking for help.

I would like to put together a collection of candid stories from people who have been suicidal (anonymously if you wish). I fully realize the delicacy of this request and I will treat each story with respect.

I would also like to hear from allies and gather information on how best to be of help to someone who is thinking about suicide.

Please send all correspondence to

This has been purely my anecdotal opinion. If you are having any thoughts about suicide, I encourage you to talk to someone you know and trust or contact any of the following (no matter how pointless or difficult it feels):

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
In an Emergency, Contact:
  • —Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • —Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic
  • —Hospital emergency room
  • —Urgent care center/clinic
  • —Call 911

  • Resources for Help

    • School counselor, teacher or coach
    • Crisis telephone helplines [1-800-273-TALK or LGBTQ Focus 1-866-4-U-Trevor]
    • Private therapist, or counselor
    • Mental health agency
    • Hospital emergency room
    • Clergy or religious leader

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"People First" Language! Repost: "A Phrase To Renounce For 2014: ‘The Mentally Ill’"

I love the idea of "people first" language. People are indeed people first, and not defined solely by their mental illness (or femaleness or gayness or...) Maybe the phrase "people with mental illness" doesn't roll off a headline with the slickness of "the mentally ill", but it removes the marginalizing and discriminatory "other" designation that feels like a pox upon my head every time I read or hear it. I hope to see more of this type of awareness in the media and between friends in coffee shops.

A Phrase To Renounce For 2014: ‘The Mentally Ill’

All The Reposts!

I know I've been reposting a lot of articles. I think it's wonderful that there are so many pertinent stories out there to discuss. I also don't have the bandwidth to write about anything personal at the moment.

People have been curious about what my disabilities are so, in the spirit of conserving my energy, I posted a list in the sidebar of this blog. It will change periodically, but that's the snapshot for today. Feel free to ask me any questions you have, just know that I might not have the energy to answer right away.

*string of tiny pink hearts*

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Repost: "You Probably Don't Have Bipolar Disorder (Or One Of These 7 Other Conditions)"

"I miss my black hair I'm so bipolar :( — Kylie Jenner"

"You Probably Don't Have Bipolar Disorder (Or One Of These 7 Other Conditions)" is a good list of diagnoses commonly thrown around and misused by the general public. (Thanks, hot-tipper Millie!)

Armchair medicine seems to be a big credential at parties. Sometimes, when solicited to explain what it's like to have any of the conditions I've been diagnosed with, I get brushed off with "Well, I think *everybody* has that," or "That happens to everyone, so...". No they don't and no it doesn't.

Just because you can't imagine having suffered a more painful headache than the one vodka just gave you or you've simply decided all by yourself that your stomach ache is gluten's fault doesn't mean you have a clue as to how it feels to literally be crippled by a migraine or Celiac disease. (For the record, I do personally know about migraines, but not Celiac disease.) Try keeping that in mind the next time you're positively sure the kid acting out at the park is "on the spectrum" or that you're so "depressed" you don't know what you'll do until the next season of your favorite TV show comes out.

Happy New Year!

I'd like to thank, with all of my punchy, pill-stuffed, heart pie, everyone who has been reading/contributing to/otherwise supporting this blog! The page views here have picked up exponentially over the past few months and the positive feedback I've been receiving has been stoking the fire in my sparkly feelings factory. While most of the resulting topic discussion goes down on the "pages" of a particular social media site, I'm so glad to know there are also people out there who visit again and again to read and feel connected at their leisure. I'll have A LOT to say this coming year and I look forward to hearing from everyone!