But you shouldn’t. Today, in my 27th year I have come to appreciate the idea of participation trophies. I used to think it was foolish and unwise to set children up with this idea that they will be rewarded even if they came in last. I thought only the winners should get trophies and that telling your children anything but, would set them up for failures and unhappiness in the future when no one would reward them as adults just for participating. Well, lately that’s all I have been able to do; participate. I’m just showing up and doing my best; not THE best but MY best. And when I refer to showing up I’m quite literally referring to showing up to the parade of the living. Yeah, I’m referring staying alive.
I feel for my partner lately, because this is my 8th day of sitting on the sofa. For 8 days the most productive things I have done is grocery shopping and visiting my aunt. I mean, I’ve made breakfast and dinner a few times over those 8 days, and I’ve showered everyday (this part is my brain doing the thing it does where it makes me feel better by giving me factual evidences of me having not just existed on the sofa for 8 days. And by the way I can only do this when journaling, so in lieu of therapy I come here, to you; the internet). I went for a 30 minute walk 2 days ago at night. I went to the gym a few days ago and swam 20 laps. But then I went to the ER yesterday for an elevated heart rate, chest tightness, difficulty breathing and weakness. This of course was triggered when I dozed off on one of those workless days at home. The doctor, nurses and all my friends asked if there is something I am stressed about to which I replied not at all; at least not consciously. What are you worried about Imani?
Mmmm….Maybe it’s the fact that I quit yet another minimum wage paying 9-5 to focus full-time on my business yet haven’t actually put in any hours into that since. Hehe. This is why depression wants me to disappear; it tries to convince me that this all is pointless and where I think I am making progress I am actually deeper in shit than I probably have ever been but maybe just maybe I am growing more resilient and coping better and that makes him feel like shit. That makes Mr. D feel as though he is failing at convincing me to become a shut in, a recluse. I think Mr. D is feeling like a failure this year and maybe I am not able to feel anything enough to celebrate that now but I know that as the sun comes out and I continue to reflect as I do I will remember that this year I didn’t disappear.
I have learnt that participation trophies are awesome and that being here everyday and continuing to get up and show up inspite of everything is a fundamentally significant part of the winning process for if I am not even at the race how can I even fathom winning. So today, I want to congratulate you and hand you your virtual award for being here. Yes, you got that right. You are doing great for being here and participating in this living thing. Maybe today you didn’t finish first, or second but when you will have gone to bed to wake up tomorrow; that my friend is finishing.
I am proud of you for waking up today and participating and for finishing. You did it. You made it through another day and you have resolved to get up tomorrow and participate again. Congratulations!
I’m not sure of the exact reason why; but I have been contending with my beliefs lately. I’ve been ruminating constantly on needing to pray. I’d always considered myself a praying woman and lord knows I prayed countless prayers for many of the things I now have and get to enjoy. I’m feeling immensely blessed and favoured just by taking stock of my immediate environment right now. There was a time when I had to ask my neighbour to use her computer and internet…I prayed; now I own multiple devices that can access the internet and I have access to the internet in the comfort of my home. I never had a smartphone until years after they were a prominent staple of society; now I’m privileged to own smartphones; the latest technology that I love. I never had my own space for a very long time…now I have a beautiful apartment that I get to enjoy; I get to live in a quiet, calm and peaceful place. I am so so blessed.
It could be hypomania, I don’t know really but I prayed just now and it reminded me how much prayer meant to me. I’m contending with my beliefs because I no longer subscribe to any religious dogmas but I wholeheartedly believe there is a higher power and I enjoy connecting with said. I’ve spent a lot of time in meditation especially in nature of late and spending time in worship and prayer felt like a tight hug from a dear friend I haven’t seen in a long long time.
I never left my Bible in years past. It was comforting to carry it around as I moved from place to place. It was a reassuring staple on my bed or bedside table. Tonight, I’m craving the comfort of a hard copy Bible and I’m itching to go out and buy a new one and this is where my dissonance lay. Does owning a Bible make me Christian? I just don’t want to have to explain my current belief system to anyone because I’m still contending with it? Do I now not get something that will bring me comfort because I don’t want to have any uncomfortable conversations? mmmm…Well these are my musings tonight.
What would you do? And why?
I think if someone was asking me this question; I’d say to them do what’s best for you in this moment and if the conversation comes up as to why a Bible is a staple in your life if you no longer subscribe to that dogma you say
“practicing yoga doesn’t make you a monk, nor a Buddhist” Books are just that; books. Are you also a follower of the author of the book on your nightstand? I suppose not. Lastly, tell them to drink some water and mind the business that pays them.
What if the sun decided she wanted to die
That she was tired of showing up and how she desperately needed to cry.
What if the sun was burn out
Carrying a flame that seemed as though it would never run out.
What if she forgoes showing up
And decided to leave; seeming rather abrupt.
What if she was tired of hearing us complain about the very thing that brought us life
What if the sun decided she was done with this shit
Fatigued from seeing us in constant war and strife.
Then boom! That will surely be the end of it.
Every year since immigrating whenever someone asked if I missed home I’d tell them “Not yet, I lived there for 21 years. I’ve seen it all or at least most of it.” When they asked if I missed my family, I’d say “not really, we keep in touch and that’s enough for me.”
Well, it’s no longer enough. I miss them. I miss them terribly. I recently got pictures of my baby brother in his school attire and it just broke me. He’s so tall now. He looks so grown and I feel as though I’m missing everything. I feel stuck, trapped even…
I cried all day today. The only time I wasn’t crying was when I was sleeping. It was never supposed to go like this. Well not if I had my way. I have been trying so hard to “stay strong and trust God and my journey” so so hard. This past week I have just been crying, bawling really. How much longer am I meant to be strong? I think I deserve some softness in this lifetime. It just wasn’t supposed to go like this.
Tell me that is.
If you found someone special; would you tell me?
If you met someone who lights up your world; would you tell me?
If you’re expecting a child would you share that with me?
If you’re getting married, am I one of the persons you’d share that with?
If you’re questioning life and your purpose, would you question it with me?
If you feel as though you’re losing your self…your sanity,
Would you tell me?
This piece isn’t very poetic,
it wasnt meant to rhyme or flow.
Truthfully, it was just meant to try and let you go.
Tomorrow is upon us and the tears are anew,
I truly do not know if I can face you.
You left me in the dark Kenard
And while I find my way back to the light,
I don’t know that I can do that with(out) you.
I need answers from a dead man.
I look at your familiar face
and your unfamiliar obituary.
I feel as though I lost my friend
And before now, I didn’t believe that ends.
Now, what really are friends??
For if I’m not someone you can bare your soul to
we’re all but strangers…associates.
And I’ll need time to adjust to this.
Sometimes I think wearing it on my forehead would prompt the world to be a little kinder, a little more gentle, a little more loving…I don’t know.
Today is one of my bad days; living with #bipolar disorder 1 can be a living nightmare sometimes. Over the past month I have been doing everything I can to hold myself up; to stand upright in the whirlwind of my life. I don’t want to cower and whimper and make myself small as I have in recent years. I don’t want depression to take my voice away this year. I don’t want depression to make me numb this year. I don’t want depression to isolate me this year. I don’t want to feel as though I am at the mercy of my thoughts and moods and not them me.
This year I’ve resolved to fight back, to not just audibly tell the voice in my head that only I hear to “shut up” but to bend it into submission; to me.
Though I’ve left the guilt I used to feel to taking days off when I’m not well in 2020; on days like this I get a little scared that if I relent on fighting this one day, one day will become two, then become a month and 💥 before I realize I have submitted to this thing again. And #ongod I refuse to do that again.
This is my 5th year in this country and #mentalillness has robbed me of too much of my goals and while the time cannot be taken back I’m going to fight tooth and nail for the remaining years. If you know the story of the Chinese bamboo you’ll understand why this 5th year is significant to me. This is my year of exponential growth come hell or high water.
mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealth #bipolardisorderawareness #immigration #immigrant #growthmindset #faithit
Heavier maybe. In early November I started to feel the shift beginning and I tried together my ducks in a row accordingly. I think it was November that Mr. D (Depression) sent a reminder of his impending visit and I think he too was a little annoyed at the fact that I was hoping and acting as though he mightn’t visit this year. He was right. I feel as though this past manic season was the best I have had in over 5 years as I didn’t have any major breakdowns, I didn’t run off without telling anyone, I managed my hyper-sexuality well, I didn’t start any new businesses or incur anymore debt. I did good this year; even if it’s only me who understands that.
Things started to feel heavier and I didn’t have the energy to maintain my 7 day per week work schedule and consequently started dropping some stuff. I definitely trimmed the fat and tried to create a more realistic schedule based on my energy levels. But as all things with bipolarity we tend to overdo it and it’s finding the right balance that we struggle with. I went from 7 days a week to 2. Yes, you read that right. I was exhausted from all the picking and dropping I was doing for my sister and working on average 2 days per week. It might not sound like a lot but for this time of the year it’s a WHOLE LOT.
Between dating and my sister I wasn’t finding much ME time or ME space and I struggled with being elated and happy to have them both around to wishing they could be around while I exist close enough to them but in like my own private bubble. It’s hard to reconcile loving them and enjoying their company in one breath and wishing there was a 25th hour in the day just for me and better yet; an 8th day in the week where only I existed.
I was growing tired of feeling as though I am at their service; cooking, existing… everything. It’s this part of being me that I often struggle with explaining to others. If you’ve read my bio, you’d see where I said I love people but I honestly don’t quite like them. I love them as a whole but I haven’t much tolerance for them existing. I suppose this is where the selfish loner and sensitive INTJ part comes around. I love my sister with all I know how and it was an absolute joy and blessing having her around but I don’t know how long my sanity would’ve survived. I love my partner and I enjoy the time that we share but I don’t think I’d cope with more time (laughs while covering mouth and eyes). It’s my truth and I won’t pretend it’s anything else. If I had to see anyone all day, everyday; I’d strip myself and run off into the woods barefooted and wild and never look back. If I had to entertain another human for anything longer than a few hours per day my soul would melt away from my body and leave it hanging; empty…hollow.
I love humans but I don’t like them.
I say them; knowing full well that I am dissociating from the parts of me that are considered human because I’m not sure I’ll ever truly accept that the things I dislike most about myself are the things that make me them; human (eew) haha
Well, exactly one week ago I found out a close friend and past lover died. I wept uncontrollably for a few hours and the tears threaten even now as I write. I messaged and called a dead man over and over and over for over a month. We live in different countries you see and as adults with budding lives , careers and family, we’d connect at least once per week with a little check in chat and had our once a month video call to see that the other is actually still alive and getting fatter (Me) and leaner (him). We held space for vulnerability, bounced ideas off each other, talked about our current lovers and the occasional venture into our crazy families. We were good. Its was good. I’m happy and grateful to have met him and known the parts of him that he shared and I’ll honour the memories we shared forever.
The tears dried up within two days though; as I learnt things about his life that he chose not to share. I went from heartbreak over his death and my lack of knowledge about it for well over a month, to rage at the circumstances surrounding his passing; I refuse to believe he drowned; he was top of his class and cohort; a diver of his caliber doesn’t drown in a fucking harbour! *breathes* if my chest is to believe; I think I am still angry. The emotion I feel the most however is uncertainty, if that’s even an emotion. I feel as though I only knew a fraction of the man I called friend because the parts of his life that he chose not to share were such big parts and I’m torn trying to rationalize why he felt the need to keep those away from me.
Was I a horrible friend who would ruin it for him with my pessimistic views on the unnaturalness of monagamy?? Was I not as close to him as I thought I was?? Who was this person even? Who was I to them? What is even true and what’s not? and how dare he die without any notice? Yes, at 27 years old, I still ask these illogical questions and a part of me would really like some answers…from the dead.
A symptom of my disorder is hallucinating. Every time I have been alone since I’m both terrified and hopeful that my brain will conjure up his likeness…we deserve one last conversation…one last “I only want to see you happy” one last “I love you”
Cue the snotty nose and leaky eye faucet
I’ve been meaning to write you since I found out about your transitioning. You know I believe souls never die and you always read my blog to keep up with my madness so I hope you’re checking in now. The parts of me that believe in magic and parallel universes and the endlessness of souls are feeling quite comforted right now having finally sat to pen this. I imagine you’re reading over my shoulder right now waiting for me to get to the point and stop being so long winded. But I shan’t. You can’t rush my thoughts along anymore with the “Mani, I’m gonna have to let you go soon because work work work”. I imagine you’re restless as a soul and can’t wait to be reborn into a body so you can go to work again, dive again, study again. I imagine you’re trying to figure out how to expedite the resting in peace part and figuring out what’s next for you in this realm that I’m still in.
But Kennybear if I could say anything and you’d listen; I’d tell you to go smoke some weed; I hope the soul version is even doper than ours lol. I’d tell you to go spend your days watching Kyra grow up and if there’s anyway to communicate tell (show) her how much you love her, and how much you believe she is beautiful and smart and talented and that she can do amazing and positively impactful things in this life.
If you’re reading this; send me a sign that you’re fine and that you’ll at least consider the resting part of the RIP thing.
I love you KP,
What if we could walk away from trauma?
What if we could fly away from hurt?
What if we could swim away from pain?
What if we could run away from all the torturous familiarity?
What if we could learn a new language that has no words that we’ve encoded in this trauma chain we drag around?
I weighed my baggage overnight, removed what I found irrelevant but was still overweight as I tried to fly…
Maybe I’m trying to hide them and leave them in every beautiful place I travel to in this world.
For everything I found beautiful was dangerous and shrouded with a majestic mystery that captured every piece of me.
Of nature I was born and to nature I’ll always return
If my love is hurting you
Don’t let us sit in the silence
If my love is hurting you
Tell me, show me, how can we fix it?
If my love is hurting you
Forgive me, my love
It was never my intention to love you wrong
So baby, if my love is hurting you
Let me emancipate you…go
Writing prompt from IG
Next year my travel goals include
going to indigenous majority areas to immerse myself into their culture, and belief systems. As someone living with a mental illness that comes with positive symptoms (things not usually experienced by others; hallucinations, a undeniably strong connection to things that don’t talk – to others; etc) I have been encouraged my many a spiritual person to lean into these things more and I want to see what that might look like to a community that doesn’t medicate away these experiences but welcome and embrace them.
Now that’s not something most mental health professionals recommend because medication and treatment compliance is already a challenging thing for persons living with a #mentalillness especially #bipolardisoder
However, I feel confident in where I am in my treatment plan and on my journey with stability.
I like apathetic me better.
Well, right now I do. I don’t know that that statement holds true all the time.
Urrghhh, I’m all worked up and upset and just icky with all these feelings clutching onto my little heart. I hope they don’t take up residency. I don’t think I have anymore room for unwanted emotions and feelings. I think I have enough filed away to last me a lifetime.
Why do I though? File them away that is? Why can’t I just sit with them and let them flow through me?
Why do I catalog these big, dirty, ugly feelings? Why do I store them as though they are somehow valuable? Why do I honour and treasure pain and torment?
I don’t think I store enough happy feelings, I don’t re tell the happy memories over and over again to every living that that will listen; so why do I perpetually reminisce on the horrible stuff?? Why do I continually relive those events I deemed traumatic??
😔😫 these big feelings are bursting out my chest right now and I don’t know how to deal…
Pray for me I guess 🤷🏾♀️
What do non religious people say instead of pray for me?
This was inspired by a post I just read from another blogger with bipolar disorder.
When someone who doesn’t experience mental illness or bipolar disorder specifically asks me what is it like; this is what I say;
I tell them that for 6 months I’m highly productive, driven, outgoing and on my game. I have little tolerance for others and I’m terribly brash and I need far less sleep.
While for the remaining 6 months I am basically a bear hibernating. I have very little energy and zero care for anything. The apathy is all consuming and in the depths of it I’m terribly suicidal and dread waking up so I can’t sleep but I spend 10plus hours in bed willing my mind to rest.
I hid for the last time last week
I cried for the last time in the shower
Well, lemme not be hasty haha
We all know life has a way of circling back on us
I meant to say; I won’t hide from my loved ones anymore
I’ll cry and let them sit with me.
I wasn’t comforted much as a child crying
It was a shameful act
It was coward, selfish, and totally unacceptable
Now, in this my 26th year
I’ve completely let go those notions and I now
I won’t hide and cry anymore.
I’ll weep when I’m the character in the movie I’m watching got their happy ending
I’ll bawl for the man in the book who died putting everyone else first
Son son why? You should’ve let the bastard burn
I never got over that ending “My Father Sun Sun Johnson”
Tragic. He should’ve let than man burn.
I want to feel out in the open and I want others to know they too can feel out in the open with me
Or alone sitting by me but not with me
You know what I mean?
Close enough to not be entirely alone
But not close enough to smother me
I want to feel my big feelings right out in the open and I want you to be ok with that.
Yes; you; the reader.
You know; that someone who makes a fuss over ya
That person who thinks everyday with you is a special day
That person who thinks you’re the sunshine on a cold winter day
That person who thinks you’re the breeze on a hot day in the tropics
That person who feels like the sun; like home, like safety
You deserve it.
Why do I think they must have found them ugly?
For if humans are so mean to each other
what might cause them to spare the trees?
So brown and barren they seem
Their gawky limbs outstretched
Scrawny and brittle
they snap under our hands and feet…
drearier than the sad clouds they sit beneath
Oh how they must have found them ugly
These dreadful humans who constantly complain about the weather,
For how dare Mother Nature exist as she?
Since August of this year I have gone back into business for myself full time and it has required being constantly on the go, always taking calls and replying to messages, keeping up with content on the social media pages and just being available all the time to my clients.
I don’t like it.
There. I said it. I don’t like it. The last time I was sitting leisurely writing poetry was that September camping trip to Algonquin. The last time I truly leaned into leisure. If only for a few hours.
I took 10 days off after that and went to see Banff but as I introspect now that wasn’t very leisurely as I was constantly on the go sight seeing and doing activities and engaging with other people which meant managing self and self impressions. Sighs. I’m tired. It’s usually around this time of the year that I start to wind down and my soul starts to prepare for our 6 months of “hibernation” aka when Mr. D visits.
For those new here, Mr. D is what I call Depression. Bipolarity presents with two major symptoms or moods; Depression and Mania. Depression often comes with Anxiety and actually so does Mania.
I’m currently in the upper mood cycle of this illness and so I’m predominantly high energy, outgoing, interactive, productive, super kind, and inviting and all around open to new experiences. You know the whole love and light shit.
As winter approaches; I’m a winter solstice baby, the pendulum of my emotions and energy levels start to swing ever so gently the other way. Towards Mr. D. I’m mindful of it and I hope beyond hope that this year will be the year that I don’t have to contend with Depression or that it would be mild; manageable.
I’m particularly hopeful this year because I can truly say that this has been one of the better years of mania. I did spend excessively, I did do a multitude of things all the time, I did talk a lot and do the most lol but I didn’t have any breakdowns, I didn’t get into any fights, I didn’t burn the earth down, I didn’t quit any jobs, I wasn’t particularly irritable (well, not for any extended period) and all in all I kept it together this year. Better than any year I can remember. So I’d consider this year a success at managing Lady M – Mania.
Where I am presently, I need more downtime for sure and I might need to find someone to work for me doing the evening jobs as I’m feeling more and more exhausted lately and less and less like I’ll be able to manage my day clients and these evening contracts. So where that is concerned I need to find cover at least by mid to late December.
As I am writing to you now, I worked all day yesterday converting my walk in closet to a bedroom and my house is a mess with all the clothes and shoes from the closet and I’m so so tired and just need a day to lay down and do nothing. However, I have a client meal prep to do today which means grocery shopping and being over the stove for 4 plus hours. I’m super grateful for my work and I absolutely love what I do for my day clients but I’m weary of the evening jobs and the exhaustion I’ve been feeling. As I write now I’m perturbed about wasting time writing when there is so much to be done.
If you pray, pray for me as I walk this line of sanity and insanity. As I tread this line of working too much and working too little, of caring too much and caring too little, of doing the most and not doing enough.
Praying for strength and wisdom to do what’s right for me ❤️
I pray my musings meet you in good spirits.
Can we agree to stop telling people they have gained weight? Do we really think others don’t look in the mirror and know that they have been getting fatter? Do we think that they believe their clothes are shrinking and not that they are expanding?
Sighs, listen; I’m so so grateful to this body for holding me up and keeping me together through it all. Let me live ok.
I assure you; we know we are getting fat. Thanks for pointing out the obvious 😒
It’s my aunties for me
I revere you
Always on my pedestal
There when I needed you most
You scattered your roses right here on earth
You bent over backwards to make sure we ate
Never the dependent
I admired my aunties especially you two of late.
I know today is your day but
I hope you guys meet
Up there in glory
And share all the good food you loved to eat
We learnt how to cook
And keep our place clean.
We held our head high
And we rode out our storms together until their end was nigh
I love you auntie
And I pray
We may live the way you did;
laughing a lot,
Always dressed well,
working hard for what we want
Constantly learning and improving until the very end.
Yu Gonplei Ste Odon –
Your fight is over.
“In peace, may you leave the shore. In love, may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels until our final journey to the ground. May we meet again”
I am letting go the resentment I harbour towards my parents for having 5 children in poverty and never working hard enough nor consistently enough to take care of all our basic needs and using us as beggars to the rest of the family to support us all.
I’m letting go of feeling as though I’m the primary caregiver to my 4 younger siblings and carrying the weight of their academic and financial success on my shoulders.
I’m letting go of being and acting tough and calloused emotionally so as not to automatically disqualify myself from the love and support that I deserve