there are things that i would never say or do

have you listened to parekh & singh’s album, ocean? friend, you should – i just finished my maths homework before class in a bit and i’m feeling tentatively okay. just the right side of tepid.

last week i was in the pit. i didn’t go to class for three days, and all of those classes had attendance policies. have i gone ahead and messed up my grades? maybe. could i have avoided it? unfortunately, no. it’s what the great sciencey people who put definitions to what happens in my life call a hypomanic hangover. baby, do i have an analogy for you.

imagine you’ve been feeling really good for a while. i’m talking two or three (two and a half) glasses of that really good merlot and then a shot of tequila because party time, type of good. lots of dancing – the kind of drunk where you’d dance to a siren – and lots of good feelings. you got things done, you’re allowed to relax, the people that love you really love you and things are good. you never stop drinking because you don’t have to. things are good.

 

then, after being drunk for three and a half weeks, you get hit with the mother of all hangovers. every single one you avoided manifests in one big boulder on your head and chest and legs, and suddenly you can’t get out of bed for a week.

the hangover is depression, my friends.

today has been remarkably better than last week monday, and while i’m still walking about in a bit of a hnagover haze, i’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a full fledged depressive episode. the whole world and jesus know that my gpa cannot handle that.

in case you were wondering about the title, it comes from the featured song. but, here’s a list anyway:

things that i’d never say or do*

  • yell at someone for not having manners and ask if it’s because their mother didn’t teach them
  • squinty-eye a vegetarian or vegan who didn’t want to be plant based anymore
  • betray my heart
  • eat butternut pie or smell some sort of squash with cinnamon without gagging a little bit
  • make fun of people with eating disorders or people who actually like nickelback or people who like fanfiction
  • vote for fascists
  • not marvel at how stunning people are
  • stop wanting to be more true to myself

have a good time of day, people.

love & light,
shalom xo


* in some instances, this can be read as things that i’d never say or do again

‘i’m never buying an exercise guide again’, or, ‘wasting money while manic’

i have a lot of things to do at the moment. apart from beating this upper respiratory tract infection & sinuitis, almost all of them are school related. i’m tired of school, friends. we are eight weeks in and i am eight weeks more homesick-ish. it’s a different kind of homesick. anyway. i am a bit of a spender when i’m manic, and it hurts me and i wanna talk about it! here we are!

when i’m manic, i feel like i can do anything. i can save the world, write songs, create series, become anyone – i can do anything. this being said, i also believe that i can buy anything. fellas. i cannot buy anything.

ya girl broke.

i have a nasty habit of buying in sixes while manic; see strawberry whirls (2013) menstrual cups (2016), tide detergent (2017), books?? (present). i’m gonna be telling y’all about the books.

i’m not sure why i started it, and i’m not even certain i remember what the first book was. [edit: i do! it was neil hillborn’s our numbered days.] anyway, i bought a book for a regular book price and didn’t think it was a dangerous purchase because it’s a book! i just wanted a book! (it’s never just a book, silly shalom.)

the spiral began softly: poetry book (acceptable), john green’s latest offering turtles all the way down (i mean, kinda okay, i’d been waiting for it for a while and it was on sale!), rae earl’s it’s all in your head: getting your sh*t together (which is both okay and not okay. mostly not because how did i get there? how did i get to the point of ordering it? i don’t know. also, i ordered it from ireland. ireland? why do i let this happen?)

and then. and then.

i bought an exercise guide for a stupid amount of money. stupid. truly, fuck instagram fitness and fuck my brain for doing me in like this. when i say stupid, i mean money i will need for a winter coat stupid. i mean “save for essentials” stupid. i’d never felt the urge to buy this stupid glorified ‘strictly no refunds’ pdf for twice the price of a normal book ever. and yet, here we are. here i am, crying about it night after night because i did.

friends, i wish i could say it stopped there, but i am too untrue of a person to become even more so by lying. it didn’t stop. i bought jonny sun’s everyone’s an aliebn when you’re an aliebn too and then ordered anOthER (excuse this, but i am offended at how ridiculous i’ve been) book by an irish author because i saw “eating disorder” and “sale” in the same sentence. (it was on sale, and book depository makes shipping free, but it’s still unacceptable.)

would someone please put an end to this?

if i’m being honest, i spend most of my time while manic begging my brain to stop. i’m tired of spending money i don’t have on stupid things in stupid patterns because boop! it be like that. i really hate it.

i really want this to be over. i will never forgive myself for buying that guide so help me God.  anyone wanna transfer their powers of moderation to me? i haven’t had any. ever. really, i went through a childhood journal of mine a few months ago and realised that i’ve been doing this shit since i was 12, albeit with less important things. i.e. not money. that i  n e e d.

i have too many books. i don’t have the time to read them all. at least i’ve hit six now, i guess. guess i’ll just freeze!

love and light,
shalom xo

velocity

my name’s shalom and i have bipolar disorder, amongst other things. friends, i am manic and i wanna write about it. it’s 11:05 pm and i can’t get my fingers to move fast enough because my brain is going far too fast, but we’re here, and now i’m gonna talk about it.

mania is a little weird, to say the least. everything is amplified and i can’t open my eyes wide enough. i get weird bursts of energy that translate to “hey, you need to spend money right now.” mostly in the form of buying stupid things like hangers, or too much tide detergent, or stickers.

according to science and medicine, my mania is hypomania. i never get to the point that i do potentially life threatening things because i’m manic, and i’m really grateful for that. i do, however, have energy levels that exhaust me. man, am i tired. my brain is a never ending “wowowowowowowow” and my body is trying to keep up with it but it really can’t.

in girl interrupted, susanna kaysen expresses it really well. she describes the two poles of mental illness as viscosity and velocity. viscosity is slow, thick, and dull. velocity is a hundred kilometers a minute. did you know that the earth moves at 1000 miles an hour to complete its rotation? i feel as though every part of my body is trying to keep up; like if i don’t move that fast i won’t rotate and make it to the next day. i know my logic is flawed, friends. overperception is one of the things that i’m very good at, manic or no. here we are. welcome to the brain.

it’s midterm season and i am spinning. i’m spinning past logic and past what i’ve worked so hard to fix, past dysphoria that i can only fix when i have long braids in, and past what i thought i knew i did when i am manic. i’ve spoken about how i feel like i’m in a plane but nobody’s flying the plane – how i dissociate and what the depersonalisation and derealisation feels like. i’m dealing.

i miss my home, and i miss my habits. i miss the island in my kitchen and the couches in the upstairs lounge. i miss crawling into the corner of my bedroom when i needed to turn things down to zero, but i’m dealing. my doctor sister told me to find support structures when i got here, and i think i have. you’d be proud, sharon.

ya girl manic, but she’s tryin’. always trying. i wonder what it’s like to be the universe, experiencing itself ironically?

love and light,
shalom xo

of mondays and joy

experiencing fully fledged joy that isn’t mania as a depressed person is a strange experience. it’s very alien, and today has left me fulfilled yet super tentative of tomorrow, because i know something has to go wrong or back to normal, at least. it’s regression to the mean.

in the northern hemisphere (and now, all over the world too), the third monday of january is known as “blue monday” – the supposedly most depressing day of the year. it’s recognised everywhere and people really feel terrible and everything sucks, until tuesday. on tuesday, things go back to the way they were, and people no longer feel blue. for most people with depression, it doesn’t work like that. it definitely doesn’t for me.

i’m a happy person who’s depressed. i love people, and i thrive on the happiness of others. i adore belly laughs and tired sighs from days full of loving, but my brain also doesn’t make the neurotransmitters it needs to be making, so what we get from that equation is me. i rapid cycle between excessive optimism and damning despair far too much and far too fast. i’m dealing with it okay, though.

however, today has been a really great monday.  much like this one.

i didn’t get any sleep because i don’t get sleep, and had a really teary two a.m. i freaked out because i had so much to do including mailing transcripts for university admissions (keep those fingers crossed for me please!) and an interview for Lush. LUSH. The super amazing smelling, ethically brilliant and people focused brand. I was so stoked that I got an interview, but I was pretty sure it was all going to go to shit because of how my morning went. It was 21 degrees outside and I was sweating like a Christmas goat while trying to do my eyeliner because ya girl was anxious as HECK and also I was running late for a thing with a friend. It’s okay. I got there. Then the goodness began.

Jo bought me a hazelnut honey latte and I lost my mind because it tasted so good. We ran generic errands and I bumped into a storybook boy at the printing store. STORY. BOOK. As in curly hair big smile British accent story book. BOY. I sang to him about capitalism and he had a very cute laugh. I ran away because I’m an IDIOT and Jo gave him my number. He probably won’t text, but I’m glad I met him nonetheless. I have a boy to put in my stories now. I played with a Newton’s Cradle in a birthday store and got really giddy about science.

By DemonDeLuxe (Dominique Toussaint) – Image:Newtons cradle animation book.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3717500

I then almost skipped out of my interview because anxiety, but went ahead and did the damn thing. I have a trial shift on Thursday! I am SO EXCITED. I then went to get some tea, paid for a short and got upgraded to a grande for free. YES. I then got free samples of cheese and of bread at Woolworths and bought a cheese and tomato baguette that surprised me with the best tasting basil & mayo I have ever had. My eyebrows also did the damn thing. I got home and napped for three hours, ate a pie for supper, found a blog that’s probably my new favourite (do check out Dora @ For The Goldfinches because wow – follow her on instagram too! She’s a joy.) and got invited over to swim with a friend tomorrow. It’s also MLK Day, so I got to smash down some microagressions regarding not being black enough, which was exhausting but necessary. I’m glad I did. Happy birthday to my biggest writing hero, Lin-Manuel Miranda, too! There’s a gif party on twitter if you wanna come. #gifTparty

I’m a bit sad that today is over, honestly. It’s been the best day that I’ve had in years. I’m grateful for it, but also hyper aware of the fact that everything has to swing back to the middle eventually. I learned about regression to the mean from Teen Wolf. I have a weird relationship with that show.

Despite how well today went, I still have the undercurrent of despair running through me, but I’m okay with it. It’s not the loudest in this moment, and every moment that my brain allows me to just be is one I am grateful for. I’m about to knock myself out with some heavy sleeping pills, and I’m really glad that I can. On Saturday, I didn’t think I’d make it to the end of the day. Thank goodness I did though. Who else would have taught that cute boy the capitalism jingle?

love and light,
shalom xo

the kids aren’t alright

i’m feeling lowercase today, i think.

i haven’t been around here much lately. i actually turned my computer on for the fist time in about three weeks today. i’d love to tell you that i’ve been away planning things and now i’m back with an exciting series and that i have another posting schedule i won’t keep to, but that’s not so.

stuck in the jet wash
bad trip i couldn’t get off
and maybe i bit off more than i could chew
and overhead of the aqua blue

i’ve been going through some stuff in my head. i honestly don’t know how to say this to anyone without sounding absolutely mad but i haven’t felt like a whole person for the last month or so. it’s as if i’m  a plane on autopilot – only i’m also a passenger who’s been informed that i am, and i’m freaking out about it because somebody should be captaining this ship, but there’s nothing that i can do because i’m a bit of a helpless passenger.

i don’t know if i’m presenting myself very well.

i’ve had a lot that i’ve wanted to write about, but i’ve had the great misfortune of not being able to do almost anything. my body is fidgety while my mind is tired, or my mind is racing while my body is exhausted, so i’ve slept a maximum of four hours a night for the last month or so. it’s hard to be a person when you don’t feel like one, and when you feel like someone other than yourself when you do.

fall to your knees, bring on the rapture
blessed be the boys time can’t capture
on film or between the sheets
i always fall from your window to the pitch black streets

i feel very spacey. i’m still going to school and i’m taking notes in lectures and going to rehearsals and caring for all my friends, but it’s very alien. something is very off, and i know it, but nothing is fixing itself.

my friends are lovely. they’re full of advice and ‘alternative methods’ to help me sleep (i see you and i love you, xabs) and they remind me that i’m not eating when i should be. they ask about my medication and when i tell them that i feel like i’ve lost it, they listen. usually, they think i’ve lost it too, but they listen, and i love them for it. i overwhelm them a lot; i mother them. it’s a habit of mine – a selfish one, to some extent. i like to know that people are alright. it makes me feel like i, then, have the right to be fine, too. this is flawed in many ways, but they let me fuss over them, and for that, i’m ever grateful.

and in the end
i’d do it all again
i think you’re my best friend
don’t you know that the kids aren’t al-, kids aren’t alright

i talked to my sister about how i’ve been feeling earlier today. she asked what my plan was for the next couple of months, or at least before i go back to the doctor. well, i’ve thought of something of a plan while i’ve been writing this, and here it is:

my strength comes from loving. i will continue loving people as hard as i usually do. i’m going to try to keep doing the things that i always do, like work and school. i’m going to try to remember to eat, and i’ll try my best to sleep more. i’m not going to ignore the way i’ve been feeling, but i’m going to try and push on through it, rather than go around it.

this kid’s not alright, but she’ll pull it together somehow. it’s not all bad. i made two new friends today. i’m doing fine-ish.

when it rains it pours
stay thirsty like before
don’t you know that the kids aren’t al-, kids aren’t alright

love and light
shalom xo


featured image from risenmags.com

4 a.m. sunrise

Being up for the sunrise is different to getting up to see the sunrise. See, it’s 5:11 A.M where I live, and I’m yet to find sleep. This is a usual occurrence for me. It’s a pity; the sunrise seems to lose its brilliance when the only thing you have to offer to the awakening earth is your exhausted, eye-bagged self.SAM_2241.JPG

The sunrise is always changing. It starts as it does: a little dark and highlighted by the little lights and houses that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but everything to those that dwell in them. The orange gives this crazy kind of hope – dare I say misconception? – that the sun will come up, and the brilliant blue sky will present itself, and the day to come will unfold with the same kind of magic.

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The early bird catches the worm, and somebody zooms past the house front in an attempt to get to the train station before it’s crowded, or to get away from everything else that is crowded. The sky starts to brighten, and more people stir. The joggers come out, and the birds make more noise than they were making ten minutes ago.

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It’s an every day thing, the sunrise. I suppose our tininess is too. Every day, all of us – inconsequential people – wake up in our inconsequential houses to run our inconsequential errands until we die. Inconsequentially.

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I didn’t get to see the sunrise. There was no sunrise today. More than a sunrise, there was an overwhelming period of cloud cover with a dormant sun threatening ever so slightly to peek through. The cloud cover seemed to almost exactly mirror my mental state. 2015 has been a lot of grey.

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I feel quite strange today. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep over the last six months, maybe it’s the lack of medication, the weather, the hyper-awareness – I don’t know what this is. I know that I have three very distinct lines of feeling, though. One: I am terrified of everything and I want it all to stop, I want to stop being afraid, I want to be alone and at the same time, not. Two: I am more powerful than anyone could ever imagine. If you’re not scared of me, you should be. There is nothing that the world could throw at me that my brain hasn’t already. Not even death. Three: Nothing. I feel nothing. I am apathetic under a stained white shirt and jeans that used to make me feel something.

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I am not the teenage girl who gets up at 4 AM to see the sunrise. I am the girl who stands on a rooftop at 4 AM after being awake for longer than she can remember and sifts through the surrounding sounds while wrapped in her friend’s blanket.

It is not ideal. But, there have been, and will continue to be worse things that can and will happen at 4 A.M.

there are worse things than being awake at 4 am. another day will come, and the sunrise will come. eventually.

And all the kids cried out,
“Please stop, you’re scaring me”
I can’t help this awful energy
Goddamn right, you should be scared of me
Who is in control?

Control – HALSEY

Love and light,
shalom