Sunday, December 12, 2010

"What Happens in Crazy Does Not Stay in Crazy"

Photo by Liz Kearsley

For over a year I have been writing very openly about my life living with mental illness, and when I began little did I know the impact that it would have on me. My decision to blog openly, discussing my life's dirty secrets, fears, neurosis and other mental minefields was at the time a easy one. Hoping that by doing so I could just maybe make a difference in the way people view, people living with a mental illness as well as helping myself.

   I never really carried any shame with my Bipolar Disorder, I came to a personal place where it was not something to be ashamed of. Blogging all the while I was a inpatient in the Psych Ward and undergoing what some see as a controversial treatment of ECT was I no brainer as the treatment worked for me and I felt it should be talked about in the open. Yet I carried the shame and stigma of my other disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, as it carries much heavier stigma than Mood Disorders do. You  see people can understand the chemical medical reasons for Mood Disorders, but not their uglier step sibling Personality Disorders. Just saying it says, "Damn there must be something really fucked up with him, he has a Personality Disorder", which has no biological reason it is behavioral in nature and little understood.

  I admit that I do carry shame with my BPD, it makes me fear being around people as it might and has caused interpersonal relationships to fail. I can explain Bipolar in a reasonable manner. It for all it's craziness is predictable and fairly easy to control. But I cannot explain why I do the things I do that are attached to my BPD, and when asked by others I am at a complete loss, it baffles me and rides me deeper into my already existent depression. It is like gas on my depressive fire.

 Blogging about myself in a personal manner has put me out there exposed for everyone to see, the good and the brutally ugly. But I cannot put the cat back in it's bag that is the reality of personal blogging, the self exposure. While I may been seen as a crazy asshole to many, I hope that some still can see the decent man that is intertwined with his illness. A man that is yes on one side very ill and tortured by said illness, yet still tries to be kind.

 I am not sure if I still have a audience for my words or friendship, or if my blog make any difference in anyone's life or moves to assist in breaking down some of the walls of Mental Health stigma? I am battling with ending my public fight with my mind and returning to the safe world of anonymity. I am well aware that I am a polarizing personality that some find me to be pest upon the social media community. I also know that I have some friends who still despite myself are still my friends and support me. But I am scared to continue blogging and that is the rub. That if I continue to write so openly and personally I will do more harm than good.

  On Tuesday I will undergo my first spinal surgery and this is scaring the crap out of me. Why? Not because of the surgery it's self. I have little fear of dying or my chances of paralysis. I am scared because I know I am doing this pretty much alone. Much of my support system is either dead, out of town, or I have driven away. In a final act of "Fuck You Steve" my brain is having the last word, saying that I do not deserve the support I so greatly wish for, that this is the price I will pay this Holiday season for my shitty disorder that  I do not understand or did anything to bring on myself.

 Living so openly with mental illness can at the same moment be destructively painful and the ultimate in freedom. I have and am experiencing both and battling with effects of being crazy and out. I wish I was a better role model for mental health. But I am just trying to be a role model to myself because that is all I have right now.


  1. because of your writing i am finally seeking treatment. i have no friends because of my illness. i stumbled across your blog when it was linked by a friend of yours. please keep writing for as long as you can. shit, i was even reminded to take my meds once this week when i was thinking about one of your posts. you and i will never meet, but what you are doing matters more than you imagine.

  2. Thank you, there are times when the loneliness of living with a mental illness attempts to kill your soul, it when I get comments like this that I am reminded that I am not alone, and that my existence does matter. Again thank you, for helping a stranger not feel so alone.

  3. Steve, i have been exactly where you are and there is no question it is very hard and it sucks. (i haven't had or had to have that hard of a surgery but the depression bit and even with my surgery on my ass i was totally alone adam was in kelowna it sucked) you just have to keep doing what is best for you. you can't help who your illness scares away anymore than i can. hurting people in regards to your illness is different but how people view you from reading or not giving you a proper chance, it is really really hard but you learn to just live with it. even though it hurts. the people you end up helping with your writing will in the end out weight the assholes.
    it is generally faster to get me with an email, DM or a text..i/we are of course still here for you... im just in a reclusive place right now, feeling a lot like you feel... it doesn't mean i don't still care. <3 lots of love.

  4. Yes, your existence matters! And your blog does help bring down the walls of mental health stigma.

    As a healthcare provider who feels ashamed/angered by the medical profession's role in creating stigma (and isolated within the profession for these beliefs), I've found your blog very helpful for my own journey. I've tried to blog about the importance of combating psychiatric oppression (, which references your blog), but what you say in your own words is far more powerful and important.

    Blog's can be challenging because it's difficult to know the positive impact it has on readers, and the only certainty one is sometimes left with is the anxieties about being open about one's beliefs. But I know that if you choose to continue blogging, you'll continue having a positive impact on people--those with mental health issues, healthcare providers, and others--so I hope you do.

  5. you know that you have had a positive impact on my life. As someone who is on a similar path of blogging about mental illness, struggling to not piss off every friend that I have (that's not going so well, by the by, you are not the only one), trying to be open and honest - not only to the ppl that read my tweets and blog, but more importantly to myself-for the first time, you have a huge impact on those around you. I have come to understand that by airing the dirty, scary, ugly, awful side of mental health, you are empowering others to either come out and face their own mental health challenges and/or for the stigma of mental illness to be reduced.
    Keep writing, speaking sellfishly, I need you to, so that I don't feel so alone in my craziness and I know that you are ok.
    Thank you for being you, bat shit crazy and all,

  6. Eventhough you may feel as if you're alone, please know that there are those of us out there in SM land that are thinking of you and wishing you well with your operation. We enjoy your blog and share posts often with many others. We send our very best for your recovery and hope to see a new post soon.