Excerpts From 100 Recovery Posts

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I published my 100th post on February 19, 2008.

Looking back at what I’ve posted on Salted I can see myself trying to define what manic depression, or bipolar disease mean to me, then moving through stages like how best to fight it; what we can do to help each other; what my role is in my Recovery and then, more recently; starting to examine my clinical depressions and finding ways to move past them… it’s a very strange thing to look back over a growing piece of work and see my development. But I guess, ultimately, that’s what blogging is supposed to be about.

These are quotes from the posts which sparked the most discussion…

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My Salted Recovery So Far…

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“I’ve had to negotiate between the trauma’s of my life to determine who I am. Every time I’ve been kicked down to the ground I’ve had to decide whether or not to get up, and what the consequences were of staying down. I’m not entirely sure at this point but I believe I’ve stayed down on at least a few occasions, at least until getting up was safe. I am not a morose loner, although I sometimes seem that way to lazy eyes. At some point I believe I was seen. I have won awards for writing; I have had two famous poets tell me to publish; I have a book deal; I have post-traumatic stress disorder and I was diagnosed with Manic Depression in 1988. I have spent many hours on the other side of the railing, but I’ve always come back.”
“18-Years Off The Pills, Three Years On“; November 14, 2006

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“[Manic] Depression is a thin coating, it’s a thin sheet of reflective ice concealing an ocean. It corrupts our ability to Reason, and without that ability we can’t defend ourselves against the thoughts inside our heads, so we find excuses we can live with. People with our disease are excellent at rationalizing unreasonable behaviour to fit situations we can’t understand.”
kicking at the darkness until it bleeds daylight”; November 18, 2006

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“There is nothing you can do to prevent the [suicide] fantasy’s from coming, they are a part of the disease and you know this because no one you know has them. Maybe, maybe, one of your friends had one complete fantasy where they could feel the knife moving across their wrist. One, brief exhausting moment which made them think about seeing a psychiatrist. But they don’t really remember it, and they never did get around to seeing a doctor about it.”
“I Went Looking For Tall Bridges Where There Were No Rivers”; November 22, 2006

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“Maybe we should have a buddy system. Maybe we should be using each other, or maybe we should find someone in our lives who will notice. Dammit, that’s the problem with this disease, it forces us to pull away from the people who could be part of a support network, then we use the fact no one is around anymore as proof of our isolation. We stop returning the phone calls and when the phone stops ringing it’s because no one cares about us.”
“There Are Moments Of Lucidity In Our Lives”; November 28, 2006

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“People with Manic Depression are forever searching for a reason for our depression, and when we can’t find one we create one. There are no reasons needed for a Manic Depressive to be depressed. We have a disease which spontaneously creates our depressions. So how do you find meaning when there’s no meaning? You start by reassigning your memories.”
“Mostly We Die Because Of Infected Memories“; December 8, 2006

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“Maybe it’s the added emphasis the people in our lives place on making sure we Manic Depressives are not alone over the holidays, or maybe it’s because we search out people because we feel as though the holidays are a danger to us, but there are no spikes in North America for suicides over the Christmas Season. In fact this time of year is one of the safer periods for Manic Depressives.”
“Dying Over The Holiday? Not Likely.”; December 16, 2006

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“When I was in my early twenties I was barely surviving, and had been doing so for a long, long time. I was looking ahead in terms of weeks not years, as in “how am I going to survive until next week?” I was twenty-something and looking into my future I could not see any chance for change, so I promised myself that if I was in the same position in my future as I was at that moment there would be no point at all in continuing to live. The end.”
Looking For An Escape Clause To My Suicide Pact”; December 26, 2006

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“Manic Depression has no weight. There may be some depressing, horrible, tragic shit in your life story, but Manic Depression didn’t kill your dog, MD didn’t divorce your parents, MD didn’t kill your best friend in a drunk driving accident before you could apologize to him. Manic Depression did, however, prevent you from rationally dealing with those problems.”
“There’s No Art In Manic Depression”; December 29, 2006

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“We need more than we’re getting, especially those right at the beginning of the process, and especially from a “mental health” system that has been leaving too much responsibility for too long in the hands of people who — for most of our diseased lives — want nothing more than to slide a fucking razor across our collective wrists.”
“A ‘Perfect World’ Would Start With An Intervention“; January 12, 2007

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“We are stunted. There are pieces of ourselves, of our minds, that are stunted. Our disease keeps us from dealing rationally with events in our lives, so those events never grow. Those events never change. They don’t evolve. We are who we are, but who we could have been is changed for as long as we remain unmedicated and untreated. I have memories that have haunted me everyday for twenty years. Since I have started treatment for my disease I have started to manage these memories. I have started to deal with my Self. And I have learned that who I am is partially based on lies told to me by my disease.”
This One’s For St. Michael And All The Memories In The Backrow”; February 1, 2007

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“When I was younger I thought my disease was what gave me my inspiration, and that everything else — the suicidal thoughts, the crippling depressions — were what had to be endured in order to keep that inspiration. I wasn’t the writer, I was the instrument for the disease to speak through me. But I was wrong. The disease wasn’t my inspiration, in fact my disease had taken my inspiration hostage and was keeping it in some previously abandoned barn a hundred miles north of here where, over a period of several years, my disease turned my inspiration into its Patty Hearst.”
“Just Something Funny I Wrote While Living On My Little Brothers Couch (1993)”; February 16, 2007

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“[A]fter you’ve taken the initiative to find help it’s you that has to take the initiative to get your family involved. Your family has watched the horrors of manic depression every time you cut yourself or were violent or they stood beside you while two nurses pumped your stomach… they have the experience through watching and trying to survive your insanity, but they don’t know how to react to your recovery other than to say ‘well, he ain’t crazy anymore’.”
“Manic Depression Did Not Rape You And It Certainly Didn’t Kill Your Dog“; May 20, 2007

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“K. and I also had about three frigging gazllion other roommates, they were all named “Mr. Roach”. K. used to smash them against the wall and leave them there “as warnings to the other ones.” It was funny the first ninety times. Then it got weird. I’d let them frolic — pretend to ignore them, until my hatred violently erupted and I’d kill every fucking one I saw for two or three days.”
UmBiPMaD Stories: Food Banks, Roaches & Potato Soup”; May 31, 2007

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“I’ve never taken responsibility for my Clinical Depression… besides ignoring the things which have happened in my life to my life, my way of dealing with those Things has been to just change direction. I think… maybe… that I’ve been taking responsibility for other peoples faults because I’ve never taken responsibility for treating the faults done to me, or those I’ve done to others.”
“Taking The Razor Blades Out Of My Homemade Cookies And Other Lessons Of The 209 Chocolate Milk Jugs”; June 4, 2007

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“I was a stranger in a strange, strange land, and there was Larry, my best friend. He had followed me. So I broke the row, I walked across the hallway into incoming traffic. I smiled into his face and hesitantly said “Larry…” and the kid looked at me as if I was swinging a dead cat. It wasn’t him and I was crushed. I had to acknowledge that everything was different. I was eight and I had been defeated.”
Larry, The Escape From My Father And My Twelfth Home In Nine Years”; June 12, 2007

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“It’s hard to get to a doctor when you’re untreated, it’s very easy to stop seeing one because by the time you get treated you’ve been without one for so long you’ve learned to do without until it hurts so bad you have to. I spent half my life thinking dying was the most important thing I could do… or — at least — that dying was my most likely accomplishment. What the fuck did I care about what shape my teeth were in?”
“When You Spend 6570 Consecutive Days Wanting To Kill Yourself The Little Things Get Neglected… Like Dental Hygiene.”; June 13, 2007

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“The most important thing about living in a rooming house is you do everything within your ability not to create resentment or envy in the other roomers. I’ve lived in some pretty ‘upscale’ rooming houses as well and this also applies there. It’s just the repercussions that differ… I lived in one place where a Guy bashed a Dude three times in the head with a pot because Dude put a cigarette out in Guy’s beer and laughed about it. Dude took several stitches for that.”
Fred Nietzsche Was My 240lb Solvent-Huffing Ex-Nazi Rooming-House Neighbour And Friend”; July 4, 2007

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“My advice, to anyone willing to listen, is to find a notebook that fits into your pants pocket. Use a pen with a cap so it doesn’t explode in your pocket, and start writing down whatever you can remember. Even if it’s a favourite colour. Then, later, write down why it’s your favourite colour. You can get some control over your memories, which is vital as memories can help define who you are.”
“My Memory Is So Good I Can Say With Absolute Certainty That On June 4th, 1996, I Had Creamed Corn With Chopped Onions For Dinner… It Was Delicious”; July 14, 2007

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“Listen, no one really sits around dreaming about their future but because we sit around planning our death for so long we assume dreaming about their futures is something people without the disease do, then we get depressed because when we start our recovery those Dreams Of The Future aren’t granted to us by the Get Well Fairy. We have to move one day at a time, this is a long process and we have to concentrate on each step. Just because the journey’s slow doesn’t mean it’s not happening or not worth taking.”
“Introducing The bahLOONatic, A Toy Totally In Need Of A Recall PLUS A Dick Joke”; August 31, 2007

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“Phone Sex: seriously… really. It’s awkward and silly. What am I wearing? Three quarts of ketchup, the empty carcass of a teddy bear and there’s an 8×10 glossy photo of my mom at the beach hanging from my pubes. I like to see what I’m having sex with. Call me old fashioned. Being on the phone while having sex can be pretty cool though. Unless someone’s telling you your grandfather just died… that’s a boner killer.”
“The Complete And Total Opposite Of What Is Good“; September 8, 2007

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“it would be pretty fucking weird to be living in a community of people with manic depression, but maybe that’s what we’re starting to do with these blogs… manic depression is a rare disease, of the 20% of people in Canada who will suffer through a single clinical depression in their lives we’re the 2% who do it professionally. But despite the incredibly low number of incidence, most of my considerable blogging life is spent reading and responding to blogs about or by people with manic depression.”
Are BiPolar Blogs Driving Those Of Us With The Disease Into Depressions”; September 21, 2007

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“My grandfathers absence and unwillingness to be my father-substitute wasn’t something I considered Unusual, partly because that level of neglect was something I expected from the men in my life as I grew up. But also because I believed the ’suffering’ was what made me mature. Sure my cousin was becoming a Man by working with my grandfather, but my grandfather’s neglect was part of what Other People told me was my maturity. I was a Man because my grandfather and my father neglected me.”
Maybe It’s Not Too Late To Start Again At Twelve Because Turning Thirty When I Was Ten Was Not As Good A Life Plan As You Might Think”; October 5, 2007

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“The first time I remember hearing the name ‘Jesus Christ’ was when I was six or seven, during a late night ‘debate’ between my father and the rest of his Maoist Brigade. I was hiding at the top of the stairs and I heard my father say ‘they can believe in Santa or they can believe in Christ, but they can’t have both’.”
“For A Long Time I Believed In ‘Father’ But Even The Devil Believes In God… What I’ve Never Had Is Faith”; October 25, 2007

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“Eighteen years of untreated manic depression left me, in the end, pretty freaking alone. But now that the bipolar is under some control it’s the clinical depressions causing the alienation and loneliness. It’s a weird thing… it’s something I’m just starting to work out myself, but the manic depression actually feels or seems in retrospect as though it was much easier in comparison to deal with. Maybe it has to do with the bipolar depressions being fake, something forced on us by random chemical hotshots. But the clinical ones… those are the real ones.”
Manic Depression Spoiled Me Rotten Because It Turns Out Real Depressions Have Reasons And Causes You Actually Have To Work Through”; October 28, 2007

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“I can remember not knowing, really, what the fuck was going on. There I was, in grade three, surrounded by newbies, and the tears just started pouring out… in public, in the middle of the lunch room. So I needed something which could justify the tears and the only thing I could think of was ‘my father died yesterday’.”
The Fish That Bit Off A Finger Plus This One Time My Father Died And Other Lies I Have Told”; December 12, 2007

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“All of the time we’ve spent dreaming and fantasizing and planning our suicides, all of that time never believing we had a future to worry about or plan for… what if all of that is still there, what if all of that has conditioned our behaviour to the point where the behaviour is still there even though we’re not having the suicidal thoughts anymore…”
“Holy Crap Break Out The Anti-Depressants And Spike The Eggnog With Lithium It’s Almost Christmas”; December 20, 2007

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“[W]e’re reaching across the planet looking for people and companionship we can’t find down the street because people like Us are hard to find… well This is it, This is who We are. You’re the alcoholic, depressed and occasionally suicidal neighbour I’ve chosen to get to know, and I’m yours, and you’re someone else’s and together we’re a support network for each other.”
“Have You Ever Felt A Pain So Powerful So Heavy You Collapse I’ve Never Had To Knock On Wood But I Know Someone Who Has”; December 29, 2007

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“We need to be able to find small victories, little moments we can lose ourselves in so we can fight against the voice in our head telling us what a huge fucking failure we’ve become because we couldn’t stop failing over the years and decades which make up our lives. Sometimes we stop seeing those victories… or the space between the last one and now just gets too long to remember.”
“When Relying On Small Victories To Move Through Depression There’s A Very Real Risk The Small Defeats Will Carry Us Under”; January 7, 2008

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“Not too long ago I was talking to someone I’ve known since Forever and I mentioned my father… he said it was the first time I’ve ever mentioned my biological father. I’ve realized since then that I’ve never spoken of my father to anyone outside family and my doctor… maybe there were a few occasions. But everything about him has been an Interior Dialogue between myself and myself pretending to be him.”
“Rhetorical Question”; January 16, 2008

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“I’ve had a few people ask me through this blog, and in my Offline life, if they should take a chance on someone who has either just started treatment or who hasn’t yet started treatment for a mental illness… and, based on my own experience, there’s no way I could ever give that recommendation. I really don’t think it would be fair for either person.”
Women Are From Venus Men Are From Mars And Dating An Untreated Manic Depressive Will Suck Both Into A Black Hole”; January 23, 2008

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“When you think about the disease, when you think you are what the disease tells you who You are, You’re not what it says you are at all. Christ, the disease is really just a tiny piece of something in your brain… little microscopic drips of chemicals that are just a little bit out of place or about four out of a trillion neurons sparking once instead of twice.”
“Looking Back The Only Things I Gave Up Were A Million Cockroaches And The Idea Manic Depression Ever Meant Something To My Self”; January 31, 2008

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“[O]f course Mental Illnesses have been misdiagnosed for the past six thousand years, until this moment the only way to prove we’re sick is to have people believe we’re crazy based on our behaviour. And now using technology we can see how medications work to get those behaviours under control.”
“Got Lithium? Research Says It Reduces Suicide, Inhibits Herpes And Boosts The Brains Grey Matter So Why Isn’t It The First Thing We’re Prescribed?”; February 7, 2008

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“[T]he best I’ve been able to do on my own is not to be dead and I think I’m needing a lot more help than feeling like I don’t want to kill myself. I don’t mean taking the pills and the advances I’ve made dealing with the clinical depressions hasn’t been important. Just that, essentially, all of the work I’ve put in so far has brought me to this point… and it’s pretty freaking blunt.”
Looking Forward To An Intervention Any Day Now”; February 12, 2008

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“Sometimes people need to be told someone loves them. Sometimes those people realize a few months later it was all they needed from the relationship. Sometimes people need to convince someone they’re loved. Sometimes, to do it properly, those people convince themselves what they’re saying is true.”
“Be My Lithium Valentine“; February 14, 2008

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...thanks.

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2 Responses to Excerpts From 100 Recovery Posts

  1. Pingback: Ten Lessons About Manic Depression That Should Keep You From Killing Yourself « …salted lithium.

  2. Pingback: Plans For My Blogging Anniversary And Someone Looking For Absolutely Nothing Finds My Blog « …salted lithium.

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