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Mountain Flower's Diary

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    Mountain Flower's Diary

    Diary, take two.

    The posts in my previous diary thread haven't been showing up in the latest-activity feed, so per Animal's suggestion, I've created this new one.

    I am not sure how often I will use this space, but I thought I'd give it a try and see where it goes.

    To begin, here's something I wrote in my own personal diary a couple of days ago:

    Happiness was receiving for Christmas those quintuplets dolls I had wanted so badly. It was riding my bike on a gravel road, carrying a basket to collect pretty rocks along the way and meeting up with my brother later to compare collections. It was waiting at the school bus stop near the convenience store where we bought airheads and ring pops whenever we had a dollar to spare.

    Nothing mattered but those dolls, those rocks, that candy. It didn’t matter that my brother and I convened beneath the staircase leading to our section 8 housing. It didn’t matter when we lost everything in a forest fire a few years later. Nothing could bring me down. I was full of a lust for life. The hunt was as satisfying as the catch.

    When did I conceive these demons? How did they creep in so slowly that I didn’t notice? When did I develop the capacity to feel too much? What is this suffering, this tragedy, this Kafkaesque universe in which we are all held prisoner? Is there a way out?



      I created an account on Sondermind in order to find a therapist. I am nervous about it and am already thinking about backing out. Do I really need therapy? I know therapy isn’t about needing it, it’s just... I have such a hard time placing my personal issues on the collective spectrum of good to bad. I don’t want to come across as melodramatic. I don’t even know if I really want help. At the same time, I am curious about what a therapist can offer. Therapy is something I have considered off and on for years, but I usually talk myself out of it. Sometimes I think I have depression, but it comes and goes, and when it's not there, I question if I ever really had it to begin with. Now, however, I have more than fickle depression holding me back.

      I think that I have PTSD over my parrot, Tilly’s, death, but sometimes I doubt it too. Sometimes, I can remember what happened and not panic at all. The empty feeling makes me uncomfortable, so I purposely try to evoke a stronger emotion until I really am distressed. At other times, I get a surge of adrenaline just walking into the living room and try to quickly focus on anything but those visions before they take over. Why do I try to evoke feeling when it's not there, but try to escape it when it is?

      What is overcoming PTSD about anyway? Is it becoming desensitized? I don’t think I want that. But I also don’t want to keep reliving the moment, stomach in knots, heart racing, mind going every which way as I try to fill in the details I was not witness to... filling them in with an assortment of new distressing scenarios each time, stressed out that I can’t even remember all of my own actions leading up to the event.

      Aside from the PTSD, I could use help handling my grief over the loss of three pets in less than three months. I hope the therapist won’t think my trauma over a couple of birds and a cat is frivolous. I hope can communicate the spiritual nature of these relationships. I was in such a bad place before I found Happy. He gave me a reason to get out of bed every day. I had barely begun to pull myself up again, with Tilly as my new support pet, when I lost her to my cat, who was also dear to me and whom I lost to cancer barely a month later.

      I can’t go on like this. My depression has become unbearably existential in nature. And yet, I still have brief periods of relief. What more could I want - than those unsolicited moments of ecstatic experience, than those bursts of energy that keep me afloat? I can’t stay there forever either. Where else is there? A middle ground? How dreadful. What am I searching for? Nothing. I don’t know...

      Last edited by MountainFlower; 03-09-2020, 02:40 AM.


        Welp, I have emerged from two therapy sessions (before stay-at-home orders took effect) with a tentative bipolar diagnosis. Probably bipolar II, though after my last session, bipolar I is also on the table (eep! I really don’t think it’s that, but, w/e). Before a little over a month ago, I had little idea what bipolar disorder really meant. I vaguely associated it with violent dysphoric behaviors, but never looked too far into it otherwise. Just before my first therapy session, while researching about depression, as I do from time to time, I came across manic depression (which I hadn’t know was the same thing as bipolar disorder) and thought, “huh, well that’s something.” I mentioned it to my sister and she was like, “well... I wasn’t gunna say anything, but I’ve suspected it for a while now.”

        Learning about bipolar disorder and that I may have it has improved my self esteem a little. I used to get so frustrated with myself for failing to keep my fire burning at all times. I didn’t understand what was going on. One week, I’d be celebrating my recovery from depression and in the next, I’d be right back to where I started, in the depths of despair.

        In February, before I knew about bipolar disorder, I made a little progress on my own, concluding that it’s only logical I should require lulls to recharge between my high-productivity phases. But it didn’t particularly occur to me there was anything abnormal about the highs themselves. Once, I asked Eric if he ever feels euphoric for no particular reason, as if everything that exists is the best thing ever and he just can’t even, because the feeling is so intense. He said he does not. I wrote this off as a peculiarity of Eric rather than indicative of anything peculiar about myself. I felt sorry for him. Now that I know most people don’t experience these highs, I feel sorry for them too.

        Why should I want to medicate this part of me away? Ya, the depression sucks, but it’s not so high a price to pay for the highs, is it? I’ve made a few poor decisions along the way, but nothing to write home about, and surely nothing any more grievous than a mentally stable person may do simply on account of being human. So I bought a crap ton of purses one time, what of it? I returned them. No damage done. I make a fool of myself far more often than I cause any real trouble - e.g., I marched into the music department of my university one day, fully convinced that I could become a concert pianist (having had no musical background) and asked, dead serious, if I could please be admitted to their program.

        Now that I have this new understanding of what’s (tentatively) going on with me, I feel more confident moving forward. I can, ideally, recognize the signs before I end up doing something I’ll regret. Or is it so easy? I haven’t read anything encouraging about medication for bipolar disorder. I’ve read that it can take a lot of trial and error; that sometimes only the mania goes, but not the depression; that lithium can cause kidney damage (I assume all the drugs come with equally awful side effects). My therapist suggested I look into alternative remedies when I expressed my concerns, but I can sense she’d rather I go the pharmaceutical route.

        I’m getting ahead of myself, though, everything tentative as it is. It will probably be a while before I can find out more, due to this covid19 situation... tbc


          Just a mini update:
          My therapist managed to get set up to offer virtual sessions, so I am doing that now. The tentative bipolar diagnosis is ever looming, but I don't know that I really care to be thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed. In the mean time, I've got plenty of other assorted baggage to unpack in my sessions, so that's where the focus is for now.


            I've been in a severely depressive spell for a while now. I don't want this. I hate feeling like this. But I don't want to be medicated either. I don't want an artificial life. What's the point of living if my experiences are tempered by drugs, everything pacified so I can carry on with this life like an obedient robot? Who is this elusive authority obliging me to live? Who even am I? My own experience of myself isn't even reliable. Which feelings are real? is this real? is this pain real? I don't always feel like this. Is that real too?

            Last night, suicidal thoughts re-emerged. These usually take the form of romanticized melodramatic musing rather than of legit possibility, but something felt different this time. The thoughts were accompanied by surges of adrenaline. I thought of the home videos from my childhood that I watched recently. That little girl. That teenager. I feel so dissociated from her. I don't matter. But she does. I feel responsible for her. Could I kill her? Isn't she already dead? How did I get here?


              Yesterday, I began to feel empowered by my pain. I want more. I want to consume it as it consumes me.

              In my childhood nightmares, I seduced the monster. I offered myself in exchange for my life. This life is the monster of my nightmares. I will seduce it too; I will derive pleasure from it even as I resent it, even as it slowly kills me anyway.

              If I must die either way, I am going savor every last drop of this toxic nectar while I can.

              Today, while reading Voltaire’s Candide, I found this quote especially moving:

              “A hundred times I was upon the point of killing myself; but still I loved life. This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden which one can always throw down? to detest existence and yet to cling to one’s existence? in brief, to caress the serpent which devours us, till he has eaten our very heart?”


                My heart is heavy. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing complicated grief over the loss of my birds. The flashbacks won’t stop. And when one happens, I can’t stop wallowing in the memory. How can I heal? How can I move on? I fight the pain; I failed to seduce it. I look for a silver lining. It’s not just my birds. I feel a deeper pain. A collection of wounds that I’ve momentarily or permanently forgotten. I can still feel them. How can I break free of the manic-depressive cycle? Where does the pain go when I’m laughing?

                I quit therapy in May, btw. I didn’t sense that it was worth the cost.


                • Vive
                  Vive commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Aww, I'm sorry for your loss