The basic problem with blogs is the more you write, the more gets left behind in the archives. So a few times a month I’m going to leave excerpts from my original posts which I think can really help people who are just starting out on their recovery, then link them to the original so maybe someone can also find something useful in the original discussions.
For this Old Post Day I’ve selected a post which basically represents my manifesto on fighting manic depression. When I first started Salted Lithium I was writing to myself, so when the word “you” appeared in my posts it was mostly me talking directly to me, not ‘a reader’. So in this piece, when I wrote “Manic depression didn’t force your girlfriend to miscarry”, I was talking about my girlfriend and the miscarriage of our child.
This post is about separating myself from the mythology of manic depression, and proving to myself that I was more than the sum of the disease.
Manic Depression Did Not Rape You
And It Certainly Didn’t Kill Your Dog
May 20, 2007
For too long we’ve deluded ourselves into believing manic depression was either something to be perversely proud of or something to be desperately ashamed of… but the mystique is a lie, it’s just a fucking disease.
Why do we have such a hard time convincing ourselves and others about the horrible effects this disease has on us when there are a million fucking web sites and blogs about Manic Depression and every Pharmaceutical company sells an anti-depressant or a mood stabilizer, and there’s certainly no shortage of websites dedicated to selling the pills or telling us why those pills are evil… so, with all of this information so available, why is this disease so misunderstood?
Manic depression did not divorce your parents. Manic depression does not care one little fucking bit about you and your life. There’s nothing personal about Manic Depression… untreated, however, manic depression will prevent you from dealing with all of those issues.
The damage to who you are from those rapes, those divorces, those episodes, those instances, those happenings will fester and grow for as long as you refuse to get treated for the disease. What is personal is the crap you haven’t had the ability to deal with since the disease took over. Manic depression didn’t force your girlfriend to miscarry, but unmedicated the disease will prevent you from dealing with The Things That Happen in your life. You have to stop believing Manic Depression is a definition so you can get the Disease out of the way so you can start dealing with the depressing shit that has happened in your life.
Take the fucking pills… consult with your doctor, ask her questions, check websites for information about those pills… educate yourself so you can answer the questions that will come when you tell someone about the Disease. Bring your family into an appointment — NOT so you can discuss the personal shit that has been festering for one, two, eight, eighteen years, but so they can be told about the severity of this disease and about what they can do to make your recovery easier. But, most importantly, Take The Fucking Pills…
Pronouns are strange things. One of the first lessons I learned as a columnist was how to use them to — not just draw in a reader, but make the reader believe they’re the focus of the column.
When I started Salted I was using the technique on myself, but of course some other people — people who are rabidly anti-psychiatry and anti-medications — have taken great offence to some of the things I’ve written.
Which actually isn’t that big a deal. But it has been interesting how people have reacted over the past few years when I write “take the fucking pills”.
“Take the fucking pills” is something I’ve screamed at myself in the past when I’d miss a few doses in a row. But it is a mantra most people with manic depression should, in my opinion, tattoo on their forearm.
This was the first full post I wrote on Salted after taking a nearly three month break to concentrate on my Cultural Sn:afu blog. But I realized fairly quickly I still had things to work out, and here I still am two years later.
There was also an interesting discussion in the comments. There are some names in there who have stopped blogging, moved on to other blogs or just gone missing. Which is too bad, and they’re missed.
OPD Original Link