Hey there, it’s December. Did I even do a Messy Month for November? I feel like I didn’t. Is that something I could look up? Totally. Am I going to? No, not at all. My wall calendar doesn’t even have “December” written on it. #lazy
[side note: A toy keeps going off in the guest room and I’m too afraid to go find it to turn it off. WHAT IF THERE’S A GHOST PLAYING WITH IT?]
Anyway – Hi, hostess? Yes, I’m here for Bitter. Yes, Bitter party of one. That’s me. I have been struggling so bad with being frighteningly bitter lately. I’m struggling to find joy in a lot of things and even hearing my own voice/thoughts in my head is irritating me to no end. I simply cannot stand this person who is living inside me and I am at a constant war against her trying to make her see outside of her own cynical views on the world. Like, how she might need to see that there is a universe in which there is a Christmas parade going on with a GIANT WHATABURGER SHAKE as a float. I mean, come on, look what you’re missing.
When I made the switch over to bipolar medication almost a month ago, my mind started seeing things differently. Simple things changed, like my energy levels. (Which, if you follow me on Instagram, you got to learn how I am almost 32 and just learned to use a coffee pot!) When I was diagnosed Bipolar at 17, my mom freaked out and told me not to allow that diagnosis. She said that I would never live a normal life, no one would ever take me seriously, that it was basically a death sentence. I’d never be allowed to teach kids, never be allowed to do anything I wanted to do… Which, I understand now. The stigma around mental health, especially Bipolar Disorder, was very very jaded and wrong. It’s still a battle we are fighting, but it’s a little better these days. People are a bit more open. So, I denied the diagnosis and I forced them to only give me depression meds. I manipulated the way I wanted to be seen and I skirted by enough for it to be accepted. Those poor doctors played along. I’m positive they were rolling their eyes at me and they were doing their best to just keep me from being suicidal. So, I was on two depression meds at the same time. Max dose of both. I couldn’t understated why people needed to drink caffeine to live. Why? Why not just like… live? And why do people go to bed at 9pm? What’s that about? HOW BORING.
Oh…wait… oh you guys aren’t all hopped up on UPPERS? GOTCHA. Well, now neither am I. That’s fun. Question, can someone just drink straight from the coffee pot? or….? Asking for a friend.
Good news is, you can definitely tell that these are the meds that I’ve needed to be on for a very, very long time. Like…very long. I can stay awake during the day, I’m not even a little suicidal (before I was only just on the edge of okay), my brain can stop and rationalize situations clearer, and my binge eating disorder has gotten a lot better. However, a fog has been lifted from my brain. And where that sounds good, it seems to be a LOT harder for me to mentally check out of life when things get hard (my coping mechanism) and it also is making me extremely self aware of parts of my personality that annoy me. And all I can seem to focus on is: A.) How much of my life has been wasted away by being on the wrong medication. How if 15 years ago I could have just taken the proper medication for the proper problem, then maybe so many things can be different. and B.) All the things about myself that I can’t stand. These two things have made me a very bitter person.
NOW HOLD ON. Before you go on your “let’s tell Tabitha how amazing she is” rampage, I want to tell you that it is 100% okay to have these two thoughts. Because, guess what? I’m a human being. I wouldn’t be a human being if I didn’t sit there, look at life, and be like… well….damn. The difference here is, am I choosing to wallow in this bitterness? Or am I trying to climb out of it? I’m trying to climb out. But before climbing out, I’ve got to figure out what’s at the bottom of the pit I’m in, so that I can figure out what I’m trying to push my feet off of. (BOOM – look at that amazing genius right there. I underlined it to make it seem like someone super famous said it. Where’s my book deal?)
I can’t change the 15 years I lost to wrong medication and I can’t pretend that all 15 years were horrible because they weren’t. No one solid year was horrible, there were always bursts of light in the tunnels. I can’t change that I’ve gained a lot of weight back after my surgery, what’s done is done. I also can’t make it all just fall off tomorrow. I can’t pretend that my feelings aren’t easily hurt over silly things anymore. I try too often to act like I’m tough and stupid things can’t hurt me, they can. I’m hurt very easily. I cry often and hard. I can’t change that because of how people have hurt me in the past, I have a fear of people leaving me. I have a fear of friends not choosing me and I have a fear that people will forget me. I have a fear that people think bad things about me behind my back, but that’s because my bitterness causes me to have mean thoughts about others behind theirs. I roll my eyes when I should be shouting for joy sometimes and I push people to a far distance when I fear they’ve gotten too close. That last one is something I have to fight against every. single. day. I make self-deprecating jokes before people can make them about me and I try to make people laugh for fear that they’ll try to make me have a serious conversation instead. I look back on my year as a foster parent with bitterness and anger, instead of joy and love and sometimes I tear up when even my friends’ kids leave after a full day together. I’m open about all my struggles, my pain, my fears and I tell them openly to the world and ask you to share them. I’m one giant contradicting mess sometimes and I hate it.
… and sometimes, just sometimes, I can read that list and find things I love among the mess. I like those times. Those times let me know that the bitterness won’t be around forever. I can see that my love of my friends’ kids just means that my bitterness towards my foster parent year is because I’m still hurting and missing three babies. That my heart is still wide open to love more kids, but maybe it’s just not open for more kids of my own. I can see that when I’m having to fight daily to stop pushing people away from me, it means that I finally have let people close enough to me in the first place. That’s something I haven’t allowed of a friend in a very long time. Now I have a few. And my fear of them leaving me just means that I have learned to let myself love them a little differently, that I couldn’t imagine a world without them. My self-deprecating jokes aren’t always healthy, but sometimes it’s really just okay to be able to laugh at yourself, to not take life so seriously. Also, to me, it means that my humor is still alive. (Which, I am not kidding when I tell you, is something I cried in fear over to my therapist when I started taking new meds. It went something like, “OMG WHAT IF PROPERLY MEDICATED TABITHA ISN’T FUNNY?” and I imagined it took everything in him to not reply, “WHO SAID INCORRECTLY MEDICATED TABITHA WAS?”)
The other stuff that isn’t so great? Well, that’s stuff I can work on. And trust me, God is already taking me down a notch on some of it. Like, how a sweet, sweet woman in my MOPS group by my house gave me a gift today completely unexpectedly. She doesn’t know me very well, we don’t hang out outside of once a month at a meeting, and she saw something and just thought of me and felt I should have it. I wanted to cry. It reminded me how I need to stop being so self-involved and maybe take time to give other people the feeling she just gave me.
This past year, two years… seven… life? Have been a roller coaster. But this past year has really been one of learning a lot about myself and who I am and it’s not always fun. Do I think this season will last forever? No, of course not. Does it feel like it will? Yep. And that’s okay. It’s really, really okay. I’m allowed to feel like that. People are allowed to feel like life just sucks sometimes, guys. But remember what the difference is – are they trying to live in the suck? or climb out? I’m trying to climb out.
And I’m sorry if my climbing out doesn’t look like you want it to. Please know that I’m doing what I feel like is best for me. If I’m ignoring your phone calls or texts, it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you. It might actually be because I’m afraid what I might say might be filled with a horrible bitter mouthful and I just don’t want to taste it right now. I’m trying my best not to spread it and the best way is just to keep my mouth shut.
Also – shout out to all the friends that have stuck by me through this past year. You guys have put up with a LOT over here. I’d applaud…but again…#lazy.
like/share/comment/send me sweet treats in the mail to get rid of the bitter taste/like how I tried to get you to send me chocolate?