I was supposed to be the bait, again. The lure for the Mummy. It had broken out of its tomb and was scaring all the locals. I tried to tell Shaggy that I didn’t want to do it at all, but he just threw another pot brownie at me. I couldn’t help myself and caught it out of the air, swallowing it in one bite. I forgot to argue and he just waltzed off leaving me alone. Left me for the monster as usual. I hate him. He makes great sandwiches, but he leaves me out to get eaten too often. I ought too… What was that noise? Is Shaggy coming back already? RUN!!!
I’m not lost. I know exactly how I got here. I’m just not suppose to be here. I thought I was, but I’m not. Where did it go wrong? Going back is not an option and I cannot go forward. This is an end point. Just not the right one for me. Can I side-step or dig down? Maybe I can fly. Fly out of here, out of this situation. Crap… focus…
“Sir? Cash or debit?”
“I’m sorry. I forgot, I’m allergic to olives.”
“Did that guy just run out of here without his sub?”
Blogging has never been my thing on a regular, or even irregular basis. I do write flash fiction at my writing group, and hope to polish some to post here soon. Much of what I write is quirky.
I do struggle with mental health issues, and they often effect my sharing/posting of what I write.
This is a simple attempt to share some of my writing, and less frequently my thoughts on the World. I share most thoughts on my Twitter account;
It is Pride week in the City where I live. This means so many different things to so many different people. I only came out as Bisexual in the past few years and thus do not have the history with Pride weeks many do. I’ll be 44 this week so have lived most of my life ignoring my own feelings about certain things. While I could search for excuses for why it took this long to come-out it really serves no purpose to do so. I know I always noticed people in certain ways yet followed hetronormativty. What’s done is done.
In June of 2013 I decided to join the Pride Parade here after moving back to the city after living away for several years. I’d been back only a week. Never done that before, never been to a Pride Parade even. Something was different in my life at that point and I had the courage to be me. The real me, true to myself. I knew no one there, I was not on a float or part of a group marching. I just joined in and walked along. It was raining and I did not care.
In the months that followed I sought out the local LGBT Centre. I knew I was not Gay but I was not Straight either. At the time I was very ignorant of most lingo and issues. I knew the term Bi but was still not sure of myself. I found someone there on the staff who I could talk too. I got help finding the words for the feelings I had. I also learned a lot about so much more. I began to volunteer at the centre and just hang out there at times. However, I made a promise to myself to not date for a time while I adjusted to my own internal acceptance of things that I used too repress. I already deal everyday with bipolar and anxiety so I knew that giving myself a bit of time to sort thoughts out would be fairer to me and any potential partner.
I took a journey of discovery of my inner self once I freed myself of the old imposed oppression. There was a time in my past I was very involved in a homophobic church. At first I embraced the term Polysexual and later BiRomantic. Still later other terms but in the end I have just settled on Bisexual. I like who I like regardless of gender, and most people understand Bi. I also seem to have become content being single, at the time of this writing. Not sure where that falls.
In all this though I feel like an outsider being so new to this. So many I know within the community seem to have been out most their lives and know all the LGBT history and issues. I feel judged at times but do realize that is likely my anxiety making me feel that. I’ve never experienced homophobia directed at me. I have experienced Biphobia though. Seems important to a lot of people that I’ve had sex with both men and women. They also want to know if I have a preference of gender. I am attracted to some (not all) people regardless of gender, my past or current sex life is not relevant. Bisexual in my opinion.
Society is really good at teaching people what should be the norm. Dictates what our default settings ought to be, even if that goes against our inner wishes and desires. If we were free to be ourselves we would not have coming out stories from people. We would not need Pride Parades reminding and asking the World to be accepting of people not on society’s default setting. We need to adjust those defaults.
The stairs were dark. They lead down into more darkness without any reprieve. Down, down I walked with only my torch for company. On the dusty wall was a single thick wire, almost a cable. I followed it intently to make sure it was unmarked and unbroken. The only sounds were the scrape of my feet on the stone as I stepped down each step, and made each turn at the landings every thirteenth stair. After twenty minutes I could hear my labored breathing also. Finally the bottom. There was no break in the wire, it had just become disconnected. Gently I retied the end of thick wire to the Fallen Angel. On the surface power would be restored to the village. It looked at me with hatred as I walked away to began my long climb back up.
As Earl the Delivery Sheep para-dropped from the delivery plane his sense of unease increased. Earl had done this many times before but never with live cargo. However, carrying a case of live butterflies to a research facility in the mountains was difficult at best, just plain dangerous in winter. After a safe landing on the untouched fields of snow in the Valley of Doom, Earl began his ascent up the Stairs of Forgetfulness. The wind was harsh, cold, and seemed to hum a constant tune he could not quite remember. At the top he found the semi-hidden door to the Laboratory of Silly Research into Benign Things. The doorbell was broken.
Earl the Delivery Sheep never liked odd deliveries. He considered himself a reasonable sheep but having to dig a hole to make a delivery was a bit much. Having to absolutely, no exceptions, dig the hole under the Bridge of Awesome Wafer Thinness next to a Root Beer river though? He was wet and sticky now, not to mention heavy. It would take ages to clean. After burying the wax covered box of board games in the hole came the worst part. To announce to the Beaver that ordered the package that it was there, Earl had to sing. He had to sing We Will Rock You making sure to add the stomps and claps to get the clients attention. Earl hated singing.
Earl the Delivery Sheep was reading his map again. The seventh time in the past ten minutes. He was very, very lost. As Earl sat at the sixth set of crossroads he’d come across in the Forest of Madness the paths around him shimmered and changed. As they changed, so did his map. He’d never been lost before, never not made a delivery on time. Today was going to be that day. He had a package of sloth fur-mold-remover for Penny and Edgar. They hung around on the Tree of Temporality making watches for Comedians with a bad sense of timing. It took another hour for the Forest to stop changing enough for Earl to continue. He decided that next time he’d just para-drop in.
It was sheer joy to be here. To be crawling through the mud, the leaves, the grass. The rain poured, the lightning flashed, and the thunder clapped. Sheer joy. I crawled through the park alone and revelled at my luck. No one here because of the weather. I was filthy and did not care. I’d lost a shoe, my knees bled, my palms were cut. Still I grinned ear to ear. I would be the first one here. I would win.
When people talk of mental health issues there is often a glossing over of the topic of suicidal thoughts within depression. A lot of euphemisms are used if any mention at all. When I hear or read about someone going through a period of dark thoughts or despairing, do they really mean thoughts of suicide? Are they just too scared to use the word. I know I’ve been taught to not say it in the past. Yet I cannot help but think that by not talking about it we only make it more difficult for those suffering those thoughts to seek help in times of need. If you cannot say suicide when you are well and discuss what that struggle is, how can anyone be expected to feel brave enough to admit it when in crisis?
I’ll be forty-four in less than a month, at the time of writing this, my first suicide attempt was when I was sixteen. I’ve only had one other attempt since and that was in my early twenties. Since those attempts I have been able to get myself into the hospital or get other help before getting to the point of trying to end things. However, I have many times needed that help over the years. What I deal with living with bipolar and anxiety disorders is a chronic and incurable condition. I am able to manage it most of the time with therapy and medication. At this point in life, mostly therapy. This was not always the case for me though.
I see how mental health is stigmatized overall within society and that things are slowly changing for the better. Yet, I also see that the talk about suicide is still not occurring enough. That people still seem too afraid to speak of it. It has been my experience that suicidal thoughts are not a black and white thing. There are a lot of shades of grey. One does not go from simply depressed to jumping off of a bridge most of the time. There are many stages in between. The healthcare system itself needs to find a way for those with the in between stage thoughts to be able to express the need for help without worry of an overreaction. I’ve lost count of the number times I stopped talking to a healthcare provider because they overreacted to my using the words ‘suicidal thoughts’ when I was not at a point of crisis. I’ve had to lie to therapists and doctors both over the years when not in crisis to avoid them being uncomfortable with the word suicide.
The therapist I have now is awesome though. I can talk to them about the stages of suicidal thoughts that I go through and get the help I need before I hit a crisis point. So many others just assume crisis or worse will not help you unless you are in crisis. I actually spent nine hours in an emergency room once only to be turned away in the end because they felt I was not in enough of a crisis to warrant attention. That’s a long and bitter story not for here though.
A person with diabetes gets to know their own ups and downs with that chronic illness over time. Many chronic illnesses are like that. What most also share is a medical knowledge that can be shared with friends, loved ones, or care givers to help aid the sufferer. This came with openly talking about that illness and not making it taboo or stigmatized. The suicidal thoughts that can come with deep depression should be the same. The brain is an organ of the body like any other and we need to realize that it malfunctioning is a medical condition that can be discussed like all other medical conditions.
I know my own ups and downs, have learned many coping skills, when to get extra help, what the warning signs are for me. But, I only learned all this through trial and error and almost died along the way learning it. If there had been open conversation about this, if I had been able to talk about this sooner, I could have gotten to where I am today with a lot less hurt and pain. Most of all though, and please really think on this one, most of all I wonder about all those that did not make it like I did. How many people took their own life due to this lack of conversation, lack of information, this stigma?