Monday, August 2, 2010

Shame: A Reason to Blog

I'm tired of feeling victimized for being mentally ill. The past few years have been rough in a lot of ways, but I don't want to feel defined by my struggle, or really even care that I have been diagnosed bipolar. It seems like it comes up all the time. People are like, "what do you do?" I so wish I had something cooler to say than, "I live off disability for bipolar disorder." It's just not a good pickup line, but, at least I can say it without so much shame.

I was talking about shame with a gentleman in the buddhist group I attend. He told me he had also experienced debilitating shame from mental illness, in this case, depression. He then suggested a book, or maybe it's an audio program, called Radical Self Acceptance. The author is a therapist and buddhist, so I'm sure it's got some great info, but I just love the title. The concept of radically accepting yourself seems inspiring to me, cuz in a lot of ways, I feel like I'm just always beating myself up. I beat myself up for being lazy, for not eating right, for prioritizing debaucherous fun, for looking down on other people's views.... the list goes on. What I'm wondering is if I need to be so hard on myself, or if just a gentle correction would do. I'll try to correct myself as gently as possible and see how it goes.

On an unrelated note, I'd like to blog about why I blog. It's therapeutic, I think I've mentioned that, but nobody reads this blog so it doesn't really matter. This blog is like my online public journal. I also want to develop my writing. Shit, I need to get use to talking about stuff I care about instead of just submitting to whatever is going on around me. This is what I really hate about myself: I never have anything interesting to say when I'm around other people. Hm, this is sounding pretty shallow, but!! this is pretty organic and from the heart, so I'm gonna roll with it! So yeah, I never have anything to say and it's irritating cuz I feel like I have so much to offer, but I'm scared about what people will think about me if I share deeply personal thoughts with them. When I'm alone I'm often in a state of wonder and joy, and I'm engaged in endless fascinating conversations with myself about the nature of nature, emotions, meditation, the power of language, whatever. Conversation always seems topical whether I'm with friends or family. People all over just talk about events that happen in the world: sports games, shit on the news, they're job, whatever. I feel like if I try the shift to conversation to something a little more interesting then I won't be welcomed. Plus, I don't know what to say. I hope with time that I'm able to artfully guide, or at least start, interesting conversations frequently. I have the rest of my life to express myself, improvement is sure to come.

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