My Best Friend’s Mental Disorder

Sometimes I forget she’s different. I know of the addictions, and how easy it is to fall. I know that climbing back up is treading on a slipper slope, and that finding another path can seem impossible. I know how it feels when you think you are all alone. I don’t know how it feels when you truly believe that.

Last night, as we drove around in the dark back roads of my neighborhood, she told me what she was feeling and I truly listened to her, maybe for once in our friendship. I don’t think I tried to understand really, but just listened and took in her tears and the sadness that cracked her voice as she opened up to me.

I think a lot of people felt like they were stuck in a hole at some point in their life. That they were clawing at the walls with bloody fingernails and couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting anywhere. That sometimes, someone would reach down with their hand to offer you help, but that someone wasn’t strong enough to pull you up with one, and wouldn’t reach out with other because it would distract from their task at hand, so they just gave up and let you drop down into that pit again. I think we’ve all had the realization that you can’t count on everyone, all of the time. That you can’t count on some people any of the time, but you can count on other people most of the time, and everything in between.

What if you were born in this dark place, and only ever experienced the light when someone else would pull you out for what little time they wanted you, only to throw you back in when they were done? What if everything everyone ever told you to try to get yourself out of that hole, never worked? “Silver’s Perfect Plan” or “Tatiana’s Playbook” or “Chris knows what you’re feeling Guide to Getting Out” was made just for them, and how are you supposed to write your own plan out if you’ve got nothing but your worn out hands and a brick wall? How are you ever supposed to gather the strength from all of these downfalls and drag yourself out of where the world put you? It’s okay to feel helpless.

It’s okay to feel helpless. Everyone has. Thing is, when the average person feels helpless, this invisible rule seeps into the mind of this person whose opened themselves up in hopes of help, but the possibility of harm too. This invisible rule tells us to tell ourselves that we need to figure it out alone; that it is solely your own responsibility to make yourself strong again. Has that ever really worked for anyone?

I think to the last struggle I had personally, and how I moved on from it. With the help of my sister, or before, with the help of my father. Family plays such an important role. In the years that I’ve known her, I can’t say with confidence that her family has been there the way a little girl needs.

She was born into that dark hole that everyone has inside of them. It has taken over her through the years and enveloped her in darkness. It is the spirit and soul that dwells in the deepest parts of her being that drives her on. She was born with strength like a burning fire and a sadness that feels like too much sad, and this battle rages on inside her mind. She is a victim of her own burning desire for love and companionship, as she is the same with her torrents of depression, dragging her into the deepest part of the ocean of sadness that chokes her of her will to go on.

“If only one of my parents had been there for me.” I haven’t seen her father in her life until this year, and we’ve been best friends for 6 to 7 years now. Her mother is the opposite of what she is: there is no fire and there is no ocean tide. She is as flat as the desert floor and just as barren. Who is a girl to turn to when her own mother won’t hug her tightly to take the pain away or wipe the tears from her eyes?

My friend, she seeks this family that she never got. Born a decade after her two sisters, an accident of the unprepared, a blacksheep in her own blood, she turns to love to pull her out of this despair. There is very little to say about love, only that it is never logical and in no way permanent. And that it bring her out of this hole, for however long he wants to have her heart, but when he let’s go of the love, he let’s go of her. That pit did not just go away when she was in the light. It stayed right where it was, and each time she’s dropped back in to land on the cold hard ground like a ragdoll, disposable, she goes a little deeper.

She wants someone to be her partner, her companion in life. She cannot do it alone, and it is the right of no one to tell her otherwise. It takes so much strength that people don’t realize or appreciate, to truly know what you need. Even more so to ask for it and to ask for help getting it. She has no walls and she lets love in, hoping it will save her from the depths of her sadness. If only people could be relied upon.

It goes without saying that a lot of her strife can be avoided and that to those with the ability to ease the mind and feel the love, all of this might seem solvable or avoidable. This is not the case when someone has a mental disorder. This is something that someone cannot just get over, and that those who do not have that extra internal hurdle to jump cannot understand.

***

It was hard, to be there for her, to listen to her, and to not say anything. To not tell her that so many people are truly there for her, just not in the exact way she needs. That sometimes you have to compromise with people or live with constant disappointment. But compromising with others to settle on second best is a disappointment too. There is a choice to be made then, and you will never truly know if you made the right one. It was hard not to be able to tell her that the world is fluid and people change and perfection is an illusion that will ultimately fail you when you’re taking your final breath. That she will not always get what she wants but there will always be people who love her. How can you tell someone that no one knows anything, not her nor I, and that you just have to make it day by day?

It’s hard to be there for someone who doesn’t think you are, no matter what you do. She truly believes that no one is. It’s hard not to say anything when so much needs to be said. It’s hard being the best friend of someone with a mental disorder. In the end: I love her, no matter what.

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Never Knowing

Being busy does not mean being productive, necessarily. I guess being productive depends on your perspective of what needs to get done. If your mission is to enjoy a day off and be lazy, going to the movies with an old friend and kicking back on the beach is a productive day. If your goal of the day is to get caught up on school work, house work and other errands, the previous hypothetical situation would be a really terrible way to spend your time.

I’ve had a certain phrase stuck with me for the last few weeks, since I read the random article it came from. Something about the ’20 things people in their 20’s need to know’ (it wasn’t very insightful for the most part). There was one bullet point that made me confused and curious: You should always be busy.

Why should I always be busy? Why can’t I relax? Their reasoning was because some dude who did something awesome spent 7 years straight to do that awesome thing and everyone should do the same in hopes of creating something awesome too. Which is a good thing if it inspires people to reach out and touch their own specific dream and make it a reality. But such a broad and semi-vague point to make….. always be busy, doing something.

Busy work isn’t always the best thing. Keeping yourself distracted from what’s inside of you; inside you’re head, inside your heart; it isn’t healthy. Spending all of your time trying to be something might leave you unsatisfied in the end… What if what you end up with isn’t what you wanted at all, and you spent so much time DOING and no time REFLECTING, you can’t even remember where things might have gotten mixed up?

In my opinion… the 1 thing every person of any age should know is.. balance. Balance is the key. There is a fine line of being too busy and not busy enough, and being busy for the right reasons or the wrong. Living a life of absolutes can be dangerous, while living a life of balanced options can be an eye-opening experience to the uncountable shades of beauty our existence creates. Then again, you can say that vice versa and it is true as well. So I guess all you can say is, find a balance between those two, right? 😉

Smancy Party

So last night was my Smancy Party! Smashed + Fancy = Smancy. We were going for an Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s look and I think, for the most part, we succeeded (excluding the big ass bear in a tie). I feel that this was my most successful party yet of this year, but there is more to come yet!

Smancy PartyI have to make a list of attendees, because I have no idea what the total amount of people was…
Emily, Lance, Chris, James, Stephanie, Kameron, Scruffy, Ty, Travis, Dylan, Shane, Ashley, Zach, Taylor, Santos, Joey, Emma, Ryan, Kelsey and her friend, Sawyer, his brother and his girlfriend, Andy, Cory, Becca and her friend, Alisha, Rozeee, Matt, Tatiana, Jamie, Reyna…. + me! 34

I am really happy that these parties are becoming more and more successful, and I am learning so much about people and myself through out all of the adventures. You can’t have a successful gathering without people who give back to the energy as much as you put in. People have a great time and make new friends and memories.. what could be better during this time in our lives?

It is so important to reflect on these times and remember how fortunate I am in life. Yesterday, I felt sad and confused about so many different, random things and I am so glad that only 24 hours later, I am learning why I was sad and how I can prevent that from happening again. I really do take on the hardship of others in my mind and let the uncontrollable effect the ability I have to understand what I can control.

I have nice people surrounding me almost all of the time; I can do basically whatever I want; I know I am a good person and I am working on getting better; every day I live is another day I love.

100 Days of Happiness: Day 5

Me

Me, myself and I.

I remember seeing a GIF set on Tumblr of this spoken word artist talking about all the things that people would list off that they loved: their family, friends, pets etc. and he made the point of, how far do you go down that list before you say you love yourself? That has obviously resonated with me.

It’s not conceded or self absorbed to love yourself, to hold yourself to high standards or to do whatever makes you happy (if it doesn’t harm others). I think it’s a wonderful yet rare character trait for a person to have nowadays. It is so overwhelming, all of the comparisons we make about ourselves to others, the social hierarchy that we try so hard to fit in to (or that we try so hard to escape from), plus the judgments that we receive from others around us… So many people feel out of place in society, in their own skin, around strangers, around people they have to see everyday.

Loving yourself is so important.. Loving yourself with your physical flaws and physical blessings and knowing that you are the only person in the world who looks like you. You’re the owner of those scars, those freckles, that frizzy hair or that soft skin. It’s yours. Loving yourself enough to know that you can always work towards being healthier, physically and mentally. That everyday is a new opportunity to do more good, for yourself, for others, for the world.

Loving yourself leads to loving others. Accepting who you are makes it easier, makes it more desirable, to accept others and to love them for who they are. And in turn, you’ve created a dynamic companionship based around your understanding of what self love and the love you give to others, means. This is your time, your body, your space – why fill it with anything other than the desire to love or be loved or act out of love?

All of this does not mean ‘perfection’ or that the world will become a utopia of people who accept and appreciate each person for who they are… We have moved on from the ability to do that a long time ago. There will be people we don’t like, we don’t understand and people we don’t want to tolerate – as is life. I think in that aspect, self love gives us the wisdom to try and find an answer to the way we feel, and to act on those feelings out of respect for yourself and for the respect of other individuals. We can disagree and remove ourselves from the presence of those who disturb us in a way where we don’t display our own self in a disrespectful or exaggerated manner and do so with enough respect that most will understand your reasonings. It’s a tricky situation, but it can be done and I feel self love is a way to learn how to do such things, plus so much more.

Enough of my philosophies though… I want to make this simple and honest.

I am like no one else. I am a mix of so many experiences and lessons learned, ideas and beliefs and actions. I am compassionate about animals and about the health of people and the health of our world. I am passionate about love and romance and independence of self and the respect of all people and their existence and right to live and love. I work hard, I speak well, I care about my family, my friends, my companions and acquaintances. I throw fun parties at my house, I take people out to go volunteer, I inspire. I teach and I learn and I do. I think a lot (sometimes I feel too much) and I write, I paint, I create. I have such wonderful memories, and I have a bright future ahead of me. I have many flaws, some I have gotten better at accepting, some not so much. Sometimes I think I’m pretty, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel good physically and mentally – sometimes I don’t (but not too much of the time).  This is who I am + so much more I can’t explain or has yet to come.

I make myself happy because that is what I was born and continue to live, to do.

100 Days of Happiness: Day 3

Emikey

My best friend and partner in chaos and creativity – Emily.

Through out these posts, I will post about the individuals who have helped make me who I am, but I think things would be out of order if I didn’t start with this lovely young lady… Like all relationships you have with others, we’ve had our ups and downs, but through out all of it, we’ve ended up on the same playing field, fighting for the same team and I am so honored to have her as such a close friend.

Over the past year or so, her and I have gone through so much as individuals, but during all of it, we had each other as support. When I needed someone to go with to pull a dog from a high-kill shelter in Bakersfield, she came with me. When she needed to get away from a dangerous situation with someone in her house, she called me and I dropped what I was doing and came for her. Whenever we’ve felt confused or frustrated with the way life is going, we’ve come to each other to express our feelings in comfort and to appreciate each others feelings, even if we don’t always agree on every aspect of every thing.

She has taught me so many things with our friendship and in turn, I have become a person who I am proud of. We still have such a long way to go in life, but I’m confident that we will always have each other to help make the journey a little more fun, a little more bearable. Having someone there for me, to listen to my thoughts and to accept me for who I am, means so much to me, I just don’t know where I would be without her.

Emily, Emikey, Emi Hoopdaloop, Emily Pooper, Mama Emmz, whatever her designated name is for the time being, is a phenomenal person, friend and mother. I love her to death! The memories we have together could fill a book, and I could get rock-hard abs from thinking back and laughing about all of our adventures together. ❤