I am feeling rushed today. So little time to get organized and ready to go into rehab.
Well I couldn’t stop laughing when I went onto Rosie’s blog yesterday and the daily video of her was watching her putting on makeup singing to the tune by Amy Winehouse “Trying to Make me go to Rehab”. I’ve got to get the c.d. and bring it with me.
I have also found Godwinks can be very amusing. So however I am getting these strange phenomena, a sense of humour comes along with it.
Big smog alert today. I can feel it. Time for another cigarette. I know after Saturday my new routine will all go to hell because it has been confirmed. I’m in! Now I’m not sure if I’m ready after yesterday. I am realizing I will be doing a lot of soul searching and it can get very emotional. Yesterday’s group session, as Avil mentioned, was a very stressful one. There was a huge white elephant in the room that everyone was trying to ignore. I know it left me shaken. Anyway, a good therapist (and I have a feeling I will meet some more) makes sure that we open our eyes and not ignore it.
The topic of discussion yesterday was self esteem. Something I am seeing so much clearer and clearer that once again I have allowed myself to have so little of.
I can see that when I finally found it for a period of time, it was the best time of my life. Took me many self help books and lots of therapy to find it but when I finally found it and went out in the world and lived on my own, I was never so enamoured with life.
I had found myself a gorgeous apartment and along with this apartment came a whole group of new friends, and another world. I was leading a great life; traveling, getting an education and most importantly I finally found out and believed I was an artist with talent! I was also looking great.
This is one topic for contention that came up yesterday too, and one that I’ve got to come to grips with. We are valued too much by our looks. We also value ourselves too much by our looks. So now that I am no longer a svelte woman in her prime, I look at myself as a middle aged, bi-polar, alcoholic. Doesn’t sound like a person with much self esteem to me?
The comment was made that when we have good self esteem, good things happened to us. It creates good positive energy. And I was reaping the rewards of this until I was locked up.
My apartment was exactly as I wanted it to be too. I stumbled on the best buys of my life. The world was cosmically coming together. Also, I was studying interior design, my dream job and getting the top marks in the class. Confirmation to me that I am talented in this area. I had one design teacher, who was very instrumental in making me believe this. Ideas and ideas were pouring out of me. My art was very different from most. I was unique. We are all unique, but I finally found my niche. She made my uniqueness feel special and told me things like “you have no idea how good this is”.
I am building up my self esteem here. But as you can tell I am in sorry need of this.
I also took some art courses. I started drawing and painting. I could draw a whole nude, background and all in 15 minutes and the results would astound my teacher because I was so quick. How at 45 years old I now see that my brain is so capable of knowing instinctively what to do? I never painted in my life, but mixing colours came naturally, knowing where to put them also. Of course, I wasn’t a master, but a couple my paintings are hanging up at my parents. I look at them now and say not too bad for my first try.
My design teacher said a wonderful thing to me on my last day. I told her that after having taken her course I dreamt of going to university to study art. I swear she had tears in her eyes. She said “you are the reason I love to teach”. She is a world renowned artist – interior designer – wife – now a mother and one of the women I have come to meet that I admire. And she said “you of all people should do this”.
So this brings me to another incident in group that was troublesome for me. We were discussing woman and how if they are in a position of power they are looked upon as “bitches”. I made the comment that because often they are. That is my view, in the corporate world anyway. And I have learnt this through experience. I’m not talking about women who hold positions of lower power, like managers, team leaders, etc. These are the women I normally gravitate to and many have become very good friends. It’s the ones that make it to the very top (very few I might add) of large corporations.
I will not mention names. I have also learnt that most men who get there are bastards.
Avril did not agree with me and of course I see her point of view. There must be a few ethical ones out there?
So this led to another topic of contention. How I think that in the last 20 years women have made no inroads. Actually, I feel we are going backwards. Take a look at what is going on in the world today. Like how often do we have to see Brittany and Paris Hilton and there you know whats. Women are being raped, hidden under burkas, not able to study in some countries, etc. etc. etc. So many horrific stories in the world. So many injustices because of some man’s insane beliefs. I do not see much progress. Now women are just expected to do more and maintain their weight and looks as well.
I guess we should thank God for Oprah and Rosie. Two women who have made it to the top (they are good for ratings after all).
Perhaps we do need a Hillary Clinton in the White house. It sure could use a woman’s touch. I am still baffled about the fact that Bill Clinton was impeached for getting a blow job from one of the interns. My God is nothing private anymore. What a waste of tax payer’s dollars. It seems just ludicrous to me when we have so many bigger issues and sins in the world.
Now let’s equate Bill’s sin with Bush’s sins!!! I have argued about this many times.
We had some lively debates about these subjects.
From there we did an exercise that may sound very silly, but was insightful to me as well. The person next to us had to ask us for something and we had to say no. Sounds like a piece of cake, right. Well I felt very uncomfortable saying no and I was certainly not the only one in the room who felt this way.
I sat there and felt guilty (believe it or not) about having to say “no”. All I could think about were those times I did not know how to say no and when I did try to say no, no one listened to me anyway!
Strange how emotionally upset I feel about this right now. I now know what I desperately need to learn is how to say “NO’ AND GET MY MESSAGE ACROSS. ‘NO’ I WILL NOT FOLLOW YOUR RULES BECAUSE THESE ARE YOUR RULES NOT MINE! “NO”, YOU HAVE INVADED MY BOUNDARIES AND I AM MAD AS HELL AND I WILL NOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE.
There is a girl in group, someone you want to take and give her a big hug, because you can see her pain. A drug addict, who is currently living in an abusive relationship. She has let out little inklings of this and yesterday she was brave, and this does take bravery, to admit that when she does say “no” to her abusive husband, she is not listened to.
There was a woman sitting next to her, (who I will bet my life on, is not as self confident as she was trying to appear, because if she were I doubt very much she would have addiction problems) who jumped in and said “As soon as you clear up your addiction problems this will no longer happen”.
I know she was trying to be positive. I know her intentions were good and I have come to find out that good intentions can also be very harmful. And now I can understand fully why in these sessions it is so important to use “I” statements and not “you” because no one knows unless you have walked in their shoes.
So if you think that problems are stemmed because of addictions then I guess the whole point of my story has been lost somewhere. You are putting the cart before the horse.
Anyway, once again I am exhausted. I can’t solve all my problems in one day. How could any not so svelte, woman in her prime, who has been blessed to have bi-polar disorder and is working hard on herself, do this in one day.
Maybe in a lifetime?
Bi-polar person of the day: Lesa Theriault
What to be grateful for today: Me
May 24, 2007
I’m feeling almost giddy with hope. Not quite sure why, but I feel this huge relief inside of me and I’m once again allowing myself to dream. Not only to have hope but to actually have some pictures in my mind of what I want for my future.
I want my old life back. But with a new improved me! I want an apartment like my last one. I want a man. I want to be in love, but this time I want to also receive love. I want to be able to open my heart and know that I am deserving of this. I don’t want to feel anything but positively knowing I am first in this person’s life. I have a picture in my mind of two beautiful white whales frolicking in the ocean.
So I am sitting outside on a cinder block, in the parking lot of Dr. Arani’s office waiting for my 8:30 a.m. appointment.
It is a gorgeous day. I’m drinking a Tim’s and I am happy. Happier than I have been in nearly two years. This is what I also want back. I remember feeling absolutely so happy that it was disconcerting to me. I had found paradise here on earth and I’m not exaggerating one bit. I remember thinking that – and honestly this is what I thought – that maybe this will be boring, having everything you want in life. Now I understand, I was not ready for it.
Now I think it is time for me to prepare to be ready for it because for some very strange exhilarating reason, I think my dreams will come true.
Sitting on a bench waiting for the #8 bus, which should be arriving in a few minutes. I saw Dr. Arani. He is a great doctor. Kind and compassionate. During the years I have known him, he has said a few things that have never left me.
When Doug and I split up and I was sometimes in the depths of despair, he told me a little secret of a way of dealing with my life. He told me not to look back – not to want what I had lost – go forward. When my mind was going back, wear an elastic on my wrist and snap it and remind myself to look to the future.
He also told me a story about his wife and some difficulties she had with her family. And that family can not always see eye to eye. This does not mean they don’t love us.
And most importantly, when I paid a visit to him and admitted how depressed I was, he told me I was brave. He told me that my mental health was as important to him as my physical health. I realized then that depression was not a weakness.
Today, once again he told me I was brave. I now know for certain that having problems with alcohol is not a sign of weakness, especially when someone is seeking help or even getting help because they have been ordered to do so. No these people are the brave people, and I can’t wait to meet some new friends, who will have something in common with me.
What to be thankful for today – Bravery